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LeBron James, Justin Bieber and More Stars Speak Out About George Floyd's Death

There is fierce outrage in Hollywood over the death of George Floyd, who was pinned down on the floor by a policeman's knee on his neck.

By Samantha Schnurr Jun 01, 2020 1:00 AMTags
George Floyd, LeBron James,  Justin BieberBen Crump Law, Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images, Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

There is fierce outrage in Hollywood over the death of George Floyd

On Monday night, the 46-year-old Minnesota man was pronounced dead at a hospital after a white police officer pinned Floyd, a black man, to the ground by pressing his knee into Floyd's neck during his arrest. Bystander footage of the situation, which showed Floyd stating several times he could not breathe before appearing motionless with his eyes closed, has dominated social media this week, spurring outrage, protests and comparisons to Eric Garner, who also told officers at the time of his arrest that he couldn't breathe and died as a result of a police officer's chokehold in 2014. Floyd's official cause of death has not yet been released. 

"Being Black in America should not be a death sentence," Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a tweeted statement on Tuesday. "For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a Black man's neck. Five minutes." He later confirmed four responding officers "involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated."

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Beyoncé Urges Fans to Stand Up Against Racism in Powerful Message About George Floyd's Death

Meanwhile, Floyd's death has not gone unnoticed by some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, who have taken to social media with public outcries of heartbreak, anger, sadness and injustice over his passing. 

Related: Why George Floyd's Death Is an America Problem

See what celebrities like LeBron JamesJustin BieberRihannaHarry Styles and others are saying about police brutality, racism and white privilege in America below. 

Kendall Jenner

"To everyone reading this and to myself: keep researching, reading, and educating yourself on how we can become better allies.
I've been doing a lot of thinking these past few days and my heart has been so heavy. I'm angry and hurt just like so many. I will never personally understand the fear and pain that the black community go through on a daily basis, but i know that nobody should have to live in constant fear," the KUWTK shared on Instagram. "I acknowledge my white privilege and promise I will continue to educate myself on how I can help. raging on platforms can not be all that we do in order to repair the system, we need to take real action, off of social media. this is a time to have those uncomfortable conversations with people and mainly with ourselves. we must also make sure we are ready to vote when the time comes to elect the right people into office.
the one truth that will always ring loudest is that BLACK LIVES MATTER. rest peacefully George Floyd and all victims of this horrible injustice."

Adele

"George Floyd's murder has sent shockwaves around the world, there are countless others that haven't. Protests and marches are happening all over the globe simultaneously and only gaining momentum," the Grammy winner wrote on Instagram. "So be righteously angered but be focused! Keep listening, keep asking and keep learning!
It's important we don't get disheartened, hijacked or manipulated right now. This is about systematic racism, this is about police violence and it's about inequality. And this isn't only about America! Racism is alive and well everywhere. I wholeheartedly stand in solidarity with the fight for freedom, liberation and justice ♥️ #blacklivesmatter #georgefloyd #saytheirnames"

Meghan Trainor

"I took everything for granted. I never had fear walking down the street. I never felt like my life was threatened when I walked or drove by police officers. I will never understand but I will continue to fight to be the best ally I can be. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #blacklivesmatter," the singer posted on IG.

George Clooney

In a self-penned op-ed on racism in America published for The Daily Beast, the Oscar winner wrote, "There is little doubt that George Floyd was murdered...This is our pandemic. It infects all of us, and in 400 years we've yet to find a vaccine."

Nicki Minaj

"When 4 black THUGS commit a crime, if 1 person commits murder, they ALL get charged & CONVICTED. When white THUGS/COPS KILL innocent black people, ALL 4 of them are responsible. They all watched an unarmed man die and did nothing," the rapper shared in a statement on social media. "Why do they have different rules????? Let your voice be heard. Be angry. White people have been using violence against us since the beginning of time. We didn't invent violence & looting. Will these officers actually get convicted? Probably not. Let your voice be heard. Call & TEXT to be a part of these petitions. May Mr. Floyd Rest In Peace."

Jay Z

"After our very earnest conversation, thank you to Governor Walz for doing what's right and calling in Attorney General Keith Ellison to take over the George Floyd case. Earlier today, Governor Walz mentioned having a human conversation with me - a dad and a Black man in pain. Yes, I am human, a father, and a Black man in pain and I am not the only one. Now I, along with an entire country in pain, call upon AG Ellison to do the right thing and prosecute all those responsible for the murder of George Floyd to the fullest extenet of the law. This is just a first step. I am more determined to fight for justice than any fight my would-be oppressors may have," the mogul poasted on Roc Nation's Instagram page. "I prevail on every politician, prosecutor and officer in the country to have the courage to do what is right. Have the courage to look at us as humans, dads, brothers, sisters and mothers in pain at look at yourselves."

