Los Angeles (dpa) - Superstars take to the streets, chant with demonstrators, speak at rallies.
The corona crisis also shocked Hollywood for weeks, now they are resisting what George Clooney described as "our pandemic": "We are all infected and we haven't found a vaccine in 400 years."
In an haunting essay, the 59-year-old Oscar winner writes on the daily Beast news platform about systemic racism, inequality and police brutality against blacks in the United States.
"There is little doubt that George Floyd was murdered," says the star about the death of the 46-year-old African American after a police operation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a week ago. One of the four officers involved pressed his knee back for several minutes. Floyd's probably last words "I can't breathe" have become a battle cry for demonstrators in worldwide protests. Clooney describes other cases of police violence against blacks, such as Rodney King and Eric Garner.
Floyd's shocking death has shaken Hollywood, not just for vigorous appeals, tweets, and calls for donations to victims of racial violence. Oscar winner Jamie Foxx (“Ray”) was on Monday in San Francisco alongside the black mayor London Breed with a symbolic knee during a “kneel-in”. In American football, professional player Colin Kaepernick launched a wave of protests against black oppression and police violence in the United States in a similar gesture in 2016.
Foxx, who had demonstrated in Minneapolis last week, urged his "Hollywood friends" to do more. You would have to go out on the streets to understand people's pain instead of tweeting from home or sending text messages.
Many celebrities preempted Foxx's call. Actress Ellen Page shared a video of a peaceful protest in New York's Time Square on Monday, Paris Jackson was carrying a sign saying "Peace, Love, Justice" through the streets of Los Angeles this weekend. "We sang in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood," wrote singer Ariana Grande about her protest experiences.
Other stars reported police attacks that they would have witnessed on the fringes of peaceful demos. Singer Halsey wrote on Twitter that she had been hit by rubber bullets and tear gas during protests in Los Angeles. In addition, the 25-year-old linked videos and photos of the “horror” on the streets that demonstrators would have experienced there. She saw a lot of blood and helped injuries.
Actor John Cusack (53) posted shaky pictures on Twitter of a demo in Chicago that featured ominous roaring. "The cops didn't like me filming a burning car, so they came up to me with truncheons," Cusack wrote on Twitter. They went on his bike.
Rarely have so many celebrities of different ages, skin color and origin closed together and vocalized behind one thing, from Justin Bieber, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, John Legend to Beyoncé. The common tenor is outrage at police brutality, disregard for civil rights and the disadvantage of minorities. But the reactions of anger, fear and appeals are diverse.
"It's so sad and disturbing," wrote reality star Kim Kardashian on Twitter on Monday for the photo of a girl with severe facial injuries. This Minneapolis student was hit directly by a police rubber bullet. Can someone get me your contact? Asks Kardashian. She wanted to pay for medical treatment.
Actress Katherine Heigl (41, “Grey's Anatomy”) shared her personal concerns on Instagram about how she could protect her seven-year-old African-American adoptive daughter from the “evil, heinous truth of racism”. The triple mother writes that she hopes that the police officers who killed Floyd will be severely punished, so that other racists will be “scared to death”.
Police brutality must be stopped, action star Arnold Schwarzenegger demands in a guest article in the magazine "The Atlantic". When he immigrated to the USA in 1968, many people demonstrated against racism, writes the Austrian. "We cannot ignore the problems of inequality in this country."
Other stars, including singer Taylor Swift, turned directly to US President Donald Trump, who threatened demonstrators with violent military action. "After lighting the fires of white supremacy and racism throughout your presidency, do you now have the nerve to pretend moral superiority and then threaten violence?" Swift said on Twitter last week. "We will elect you from office in November."
Clooney also blatantly attacks Trump without naming him. We need politicians who treat their citizens equally, "not leaders who stir up hatred and violence," wrote the Hollywood star in his guest post. "And there is only one way to bring about lasting change in this country: go vote."
Ellen Page on Twitter
Halsey on Twitter
Katherine Heigl on Instagram
Taylor Swift on Twitter
John Cusack on Twitter