A petition is circulating to fire Jesse Williams from Grey’s Anatomy in the wake of his acclaimed – but controversial – BET Awards speech.
Of course, you can start a petition for anything.
Getting your intended result? Another story.
As a result, don’t expect Dr. Jackson Avery to go anywhere, and look no further than his boss for the final word on this ridiculous matter.
“Um, people? Boo don’t need a petition,” Grey’s Anatomy creator and producer Shonda Rhimes tweeted to her 1.25 million Twitter followers.
Why? Because, well, “#shondalandrules.”
The petition against Williams, 34, was created by a woman named Erin Smith following the actor’s headline-making BET Awards speech.
Receiving the Humanitarian Award for his activism and work with the Black Lives Matter movement, he held nothing back on the stage.
Speaking out on the issues of cultural appropriation and civil rights, Williams’ dialogue won raves – from most of the people who watched.
Some critics, however, felt his fiery rhetoric crossed the line into borderline “hate speech” against law enforcement and white people.
Smith writes on her petition:
“If this was a white person making the same speech about an African American, they would have been fired and globally chastised.”
“As they should be, but there has been no consequences to Williams’ actions. There’s been no companies making a stand.”
Consequences for … addressing racial tension and societal pressure he feels is unduly placed on the shoulders of one race?
Decrying the lack of action “against his racist remarks and no swift action condemning his negative attitude,” she continued:
“Why was Burke’s character fired from Grey’s Anatomy after his inappropriate homophobic slur, but nothing for Jesse Williams?”
“Why the one-way street? Why the support for a hater? Why the hypocrisy? #AllLivesMatter All humans bleed the same color.”
In 2007, Isaiah Washington was fired from the series after directing a homophobic slur at – and outing – gay cast member T.R. Knight.
It’s hard to see how this is remotely similar, but that hasn’t stopped Smith’s petition from gaining close to 4,000 signatures online.
Not that they’ll do anything to jeopardize Jesse’s job, but it’s amazing the amount of fallout his inspiring message sparked in its wake.
Last week, Stacey Dash called Williams a “plantation slave” after his BET appearance and called for the network to cease to exist.
Williams appeared to defend his speech over the weekend on social media. “Do not promote empty people & their tantrums,” he wrote.
“Pure click bait to gain followers, attention & money, for themselves, not you. Never you,” he added, and Rhimes retweeted his comment.