Louis Tomlinson

"As a white privileged man, I am fortunate to have been able to live my life without prejudice," the singer wrote on Instagram. "I am appalled and deeply saddened by the police brutality that the world has witnessed over the past week that caused the death of George Floyd. It is disgusting that many people continue to live in fear purely due to the color of their skin. Enough is enough. I want to let the black community know that I stand with you, and with anyone protesting in support of racial equality. It is essential that we all realize the steps we can take as individuals, small or large, to support those facing these issues and help promote meaningful change for the future. It is the only way we move forward."

Behati Prinsloo

"I stand in solidarity with all human beings now matter what race, religion or background. Demanding change! #justiceforgeorgefloyd #blacklivesmatter," the super model wrote on Instagram.

Miley Cyrus

"Like so many of you, I am angry, outraged and heartbroken about the injustice in our country that has been going on for way too long- centuries & generations," the singer shared in her IG page. To my fans, each one of us has a voice—I'm asking you to please use it right now. Please call the Minnesota Governor at 651-201-3400 and Attorney General to demand #justiceforGeorgeFloyd (link in bio for numbers and script from @aclumn). They need to be held accountable. We can't stand by, we need to each do our part to make justice for everyone a reality.

Hugh Jackman

"In difficult times when I'm unsure what to do, or how to lead my family … I reach for the words of my mentors who've helped guide me through life. One of those mentors is Nelson Mandela. He said 'Racism must be opposed by all means that it has at its disposal'. No truer words have been spoken," the actor posted on Instagram. "The tragic death of George Floyd has prompted many conversations in my home and with friends around the world. Conversations that are, in large part, long past due. A friend from the Areyonga community in Australia emailed me over the weekend. He said, 'The protests that are in the U.S. are on my lounge TV and all over the Red Center. We know how they feel'. This was such a timely reminder that what's happening in the U.S. is happening all over the world, including my home country. I was taught, and try to teach my kids: the balance between the head and the heart, between emotion and reason is very difficult. My instinct is always that when emotion is high, I try to call on reason. And, when my brain is dominating, I try to open my heart. My emotions tell me that we need to take this tragic loss (and all those that came before) to change systemic racism the world over. My reason tells me that one size does not fit all. We need to listen and begin to try to understand. My heart goes out to George Floyd's family. May his untimely death be a catalyst for change. I will use this moment to reflect, to refocus and to make sure I am part of change."

Ciara

"My sweet Baby Boy. I pray that when you get older A CHANGE will finally have come!!" the singer posted in an open letter to 6-year-old son Future Jr. "I'm going to keep my FAITH! I'm praying that the losses of our Black Kings and Queens won't be in vain. Enough is Enough! I'm praying for UNITY! I'm praying for the powers that be to unite and decide that it's time for a change!"

Kacey Musgraves

"It's been hard to find the words to adequately convey how outraged and sad I am. WHITE PEOPLE HAVE HAD IT SO F--KING WRONG SINCE THE BEGINNING and I will do whatever I can I help break the DISGUSTING, damaging cycle racism and systemic privilege causes," Musgraves wrote on Twitter. "I will not be a bystander." Musgraves also shared a list of how her fans can help in the fight, including signing petitions and donating.

Gisele Bündchen

"My parents taught me to always treat others the same way I'd like to be treated. The moment you think you are better than other people...you are nothing," the super model shared on Instagram. "No one should ever have to endure the prejudice and unimaginable violence that George Floyd, and so many others, experiences because of the color of their skin. It is absurd. It is unacceptable. It has to stop. We are all human beings. It's time that we all unite and stand up against violence and racism."

Thomas Rhett

The country star posted a quote from Romans 12:9 on Instagram with the caption, "As the father of a black daughter and also two white daughters- I have struggled with what to say today. We have navigated forms of racism directly and while there is mostly overwhelming support and love for our family, sometimes there is just the opposite. Because of that fear, it can be a lot easier to choose silence, but today I'm choosing to speak.

I have no clue what it feels like to be profiled by authorities, treated negatively or have my life threatened because of the color of my skin. When I witnessed the horrific murder of George and think about the mistreatment of other black men and women in America, I am heartbroken and angry. I get scared when I think about my daughters and what kind of world they will be growing up in and how my JOB as a father is to show them how to lead with love in the face of hate. To know their worth and value as not only women but human beings.

