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OPINION: Why YouTuber Kian Lawley’s Racist Past Cost Him His ‘The Hate U Give’ Role

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Up next on the list of YouTubers who are hurting themselves because of ignorance is the internet personality turned actor, Kian Lawley. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kian Lawley has been fired by Twentieth Century Fox from the upcoming film,  “The Hate U Give” after racist comments surfaced online.

“The Hate U Give” is an upcoming movie based on the popular YA novel of the same name, by Angie Thomas. The story is about a teenage African-American girl whose friend gets killed by a white cop one night after a wild party in her neighborhood. The filming took place in Atlanta, so many of my friends got the chance to be extras in the film. From what they told me, the film is going to be touching and amazing.

A video of Lawley features him saying disrespectful things about black people and uttering the n-word as his friends just sit and laugh along with him. The video is not recent, but it got leaked recently, leading to outrage from his fanbase and Black Twitter. After the backlash, Twentieth Century Fox announced that he is no longer apart of the film. In a statement issued Monday, Twentieth Century Fox studio reps said, “Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in ‘The Hate You Give.’ The studio plans to recast the role of Chris and reshoot scenes as needed.”

Kian is not the first YouTuber to be exposed for having a racist past. Tana Mongeau received backlash last year after videos of her shouting the n-word were spread across social media, along with a video of Jeffree Star being racist toward Black and Latino women. Every so often it happens and they all release a statement to show how much they “changed” since then. I understand that people can change. You are not the same person that you were a year ago, even a few weeks ago. But that does not change what you did. Once something is put out on the internet, it is there forever. It will never go away, and people will continue to bring up how foolish you used to be.

Kian knows what he has done in the past. He may have become a better person but it doesn’t change the past, what has been done is permanent. Him auditioning and getting the role in a film about racism was a poor decision that he made that has backfired on him.

Judging by the video, (which was difficult to watch) it was pretty obvious that Kian was acting the way he did to get a laugh from his friends. Note to teens, you do not have to be disrespectful towards a certain group of people to be funny. This isn’t 2013 anymore, racist jokes died when Vine crashed and burned. While we are still young, we tend to say problematic things all the time. But remember, once something is put out, you can not take it back, no matter how hurtful it was. Because there will always be someone out there who remembers it, especially if you are put in the public eye.

NicoleNicole O. Johnson, 19, attends Clayton State University and thinks Hollywood should get it together.

Photo by Lanaya Sonceair @photosbynyi


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