On Monday, the actress posted a photo of herself posing at Salton Sea, a lake in California, with the caption: “Now that my side-boob has gotten your attention, Breonna Taylor’s murderers have not been arrested. Demand justice.”
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT living in Louisville, Kentucky, was killed by police on 13 March after the officers entered her apartment with a “no-knock” search warrant.
The post, which has since been deleted, prompted criticism from Reinhart’s followers, who accused her of trivialising Taylor’s death and turning the nation-wide demand for justice into a “meme”.
“Lili Reinhart jumped on the let's make a meme out of Breonna Taylor bandwagon honestly not surprised,” one person tweeted.
lili reinhart really thought she was doing something. this is DISGUSTING. stop using breonna taylors name as a caption for your sexy photos. she's not a meme or a marketing tactic. pic.twitter.com/Orjv4nkSFG
— Ashley | ʙʟᴍ (@REIGNONROLLINS)
Another said: “That’s it I’m done - justice for Breonna Taylor is not something to be memed and Lili Reinhart needs a better PR team. One of these is obviously more important than the other but all of this has gone too far.”
Reinhart has since addressed the backlash on Twitter, where she apologised for the “mistake” and to anyone who she offended.
“I’ve always tried to use my platform for good. And speak up about things that are important to me. I also can admit when I make a mistake and I made a mistake with my caption,” the 23-year-old tweeted. “It was never my intent to insult anyone and I’m truly sorry to those that were offended.”
I’ve tried very hard to be honest on my IGTV lives that I’m still learning and trying to be better.
But I understand that my caption came off as tone deaf. I truly had good intentions and did not think it through that it could come off as insensitive.
— Lili Reinhart (@lilireinhart)
The Riverdale actress, who has been hosting conversations with black creators and activists on her Instagram amid global protests against racism and police brutality, added: “I’ve tried very hard to be honest on my IGTV lives that I’m still learning and trying to be better.”
Reinhart concluded her apology acknowledging that her caption came across as “tone-deaf” despite having good intentions.
“I truly had good intentions and did not think it through that it could come off as insensitive,” she wrote.
In recent weeks, numerous other celebrities, including John Legend, Lizzo, Cardi B and Ariana Grande, have used their platforms to demand justice for Taylor.
As of now, just one of the three Louisville police officers involved in the raid that killed Taylor has been fired.