Shonda Rhimes let her feelings be known on Twitter about the petitions circulating about Jesse Williams’ employment status—”boo don’t need a petition.”
As of yesterday (July 4) there were two petitions circulating on social media surrounding the vocal actor/activist—one calling for Williams to be fired following his impassioned speech at the BET Awards, the other pleading for him to stay on the popular ABC series, Grey’s Anatomy.
But Grey’s producer/creator, Rhimes, laid all the drama to rest with her tweet last night.
“Um, people? Boo don’t need a petition,” the 46 year-old tweeted, silencing anyone who was still confused about whether or not she supports Williams.
Since Williams accepted BET’s Humanitarian Award with a rousing speech about equality, black rights, cultural appropriation and the necessary support of black women, he’s been the subject of much chatter, including a fiasco involving Justin Timberlake, who spoke out of turn about cultural appropriation and was promptly told to sit down.
While most of talk about the speech has been incredibly supportive and his poignant one-liner “just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we aren’t real”—has already been co-opted by progressives, Williams also been the target of hate, hence the racist petition calling for the 34-year-old to lose his gig on Grey’s. The petition for his removal was created by a woman named Erin Smith on Change.org, who called Williams’ words “hate speech” against law enforcement and white people.
“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,” Smith wrote.
With a single tweet, Rhimes effectively told Smith to sit down as well, the only consequence Williams will face for his much-needed speech is a continuing paycheck for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey’s.
Um, people? Boo don't need a petition. #shondalandrules
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) July 5, 2016