20 Celebrities Who’ve Controversially Spoken Up In Response To Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter was established as a response to social unrest in the wake of Ferguson and Trayvon Martin’s death, and has quickly established itself as the hot-button issue of the day. And like any important political cause, the movement has received support from the showbiz community. But while stars like Beyoncé have been praised for their advocacy, others haven’t been so lucky. These 20 celebrities became a lightning rod of controversy after speaking out on the issue.

20. Quentin Tarantino

His films might be known for their no-holds-barred violence, but Quentin Tarantino is critical of brutality in real life. Specifically, his comments during a Rise Up rally in New York in 2015 angered law officials, who took issue with his labelling of police officers as “murderers.” In fact as a result, the NYPD demanded a boycott of his film The Hateful Eight.

19. M.I.A.

Hip hop star M.I.A. often addresses racial inequality in her music, but surprisingly she has  slammed others for focusing solely on black issues. “Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter?” she said during a 2016 interview with London’s Evening Standard. And as a result of her comments, she was dropped from her headlining act at the capital’s Afropunk Festival just months later.

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18. Zayn Malik

After being called out on Twitter for not addressing Black Lives Matter publicly, Zayn Malik was forced to address his fans’ concern. However, his resulting Tweet – in which he declared that the movement has “nothing to do with police brutality” – caused offense, with many accusing him of not understanding the issue. And the former One Directioner has wisely stayed clear of the argument ever since.

17. Zendaya

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Despite frequently voicing her support for BLM online, Zendaya has received criticism from those with whom she shows solidarity. And ironically, the controversy has nothing do with anything the “Watch Me” singer says – it’s all about the color of her skin. Because some have deemed it inappropriate for a person of mixed race to be standing up for black issues.

16. Tyga

Many critics of the movement have accused it of encouraging violence and Tyga has expressed some dangerous views in this regard. Following the 2016 death of Alton Sterling, the rapper Tweeted, “Sooner or later we’re gonna start taking s*** into our own hands.” And unfortunately, the announcement came shortly before the Dallas shootings, which claimed the lives of multiple police officers.

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15. Fetty Wap

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Like Zayn Malik, hip hop star Fetty Wap created controversy for failing to understand the movement’s key issues. In a since deleted Tweet, the rapper wrote “My kids are mixed” before using the hashtag #AllLivesMatter. Wap soon recanted his words when a fan pointed out BLM stands for mixed race people as well and admitted “I’m man enough to apologize.”

14. Stacey Dash

Clueless star Stacey Dash has received a considerable amount of backlash for her comments on race and division in America. During a 2016 appearance on Fox & Friends, the actress labelled the “OscarsSoWhite” controversy “ludicrous” before criticizing the black-centered network BET for encouraging segregation. Plus, she’s also said that Black History Month “shouldn’t exist.”

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13. Piers Morgan

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Piers Morgan is no stranger to controversy, and it’s perhaps not surprising that he has some very harsh things to say about BLM. Following the 2016 Dallas shootings, Morgan deemed the movement a “danger to all police officers” in his Daily Mail column. Additionally, the journalist accused it of “inspiring black men to shoot black men” on Twitter, which received a barbed two-word response from rapper Talib Kweli.

12. Chris Brown

Created as a riposte to Black Lives Matter, the hashtag #AllLivesMatter has been taken up by a number of stars. Most notably, Chris Brown used the tag in a 2015 Twitter rant which seemingly showed his opposition to the movement. “I stand for the black male stereotype,” he wrote. “#Alllifematters. Everyone needs someone’s help.”

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11. Spike Lee

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Spike Lee has never shied away from commenting on American race issues and Black Lives Matter is no exception. Despite being a supporter of the movement, the Do The Right Thing director told CNN that black-on-black violence remains a significant problem. “You can’t ignore that we are killing ourselves too,” he stated. “We can’t ignore that.”

10. Samuel L. Jackson

Following the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge craze, Samuel L. Jackson tried unsuccessfully to start a viral revolution of his own. In 2014 he urged celebrities to post videos of themselves singing “We Ain’t Gonna Stop ’Til People Are Free” – a song that includes references to police racism and violence. Nonetheless, the video failed to catch on.

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9. RZA

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Influential hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan showed their solidarity with the people of Ferguson in 2014 by releasing the protest song “A Better Tomorrow.” However, their leader RZA was less forthcoming with support for BLM. On a 2016 episode of With All Due Respect, the rapper said, “All lives matter. I stopped eating meat because their lives [the animals’] matter to me.”

8. Elizabeth Hasselbeck

Elizabeth Hasselbeck hit a little too close to home when she entered into a discussion on BLM in a 2015 episode of her former show Fox & Friends. In it, the host asked guest Kevin Jackson why the movement “had not been classified yet as a hate group,” which prompted a flood of angry responses on social media.

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7. Dave Chappelle

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Despite being famous for his political and racial commentary, Dave Chappelle seemingly has some issues with this latest social movement. The comedian reportedly took umbrage with the name of the cause during a 2016 stand-up set in New York. “‘Black Lives Matter’ is a terrible slogan,” he said. “When did it become just caring about ourselves and not caring about other people?”

6. Prince Jackson

Prince Jackson – son of legendary entertainer Michael Jackson – had some uncharacteristically confrontational words to say about police violence on Twitter earlier this summer. Although he called out police officers “who have ruined the lives of many,” Jackson nevertheless received criticism for using the AllLivesMatter hashtag. In fact, one fan even challenged him to educate himself with his father’s music.

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5. Columbus Short

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Former Scandal star Columbus Short is another proponent of the All Lives Matter countermovement, and he has also been criticized for his views on social media. Specifically, the star’s Tweet that “a scared cop is a dangerous cop” seemed to partially blame BLM members for police violence and led to a backlash online.

4. Jesse Williams

After winning BET’s Humanitarian Award in 2016, Jesse Williams launched into an acceptance speech which issued a challenge to the critics of the BLM movement. “If you have a critique for our resistance then you’d better have an established record,” the Grey’s Anatomy star said. “If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions.”

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3. Tomi Lahren

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While Black Lives Matter is indeed a hotly debated movement, equating it with America’s most infamous hate group is definitely out of line. However, that didn’t stop The Blaze host Tomi Lahren from comparing the movement to the Ku Klux Klan in a Tweet earlier this year. And although she’s since deleted it, Lahren declined to offer any apology for her comment.

2. Joe Walsh

One of the most frightening ripostes to BLM came from former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, who sent out an alarming Tweet in the aftermath of the Dallas shootings. The Republican politician wrote, “This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.” Naturally, his Twitter account was suspended shortly afterwards.

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1. Erykah Badu

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During an interview with Fader magazine, Erykah Badu opined that BLM doesn’t address all black issues. “We can organize like a motherf***er when police beat us up,” the “Bag Lady” singer said. “But can we organize to stop black-on-black crime, or poor-on-poor crime? Because, you know, poor is the new black.”

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