Jessica Chastain Comes Under Fire after Advocating for Non-Violent Protest

Jessica Chastain in The Martian
Twentieth Century Fox

Actress Jessica Chastain says she’s sorry that her comments promoting non-violent protest caused “trauma” for some social media users.

The Miss Sloan star apologized in a tearful video after engaging in a heated exchange with a Twitter user about how to combat social injustice in the wake of Charlottesville.

“I’m making a video because my heart is very heavy,” she says in the emotional video posted on Thursday. “I’ve learned so much the past few days about the trauma many people are experiencing in our country. I’ve had the opportunity to listen, more than to speak, and it’s really hard for me to express my feelings, my thoughts, in 140 characters.”

“I wanted you guys to know that I hear you,” the actress says while holding back tears. “I want you to know that I’m committed to creating transformative social change, that I’m committed to dismantling systems of depression. I share in the sense of what is happening in the country.”

“I hear you. You may never have met me, but I love you,” she concluded.

https://twitter.com/jes_chastain/status/903450050327654404

Chastain posted the minute-long video after being challenged by a Twitter user about the merits of non-violent protest.

The actress posted a pro-non-violence quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

Moments later, a Twitter user responded by posting another famous King quote about the “lukewarm acceptance” of the “white moderate.”

“If the color of my skin is going to cause you to generalize, perhaps you should look back over whether or not I’ve been silent to injustice,” Chastain replied.

“I am merely saying that telling people whom the “alt-right” want to kill not to fight back is not helpful. If someone wants to kill me … debating them isn’t going to help,” the user wrote. “Calling my reps isn’t going to help me in that moment. Please listen to people without your privileges.”

The actress continued to explain herself: “Nonviolent protest has NOTHING to do with self defense. Please look at the last article I posted. Data shows that nonviolence works better.”

“Im not speaking about nonviolence in the place of self defense. If a Nazi tried to hurt you, I would fight alongside to protect you,” she wrote.

 

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @JeromeEHudson

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