George Lopez has a message for Latinx celebrities who are choosing to stay silent during the George Floyd protests: stop.
"You see some comments that are like "How am I supposed to help black lives when they don't help us? That's the wrong attitude. You don't do something and expect something in return. You do it because it's right," the comedian tells EW.
Since the beginning of the George Floyd protests, which began in Minneapolis as a rallying cry for black justice after Floyd was killed by a police officer, Latinx celebrities have been asked by their fans to speak out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Camila Cabello, Miguel, and Ricky Martin are some of the many that have shown their support via social media. However, popular celebrities like Bad Bunny, Maluma, J Balvin, Nicky Jam, and more, have been called out by fans for their delay in or lack of an immediate response.
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Lopez, who didn't call out any celebrities by name, remembers being in Los Angeles during the 1992 Rodney King riots. In March of that year, King was beaten and stomped by a group of police officers in the San Fernando Valley during an arrest. The four officers were acquitted of any crimes. But the incident was caught on camera, leading to five days of intense riots in the area for the police brutality.
Lopez remembers doing a comedy show at the Ice House in Pasadena at the time where he brought up the political climate during his act.
"I remember walking off stage and two tables of people were flipping me off as I walked by," Lopez says.
The San Fernando Valley native has always been vocal about breaking minority stereotypes in his comedy act.
“People see color first. After a show in Houston, a guy came up to me and said, ‘I didn’t think you’d be funny.’ I said, ‘Why, because I’m Latino?’ He said ‘Yeah.’ I appreciated his honesty, but it shows the stereotypes we’re fighting," Lopez told the LA Times in 1992.
Lopez has been active on his Instagram discussing the Black Lives Matter movement. "If we are UNITED by a desire for change, imagine what the world COULD be like," Lopez recently wrote.
Lopez, who has a new Netflix special coming later this month, is currently partnering with NYC Together to help create opportunities for black and Latino teens.
Lopez's We'll Do It for Half hits Netflix on June 30.
To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
- Color of Change, which works to move decision makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
- Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to people who have been wrongly convicted, denied a fair trial, or abused in state jails and prisons.