Orlando Jones sends powerful, provocative message with ‘bullet bucket challenge’

The Sleepy Hollow actor swaps bullets for ice to get his message across.


Rae Votta


Published Aug 24, 2014   Updated Jan 27, 2021, 11:50 pm CST

While pedestrians and celebrities alike have spent the past two weeks dumping buckets of ice over their heads in increasing comical and entertaining ways, actor Orlando Jones, took a different route with his challenge video.

He emptied a bucket full of bullets over his head, tying together the viral trend with the disturbing news out of Ferguson, Mo., following the killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown.

Jones isn’t belittling the ice bucket challenge or supporting ALS (he says he’s sending his check to support the cause), but he decided to use his time to challenge himself to “listen without predjudice, to live without limits and to reverse the hate.” The Sleepy Hollow actor wrote abut the challenge on his Tumblr with the accompanying video: 

My “bullet bucket challenge” is not about pointing fingers and it’s not about being angry. Every shell casing in that bucket represents the life of someone who fought and died in the goal for civil rights and human dignity. As a member of law enforcement (yes I really am a reserve sheriff) I will not stand idly by while others violate civil and human rights under the cover of authority and I will insist that other good cops rise to the same standard as well.  

Since releasing the video, Jones says the experience of creating a video that goes “viral” (with more than 1 million views) is an interesting one. 

“I’ve been truly humbled by the feedback and comments from people who wrote me to say that my words inspired them, or made them think, or made them want to challenge themselves,” Jones told the Daily Dot. “The less positive responses are par for the course and represent a small percentage of those who have seen the video.”

Jones cited two individuals who made their own “bucket challenge” videos in the spirit of his own,  First was Temitayo Osinubu, whose video addresses the shooting death of John Crawford III in his home state of Ohio, and the second being Michael Korte, who filmed himself pouring voter registration cards over his head as a reminder that registering to vote is an essential part of any movement.


“If that’s all that ever came of this I consider my ‘call to action’ an unqualified success,” Jones said via email. “I thank both these gentleman and all others who are inspired to join our movement to #ReverseTheHate.”

Screengrab via Orlando Jones/YouTube

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*First Published: Aug 24, 2014, 10:49 am CDT