Halle Berry supports elderly shop owner, asks followers to do the same
The majority of protests that have taken place since George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 have been peaceful. But as Halle Berry's posts about an elderly store owner on Monday, June 2, reminded fans, demonstrations have in some cases been accompanied by looting, to the detriment of community members and businesses. "An 81 year old immigrant father and business owner, Ned Harounian, had his Melrose shop looted and burned to the ground over the weekend," Halle posted on Instagram (via the Daily Mail). "He immigrated in 1985 and for 30 years he put his life into his business and community … His recently deceased wife's jewelry was also stolen," she continued, before making a plea to her fans and followers. "Los Angeles — I know thing are crazy right now," she wrote, "but I hope we can all take a minute to help this man out!!" The actress included a link to a GoFundMe set up for the shop owner by his son. She posted much of the same on Twitter, pausing to respond to a handful of commenters, one of whom called the situation "heartbreaking" and wrote, "These thugs doing this must be stopped and let the people protesting peacefully, do their thing!" Halle replied: "Please do not use the word thugs here. I will not tolerate it. I stand in solidarity with all who protested this weekend." A second commenter said they hoped the man's "insurance will cover" the loss. "According to his son, insurance is not covering the damages caused by the riot," the actress responded. Floyd, an unarmed, 46-year-old black man, died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes as three other officers stood by. All four officers were fired; Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Keep reading to see how Halle and more stars marked #BlackOutTuesday …
Rihanna, Kerry Washington, Selena Gomez and more stars participate in #BlackoutTuesday
On Tuesday, members of the music industry shared dark screens on their social media feeds in accordance with #BlackoutTuesday, an extension of the movement demanding justice for George Floyd and other victims of police brutality. The initiative was created by music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang — with the hashtag #theshowmustbepaused — as "a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community" through "an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change." Rihanna shut down sales on all of her Fenty labels, according to Harper's Bazaar. Selena Gomez went dark on her official website and told fans of her Rare Beauty brand that the company was spending the day, "thinking through how we can take action against systemic racism and make change." Over the course of the day, the campaign spread beyond music, though, as celebs from all platforms joined in the effort. Kerry Washington shared concise instructions on how to participate, telling followers to patronize black-owned business, "amplify black voices of the movement, donate to grassroots organizations helping black people [and] don't post your everyday content (selfies can wait)" on social media. Ava DuVernay, meanwhile, challenged white Americans to "Think about how you can work to dismantle the generations-old systems that encourage and protect police misconduct and murder."
Don Lemon praises Jimmy Fallon for his 'honest,' 'brave' public reflection on blackface sketch
When Jimmy Fallon returned to "The Tonight Show" after a hiatus on Monday, he opened with a candid monologue about the self-reflection he's done since a story resurfaced about the sketch he did years ago on "SNL" in which he wore blackface to play Chris Rock. Later on the show, one of guests, Don Lemon, praised him for acknowledging his mistake. In the monologue, Fallon said when the story resurfaced, he was "advised to just stay quiet and not say anything," according to ET. "That's the advice because we're all afraid. And I took it for a minute," he continued. Though he admitted he was "sorry and horrified and embarrassed," Fallon also admitted he's realized "that the silence is the biggest crime that white guys like me and the rest of us are doing." Lemon, for his part, applauded the late-night host for his words. "That's exactly what we all need to do is examine ourselves," the CNN journalist said. "That was really honest and very brave of you and I appreciate you having the depth really to do what you did in that opening monologue … I wish more people would do that because we can't go back to the way we were," Lemon continued. "I appreciate you for stepping up and being a leader and helping the change." Lemon went on to oppose "cancel culture," saying, "We have to allow people to be human and we all have pasts and they're not perfect. And we have to allow people to be flawed and have conversations like we're having now and not castigate people for it."
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Gabrielle Union hopes new children's book sheds light on non-traditional families
In 2018, Gabrielle Union became a first-time mom with the birth of her daughter, Kaavia James, via surrogate. Now, she's a first-time children's book author, too, thanks to the recent publication of "Welcome To the Party." Speaking to EW in a recent interview, the "L.A.'s Finest" star opened up about how Kaavia inspired the book, which celebrates non-traditional families like hers. "It's about our celebration of her and how our journey wasn't how we expected, but it was right on time and perfect," Gabrielle tells EW. "I hope the book helps create a bit more space to have the conversation that there are all different kinds of families." Asked if she ever considered keeping her use of a surrogate private, Gabrielle, who was open about her fertility struggles, told the outlet: "No, our family really prides itself on being as transparent as possible about our life. We don't see the point of surviving something or celebrating something that you're going to keep to yourself. Especially when it's something other people can benefit from a sense of community and an understanding that they're not alone."
