Beyoncé Delivers Commencement Speech for Class of 2020: ”Keep Pushing, Forget the Fear”

Beyoncé Delivers Commencement Speech for Class of 2020: ”Keep Pushing, Forget the Fear”

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Pamela Avila

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Sun., Jun. 7, 2020 2:10 PM

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Beyoncéis encouraging young high school and college graduates to continue to advocate for underrepresented communities, to continue to do the work to achieve a better tomorrow and to “keep investing and keep betting on yourself.” 

As the Class of 2020 virtual celebrations continue due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the 38-year-old is stepping up and empowering the future generations through her speech during YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” livestream on Sunday, June 7. 

“Thank you President [Barack Obama] and Michelle Obama] for including me in this very special day and congratulations to the class of 2020,” she began her speech. “You have arrived here in the middle of a global crisis, a racial pandemic, and worldwide expression of outrage at the senseless killing of yet another unarmed Black man, and you still made it.”

The Lemonade singer then expressed how proud she was for Class of 2020 and for “using your collective voice and letting the world know that Black Lives Matter.”

She added, “The killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others have left us all broken. It has left the entire country searching for answers. We’ve seen that our collective hearts when put to positive action start the wheels of change. Real change has started with you—this new generation of high school and college graduates who we celebrate today.”

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Celebs Celebrating the Graduating Class of 2020

During her “Dear Class of 2020” speech, the Houston native opened up about her upbringing and education.

“I did not get to experience college like some of you, or get to experience parties that left you struggling the next day in class, although that could’ve been fun,” she shared candidly. “My parents did teach me the value of education—how to be authentic in my actions, and how to celebrate individuality and the importance of investing in myself.”

Further, she urged Class of 2020 graduates to “please remember to take a little time to give thanks to your family members and to the community who’s been such a big support system to you.”

“You are achieving things your parents and your grandparents never could imagine for themselves. You are the answer to a generation of prayers,” she said. “Now some of you might be the first in your family to graduate from college. Maybe you did not follow the path that was expected of you and you probably questioned everything about your decision, but know that stepping out is the best thing you can do for self-discovery.”

The singer then acknowledged that she understands it can be hard for the upcoming graduates to step out “and bet on yourself” but that it’s important to do so.

“There was a pivotal turning point in my life when I chose to build my own company many years ago,” Beyoncé said. “I had to trust that I was ready and that my parents and mentors had provided me with the tools I needed to be successful. That was terrifying.”

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Queen Bey went on to share her thoughts on the business industry and how it can “still be very sexist” and “male-dominated.”

“As a woman,” she said, “I did not see enough female role models given the opportunity to do what I had to do. To run my label and management company. To direct my films and produce my tours. That meant ownership, owning my masters, owning my art, owning my future and writing my own story.”

The Grammy-winner also addressed the lack of diversity and inclusion in the music industry. “Not enough black women had a seat at the table so I had to go chop down that wood and build my own table,” she explained. “Then I had to invite the best there was to have a seat. That meant hiring women, men, outsiders, underdogs, people that were overlooked and waiting to be seen. Many of the best creatives and business people who although supremely qualified and talented were turned down […] because they were female or because of racial disparity.”

She further expressed that she’s been proud to be able to use her influence to highlight, uplift and “show the beauty of Black people to the world.” 

“Our history and our fecundity, the value of Black laughs… I’ve tried my best to pull down the veil of appeasement to those who may feel uncomfortable with our excellence.”

“To the young women our future leaders know that you’re about to make the world turn. I see you. You are everything the world needs make those power be excellent,” the “Run the World (Girls)” singer said, before also sharing a piece of advice to the young men of Class of 2020. “And to the young kings lean into your vulnerability and redefine masculinity lead with heart is so many different ways to be brilliant.”

She added, “I believe you and every human being is born with a masterful gift don’t make the world make you feel that you have to look a certain way to be brilliant and now you don’t have to speak a certain way to be brilliant. But you do have to spread your gift around the planet in a way that is authentically you.”

