Over 300 Black actors, actresses and artists have signed a letter that is demanding that Hollywood stop supporting pull back on some of the resources they devout to police and anti-Black content.
Kendrick Sampson, who stars in Insecure, teamed up with Tessa Thompson and the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Cullors, and Melina Abdullah to pen the letter. The letter was then signed by some of the biggest and hottest stars in the industry, including Michael B. Jordan, Queen Latifa, Idris Elba, Kerry Washington, and many more.
Sampson’s organization BLD PWR is behind the letter, and its mission is to “engage culture, education and activism to build and train an inclusive community of entertainers and athletes to advance radical social change.”
The letter begins by acknowledging the freedom because their industry in rooted in creativity. “Hollywood has a privilege as a creative industry to imagine and create. We have significant influence over culture and politics. We have the ability to use our influence to imagine and create a better world. Yet, historically and currently, Hollywood encourages the epidemic of police violence and culture of anti-Blackness.”
There’s no doubt that Hollywood and media contribute significantly to the criminalization of black people, along with the systemic oppression of black people, which according to the letter, “resulted in dire consequences on Black lives.”
The letter continues to highlight some of the Black lives lost at the hands of police.
“This includes stories that demonize our mental health as violent,” the message continues. “These stories contribute to the killings of Black people like Deborah Danner, who was murdered by NYPD Sgt. Hugh Barry. It also includes the perpetuation of transphobic stories which are used to justify the murder of Tony McDade in Florida, Nina Pop in Missouri, Dominique Fells in Philadelphia, and Riah Milton in Ohio. We must end the exaltation of officers and agents that are brutal and act outside of the law as heroes. These portrayals encourage cops like Derek Chauvin, the murderer of George Floyd.”
These calls to divest from police are amongst requests nationwide to defund the police and reinvest some of those funds back into the community.
The entire letter can be read here.