I have witnessed my black band and crew members on the road struggle at times with feeling safe because of the color of their skin.
This is unacceptable.
I don't believe in hate. I believe in love. What happened to George was pure hate. We are all created by the same God. I pray for a change in heart of those hearts who have been overcome by hatred and hardened. I pray for a deeper understanding for myself and awareness of the experience of mistreatment that those of another skin color go through. I pray for the families of those who have lost their lives to violence or experienced trauma at the hand of racial oppression and injustice."

Jennifer Lopez

"My beautiful friends," J.Lo wrote on Instagram, "This is a matter of humanity!!! Of goodness and basic human kindness and decency!!! My heart is breaking. So many people are hurting right now. How can anyone say they love this country and not do something when they see lives cut short because of the color of their skin? We need to erase the fear and hatred that exists. Not erase people. We are all God's children. We need to love and appreciate all the beautiful things that every individual person is. There are more of us who live a life of love and acceptance than those who live in rage and hate. Do not let the angry, and hateful win!! Say something. Do something. Let's build bridges not burn them. We have lost our way these past few years but we can find our way back. We need to speak up and speak love. Every chance we get... we need to storm the polls in November and VOTE... we need change!!! Somethings got to change!!"

Jamie Foxx

The Oscar winner appeared with protesters and former NBA player Stephen Jackson in Minneapolis, where he spoke during a press conference. "We're not afraid to stand," he said. We're not afraid of the moment. And I think what you saw on television, to watch this man plead for his life… as I sit with my two daughters, my nephews who had just come from the grocery store, what it does it overcomplicates everything as a black man trying to tell his son or his daughter how to function in life. Even the things that we've taught them don't seem to work."

Oprah Winfrey

"I've been trying to process what can be said or heard in this moment," Oprah wrote on Instagram. "I haven't been able to get the image of the knee on his neck out of my head. It's there every morning when I rise and when I go through the ordinary duties of the day. While pouring coffee, lacing my shoes, and taking a breath, I think: He doesn't get to do this. And now the video from the other angle of two other officers pinning him down. My heart sinks even deeper. His family and friends say he was a gentle giant. His death has now shown us he had a giant soul. If the largeness of a soul is determined by its sphere of influence, George Floyd is a Mighty soul."

Vanessa Bryant

"My husband wore this shirt years ago and yet here we are again. #ICANTBREATHE," Vanessa wrote alongside a picture of Kobe Bryant, which was taken in 2014. "Life is so fragile. Life is so unpredictable. Life is too short. Let's share and embrace the beautiful qualities and similarities we all share as people. Drive out hate. Teach respect and love for all at home and school. Spread LOVE. Fight for change- register to VOTE. Do not use innocent lives lost as an excuse to loot. BE AN EXAMPLE OF THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE. #BLACKLIVESMATTER ❤️."

Travis Scott

"As I pace around, thinking, trying to find something to ease the pain...," the rapper wrote on Instagram. "There are almost no words that I can think of to properly express, or I can use to suppress, this enraged feeling of us continuously losing our brothers and sisters to brutality at the hands of officers, or anyone with misguided intentions for our well-being. The rage that we are all feeling is from direct personal experience and the constant pain of wanting our voices to be heard. To be seen as equal and human, too. We have to change and reform police policy in our U.S. cities, and there needs to be accountability immediately! Especially when officers abuse their power to the point where it callously takes a life. My heart goes out to George Floyd's family and everyone who's suffered loss based on this type of senseless injustice and brutality. Me and the team are gonna do everything possible to make sure these issues are addressed on a long-term basis. Thank u Bun for picking up this morning and helping me figure out ways I can help move this forward. Love. See you all soon!" 

Beyoncé

"We need justice for George Floyd," the singer began her moving video message on Instagram. "We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We're broken and we're disgusted. We cannot normalize this pain. I'm not only speaking to people of color. If you're white, black, brown, or anything in-between, I'm sure you feel hopeless about the racism going on in America right now. No more senseless killings of human beings. No more seeing people of color as less than human. We can no longer look away."

Harry Styles

"I do things every day without fear, because I am privileged, and I am privileged every day because I am white," the singer wrote on Instagram, alongside an image that read "Black Lives Matter." He went on, "Being not racist is not enough, we must be anti racist. Social change is enacted when a society mobilizes. I stand in solidarity with all of those protesting. I'm donating to help post bail for arrested organizers. Look inwards, educate yourself and others. LISTEN, READ, SHARE, DONATE and VOTE. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. BLACK LIVES MATTER." 