Before concluding her speech, Beyoncé shared words of encouragement and empowerment to the LGTBQ community during Pride Month. “To all those who feel different if you were part of a group is called other, group that does not get the chance to be center stage build your own stage and make them see you,” she said. “Your queerness is beautiful your blackness is beautiful your compassion your understanding your fight for people who may be different from you is beautiful.”

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Shawn Carter Foundation

“Remember you are never alone,” she said as she concluded her speech. “Lean on the strength of togetherness, keep the collective strong. Stay focused. Don’t talk about what you’re going to do. Don’t just dream about you’re going to do. Don’t criticize somebody else for what they’re not doing. You be it. Be about that action and go do it.”

She added, “Keep your eye on your intention. Don’t let any outside distractions or your own insecurity stop you from your goals. Embrace that struggle… surviving that struggle will strengthen you. This is a crucial time in our history and in your life. The earth is ripping the Band-Aid off so we can really see our wound, so we can acknowledge and nurture them. That’s when true healing begins. You can be the leader we all need… My prayer for you is that you invest in yourself and see the value of giving back and building a community the best way you can […] I know you are ready to start one of the most important journeys of your life. You are a blink of a huge world shift look how far you’ve come and how much you contributed. Keep pushing forget the fear forget the doubt. Keep investing and keep betting on yourself.” 

YouTube’s Dear Class of 2020 featured other notable stars delivering top notch advice including Barack ObamaMichelle ObamaBTSLady Gaga, former Secretary of State Condoleezza RiceMalala Yousafzai and Google CEO Sundar Pichai among others. 

Watch the YouTube livestream above. 

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BTS Shares Refreshingly Honest and Hopeful Messages to 2020 Graduates

BTS Shares Refreshingly Honest and Hopeful Messages to 2020 Graduates

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Alyssa Morin

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Sun., Jun. 7, 2020 2:23 PM

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BTS lent their voices in more ways than one to celebrate 2020 graduates.

In the last few months, high school and college students have had to quickly adjust their graduation plans due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. So it’s no surprise that YouTube brought some of the biggest stars in entertainment together to give students a ceremony to remember.

On that list? BTS. The K-Pop group—which consists of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V: The Series and Jung Kook—shared words of encouragement with viewers tuning into YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” virtual livestream.

“Dear class of 2020, it’s been a strange year so far but you made it,” RMS began his speech. “Today we might not have flowers, we might not have graduation caps, but what we do have is possibly the most special graduation ceremony in history.”

“Never before have so many gathered to celebrate the graduating class for their achievements and their dreams. You could be watching us from your bed or your living room alone, or with somebody,” he continued. “Wherever you are, you will all soon be breaking out of one world to soar into another.”

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Stars Donating to Black Lives Matter Organizations

RM shared a heartwarming story about his own middle school graduation from 10 years ago.

“I remember that day clearly and kept it as my messenger profile for the rest of my school years. On that day, I was just a boy who had closed just one chapter, ready to pen another,” he expressed. “I remember that feeling. It’s really thrilling, breathtaking. It was a moment I felt most like me… A feeling I wanted to hold on to forever.”

He added, “So as a fellow individual in his twenties, all the way from Seoul Korea, I want to say congratulations. We’re very excited for what lies ahead of you. Regardless of where or how far you are, we hope our stories today give you sort of comfort, hope and even a bit of inspiration.”

Jung Kook poked fun at RM and quipped that his “graduation is recorded online.”

“My fellow BTS members were there throughout all my high school years,” he went on. “I remember them saying, ‘When did you grow old enough to graduate?’ And once the ceremony was over, we went and had Jajangmyeon together. I recently watched that video again and it made me wonder: did that child really grow to become me?”

Jung Kook added, “RM mentioned that he still sees himself in that boy in the graduation picture, but i feel like i’ve come a very long way. All I’ve done is continue on but even today I continue to learn new things. So here I stand today with my members, with faith in myself, my members and the world. And I hope you also will do the same for yourself and move forward.”

