One Change.org user wants actor Jesse Williams fired from “Grey’s Anatomy” over his impassioned speech at the BET Awards — and the petitioner has more than 6,000 signatures in support of her notion.
There’s just one problem: the same website has quite a number of counter-petitions asking ABC not punish Williams. At least one of those has several times the number of signatures that the original call-to-action does. A number of the other counter-petitions have their own tallies of support in the thousands.
Here’s how the original petition to the Disney broadcaster reads:
Jesse Williams spewed a racist, hate speech against law enforcement and white people at the BET awards. If this was a white person making the same speech about an African American, they would have been fired and globally chastised, as they should be, but there has been no consequences to Williams’ actions. There’s been no companies making a stand against his racist remarks and no swift action condemning his negative attitude. Why was Burke’s character fired from Grey’s Anatomy after his inappropriate homophobic slur, but nothing for Jesse Williams? Why the one-way street? Why the support for a hater? Why the hypocrisy? #AllLivesMatter All humans bleed the same color. #EqualConsequences4RacistBehavior
The writer, Erin Smith, added this later:
**A special note to all the people making assumptions: Who said I was white? Who said I’m a Trump supporter? This is not about politics. This is about equal consequences for racist behavior. If this was an Asian, Mexican, Caucasian or whoever saying the same exact words as Jesse Williams did, I would be against it and petitioned them to be fired if they did not suffer the same consequences as others have suffered for their irrational behavior. We’re all human. Why not act that way? Instead of lashing out with immature and obnoxious name calling, do something about getting everyone to look at everyone in the same light. Make a difference!
As the online call-to-action began gaining traction, Williams tweeted:
Do not promote empty people & their tantrums. Pure clickbait to gain followers, attention & money, for themselves, not you. Never you.
– jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) July 3, 2016
In support of her star, “Grey’s” creator Shonda Rhimes retweeted Williams’ post, and then wrote:
Um, people? Boo don’t need a petition. #shondalandrules
Williams has appeared in 161 “Grey’s” episodes, per IMDb. He joined the cast in 2009.
Watch video above from Williams’ speech in question.