Entertainment

Michael B. Jordan Speaks at Black Lives Matter March in LA

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Michael B. Jordan is calling on Hollywood to be a part of social progress. On Saturday, the 33-year-old actor attended a Black Lives Matter march in LA where he delivered an impassioned speech about thorough diversity in the entertainment industry. He shared how his roles in the films Fruitvale Station, Fahrenheit 451, Black Panther, and Just Mercy made a huge impact on him and his fight for equality.

Michael also opened up about his production company, Outlier Society, and its efforts to enact the “inclusion rider” policy, which enforces diverse hiring practices. “We’re in the heart of Hollywood right now — one of the world’s most powerful industries, and I’m an active member of that,” he said. “They need to go on notice. I dedicated my production company to an inclusion rider, but it has to go beyond that.”

He then directly addressed businesses that he’s connected to, saying, “All my brands, anybody that deals with me, if you have racist beliefs, if you have a racist bone in your body, if you’re not with me, if you don’t stand with me and people that look like me, then you don’t need to be with me, and that’s point-blank period.”

The actor additionally shared his suport for defunding the police and reallocating financies to causes that benefit all people. “I want us to invest in Black staff,” he said. “I’m proud to have an inclusion rider and all that good stuff, and I use my power to demand diversity, but it’s time that studios and agencies — all the agencies, all these buildings that we’re standing in front of, I wish you’d do the same. You committed to a 50/50 gender parity in 2020 — where is the challenge to commit to Black hiring, Black content led by Black executives, Black consultants? Are you policing our storytelling as well?”

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He ended by encouraging everyone to vote and continue making their voices heard. “I just want to be here, be present, and show you guys that I’m here with you,” he said. “So, let’s keep this sh*t going.” Read Michael’s full speech below, then keep scrolling to see more powerful photos from the march.

We can’t be quiet. I played four very, very important characters that affected my life. Oscar Grant was one of them. Oscar Grant was killed by police on the BART train station in Oakland. I had the opportunity to embody who he was. I got an opportunity to feel the pain of his family — his daughter, his mother — I lived with that for a really long time. It weighs on you. I also played a fireman in Farenheit 451, who was thirsting for knowledge. He joined a revolution. The producer of that movie made me really realize the lengths that the government and oppressors will go to keep knowledge out of your hands. They know that if we unlock this up here, that we’ll be unstoppable, and they’re scared of that.

Black Panther, Killmonger — he was an activist, a revolutionary. He’s the product of a village that does not accept that child, cast him out. He will burn that village to the ground . . . I also had the opportunity and the honor to play Bryan Stevenson. He dedicated his life to combating the racial legal system that we have right now, and, in doing so, I learned. I learned his tactics, I learned his mentality, I learned his approach to things — very calm, very strategic, very thoughtful.

We have to be approximate. We have to be close to issues. That’s why I love to support everybody that’s out here because we have to be here together, shoulder to shoulder. We’re in the heart of Hollywood right now — one of the world’s most powerful industries, and I’m an active member of that. They need to go on notice. I dedicated my production company to an inclusion rider, but it has to go beyond that.

So, to the brands that support me, to all the productions, to the studios, to all the businesses and partnerships that I have, if you have any financial ties to police, we have to relook at our business. We have to stop hiring police. We have to cut off their support. That’s why I’m committed to hiring private security at all my events — private security only. All my brands, anybody that deals with me, if you have racist beliefs, if you have a racist bone in your body, if you’re not with me, if you don’t stand with me and people that look like me, then you don’t need to be with me, and that’s point-blank period.

So I got a few things that I really want to get. So, invest, right? I want us to invest in Black staff, I’m proud to have an inclusion rider and all that good stuff, and I use my power to demand diversity, but it’s time that studios and agencies — all the agencies, all these buildings that we’re standing in front of, I wish you’d do the same. You committed to a 50/50 gender parity in 2020 — where is the challenge to commit to Black hiring, Black content led by Black executives, Black consultants? Are you policing our storytelling as well?

So let us bring our darkness to the light — Black culture, the sneakers, sports, comedic culture that you guys love so much. We’ve dealt with discrimination at every turn. Can you help fund Black brands, companies, cultural leaders, Black organizations? A great agent doesn’t have to be a great organizer, but a great agent could advocate for relationships with organizers. Will you support nonprofits as working to solve problems of our industry that our industry created?

And you gotta vote. Everybody says it. It’s a very easy thing to do. I hear it, I respect it, but voting has never been more important than it is today . . . We can’t vote today, but what we’re doing today will make our voices heard and values heard. We’ve got to keep doing it, we’ve got to keep agitating things, we can’t be complacent, we can’t let this moment just pass us by. We have to continue to put our foot on their necks. And just know that we are with you guys. I ain’t up here for all the extra stuff, man. I just want to be here, be present, and show you guys that I’m here with you. So, let’s keep this sh*t going.


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