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Don Lemon called out Hollywood leaders and stars for inaction amid nationwide protests over the death of another unarmed black man in police custody during an emotional monologue on his Saturday show.
“What about Hollywood? Strangely quiet,” the CNN Tonight host said during a conversation with Rev. William Barber as the fifth night of protests over the death of George Floyd unfolded in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York and other cities nationwide. As he screened footage of fires and looting in cities nationwide, Lemon continued, “I’ve seen them on Twitter, I see them, ‘Oh, I’m loving what Don Lemon’s doing’ … But they gotta do more than that.”
As for both black and white celebrities, he continued, “Why aren’t they helping these young people? These young people are out there standing on a platform at the edge of an abyss by themselves.”
Lemon noted that some bold-faced names had texted him and tweeted at him saying that they liked his show or that they were distraught by the state of the nation. “Yes, I’m calling you out, and you can be mad at me all you want. And what they’re doing, you’re sitting there and watching TV and you’re bitching about it. … Get on television or do something and help these young people instead of sitting in your mansions and doing nothing. And have some moral courage and stop worrying about your reputation and your brand. “
The speech was a continuation of Lemon’s monologue, where he called on millionaires, billionaires, leaders and stars to lend their support to the many less powerful individuals involved in protests nationwide. He noted that many stars have told him they can’t come on his show to discuss the protests or other political matters because “I don’t want people to see me mad, it might hurt my business, I’m so upset I have to go to my country house.” The CNN host noted that Beyoncé had called for justice for George Floyd in an Instagram post. “You can’t?” he asked of other Hollywood figures.
Lemon added during the monologue, “If you’re not going to do it now, when are you going to do it? … Stop making excuses.”
So far, Oprah, Tyler Perry, Ariana Grande, Tinashe and Insecure actor Kendrick Sampson have notably spoken up about Floyd’s death and the protests they have sparked. On Sunday, Sampson could be seen on an Instagram video being hit by rubber bullets and a police officer’s baton during a protest in Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, individuals could be seen looting stores including Nordstrom and the Apple Store at the Grove, as well as a Whole Foods across the street, during a protest in the area. During his show, Lemon streamed footage of others looting a shoe store in Los Angeles. As a result of looting and violence, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti imposed a city-wide curfew and asked for the deployment of the National Guard on Saturday.
Watch Lemon’s opening monologue below.
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