Lili Reinhart apologizes for using topless photo in call for justice for Breonna Taylor
“Riverdale” star Lili Reinhart has issued a public apology after drawing backlash for using her nude photo in an attempt to demand justice for slain Black woman Breonna Taylor.
In a move netizens have described as tone-deaf, Reinhart yesterday, June 30, posted a topless photo of her to catch followers’ attention and raise awareness for Taylor.
“Now that my sideboob has gotten your attention, Breonna Taylor’s murderers have not been arrested. Demand justice,” Reinhart wrote in the now-deleted Instagram post. After getting flak, the actress immediately apologized via Twitter later on the same day.
“I’ve always tried to use my platform for good. And speak up about things that are important to me. I also can admit when I make a mistake and I made a mistake with my caption,” Reinhart said. “It was never my intent to insult anyone and I’m truly sorry to those that were offended.”
“I’ve tried very hard to be honest on my IGTV [Instagram TV] lives that I’m still learning and trying to be better,” Reinhart stated in a follow-up tweet. “But I understand that my caption came off as [tone-deaf]. I truly had good intentions and did not think it through that it could come off as insensitive.”
I’ve tried very hard to be honest on my IGTV lives that I’m still learning and trying to be better.
But I understand that my caption came off as tone deaf. I truly had good intentions and did not think it through that it could come off as insensitive.
— Lili Reinhart (@lilireinhart) June 29, 2020
Reinhart has been using her IGTV to feature Black artists and hold numerous discussions about topics such as racial injustice, in hopes of raising awareness.
‘Not a meme’
Reinhart’s controversial post followed the format of memes where people use unrelated sentences or photos to draw netizens’ interests before inserting a serious or controversial topic at the end, such as the death of Taylor.
Even before Reinhart made her Instagram post, some netizens have been urging people to stop using Taylor’s death in the said meme format.
“Breonna Taylor is not a meme, and neither is her death. She is a Black woman with a life and a story and a personality and loved ones. Please consider this before your next quirky post or retweet,” one Twitter user with the handle @Miss_Ethiopoaa said on June 23.
Breonna Taylor is not a meme, and neither is her death. She is a Black woman with a life and a story and a personality and loved ones. Please consider this before your next quirky post or retweet.
— Beyoncé✨ (@Miss_Ethiopiaa) June 23, 2020ADVERTISEMENT
“[I] hate hate HATE posts like this they freak me out why are people commodifying or watering down Breonna Taylor’s need for justice into fucking memes???” Twitter user @holdyourcore meanwhile stated on June 24.
i hate hate HATE posts like this they freak me out why are people commodifying or watering down Breonna Taylor’s need for justice into fucking memes??? pic.twitter.com/HH96yuRLsA
— a tired black woman ☹️ (@holdyourcore) June 23, 2020
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician in Kentucky, United States, was killed after police in civilian clothing forcibly entered her home, executing a “no-knock” search warrant last March, as per The New York Times on June 28.
Police were conducting an investigation on Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, who is known to the police as an alleged drug trafficker.
She was in bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker when the police started using a battering ram to bring down their door. Walker, a licensed gun owner who thought it was a home invasion, reportedly fired first at the police. Police fired back and fatally shot Taylor.
While police said they knocked and introduced themselves as cops, Walker said he and Taylor only heard aggressive banging at the door and that when they asked who it was, the police did not respond. No drugs were found in Taylor’s home.
Black Lives Matter protests in recent weeks have erupted across the United States and other countries, as people clamor for justice over the deaths of Taylor in March and fellow African American George Floyd last May, among others. JB
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