YouTuber Kian Lawley, 22, has been dropped by film The Hate U Give after a video surfaced online of him making racist comments.


The 22-year-old H8ters actor used the N-word in a short clip posted to the video sharing site on Jan. 26. “We’re all black drinking f–king purple Kool-aid and eating Kentucky fried motherf–king chicken,” he says. Twentieth Century Fox decided to drop the budding actor from their production of an adaptation of Angela Thomas‘ young adult novel The Hate U Give. Lawley was set to play the white boyfriend of the film’s star Amandla Stenberg. She leads the cast that also includes Regina HallCommonIssa Rae and Anthony Mackie.

“Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in The Hate U Give,” a spokesperson for Twentieth Century Fox Film said in a statement. “The studio plans to recast the role of Chris and reshoot scenes as needed.”


Lawley responded to the leaked video on Sunday night and apologized for his words. “If u don’t learn from ur mistakes, u can never grow as a person,” he wrote. “I’ve learned a lot & i am grateful to have the power to change. i never want to be who i was yesterday. we’re in a constant battle to become a better version of ourselves, use ur voice as ur weapon.”

Then on Monday, he issued a more formal apology, released by Variety, based on Fox’s decision to recast his role. “Words have power and can do damage. I own mine and I am sorry,” he said. “It is an important story, and it would not be appropriate for me to be involved considering the actions of my past. I understand the impact and I have grown and learned since then. From now on I plan to use my voice for positive change.”

Lawley is primarily a YouTuber and shared the popular channel KianAndJC with friend and fellow YouTuber Jc Caylen. Lawley has been trying to make the transition into acting, and co-starred in Fullscreen series H8ters as well as Awesomeness TV features Before I Fall and Shovel Buddies.