KJ Apa Defends His Decision to Stay Silent Amid Black Lives Matter Protests
KJ Apa has responded to criticism he received about not posting about the Black Lives Matter movement.
The criticism all started when comedian Elijah Daniel responded to a tweet recommending he watch The Hate U Give, a film about a black teenager who dies at the hands of a white police officer, in which Apa plays the lead character's boyfriend.
In his response, he accused the Riverdale star of not being vocal enough regarding the nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd's police brutality death.
"I love that movie but I do have a question," Daniel tweeted. "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."
Last week, Apa shared a black square on his Instagram feed as part of Blackout Tuesday, a social media campaign designed to amplify black voices.
However, fans commented that the actor could have done more to support the Black Lives Matter movement especially since many of his Riverdale co-stars have been promoting the cause on social media. (Cole Sprouse even got arrested at a protest.)
Though the 22-year-old did not respond to those comments, he did reply to Daniel's tweet.
"I don’t need to post about my opinions and beliefs in order for them to be real to me," he wrote. "I support black lives — but I don’t feel it’s necessary to prove to people I do by posting my attendance at these protests."
Following his defense, some people — including Daniel — took issue with Apa for suggesting he doesn't need to "prove" his support for the movement, as well as not using his massive social media platform for good.
"I didn't say you needed to prove anything," Daniel replied. "This was a question about you not using your extremely large platform after being paid to be in a film about police brutality."