Jin also took a moment to share his own graduation story, which he pointed out was “a little different” from the others.

“My memory of graduation is a little different. It was before my debut as BTS, I was around 20, just a high school graduate going into university.,” he began. “Back then, the notion of becoming an adult was something quite scary. [I was] anxious about making my way into an unfamiliar world, I was cautious of everything I said or did.”

“Sometimes I’d feel restless watching my friends go on far ahead of me. And attempting to keep up with their speed would only leave me breathless. I soon realized that their pace was not my own,” he admitted. “What held me together during those times was a promise I made with myself to take it slow. I’d go at my own pace, steadily. From then on, it became a habit of mine to take time for myself.”

Jin shared words of encouragement with students, and told them to not rush their journey.

“If any of you feels lost, in the face of doubt or uncertainty, or the pressure of starting anew, don’t rush,” he said. “Take a deep breath. You may find that any moment can be turned into an opportunity. Allow yourself to take it easy. Take it one step at a time. You might discover the important things you were missing, and they will reach out to you.”

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“First, congratulations on your graduation,” Jimin opened his speech. “But at the same time, I am worried for everyone. I think about your health and whether you’re doing okay, whether you are holding on tight during a time when nothing seems to go as planned, whether your body and mind are all safe and sound.”

He said, “I hope you are all doing well, but if things are not okay, even in the slightest, we send you our most sincere consolation with all our hearts.”

Giving viewers more hope, he shared, “Remember there is a person here in Korea, in the city of Seoul, who understands you. We are all in different parts of the world, in different environments and circumstances. But in this moment, I hope we can all give each other a warm pat on the back and say, ‘It’s okay.'”

Suga also shared an inspiring and moving message to students.

“These days, I feel as though I’ve fallen to the ground during a race. I dust my knees and get up again only to find that there is nobody around,: he said. “It’s as though I’m deserted on an island. This might not be the grand finale that you had imagined and a fresh start might seem far away. Please don’t be afraid, don’t worry yourself. The end and the beginning, the beginning and end are connected.”

“Take your hands off what you can’t control and get your hands on what you can change,” he went on. “As you and I continue on in life, we will find ourselves in so many situations out of our grasp. The only thing we can control is ourselves. Get your hands on the changes you can make, because your possibilities are limitless. After all, I had no idea I would become BTS either.”

J-Hope addressed students as well and noted that he’s not “much different from all of you.”

“At times I feel as though I’ve reached a dead-end as I perform and make music. Sometimes, my mind is bleached white and I can hardly take another step forward,” J-Hope admitted. “It’s a regular occurrence as I work. At these times, I think, ‘Just this once’ and I pick myself back up. I decide to trust myself.”

“The next attempt might not be perfect but the second is better than the first and the third is even better than the second. And that is the moment I decide, I’m glad I chose not to give up,” he continued. “There will be times in your life when you question your own decisions, whether it be about your major or your profession, whether you have made the right choice, whether you are doing well or walking the path of failure.”

“And when you do remember: you are the leader of your own life. And chant it over and over again,” he closed. “I can do it. You got it. I can do it well. I can do it better than anybody.”

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“Many of us are at war with reality right now, but I hope we can take bits of this moment with us, in a photograph or a memo to look back to and remember June of 2020, and how it compares with the new today you will be embracing,” V shared.

“In all honesty, I wasn’t born with the talents of singing and dancing and wasn’t much of the persevering type either,” he revealed. “I began later and was lacking in some aspects, but I soon developed a joy and passion for singing and dancing. This joy motivated my persistent efforts and has led me to where I stand today. If there is anyone out there who cannot see where they should be, from here forth I urge you to listen to your heart.”

Closing his speech, he reminded students to not lose hope.

“Things may feel a little difficult right now but somewhere out there, luck and opportunity is waiting for you,” V said. “I believe that. On that note, I will remember this day. Today may not be my own graduation but I will try to look back upon this day years from now and remember it as a memory to treasure. And I look forward to the day you will stand and tell us your own story.”

