People want Jesse Williams fired from 'Grey’s Anatomy' for his moving speech against racism

Update: Shonda Rhimes has responded to the petition

Justin Carissimo
New York
Tuesday 05 July 2016 06:29 BST

There's a new Change.org petition hoping to get Jesse Williams fired from his role as Dr Jackson Avery in Grey’s Anatomy after he made that moving speech at the BET Awards last month.

In his five-minute speech, Williams called out racism within the United States as black folks are still oppressed across the country whether they’re being gunned down by police, denied equal opportunities or having their ideas stolen, repackaged and sold without credit.

Interestingly enough, the same people hollering #AllLivesMatter are usually the same folks advocating for freedom of speech, so they can continue voicing racist, hateful things at others. However, as the petition states, this isn't the case: “Jesse Williams spewed a racist, hate speech against law enforcement and white people at the BET awards. If this was a white person making the same speech about an African American, they would have been fired and globally chastised, as they should be, but there has been no consequences to Williams' actions,” Erin Smith writes in her petition.

"There's been no companies making a stand against his racist remarks," Smith continued, "and no swift action condemning his negative attitude.”

Smith also used hashtags like #AllLivesMatter and #EqualConsequences4RacistBehavior in her petition to ABC, which airs Grey’s Anatomy. The petition has received more than 4,500 signatures by press time.

Shonda Rhimes, the creator and showrunner of Grey's, responded to the petition on Monday night with a short and sweet message on Twitter.

"Um, people? Boo don't need a petition," Rhimes wrote. "#ShondalandRules."


After Williams received the Humanitarian Award, he told People Magazine that he simply wanted to remind folks that they aren't alone.

“Words are only as good as the response to those words. But I'd like to think that I give people a sense that they are not alone," Williams said.

“If we keep poisoning our children to believe that we are nothing and that white people are everything, that's when it finds itself reflected in the way we treat each other," Williams continued. "It's not that complicated. The truth we are teaching is that every contribution in the history of the planet came from blonde people. It's not true and it's destructive, and people are getting killed long term as a result. People don't believe that we deserve it.”

You can watch Jesse Williams' speech in full and decide for yourself how racist it was.

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