Elaine Welteroth

"Do not condemn what you do not understand. Do not condemn a people's response to pain you've never had to feel. Do not condemn a fight that you are not a part of. #BlackLivesMatter," the former Editor in Chief of Teen Vogue wrote in a thread on Twitter. "A war has been waged on Black life in America. And it's been building over time right in front of our eyes. Now that we've reached a tipping point, a different kind of #TimesUp movement is underway that is calling white and non-Black people into ACTION to save Black lives." 

Victor Cruz

"I had the most difficult conversation with my daughter about the color of her skin last night," the E! star wrote on Instagram. "How there are people in this world that will dislike you solely because of your race and background. Without ever knowing your story or struggles. Could tell she was a bit confused at first but she nodded in agreement right before falling asleep. I nodded in sadness as she slept. This is America."

Lizzo

"Protest is not the end of progress, it is the beginning," the singer wrote on Instagram. "I wonder what would happen if all the big companies and celebrities who have showed support on social media came out and used their platform to let activists and protesters speak and be seen? I wonder what would happen if we allowed the outrage to have positive influence in our local government? What would happen if those in power defunded the police & dismantled their racist culture and corrupt power structures? Cities are burning, are you watching? I stand with Minneapolis. I believe in us. Change is gonna come."

Gwyneth Paltrow

"If you feel compelled to comment 'all lives matter' in response to this post and you're not a bot (which you probably are), nor an agent provocateur trying to create instability and division in our country, you might want to consider that you are reacting from a blind spot of white privilege," the actress shared on Instagram. "Saying 'all lives matter' is a denial of how dangerous it is to simply live as a black person in America. "All lives" do not live in fear of getting killed simply because of the color of their skin."

Kevin Hart

"You can't ask for peace if your not willing to give JUSTICE....people want JUSTICE. It's that simple....Throw all of those cops in jail NOOOOOWWW. That's taking action....Point blank!!!! This is what we want to see.....JUSTICE," the comedian shared on Twitter

Tracee Ellis Ross

"There are so many feelings surging around in my head and my heart right now. Like all of us, I am grieving and heartbroken, sad, outraged and trying to take right action," the actress shared on Instagram, urging her followers to donate to the Black Lives Matter movement. "I recognize the power of my platform, but also the limits of my knowledge so I am mindful of what I say, how I speak and what I post. I always want to be helpful, effective and supportive, if I can be. What is clear is that systems and hearts must change. I want justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and so many others and for that to happen, we must all take part. Diversity of approach, thought and resources is what I believe is required in these difficult, scary and hard times. Everyone must show up in their own most effective way. I am finding mine. As always, I love us. I love my people. I know our beauty and our power and I want us to be safe, I want our bodies to be safe and I want us to be free and to be treated with the dignity that we deserve. Please donate to @blklivesmatter. Their link is in my bio."

Jessica Biel

"The past few weeks have been heartbreaking... mostly because the racism and blatant injustices we've seen lately have happened many times before," the actress wrote on Instagram. "We have allowed inequality to be part of America for too long - and it has NEVER been acceptable. As allies, we have to do more. While the obvious and understandable reaction is to be angry, and to fight back with hate - we also need to remember we are most powerful together. Please speak up. We want EVERYONE to live freely and peacefully. This hatred we are seeing is a result of a deep systemic problem, but we are not powerless. Link in my bio for ways to hold local prosecutors and elected officials accountable."

Halsey

"as many of you know George Floyd was a black man murdered by a police officer. He was unarmed and initially restrained for a nonviolent crime. Say his name. Share this information. If you have friends and family who are privileged enough to 'stay away from this kind of news' then take that fucking privilege away," the singer shared in Instagram. "Uplift the voices of black members of your community voicing their fear or outrage or grief. Text 'FLOYD' to 55156 and sign the petition seeking justice. The officers in question have been terminated and given paid leave. This is not sufficient punishment for murder. They need to be prosecuted. if you're staying silent you're contributing to the problem. I am updated on my Twitter if you are looking for more resources and information. The link for donations to black lives matter is in my bio. #blacklivesmatter."

Lebron James

Captioning a split photo of Floyd being pinned to the ground and Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest with the caption, "This...Is Why," the NBA star wrote, "Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you??"

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View More Photos From Celebrities Speak Out in Response to George Floyd's Death

Originally published Wednesday May 27, 2020 at 12:38 p.m. PST