In addition to BTS’ individual speeches, they also performed during the livestream.

Sunday’s virtual graduation featured other notable commencement speakers, including Beyoncé, Michelle and Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Malala Yousafzai and so many more stars and public figures.

There were also special appearances by Alicia Keys, Kerry WashingtonZendayaJackie Aina and many others. MalumaKaty PerryMegan Thee StallionChloe x Halle and others performed as well.

Watch the livestream above!

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Fantastic Four Director Says He Got “Pushback” For Wanting a Black Actress to Play Sue Storm

Fantastic Four Director Says He Got "Pushback" For Wanting a Black Actress to Play Sue Storm

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Alyssa Morin

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Sat., Jun. 6, 2020 2:45 PM

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Director Josh Trank got candid about working on Fantastic Four.

The 36-year-old recently opened up to Geeks of Color about his time on the film, which hit theaters back in August 2015.

During a virtual interview, he told the outlet that he wanted to cast a Black actress for the role of Sue Storm and claimed he was met with “pretty heavy pushback” from the studio—which was Fox before the rights went to Disney.

“There were a lot of controversial conversations that were had behind-the-scenes on that. I was mostly interested in a Black Sue Storm, a Black Johnny Storm and a Black Franklin Storm,” the director shared. “But when you’re dealing with a studio on a massive movie like that, everybody wants to keep an open mind to who the big stars are going to be.”

“When it came down to it, I found a lot of pretty heavy pushback on casting a Black woman in that role,” he stated.

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Stars Donating to Black Lives Matter Organizations

Kate Mara played Sue Storm, Michael B. Jordan played Johnny Storm, Miles Teller played Reed Richards and Jamie Bell played Ben Grimm.

“When I look back on that, I should have just walked when that realization sort of hit me, and I feel embarrassed about that, that I didn’t just out of principle,” Trank expressed.

He added, “Because those aren’t the values I stand for in my own life. Those weren’t the values then or ever for me. Because I’m somebody who always talks about standing up for what I believe in, even if it means burning my career out.”

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This isn’t the first time Trank has discussed working on Fantastic Four. He reviewed his own movie on Letterbxd back in November 2019.

“I was expecting it to be much worse than it was. I literally haven’t seen it since like two weeks before it came out, and I was in a heavily f–king traumatized state of mind. Why? Eh, save that for another time,” he wrote. “Everyone in the film is a great actor, and overall there is a movie in there, somewhere. And that cast deserves to be in THAT movie. Everyone who worked on Fant4stic clearly wanted to be making THAT movie. But…. ultimately… It wasn’t.”

“What I can tell is there are TWO different movies in one movie competing to be that movie,” he continued. “I was 29 years old, making my 2nd film, in a situation more complicated than anything a 2nd time filmmaker should’ve walked into.”

He admitted in his review that he didn’t regret “any part of it.” As he put it, “It’s a part of me.”

E! News has reached out to the studio for comment and has not heard back.

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Couple Celebrates Wedding At Protest After Coronavirus Cancels Original Plan

Couple Celebrates Wedding At Protest After Coronavirus Cancels Original Plan

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Derek Scancarelli

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Sat., Jun. 6, 2020 2:49 PM

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A Black Lives Matter protest in honor of George Floyd turned into a wedding celebration when a couple intersected with those marching outside of Logan Square in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Dr. Kerry Anne Perkins and Michael Gordon were taking photos outside of the Logan Hotel when the movement passed by on Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The newlyweds decided it was appropriate to join in a moment of love and solidarity.

In a video shared to Instagram, the couple can be seen holding hands and raising their fists to the sounds of drums and the cheer of protesters.

The couple’s wedding planner, Rev. Roxy Birchfield, explained the moment to E! News.

“They were supposed to get married at Legacy Castle and it was postponed,” Birchfield said.

Since the New Jersey ceremony was cancelled, the marriage minister said the Gordon’s had a “micro wedding” on the lawn of the hotel instead. And for their first look photos, they posed in front of the hotel — which is when they joined in and celebrated among the protesters.

