KJ Apa Defends Himself for Being ‘Silent’ About the Black Lives Matter Movement

Adrianna Freedman

From Men's Health

This week, after facing online backlash, Riverdale star KJ Apa opened up about his silence with regard to his social media presence amid the Black Lives Matter protests.

It all began earlier this month when Twitter user CollinsHessa2 suggested to rapper/comedian Elijah Daniel that he might want to watch The Hate U Give, a film which tells the story of a young woman, played by Amandla Stenberg, as she watches her friend get killed by the local police. (Apa stars in the movie as Stenberg’s boyfriend.)

Daniel responded to the user in a tweet. “I love that movie, but I do have one question, completely unrelated to the beef I formerly had with him,” he said, “if KJ was the co-star of that movie, why is he so silent? He has such a massive young audience and got paid to be in a movie about police brutality and… posted a black square?”

Apa, who posted the square to his Instagram feed as part of the Blackout Tuesday social media initiative, responded to the comedian's comments on Sunday through his Twitter. “I don’t need to post about my opinions and beliefs in order for them to be real to me.”

“I support black lives,” he continued. “But I don’t feel it’s necessary to prove to people I do by posting my attendance at these protests.”

In response to his tweet, several users were upset with the actor for not taking the initiative to use his platform for positive change.

Meanwhile, Apa's Riverdale co-stars, Cole Sprouse and Vanessa Morgan, have been especially vocal about ongoing protests and racial inequality in America. Earlier this month, Sprouse was arrested at a protest. Morgan also condemned the portrayal of Black characters on the series as "one-dimensional" sidekicks to the show’s storylines. (Creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has since apologized and vowed to do better by the young actress and future Black actors who appear on the CW show.)

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