Jessica Chastain Clarifies Comments About Non-Violent Protests

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Jessica Chastain

The actress posted her thoughts after engaging with a Twitter user who objected to her stance on non-violent protests.

Jessica Chastain shared an impassioned video to reflect on the current state of the country and note her commitment to “transformative social change.”

"I’m making a video because my heart is very heavy," she said in the clip, which she posted to Twitter on Thursday. "I’ve learned so much the past few days about the trauma many people are experiencing in our country. I’ve had the opportunity to listen, more than to speak, and it’s really hard for me to express my feelings, my thoughts, in 140 characters."

“I wanted you guys to know that I hear you," she continued, occasionally pausing and seemingly holding back tears. "I want you to know that I’m committed to creating transformative social change, that I’m committed to dismantling systems of oppression. I share in the sense of what is happening in the country. I hear you. You may never have met me, but I love you.”

Chastain — whose next films include Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut Molly's Game and Susanna White's period drama Woman Walks Ahead — shared the video hours after engaging with a Twitter follower about non-violent protests. Upon posting a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., the user responded with another King quote reproaching the "lukewarm acceptance" of the "white moderate."

The actress then responded, "If the color of my skin is going to cause you to generalize, perhaps you [should] look back over whether or not I’ve been silent to injustice." The interaction continued, as the user urged her to "please listen to people without your privileges."

"Nonviolent protest has NOTHING to do with self defence," she then tweeted, referring to an article she had just shared. "Data shows that nonviolence works better to fight oppression. It's in the science. Non violent resistance is 2x more likely to topple governments. It's in the facts." The user replied back with more thoughts on the topic, but Chastain has not since tweeted back directly, but posted the video a few hours later.

Sept. 1, 12 p.m. An earlier version misquoted Chastain as saying "depression" rather than "oppression." THR regrets the error.

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