Meghan Markle addresses racism, growing up biracial in resurfaced footage
Comments Meghan Markle made about growing up biracial as part of 2012's "I Won't Stand For …" campaign are making the rounds online this week amid the ongoing protests. Meghan, who recently left London for Los Angeles with Prince Harry and their son Archie, was still starring on "Suits" at the time she participated in the video campaign, which was organized by Eras the Hate, according to People. Clad in an "I Won't Stand For Racism" T-shirt, Meghan reflects on how her biracial heritage left her feeling like "a fly on the wall" for much of her life. "And so some of the slurs I've heard or the really offensive jokes, or the names, it's just hit me in a really strong way," she says in the clip. Meghan also shares what it felt like when she overheard someone use a racial slur in reference to her mother, who is black. "… Certain people don't look at me and see me as a black woman or a biracial woman," Meghan observes. "They treat me differently I think than they would if they knew what I was mixed with and I think that is, I don't know, it can be a struggle as much as it can be a good thing depending on the people that you're dealing with." Ultimately, she says she's "really proud of my heritage on both sides," but says she hopes by the time she becomes a mother herself, "people are even more open-minded to how things are changing and that having a mixed world is what it's all about," adding that the diversity "makes it a lot more beautiful and a lot more interesting."
Reese Witherspoon to parents: 'Talk to your children about racism, privilege, bigotry and hate'
Last week, Reese Witherspoon found herself in the difficult position of "being a white mother trying to explain racism and bigotry to her white son, who did not understand why anyone would treat another human being that way," as she put it in a long Instagram post. The actress was recounting a dinner table conversation with her 7-year-old son, Tennessee, after he "asked why all the grown ups were so upset." As Reese told her followers, she and her husband Jim Toth talked to Tennessee about George Floyd, a conversation she knew was as essential as it was "heartbreaking." Reese continued: "But not nearly as heartbreaking as being a victim of one of these senseless, violent, unconscionable crimes. Not nearly as heartbreaking as being one of the families who have experienced loss and harassment and discrimination daily. Not nearly as heartbreaking as being a mother who lives in fear of what will happen to her children in this world." The actress, 44, said she grew up learning in church "that we were all the same in the eyes of God," then added, "But that is not what I grew up seeing." She said she wants her kids "and yours" to have a different experience. "We have to be held accountable for what is happening in this country. What happened to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery – and countless others – can not go without justice," she wrote. "Please talk to your children about racism, privilege, bigotry and hate. If you aren't talking to them, someone else is."
January Jones shares rare pic of son Xander, vows to 'always talk to my child about inequality'
As if in response to Reese Witherspoon's request that parents talk to their young kids about racism and hate, January Jones shared a rare photo of her 7-year-old son Xander this week, alongside a vow to keep discussing such issues with her son. "I promise that I will always continue to talk to my child about inequality. And I promise to do all I can to learn more," January wrote next to the photo, which showed Xander holding a handmade sign reading, "I can't breathe," and wearing a mask on which he'd written "black lives matter." "We have had many more of these necessary hard conversations over the last few days, about why people are so angry and sad," the actress explained. After sharing that she'd brought Xander to "a neighborhood protest to support his friends" as he grapples with understanding "why the past he learns about in school is still very present in our world today," she switched gears to remind followers about the importance of voting. "Please vote in Nov.," she wrote. "If you don't vote for who is governing your city, state and country nothing will change."
Jamie Foxx sings for protesters at George Floyd rally
Just days after he appeared at a Minneapolis press conference to address George Floyd's killing, Jamie Foxx showed up at a like-minded rally in San Francisco on Monday. According to JustJared, the star spoke to the crowd of demonstrators, as he had in Minneapolis. This time, though, he also shared his singing voice with attendees. As he was handed a microphone, the "Ray" star sang, "No weapons formed against me, shall prosper, it won't work. No weapons formed against me shall prosper." The lines are a popular verse from Isaiah 54:17. "If that man can be handcuffed … if that man[can] sit on that man's neck for that long and feel comfortable about it," he told the group, referencing Derek Chauvin, the officer charged with Floyd's murder, "… that means that he's not afraid of what's going to happen."
Seth Rogen claps back at Black Lives Matter critics
On Monday, Seth Rogen shared a large, black on yellow text image of "Black Lives Matter," in support of the movement that's been reignited in the wake of the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. "If this is a remotely controversial statement to you, feel free to unfollow me," he captioned the post. While some IG users responded with positivity, it quickly became apparent that Rogen's detractors were more interested in arguing with him than unfollowing him. And the actor seemed more than happy to oblige, albeit while doling out F-bombs galore. When a commenter posted, "I like 'All Lives Matter,'" Rogen replied, "I like f— you." Responding to a comment that read, "All lives matter we all bleed red facts !!!!!," Rogen offered, "F— off. Facts!!!!" He elaborated somewhat in response to a commenter who complained: "People making this only about blacks. When its [sic] about all races of color? Why do all these brutality videos only show the end? They don't show wtf these people were doing to get in trouble in the first place." Rogen's reply? "You don't deserve my movies anymore. Stop watching my s—."
The Weeknd donates $500k to racial justice causes, asks major labels, streaming services to pitch in
The Weeknd announced on Monday that he's donated $500,000 to the Black Lives Matter Global Network, Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp and National Bail Out. "Keep supporting our brothers and sisters out there risking everything to push for actual change for our black lives," he wrote on Instam after revealing the donations (via Billboard). "Urging everyone with big pockets to give and give big and if you have less please give what you can even if it's a small amount." On Tuesday, he doubled down on the donation, asking major labels and streaming services to be pro-active and public in their support of racial justice causes. "No one profits off of black music more than the labels and streaming services," he wrote. "I gave yesterday and I urge you to go big and public with yours this week. It would mean the world to me and the community if you can join us on this."