Jimmy Kimmel looks at his own white privilege, asks white viewers to do the same
As protests against police brutality continued across the country on Tuesday, June 2, Jimmy Kimmel spent much of his monologue discussing white privilege — including his own. He first acknowledged that he understands why white people like him have been asked to listen rather than speak now, adding, "… but I'm the only one here and it's a talk show," according to the Daily Beast. From there, he essentially addressed other white people, particularly those who "bristle" at the notion of "white privilege, because there are millions of white people who did not grow up with money, or a good education, or a solid family background, or maybe even a family at all." He said he previously thought it amounted to having a Donald Trumpe-esque "wealthy father and a silver spoon in his mouth." That wasn't his background, Kimmel said. "I rejected it because I didn't understand what white privilege meant. But I think I do now." He then spelled out the term's meaning, from his perspective: "People who are white, we don't have to deal with negative assumptions being made about us based on the color of our skin," he explained. "It rarely happens, if ever. Whereas black people experience that every day. And please don't tell me you don't ever make assumptions about people based on the color of their skin, because I don't believe it. We all do. I know I have. I'm embarrassed to say it, but I have." Kimmel then urged encouraged white viewers to consider, "how frustrating it must be to have to prove yourself, to be something other than what people assume you probably are, every day … sometimes multiple times every day." He asked them to imagine knowing you've been "handcuffed, or frisked, or pulled over, just because you're black." He wondered, "how do you swallow that and move on with your day," even if the cop lets you go, after that experience? "I don't know about you, but that would make me furious," he said. Finally, Kimmel returned to the demonstrations that ensued after a white police officer killed George Floyd by pressing his knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd repeatedly said, "I can't breathe" until he could no longer move. "… If you're wondering why people are angry, and why they can't just march nicely in the street, holding up their signs in a single file line, maybe that's why," Kimmel challenged. Quoting an explanation that's been popular on social media this week, he added: "'White privilege doesn't mean your life hasn't been hard. It just means the color of your skin isn't one of the things that makes it harder.' Wherever you stand, I don't see how you can argue with that."
'12 Years a Slave' director Steve McQueen dedicates Cannes selection films to George Floyd
The Cannes Film Festival won't take place this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but organizers still shared the planned lineup of official selections on Wednesday. The list includes a record number of women directors, according to Deadline. It also includes two new films from "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen, who told Variety he's dedicating both to the memory of George Floyd. "I dedicate these films to George Floyd and all the other black people that have been murdered, seen or unseen, because of who they are, in the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere," McQueen said of the films "Lovers Rock" and "Mangrove," part of his "Small Axe" series about the West Indian community in London. "'If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.' Black lives matter," he added in the statement. His announcement comes amid news from Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison that the officer who knelt on Floyd's neck, Derek Chauvin, now faces second-degree murder, and the three police officers who stood by and did nothing are now charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Cara Delevigne reveals pansexuality, talks Pride
Cara Delevigne recently sat down with Variety for its Power of Pride issue cover story, which sees the 27-year-old supermodel/actress/musician reflecting on everything from Harvey Weinstein's response to her romantic interest in women (he "was one of the people that told me I couldn't be with a woman and also be an actress," she says, "… I had to have a beard") to the effect repressing her sexuality had on her mental health to her dad's loving and empathetic reaction when she finally came out at 18. Cara, who split from Ashley Benson this spring, also revealed she identifies as pansexual, meaning she's attracted to people "regardless of their sex or gender identity." "I feel different all the time. Some days, I feel more womanly. Some days, I feel more like a man," she tells Variety. "I always will remain, I think, pansexual," she continues. "However one defines themselves, whether it's 'they' or 'he' or 'she,' I fall in love with the person — and that's that. I'm attracted to the person." Asked to share her thoughts on the meaning of Pride, Cara says: "A sense of pride is like a sense of belonging, a family outside your family, a place where you don't have to apologize or feel ashamed." She goes on to admit she never felt like she "belonged anywhere as a kid," explaining: "I always felt like I didn't belong in my own body. I felt so lost." Discovering that her father supported her — she thought he might kick her out of the house when he found out she'd been with a woman — was the beginning of a lot of changes for Cara. "Once I could talk about my sexuality freely, I wasn't hiding anything anymore," she muses. "And the person I hid it from the most was myself."
