YouTube star Kian Lawley dropped from 'The Hate U Give' film after racist video surfaces

Internet sensation can be heard using the N-word and other racial slurs in unearthed clip

Maya Oppenheim
Wednesday 07 February 2018 16:08
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YouTube star Kian Lawley makes racial slurs in removed video

YouTube star Kian Lawley has been dropped from a forthcoming 20th Century Fox film The Hate U Give after a video surfaced of him making racist remarks.

The internet sensation, who has well over three million subscribers to his YouTube channel, can be heard using the N-word and other racial slurs in the recently unearthed clip.

“We’re all black drinking purple Kool-aid and eating Kentucky fried mother***ing chicken,” Lawley says in the undated video.

The clip, which was uploaded late last month by YouTube user Just Trash, gained more than 42,000 views but now appears to have been taken down.

“This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Jc Caylen,” reads a message on the page.

Lawley, who has not specified when the video was filmed, apologised on Sunday on Twitter.

The 22-year-old said: “If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you can never grow as a person. I’ve learned a lot and I am grateful to have the power to change. I never want to be who I was yesterday. We’re in a constant battle to become a better version of ourselves, use your voice as your weapon.”

He continued: "First of all, I am deeply sorry to those that were effected by my choice of language. I understand that I am in the public eye and have many supporters, but none of my actions that took place should be supported. Words have power and can do a lot damage. I own mine and I am sorry.”

Lawley, who also co-stars in Fullscreen series H8TERS alongside fellow YouTuber and friend Jc Caylen, said he respected Fox’s decision to drop him from the film.

He said: “I respect Fox’s decision to recast this role for The Hate U Give as it is an important story, and it would not be appropriate for me to be involved considering the actions of my past. I understand the impact and I have grown a lot and learned since then.”

A spokesperson for Twentieth Century Fox Films told CNN: “Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behaviour, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in The Hate U Give. The studio plans to recast the role of Chris and reshoot scenes as needed.”

Lawley had been lined up to play the boyfriend of the film’s protagonist Starr Cater who is played by Amandla Stenberg – the 19-year-old star of Hunger Games who has spoken out about race and cultural appropriation.

The film is based on Angela Thomas’ young adult novel which takes the same name and explores themes of race and police brutality.

Stenberg plays a teenager growing up in an impoverished, predominantly black neighbour who attends an affluent prep school where she is surrounded by mostly white students. She is thrown into even greater internal conflict after bearing witness to police firing at her unarmed childhood friend. The tale is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Issa Rae, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Algee Smith, Lamar Johnson, and Common are some of the other cast members. The film has yet to be given a release date but filming finished in November.

Lawley is the most recent YouTube star to get themselves into trouble with their creative partners after racial and culturally insensitive remarks surfaced on the internet.

Fellow YouTuber Logan Paul faced fierce criticism for posting a video last month that featured images of a suicide victim.

The video, which has now been taken down, was shot in Aokigahara - a Japanese woodland also known as the “suicide forest”.

Since then YouTube has cut its ties with the controversial star, who apologised, putting a sequel to the Youtube Red sci-fi thriller The Thinning on hold.

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