Jesse Williams Is Getting Major Backlash For The Tone Deaf Way He Announced His New Movie Project

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 09:  ACtor Jesse Williams attends the "Quincy" Premiere at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 9, 2018 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Che Rosales/WireImage)

Jesse Williams Is Getting Major Backlash For The Tone Deaf Way He Announced His New Movie Project

The actor’s directorial debut is already off to a bad start.

Published September 24, 2018

Jesse Williams recently learned the importance of thoughtful and ethical promotion when he was immediately dragged across social media for posting photos of Emmett Till and his mother.

His approach: use the sore images in the form of the template of Nike's now widely popular black-and-white ad in an effort to promote his new film.

The actor and activist's apparent attempt at garnering praise for his feature film directorial debut where, according to Deadline, he will cinematically explore the aftermath of Till's murder, fell flat.

The then 14-year-old boy was infamously murdered by white men for allegedly whistling at a white woman who, years later, renounced her story.

Unlike previous projects that explored the teenager's life, Williams' will show his journey through the lens of his mother, Mamie Mobley Till, as she seeks justice for her son's unjust killing.

"I'm honored to be directing the story of Mamie and Emmett: a tale of revolutionary defiance in the face of tremendous personal and public devastation," he said. "An exploration of power and pulling back the curtain on cultural violence; of boyhood and maternity challenging America's reflex to hide from itself; underdogs refusing to pretend that terror is freedom."

While his intentions appear to be noble, his approach at revealing the news to the world left a sour taste in the mouth of many. One of the numerous meme-like posts featured an image of Till's mother weeping over his casket. It was supported by the caption, "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything."

Take a look at the tone-deaf approach to unveiling the project, below:

  1. View this post on Instagram

    🎥TiLL is about Mamie Mobley Till’s journey for justice following the brutal murder of her fourteen-year-old son in the heart of the Mississippi Delta in 1955. Production is slated to commence Summer 2019 with the support of the Till family. Emmett Till’s murder was seen as the impetus for the next phase of the Civil Rights Movement. At the time of his funeral, Mamie famously insisted on an open casket ceremony, exposing her son’s mutilated body and bringing attention not only to racially charged violence but also to the odious and barbaric practice of lynching. The two white men who kidnapped and murdered Emmett were acquitted by an all-white jury. The men later confessed to the murder in an interview published in Look magazine, but due to the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment, the men were protected from a retrial. Carolyn Bryant-Donham, the woman at the center of Emmett’s case, decades later admitted to fabricating her testimony regarding her interaction with Emmett. Said Williams, “I’m honored to be directing the story of Mamie & Emmett: a tale of revolutionary defiance in the face of tremendous personal and public devastation. An exploration of power and pulling back the curtain on cultural violence; of boyhood and maternity challenging America’s reflex to hide from itself; underdogs refusing to pretend that terror is freedom.” via https://www.deadline.com/2018/09/greys-anatomy-jesse-williams-directorial-debut-emmett-till-murder-1202469798/amp/

    A post shared by jesse Williams (@ijessewilliams) on

    Needless to say, social media was not pleased with his choices of promotional tactics and lit him ablaze for it.

  2. Production for the film, which is fully supported by Till's family, is set to begin in summer 2019.

Written by Moriba Cummings

(Photo by Che Rosales/WireImage)

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