Michael B. Jordan joined a protest against police brutality and racial injustice Saturday in Los Angeles, and called on Hollywood executives to hire more African Americans.
“I used my power to demand diversity, but it’s time the studios, the agencies… do the same,” Jordan said at the rally organized by the industry’s four biggest talent agencies.
“You committed to a 50/50 gender parity in 2020,” he added in a video posted by a protester. “Where is the challenge to commit to black hiring? Black content led by black executives, black consultants. Are you policing our storytelling as well? So let us bring our darkness to the light.”
The Black Panther star urged the crowd not just to embrace black culture, but to also invest in black businesses and organizations fighting for equal rights.
“Black culture, the sneakers, sports, comedic culture that you guys love so much, we’ve dealt with discrimination at every turn. Can you help fund black brands, companies, leaders, black organizations?” he said. “A great agent doesn’t have to be a great organizer, but a great agent could advocate for relationships with organizers.”
“Where is the challenge to commit to black hiring? Black content lead by black executives, black consultants. Are you policing our storytelling as well? Let us bring our darkness to the light.” – @michaelb4jordan to Hollywood at #BLMprotest
— VIBE Magazine (@VibeMagazine) June 6, 2020
Jordan portrayed Oscar Grant, who was killed by an Oakland transit police officer, in the 2013 film Fruitvale Station. More recently, he co-starred in and produced Just Mercy about discrimination within the criminal justice system in the United States.
The actor told protesters they must go to the polls to help bring about change, saying it has “never been more important than it is today.”
The demonstration in the Century City neighborhood was one of more than a dozen in Los Angeles over the weekend following the May 25 killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
Meanwhile on Friday night, LAPD Chief Michel Moore hosted a peace vigil with faith and community leaders, calling for solidarity after more than a week of protests.
“To George Floyd, may he rest in peace, and may his memory be social justice, social reform and fairness for all,” Moore said. “Tonight is about a bit of healing.”
Moments after he started speaking, the vigil was nearly drowned out by thousands of protesters who marched over to police headquarters from nearby City Hall.
Moore has been under fire since Monday, June 1, when he lashed out at looters during a news conference and said Floyd’s death “is on their hands, as much as it is those officers.”
On Friday night, some demonstrators carried signs calling for the LAPD chief to resign. Others shouted at the line of police officers surrounding the building and at times chanted “f–k the police.”
In an effort to diffuse the situation or to possibly dial down criticism of his comments, Moore walked over to the metal barricades outside the building and spoke with protesters about police tactics.
After several minutes of back-and-forth, the massive crowd turned and marched back to City Hall.