Jameela Jamil says many stars want to speak out over the Black Lives Matter movement but are too "scared" to do so. The activist and actress says cancel culture - whereby an individual is boycotted because of offensive comments, actions or behaviour - deters many celebrities from showing their support for anti-racism causes.
"There are people so much more powerful than me who could do so much good but they're scared of being cancelled," Jamil told Grazia in an interview with Munroe Bergdorf.
"I know this because I speak to them on a daily basis and they all want to help but they're so afraid of getting something wrong."
regret to inform you the celebs are at it again pic.twitter.com/pfORBiqvrX— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) June 11, 2020
Jamil and Bergdorf also discussed a recent celebrity video, in which high-profile names - including Sarah Paulson, Stanley Tucci and Aaron Paul - talked about their privilege and apologised for their conscious and unconscious racism. The video has been widely criticised on social media for being self-serving and dramatic.
"I like some of the people in that video and I don't think any of them had bad intentions, the problem is it appears very performative," says Jamil. "Like you want to show people you care, rather than engaging in actual action. Nobody gives a flying f**k about celebrities and their ring lights. They want money and legislative pressure for change."
Jamil recently made a stand against cancel culture unless the person being cancelled has done "irrevocable harm or hurts more people than they help". She does, however, support being called out, ie being made accountable for her actions.
"Being called out has made me a better person," she wrote on Instagram. "Not being cancelled has enabled me to be accountable, learn from my mistakes, and go on to share those lessons with others and do good with my privilege. Most of us have the potential to do that. Some of us are just evil, greedy, dangerous arseholes and need to go."
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