A lot of celebrities with super huge platforms have stayed silent amidst the nationwide protests sparked by George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis, and Don Lemon is sick and tired of it.
On his CNN show on Saturday, the news anchor revealed that he’s been getting messages from famous people all week expressing disbelief and asking him what to do about the unrest, per The Grio, and, quite frankly, he’s had enough:
Stop texting me. Get on television, and do something. Help these young people instead of sitting in your mansions and doing nothing. Have some moral courage. Stop worrying about your reputation and your brand.
Lemon called on “Black Hollywood,” “white celebrities,” “rich folks,” and other sectors of the entertainment industry that might rather remain publicly apolitical to maintain a bottom line to step up—and then he started naming names, including but not limited to Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey:
By me calling out your name, that doesn’t mean I’m calling you out. It means I love you, Ellen. It means I love you, Oprah… You may be doing something I don’t know about, and if you are then I apologize. But I want to see you, Tracee Ellis Ross. I want to see you, Tyler Perry. I want to see you, Drake… I want to see you, my friend, Anthony Anderson. I love you. I love all of you. I want to see you, Diddy, out there doing this. I want to see you, Jane Fonda, who I love and respect. I want to see you out there, fighting for these kids. Do something!
As Lemon said on air, wealthy public figures could stand to be a little bit more, well, public about the ways in which they are materially supporting protesters on the ground so that those protesters can rest assured that there are funds to bail them out should they end up getting arrested. Furthermore, he argued, that visibility might empower more people to stand up against police brutality.
“Stop making excuses,” Lemon said. “If you are a millionaire or a gazillionaire or a movie star or a politician and you don’t step up now, when the hell are you going to do it?”