‘Grey’s Anatomy’ actor Jesse Williams pushes back against Black Lives Matter criticism at BET Awards

Jesse Williams accepts the humanitarian award at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 26, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

LOS ANGELES (MEDIA GENERAL) – Sunday night’s BET Awards took a political tone, with entertainers speaking out against Republican presidential nominee, police violence and criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement.

After winning the best actress award for her performance on “Empire,” Taraji P. Henson heeded voters to not take Trump too lightly.

“For those who think, you know, ‘He’s really not going to win’ – think again,” Henson said. “We really need to pull together and turn this country around.”

The night – and viral moment – belonged to actor and activist Jesse Williams, who delivered a strong statement after receiving a humanitarian award honoring his work fighting for equal rights.

By name, the “Grey’s Anatomy” star mentioned notable black victims killed by police, calling for greater focus on police violence against the black community. He also pushed back against critics of the Black Lives Matter movement with heavy applause.

“The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job,” Williams said. “If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.”

 

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