YouTuber and actor Kian Lawley has been fired from a film project over a past video where he used racist language.
The film is called The Hate U Give and follows a teenage girl as she witnesses her childhood best friend being shot by a police officer. It’s based on a novel of the same name by Angie Thomas. The video in question shows Lawley making offensive comments about African-Americans several years ago, including frequent statements of the N-word.
Lawley was set to play the boyfriend of the lead character, played by Amandla Stenberg. That role will now be recast and all his scenes re-shot.
Lawley responded to the controversy in a series of lengthy tweets. He writes:
First of all, I am deeply sorry to those that were affected by my choice of language. I understand that I am in the public eye & have many supporters, but none of my actions that took place should be supported. Words have power and can do a lot damage. I own mine and I am sorry.
I respect Fox’s decision to recast this role for The Hate U Give as it is an important story, and it would not be appropriate for me to be involved considering the actions of my past. I understand the impact and I have grown a lot and learned since then.
With that being said, I am fully aware of the mistakes I have made and strive every day to become a better me than I was yesterday. We all have a voice, whether it’s big or small, we need to use it to spread love & light. From now on, I plan to use my voice for positive change.
Comments on the video itself express disappointment in Lawley, but many don't think his career should suffer over it. Angie Hurtado said: "it's just ignorance. I hope he learned his lesson, but I am not happy that this can/will ruin his career. I don't get any pleasure from seeing other people go through these type of things."
What do you guys think? Was it right for Fox to drop Kian Lawley from the movie? And should this affect his career going forward? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @whatsTrending.