Riverdale star KJ Apa responds to criticism over Black Lives Matter ‘silence’

‘I don’t need to post about my opinions and beliefs in order for them to be real to me’

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Monday 15 June 2020 21:56 BST
Thousands gather in Brooklyn NY for Black Trans Lives Matter protest

KJ Apa has spoken out after being accused by a comedian of being “so silent” about anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Riverdale star said he doesn’t feel the need to share all his opinions on social media, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less true to him.

Comedian and YouTuber Elijah Daniel questioned Apa’s perceived lack of involvement earlier this month on Twitter.

Referring to Apa’s role in The Hate U Give, the 2018 film adaptation of a bestselling Young Adult novel about racism and police brutality, Daniel wrote: “I love that movie but I do have a question, completely unrelated to the beef I formerly had with him, if KJ was the co-star of that movie why is he so silent? He has such a massive young audience and got paid to be in a movie about police brutality and ... posted a black square?”

Apa responded in a recent tweet, telling Daniel: ”I don’t need to post about my opinions and beliefs in order for them to be real to me. I support black lives – but I don’t feel it’s necessary to prove to people I do by posting my attendance at these protests.”

On 2 June, Apa, like many Instagram users, posted a black tile on his Instagram account. The gesture was meant to express support for Black Lives Matter, and for anti-racism in general.

He has also recently shared on his Instagram Story a video of Tupac Shakur delivering a powerful speech during the 1993 Indiana Black Expo.

Nonetheless, while some supported Apa’s approach, others felt he was missing out on an opportunity to support the movement through his platform.

Apa has 18.3 million followers on Instagram and 2.1 million followers on Twitter.

“Posting on social media is not to ‘prove’ anything. It’s to spread awareness and give resources to your followers to help,” one person wrote in response to Apa’s message. ”With someone that has such a big platform, one would think to use it to make a difference.”

“I hope you realise that ‘I don’t need to post about my opinions and beliefs in order for them to be real to me’ just shows how privileged you really are,” another person tweeted in part.

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