A petition to have Jesse Williams fired from the hit show, Grey’s Anatomy was launched on Change.com by user, Erin Smith, after the actors impassioned speech about racial inequality while receiving the Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards on June 26th. The petition, which started on July 1st has already collected a large number of signatures and accuses him of making a racist and hateful speech.
“Jesse Williams spewed a racist, hate speech against law enforcement and white people at the BET awards, 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.” Ms. Smith wrote in the petition.
The petition also called for Shonda Rhimes, the show’s creator, head writer, executive producer, and showrunner to remove the actor from the show. To which she responded on a twitter post on Tuesday stating
Um, people? Boo don’t need a petition. #shondalandrules
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) July 5, 2016
Smith, angered by Rhimes twitter response, later included in her demands:
“Unfortunately, a necessary escalation is warranted. Please sign the petition to fire Jesse Williams from Grey’s Anatomy AND boycott the entire ABC Network. Don’t forget to unlike all ABC programs/shows on Facebook pages, unfollow all on Twitter and separate from all social media that has anything to do with ABC, their shows, news, etc.”
Despite the efforts of many petitioners to have Jessie Williams fired from the show, many others have come to his defense such as Norman Lear, Executive Producer to the upcoming Epix documentary series “America Divided,” which takes a look at the inequality America faces today.
“I’ve seen and attended a ton of awards shows in my time, and no one has ever put his soul and his a** on the line so fully and so truthfully as Jesse Williams did.” Lear told IndieWire in a statement.
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