Jada Pinkett Smith tackles gun violence against women on 'Red Table Talk'
On latest edition of Jada Pinkett Smith's Facebook Watch series "Red Table Talk," the actress welcomed Nipsey Hussle's partner Lauren London to join her in a discussion about gun violence towards women. The conversation touched on Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old African-American EMT who was shot to death in her own bed in Louisville, Kentucky, in March after police burst into her home, allegedly looking for a suspect in a drug crime. (The suspect in question had already been apprehended when the police entered Taylor's apartment; as of Wednesday, the FBI was investigating the incident but no officers had been charged, according to People). From there, Pinkett Smith and London, along with the show's co-hosts Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield Norris, delved into the grief and trauma that tend to follow gun violence. "Trauma feels so lonely," said London (via Metro). Pinkett Smith revealed that her first experiences with gun violence came in middle school and high school, saying that she dealt drugs as a teen and guns "unfortunately became the norm" after that. "Even going to parties in high school…," London recalled, sparking Pinkett Smith to chime in again. "You were putting your life on the line! You knew where the exit was. Something can jump off. Especially house parties … You just get used to figuring out how to keep yourself safe in these environments and I try to tell people all the time – most of us grow up in war zones," she said. It wasn't until Pinkett Smith had children herself that she realized how hard things had been for her. At some point, she said she caught herself "trying to train them" to know what she had to know to stay safe when she was their age. Eventually, she said she realized, "that's not their reality … they don't have to worry about that." "Red Table Talk" airs Wednesdays on Facebook Watch at 9 a.m. PT and 12 p.m. ET.
Ashton Kutcher tries to explain 'why saying 'all lives matter' is missing the point'
Ashton Kutcher had a parenting moment this week he realized could become a teaching moment for those who respond to "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter." He shared the experience in an emotional video on Instagram on Tuesday, alongside the caption, "Blm vs #Alm … understanding why saying 'all lives matter' is missing the point. blacklivesmatter." In the video, Kutcher said, "We all agree all lives matter," (via People). "I had a really poignant experience tonight when I was putting my kids down to bed that lent the words for why black lives matter." He went on to explain how when he and Mila Kunis were tucking in their daughter Wyatt, 5, and son Dimitri, 3, Dimitri was frustrated he didn't get to pick the first bedtime story. "My son says, 'Wait, why don't I get to go first?'" Kutcher recalled. "And Mila said, 'Because girls go first,' and he said, 'Yeah, but boys go first.' And I looked at him, and I said, 'No, girls go first.' And I said, 'You know why girls go first? For you and me, girls go first, and the reason why is for some boys, girls don't get a go at all.'" Drawing a comparison to "black lives" versus "all lives," he continued: "I think what folks that are writing 'all lives matter' need to understand is that for some people … for some people, black lives don't matter at all. So for us, black lives matter. So while you may have the best intentions in saying 'all lives matter,' remember, to some people black lives don't matter at all." Zoe Saldana, also a parent, responded with a line of clapping emojis and stars. Other celebs echoed her sentiment, but there were still plenty of "all lives matter" responses and charges of "reverse discrimination." As one commenter tried to explain to another: "… when we say Black Lives Matter it's not to say that other [lives] don't. It's not to say Black Lives Matter MORE. It's to say Black Lives Matter TOO." The user went on to list some of the vestiges of slavery and segregation in the U.S., a place where, they noted, African-Americans were not legally granted civil rights until just a few decades ago.
Wanda Sykes: 'The only way racism will stop is when white people tell white people to stop being racist'
Wanda Sykes is not marching for racial justice this time around — and she's far from inspired by the "kinda empty" texts she' s getting from white friends who want to assure her they're "thinking" of her and they "hear" her. Speaking directly into the camera in an Instagram video she posted on Tuesday, the comic said that white people in America created an unjust system, then allowed it to continue for centuries. Now, she said, it's time for white people to fix the mess they created. "I'm tired. …It's been a lot," she says in the clip (via ET). "Here's what it is," she says later in the post. "There was slavery, the Civil War, the north won the Civil War, and this is your part too. We know all about the racists and the white supremacists who are on the south side, but where's all the heroes, where's all the people who were on the north side? Who's all the people who won, where y'all?" She goes on to say black Americans have already marched. "I'm gonna tell you right now, I ain't marching," she continues. "… You can't ask us to fix something where we're the victims… It's not our problem… I'm the victim, you are the problem. … I can't see my… proud, black, beautiful, young people out there, putting their lives on the line and getting tased and getting pepper sprayed. No, you gotta fix your problem, you're the abuser." Calling the current state of the nation, "Civil War part two," Sykes adds, "White people, you have to fix your problem… After the Civil War you didn't clean up house. … The only way racism will stop is when white people tell white people to stop being racist. I need y'all out on the front lines."
