A collective of Hollywood stars have joined forces to “take responsibility” for racism against minority Americans in a new campaign that encourages others follow suit.
A public service announcement which dropped on YouTube and social media Wednesday, titled “I Take Responsibility,” features a number of familiar faces decrying police officers and vowing to end perceived systemic racism.
The video features actors Aaron Paul, Bryce Dallas Howard, Debra Messing, Julianne Moore, Stanley Tucci and Kristen Bell, among others, and asks people to call out acts of racism.
The celebrities in the black-and-white video take turns reading from a script which claims black Americans are being “slaughtered in the streets.”
“I take responsibility for every unchecked moment, for every time it was easier to ignore than to call it out for what it was. Every not-so-funny joke. Every unfair stereotype. Every blatant injustice no matter how big or small,” the celebrities say in their message.
“Every time I remained silent. Every time I explained away police brutality or turned a blind eye. I take responsibility.
“Black people are being slaughtered in the streets. Killed in their own homes. These are our brothers and sisters. Our friends. Our family. We are done watching them die. We are no longer bystanders, we will not be idle. Enough is enough,” the actors vehemently state.
Aaron Paul, who starred as the meth-using drug dealer Jesse Pinkman in the AMC series “Breaking Bad,” then castigates police officers who have used deadly force, labeling them as “murderers.”
“And killer cops must be prosecuted, they are murderers. We can turn the tide. It is time to take responsibility. Call out hate. Step up. And take action,” Paul says to conclude the video.
The video has faced widespread mockery on social media since it was shared to Twitter by Moore and posted on YouTube.
“Today, #ITakeResponsibility for my role in eradicating racism in America. Unless white America acknowledges its privilege, systemic racism will persist. Act Now. What will you commit to?” Moore tweeted.
Today, #ITakeResponsibility for my role in eradicating racism in America. Unless white America acknowledges its privilege, systemic racism will persist. Act Now. What will you commit to? https://t.co/OjSR23y7lp. @NAACP @itakeresponsibility #itakeresponsibility #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/NYH2WQyiKP
— Julianne Moore (@_juliannemoore) June 11, 2020
Her message, though, failed to land, as many users mocked her and the other stars for the substance of the video:
There’s actually nothing more racist than saying what you are saying. Insinuating black people need white saviors. I’m biracial and I don’t see black or white but human beings. Maybe if you just supported each other instead of this savior narrative we might actually get somewhere
— Kaya Jones (@KayaJones) June 11, 2020
I do not take responsibility ?
— ? (@pussycat8989) June 11, 2020
Noticed that Messing was also reading her lines. These actors couldn’t even be bothered to memorize the lines for their own virtue-signaling look-at-me campaign. ?♂️
— Super Journalist (Retired) – JOURN-AL of Skrypton (@Magnum_CK) June 11, 2020
No, but they will demand that other, much lower paid people behind the camera do that
— Daniel Taylor-Frost (@DanethTF) June 11, 2020
I have nothing to take responsibility for. My family came to this country as indentured servants and railroad workers. Every generation has pulled their weight and never asked for more than we were willing to work for. We are Americas and we will not apologize.
— Josh Delhotal (@delhotj4) June 11, 2020
Aaron Paul really gunning for his next Emmy here https://t.co/hg8atv9XvU
— Hoai-Tran Bui (@htranbui) June 11, 2020
The video’s YouTube description noted that the PSA is a partnership between Confluential Films and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
NAACP president Derrick Johnson said the video is meant to encourage people to have conversations about racism.
“The fight for civil rights, and human rights have always required a diverse coalition of partners and allies. It is powerful when white people can speak openly about the individual and structural racism and privilege that deny others their full rights,” Johnson said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“We need everyone to join us on the frontline in the fight for justice and equality,” he concluded.
The video’s description says the video is part of an “impact-oriented campaign, I Take Responsibility, where influential voices from the white community take responsibility for turning the racist tide in America.”
While the actors in the video are well-known, it’s unclear what sort of impact their PSA will have, as the response to the video has thus far been overwhelmingly negative.
Commenters have taken down the celebs for the message, and the video had a 28-1 “dislike”-to-“like” ratio on YouTube as of late Thursday morning.
Writing for the liberal outlet The Daily Beast, Laura Bradley said that the PSA is “incredibly cringeworthy.”
“In some ways, this feels like a sequel to the “Imagine” video Gal Gadot and other celebrities made early on during the spread of the novel coronavirus — another would-be act of inspiration that largely felt empty,” Bradley wrote.
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