Shonda Rhimes Responds To Petition To Fire Jesse Williams From ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ After BET Awards Speech
Last month at the 2016 BET Awards, Jesse Williams received the Humanitarian of The Year Award.
His passionate acceptance speech touched on racial inequality and went viral, receiving responses from the likes of Stacy Dash. It also resulted in an online petition to have him removed from his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy.
The Change.org petition, which has received nearly 19,000 signatures, originally stated:
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. There’s been no companies making a stand against his racist remarks and no swift action condemning his negative attitude. 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. #EqualConsequences4RacistBehavior
Show creator and producer Shonda Rhimes responded to the petition with a tweet:
Um, people? Boo don’t need a petition. #shondalandrules
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) July 5, 2016
The petition has had no impact on Rhymes support for her cast member. Due to her response, however, the petition is aiming to hit harder.
The petition was updated and now states:
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.
The update went on to scold Rhimes for “a blatant slap in the face to the entire human race,” by “condoning” Williams actions.
The speech can be seen below.