Jay-Z takes out full page ads devoted to the struggle for racial justice in papers across the country
Team Roc, the social justice arm of Jay-Z's Roc Nation, took out full-page ads in 26 separate publications across the country this week. The ads ran on Tuesday and Wednesday and were dedicated to the memory of George Floyd and ongoing efforts to achieve racial justice, according to CBS News. The bulk of the ads quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous speech that followed the "Bloody Sunday" civil rights march in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. As Dr. King's words remind readers, police have been using many of the same forceful tactics, including horses, tear gas and batons, against peaceful protesters this past week that were used against nonviolent demonstrators more than 50 years ago. "[I]f a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live," the quote reads. "Deep down in our nonviolent creed is the conviction — that there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true. So we're going to stand up amid horses. We're going to stand up right here, amid the billy-clubs. We're going to stand up right here amid police dogs, if they have them. We're going to stand up amid tear gas!" The ads are signed below the quote by Jay-Z, along with members of the families and legal teams representing civil rights organizations as well as George Floyd and other African-Americans killed by police.
Keke Palmer asks National Guardsmen to walk with protesters as they march in L.A.
"March with us." That was Keke Palmer's refrain as she spoke to members of the National Guard during a peaceful protest in Los Angeles this week. The moment was captured on video and tweeted out by NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz, according to CNN. In the footage, the "Hustlers" star implores guardsmen to join the crowd as they walked therough the streets. "This is when y'all stand together with the community, with society, to stop the governmental oppression. Period. We need you, so march with us," she says in the clip. "March with us. March beside us. Get your people. March beside us. Let the revolution be televised. March beside us and show us that you're here for us. Let's just do it. We start marching and you march with us. Make history with us, please." A guard member can be heard agreeing to walk with the protesters across an intersection, saying that's as far as they could go without leaving their post. "March with us, it will send a huge message," the actress presses on. "You're the protector. If you're supposed to be patrolling us, then walk with us." Though they don't walk with the group in the clip, when another protester encourages the National Guard members to take a knee as a show of solidarity, the guardsman do just that.
Vanessa Morgan vows to never take another 'token black non-dimensional' role again
"Riverdale" actress Vanessa Morgan continued tweeting about racial equality — or lack, thereof — in her industry on Wednesday after posting about the tendency of writers for her show and others to relegate black actors to "thug" or "sidekick" roles. "To my black fans, I have now made it my purpose to fight for us," she announced Wednesday, according to JustJared. "To the six year old me who had no role model that looked like me on TV. This is for you. We aren't your token black non dimensional characters. This is being black in Hollywood. I will fight for YOU. And I will no longer take roles that don't properly represent us. PERIOD." She added that she'll also stick to supporting only black designers for red carpets and other high-profile events, encouraging "aspiring black designers" in her feed to contact her.
Prince William, Duchess Kate support Black Lives Matter movement via Heads Together
Four years ago, Prince William and Duchess Kate launched their mental health advocacy group Heads Together with Prince Harry. Now, William and Kate are channeling the organization's resources to anyone who needs mental health support as race issues come to the fore in the U.S. On Tuesday, the couple's Heads Together social media platforms shared a post that read, "Heads Together stands with the black community. Today and every day." The statement came with information about how to access the U.K.'s first crisis text line, Shout, "for free and confidential support." Other U.K. crisis service line information followed. "This is a reminder to all that your mental health matters, and our charity partners are there for you if you need support," the pair said in the post. "If you or someone you know is feeling distressed, overwhelmed, anxious or panicked, talking can help. Black Lives Matter. Today and every day."