The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others have ignited a global call to end racial inequality. Amid worldwide protests and shows of solidarity, many white celebrities have also committed to amplifying black voices and speaking out against injustice, such as Wednesday’s “Share the Mic Now” event, in which notable women like Hillary Clinton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Roberts handed over their social media platforms to black activists and influencers, as well as a brand-new campaign that has the likes of Aaron Paul, Aly Raisman and Julianne Moore pledging to take action against systemic racism.
Launched on Thursday, the all-star “I Take Responsibility” PSA — shot in black and white and produced by film and TV production company Confluential Content in partnership with the NAACP — sees stars including Julianne Moore, Sarah Paulson, Mark Duplass, Stanley Tucci, Piper Perabo, Bryce Dallas Howard, Kesha, Debra Messing and Justin Theroux saying “I take responsibility” for transgressions such as ignoring instances of racist behavior, failing to call out “every unfair stereotype” and “every blatant injustice,” staying quiet or trying to justify certain actions.
“Black people are being slaughtered in the streets — killed in their own homes,” says Moore. “These are our brothers and sisters.”
“Our friends, our family,” continues Perabo. “We are done watching them die. We are no longer bystanders. We will not be idle. Enough is enough.”
“I will no longer allow an unchecked moment,” adds Tucci. “I will no longer allow racist, hurtful words, jokes or stereotypes, no matter how big or small, to be uttered in my presence.”
“I will not turn a blind eye,” says Paulson. “Going for a job should not be a death sentence. Sleeping in your own home should not be a death sentence.”
Later the featured performs all repeat the same sentence: “I stand against hate.”
An impassioned Paul adds, “Killer cops must be prosecuted. They are murderers. We can turn the tide. It is time to take responsibility. Call out hate. Step up and take action.”
What exactly does that action look like? The I Take Responsibility website directs users to choose statements like “I take responsibility for denying white privilege exists,” “not being inclusive” or “valuing Black culture more than Black lives.” The site then prompts them to make amends by donating to the families of Floyd, Arbery and Taylor, demanding police accountability, signing petitions calling for action, supporting organizations pushing for change and helping to mobilize voting efforts.
Since its release on Thursday, the PSA has received a significant amount of pushback from critics accusing the featured celebrities of centering themselves and likening it to the star-studded, and widely panned, “Imagine” video in which the likes of Gal Gadot, Jimmy Fallon and Kristen Wiig crooned the John Lennon song with the intention of boosting fans’ morale during the coronavirus pandemic.
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