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This “I Take Responsibility” Video Featuring White Celebrities Is Making A Lot of People Cringe

It sparked a LOT of discussion.

In the wake of George Floyd's death and protests against police brutality sweeping the nation, many celebs have been speaking out against racism.

I know your type. Maybe you don’t cross the street when a black man walks past but you want to. You say the n word among friends. you think this stuff wouldn’t happen if people simply complied. you’re full of shit and people see you now more than ever. can’t hide anymore.

Some statements are...better than others.

From donating to worthy causes to marching in protests, celebs have definitely been making their voices heard.

Rich Fury / Getty Images

Above, Michael B. Jordan walks in the Hollywood talent agencies' march to support Black Lives Matter.

The most recent example of this is a video sponsored by I Take Responsibility, a new organization that is partnering with the NAACP to get white people to recognize their own harmful actions and take a stand against them.

I Take Responsibility / Via itakeresponsibility.org

The site also launched a video featuring various celebs "taking responsibility" for past racist behavior.

View this video on YouTube

Confluential Films / YouTube / Via youtube.com

The video features celebrities from Sarah Paulson to Kesha to Ilana Glazer to Stanley Tucci in black and white as piano music plays in the background.

Confluential Films / YouTube / Via youtube.com

They start by taking responsibility for various actions, such as explaining away police brutality or turning a blind eye to injustice.

Confluential Films / YouTube / Via youtube.com

Then, they vow to take action and no longer be bystanders.

Confluential Films / YouTube / Via youtube.com

They also reference recent victims of police brutality and hate crimes (though not by name), including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Atatiana Jefferson.

Confluential Films / YouTube / Via youtube.com

They then pledge to "stand against hate."

Confluential Films / YouTube / Via youtube.com

The last celeb to speak is Aaron Paul, who touches on the need to prosecute cops who have abused their power.

Confluential Films / YouTube / Via youtube.com

The video ends with a call to action.

Confluential Films / YouTube / Via youtube.com

The website contains some good resources on organizations to donate to and petitions to sign.

Reactions were a little mixed — some praised the celebs for taking accountability and speaking out, but some felt the way their words were delivered came off as more than a little performative.

@AbbyHiggs Ending Racism: The Musical

There were a loooooot of jokes about how they were acting.

@MarlowNYC *Turns off webcam

Some compared it to other hollow gestures against racism.

@thatboyrik @MarlowNYC just one more step and everything will be solved

Or even the embarassing "Imagine" video about the pandemic.

He was an “Imagine” celeb She was an “I Take Responsibility” celeb Can I make it any more obvious?

Many felt the celebs should focus less on themselves and more on donating.

@MarlowNYC How do celebs keep messing this up so badly? Stop making this about yourself and donate $1 million each to a local organization helping Black people!!!!!

Some people were just upset to see their favorite celebs involved.

@MarlowNYC ima act like i don’t see my good sisters sarah paulson and ilana glazer.....

Especially Sarah Paulson.

@MarlowNYC me when i saw Sarah Paulson

Others criticized the fact that many of the actors seemed to be reading their lines off a computer, despite the fact that the statements are relatively short and simple.

@speculativegay @MarlowNYC the COGNITIVE DISSONANCE of how powerful and righteous Justin Theroux sounds as his eyes MOVE ACROSS THE PAGE 😭

However, there were people who appreciated the effort.

Is the black and white video of celebrities cringey-Yes. Is it something thats been done before-No. Will it reach a certain group of people who dont watch the news or aren't political in any way-Yes. Don't criticize them trying. At least they're trying to help. #AaronPaul

They thought it was better than "Imagine," at least.

@MarlowNYC Ehhh— it’s easy to be cynical, but it’s a much better message and use of their voices than people singing a bad Beatles song

Some people also pointed out that some of these celebs have donated to the ACLU or similar organizations.

this is performative af but im not mad at sarah paulson because her purse has been open since day 1 https://t.co/myNbgGAdYC

But some of the strongest reactions were regarding Aaron Paul's part.

me to aaron paul after that celeb video

Some felt he was reprising his Breaking Bad character, Jesse Pinkman. (Note: he didn't really say "bitch," this is a joke.)

Thought it seemed a little insensitive when Aaron Paul said "bitch" at the end of his statement. Do better celebrities. https://t.co/hv7r45UbcC

Although others defended him against criticisms.

Everyone: take this shit seriously Aaron Paul: (takes this shit very seriously indeed) Everyone: haha what an idiot

What do you think? Is this too performative, or is it still an effective message? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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