Twentieth Century Fox Film announced Monday that scenes from their film The Hate U Give featuring YouTuber and actor Kian Lawley would be reshot after a video resurfaced of the star using a racial slur. (The video, below, contains offensive language.)
After the video surfaced on Jan. 26, many on social media called for the actor to be fired from the film. It was a while before anyone responded, but eventually, Fox released a statement addressing the situation. A spokesperson told Variety, “Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in The Hate U Give.” The film studio mentioned plans for recasting and reshooting scenes featuring Lawley’s character, Chris.
But not only was Lawley was attacked on social media but also, so was The Hate U Give author Angie Thomas. Thomas eventually took to Twitter Sunday to address the backlash:
Lawley responded on Twitter to his dismissal:
The actor later apologized in a statement to Variety:
Words have power and can do damage. I own mine and I am sorry. I respect Fox’s decision to recast this role for The Hate U Give as it is an important story, and it would not be appropriate for me to be involved considering the actions of my past. I understand the impact and I have grown and learned since then. From now on I plan to use my voice for positive change.
Recently, director George Tillman, Jr. shared images from the film. The forthcoming YA adaptation stars Amandla Stenberg (Everything, Everything) as protagonist Starr Carter, who must balance between two worlds—her poor, black neighborhood and her rich, predominately white prep school—after her childhood friend is shot by a white officer. Along with Stenberg, the film features Russell Hornsby (Fences), Regina Hall (Girls Trip), Issa Rae (Insecure), Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World), Algee Smith (The New Edition Story) and hip-hop star Common.
Thomas’ best-selling 2017 novel was nominated for a National Book Award for best work of young people’s literature, and cleaned up at the Goodreads Choice Awards, winning Best Young Adult Fiction and Best Debut Goodreads Author.
Now, with Lawley out and reshoots inevitable, The Hate U Give adaptation’s release date is unclear.