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According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Gordons then marched with the group to towards City Hall.

In the background of the video, activists hold signs that read, “Black Lives>White Feelings,” and “Vote 4 Justice.”

In another widely shared video, the couple enjoyed a loving kiss as the crowd roared in celebration.

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Let nothing stop you !! We captured the most epic wedding in midst of Philadelphia protest ! S/O @lindamcqueenphotography with the amazing photos! @marriedbyrevroxy officiating! stay Tuned ! #teamwork #blacklivesmatter

A post shared by Luxor Wedding Films (@luxorweddingfilms) on Jun 6, 2020 at 12:07pm PDT

On May 24, the bride posted a message to her Instagram accompanying a beautiful set of photos, detailing the timeline of their engagement.

“7 years ago, he asked, I said no, he waited patiently” the caption started. “5 years ago, he asked, I said maybe, he acted patiently.”

Ultimately, their story had a happy ending.

“1 year ago, he asked,” Perkins concluded the tale. “I said YES!”

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J.K. Rowling Faces Backlash From Fans Over Tweets Considered Transphobic

J.K. Rowling Faces Backlash From Fans Over Tweets Considered Transphobic

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Pamela Avila

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Sat., Jun. 6, 2020 5:57 PM

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Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is facing backlash after being accused of making transphobic comments on social media. 

On Saturday afternoon, the 54-year-old author shared an opinion article from a global health website titled “Creating a More Equal Post-COVID-19 World for People Who Menstruate” and shared her confusion with the phrase “people who menstruate.” 

“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out,” she went on in her initial tweet. “Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

The DevEx article outlined the “many gendered aspects of the pandemic, including increased vulnerabilities to gender-based violence during lockdowns, and the risks faced by primary caretakers.” The article stated that an estimated 1.8 billion girls, women and gender non-binary persons menstruate, adding that this “has not stopped because of the pandemic” and still require the necessary “menstrual materials, safe access to toilets, soap, water and private spaces in the face of lockdown living conditions that have eliminated privacy for many populations.” 

Quickly thereafter, the author became a trending topic on Twitter as many followers and people on social media began calling her out for her comments. 

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Survivor’s Zeke Smith, replied to the author writing, “Hi! I’m a man! I menstruate! Stop being an a–hole!”

Smith appeared in the 34th season of CBS’ Survivor: Game Changers and was outed as transgender by a fellow contestant. Following his reply, a Twitter user asked Smith why he was “politicizing” how he identifies as. To which Smith responded, “[J.K. Rowling] is the one who is politicizing it by both denying that trans men exist and that all women menstruate! I do talk to my doctor about it! I have nothing to gain from it! My body just insists on doing it! I am not a woman!”

Despite the backlash she received for her initial comments, Rowling continued to express her viewpoint.

In a follow-up tweet, the author wrote, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.” 

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“The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense,” she wrote, referring to the backlash she was receiving online

The Fantastic Beasts author then tweeted, “I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.” 

Singer and music producer Brad Walsh also responded to the author’s claims on Twitter, writing, “You’re a smart person. How do you not yet understand the difference between sex and gender? The only way I can possibly explain your ignorance at this point is willfulness. It’s incredibly disappointing.”

He added, “Ok muting now because the TERFs are out.”

TERF, or trans-exclusionary radical feminist, is a term that the author has been referred to as before. In December of last year, the author became a trending topic once again on Twitter after publicizing her support for British researcher Maya Forstater who has also been criticized as being transphobic. According to NBC News at the time, in tweets and Slack messages from 2018, Forstater criticized proposed changes to the United Kingdom’s Gender Recognition Act of 2004 that allowed people to self-identify their gender. 

If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020

Rent alum Anthony Rapp also took to Twitter this afternoon to express his frustration over Rowling’s tweets, “She has such a powerful voice. Why is she using that voice to die on a hill of transphobia? It is damaging and sad and makes zero sense. Is it really her belief that trans women somehow threaten her own selfhood? What is she so f-cking afraid of?”

