Reese Witherspoon urges parents to talk to kids about racism after arrest death

Tom Horton, PA

Reese Witherspoon has urged parents to talk to their children about racism following the death of an unarmed black man during an arrest in the US.

A video of the incident in Minneapolis appeared to show George Floyd gasping for breath while a white policeman knelt on his neck before he died on Monday night.

Oscar-winning actress Witherspoon said she had the “heartbreaking” experience of trying to explain the death to her seven-year-old son after he had asked during dinner “why all the grown-ups were so upset”.

She added: “We spoke to him about what happened to George Floyd.

“Being a white mother trying to explain racism and bigotry to her white son, who did not understand why anyone would treat another human being that way, was heartbreaking.”

Witherspoon said the experience was “not nearly” as heartbreaking as it is for victims and their families, and added that “we have to be held accountable for what is happening in this country”.

(Isabel Infantes/PA)

“Please talk to your children about racism, privilege, bigotry and hate,” she said.

“If you aren’t talking to them, someone else is.”