Actor Jesse Williams is blasting a petition calling for “Grey’s Anatomy” bosses to fire him over the equality speech he made at the BET Awards last month, insisting it’s nothing but a ploy to get attention.
The actor addressed racism and inequality in Hollywood during his 2016 BET Humanitarian Award acceptance speech, prompting celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Samuel L. Jackson to applaud the 34-year-old for his eloquence, but other celebrities including Stacey Dash were far from impressed.
Now a petition calling for Jesse to be fired from his hit TV show has reached over 5,000 signatures.
“Jesse Williams spewed a racist, hate speech against law enforcement and white people at the BET awards,” the Change.org petition reads.
“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. There’s been no companies making a stand against his racist remarks and no swift action condemning his negative attitude.”
“Why was (Isaiah Washington) Burke’s character fired from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ after his inappropriate homophobic slur, but nothing for Jesse Williams?,” it continues.
Washington left the medical drama after using a homophobic slur during an on-set row with gay co-star T.R. Knight.
Jesse is urging his fans to ignore the petition, stating, “Do not promote empty people & their tantrums. Pure clickbait to gain followers, attention & money, for themselves, not you. Never you.”
“Grey’s Anatomy” executive producer Shonda Rhimes has also responded to the petition, writing, “Um, people? Boo don’t need a petition.”