Actress Patti Harrison shared on social media that the author’s choice to tweet about “trans women not being real women RIGHT NOW during BLM uproar really shows her depth of thought about trans people AND black people… I am gettin flu-like symptoms trying to imagine her thoughts (or lack-there-of) on… the intersection.”

Singer, songwriter and model Kim Petras replied to Rowling and also criticized her for how she was utilizing her platform on Twitter, where the author has amassed over 14 million followers.  “maam … read the room and post about BLM ! how is this the right time to go off on this ?” Petras wrote

JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people.

— GLAAD (@glaad) June 7, 2020

LGBTQ rights organization GLAAD also took to Twitter to speak out against Rowling’s comments. “If you want to direct your rightful anger over JK Rowling’s latest anti-trans comments into something positive, support orgs that help Black trans people like @MBJInstitute, @blacktransusa, @TransJusticeFP, @Genderintell and @ukblackpride.” 

In another tweeted, the organization wrote, “JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people.” 

Despite the controversy Rowling’s tweets stirred, she went on to write, “I’ve spent much of the last three years reading books, blogs and scientific papers by trans people, medics and gender specialists. I know exactly what the distinction is. Never assume that because someone thinks differently, they have no knowledge.” 

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Michael B. Jordan Calls On Hollywood To ”Invest in Black Staff” During L.A. Protest

Michael B. Jordan Calls On Hollywood To ”Invest in Black Staff” During L.A. Protest

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Pamela Avila

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Sat., Jun. 6, 2020 7:48 PM

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Michael B. Jordan called for Hollywood studios to “invest in Black staff” during a protest in Los Angeles, Calif. earlier today. 

On Saturday, the Black Panther actor addressed a crowd during a protest against police brutality in response to the death of George Floyd, a Minnesota man who was killed by the Minneapolis Police Department in May. The Creed actor took the microphone to reflect on past film roles he’s played that have touched on themes of racial injustice and inequality as well as changes he hopes to see in the industry. 

The actor recalled his 2013 starring role as Oscar Grant in the biographical Fruitvale Station and what it taught Jordan about the “pain” Grant’s family felt when he was killed on New Year’s Day in 2009 by a BART Police Officer in Oakland, Calif. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor said he “lived with that for a very long time and it weighs on me.”

The 33-year-old California native also called on studios and talent agencies in Hollywood to strive to hire more Black staff. 

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Celebrities Attending Protests Over George Floyd’s Death

“A great agent doesn’t have to be a great organizer,” he said, per THR, “but a great agent could advocate for relationships with organizers.”

“What we are doing today will make our values heard and our voices heard,” Jordan said at another point during the protest. “What we are doing today will make our values heard and our voices heard. We’ve got to keep agitating things. We can’t be complacent. We can’t let this moment just pass us by, we have to continue to put our foot on their necks.” 

The police officer who was videotaped kneeling on Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, has since been fired and arrested. He has been charged with second-degree murder, following an upgrade from his original charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

Additionally, the three officers who witnessed the death of Floyd without intervening—J.A. KeungThomas Lane and Tou Thao—have also been fired and arrested. 

Jordan joins a list of other celebrities including Ariana GrandeJamie FoxxHalseyand Anthony Anderson that have taken to the streets to protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and to demand justice for Floyd. 

Michael B Jordan is here talking about one of the important role that he played as Oscar Grant @michaelb4jordan #DefundThePolice #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/YD9HHh1cOS

— maybe: defund the police (@ricci_sergienko) June 6, 2020

According to an Instagram video posted by @BlackLove, the actor also expressed during today’s protest that “if you have racist beliefs, if you have a racist bone in your body, if you’re not with me, if you don’t stand with me and people that look like me, you don’t need to be with me. I use my power to demand diversity but it’s time that studios and agencies… do so.”

On Saturday, a public memorial was held in North Carolina for Floyd. 

Floyd, who died at 46-years-old, will be laid to rest on Tuesday, June 9, in Houston, following a viewing on Monday at the Fountain of Grace Church. 

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