- Alex Jones questions reported suicide of Sandy Hook father Tuesday 9:59 PM
- ‘You were at my wedding Denise’ is the newest clapback for instant regret Tuesday 6:42 PM
- This viral video of Pope Francis not letting anyone kiss his hand is weird Tuesday 6:04 PM
- What does the EU’s Copyright Directive mean for the future of the internet? Tuesday 5:16 PM
- The LGBTQ and Black communities deserve real answers about the Jussie Smollett case Tuesday 3:51 PM
- The Jussie Smollett-Trump collusion discourse is a condescending Wonka meme come to life Tuesday 3:47 PM
- Even teachers are in on TikTok’s #hitthewoah Tuesday 2:49 PM
- Editor’s history of calling trans people ‘frauds’ shines light on Economist’s transphobic tweet Tuesday 2:24 PM
- New ‘Avengers: Endgame’ posters reveal the fates of several Marvel characters Tuesday 2:12 PM
- Man pleads guilty to stealing over $100 million from Facebook, Google Tuesday 12:59 PM
- Washington Post under fire for transphobic cartoon about the Mueller Report Tuesday 12:33 PM
- Congressman quotes ‘Mein Kampf’ on House floor Tuesday 11:55 AM
- Rapper Tone Loc detained after confronting teen in Confederate flag hat Tuesday 11:37 AM
- Sarah Sanders shares Mueller Madness bracket Tuesday 10:19 AM
- NASA postpones all-women spacewalk over lack of suits that fit the female astronauts Tuesday 10:17 AM
Jesse Williams criticized for using Emmett Till memes to announce new movie
Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams was criticized on Monday for tweeting images based on Colin Kaepernick’s Nike ad to promote his new film Till.
Williams announced on Monday afternoon that he will be directing the film, which centers around the events following Emmett Till’s death. Till was lynched in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman in 1955. His death made national news, revealing the prevailing racism of the Jim Crow area to the northern states. His mother, Mamie Till, famously had her son buried in a glass-topped casket to show the world what was done to her son.
On Monday, Williams tweeted two now-deleted images of the mourning mother at Emmett Till’s funeral. The black and white photos were overlaid with the campaign slogan from Kaepernick’s famous Nike ad.
Just saw a MEME OF MAMIE TILL AT HER SON’S CASKET WITH A FUCKING NIKE SLOGAN ACROSS HER TEAR STAINED FACE. I AM HORRIFIED.
WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU @iJesseWilliams?!
— Emotional Support Squirrel (@jennib3) September 24, 2018
A Black mother's pain at the horrific murder of her son should not be counted as "sacrifice" and even her decision for an open casket is not properly framed as "sacrifice" or something to believe in…
Please reconsider. This was not fully thought out, sir.
— ⚖ (@JagunEsq) September 24, 2018
Williams’ decision to post the images led people to question his ability to produce a movie about Till.
Jesse Williams turned pictures of Emmett Till’s mom into a Nike meme…to promote the movie he’s directing.
I can’t lie this makes me question how he’s going to do with the movie pic.twitter.com/eDD38e9KZW
— DrmCatchr (@JaleelSpeaQs) September 24, 2018
I know damn well Jesse Williams did not just make Emmett Till into a Nike meme. pic.twitter.com/K9BgrR0xUD
— chy (@SpazzMuffins) September 24, 2018
Criticism of the images opened the door to backlash regarding Williams’s race (he’s biracial) and divorce last year from his wife, who is Black. Rumors circulated at the time that Williams left his wife for a white woman.
I never fell for Jesse Williams sorcery. When your self esteem is too low to ever believe a beautiful man will want you, you can hear what he’s actually saying over his loud face.
— Rae Sanni (@raesanni) September 24, 2018
Jesse Williams presented a whole dissertation at the BET Awards just to be a disappointment to the black community.
— I Am Very Entertainment 🇳🇬 (@AkanButNoJeezyy) September 24, 2018
So Jesse Williams divorces a black woman and loses his good sense it seems…what is this?! Emmett Till wasn't a sacrifice he was murdered by white supremacy.
(Also too many people liked this bullshit) pic.twitter.com/i5ZlBRnuWh
— The Harlem Shimmy (@Say_Yes_2theJes) September 24, 2018
I have no problem w interracial relationships at all. I do have a problem w insensitive people of influence. That pic can be interpreted as sacrifice your family to start a new, in his case w a white woman. @iJesseWilliams I'm sure you didn't mean that but WAKE UP! #TiLLtheMovie
— Durwood Brown (@durwood929) September 24, 2018
Williams deleted the tweets but did not address the backlash.
Alexis Tatum studies journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She's an editorial intern with the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Orange magazine and the Daily Texan.