YouTube star Kian Lawley has been fired from the upcoming adaptation of the bestselling young adult novel The Hate U Give. The movie, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, stars Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg as a young woman who becomes an activist after witnessing a white police officer shooting her unarmed friend. After a video of Lawley making racist statements surfaced online last month, the studio cut Lawley loose.
20th Century Fox announced they were dropping Lawley from the project:
Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in The Hate U Give. The studio plans to recast the role of Chris and reshoot scenes as needed.
Lawley released a statement on Twitter apologizing for his actions. Sort of.
if u don’t learn from ur mistakes, u can never grow as a person.— Kian Lawley (@KianLawley) February 4, 2018
i’ve learned a lot & i am grateful to have the power to change. i never want to be who i was yesterday. we’re in a constant battle to become a better version of ourselves, use ur voice as ur weapon.
First of all, I am deeply sorry to those that were effected 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.— Kian Lawley (@KianLawley) February 6, 2018
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.— Kian Lawley (@KianLawley) February 6, 2018
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.— Kian Lawley (@KianLawley) February 6, 2018
Many fans were forgiving, believing he had owned up to his mistakes:
really glad that u addressed this. so proud of u Ki. we are all here for u and we all love u ♥️— ☁︎ Casey (@cringeykian) February 5, 2018
thank you, im very glad you've learned from your mistakes from the past thank you for being the best role model to follow, im so beyond proud of you. love you to the moon and back x— inês. (@theletterdolan) February 4, 2018
we all make mistakes & grow from them, making mistakes can in a way, make us better because we learn from them & better ourselves— alysia ♡ (@kianssinatra) February 4, 2018
thanks for apologizing and owning up to your past actions— søph👼🏻48 (@admireseavey) February 6, 2018
But others believed it was too little, too late:
Funny that you are preaching about using your voice as a weapon but where is your apology at 😉?— A 🌹✨ (@fabmendespinosa) February 5, 2018
are you trying to save face bc the project you got fired from or bc you actually feel this way?????? The video has resurfaced twice before & I don't remember you speaking up about it at all or did I miss something??????— sb♡ (@kiarakova) February 6, 2018
This apology gets a D. Insincere, self-serving and pointless. Try actually feeling bad for what you did this time.— Erica Friedman (https://www.patreon.com/Okazu) (@OkazuYuri) February 5, 2018
Like I don’t understand how people are saying that they are proud because I think this is a very underwhelming and not at all apologetic.— Bailey (@TooMuchBrennen) February 4, 2018
But sometimes the mistakes you make are too big. You can’t learn from something that has ruined who you are. Just saying.— Tasiaaaaa (@earthtotasia) February 4, 2018
It’s very disappointing that someone who has such a big platform, and who is in a movie that emphasizes owning up to the mistakes we make and striving to do better, can’t even give an ounce of genuineness when expressing the wrong they have done.— Allana 🌻🌻🌻 (@allanamanana) February 6, 2018
Hopefully Lawley learned an important lesson about the hate he gave.