There are nearly 5,000 signatures on a petition to get actor/human rights activist Jesse Williams fired from his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on the show Grey’s Anatomy after his “racist” Humanitarian Award speech during the BET Awards in late June. Williams’ speech raised awareness of the struggles the black community faces, such as the senseless deaths of unarmed youth, teenagers and adults.The change.org petition, created over the holiday weekend, says that the 34-year-old should be fired because his remarks came across as a “racist, hate speech against law enforcement and white people.” “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,” the petition continues. The goal is to receive 7,500 supporters, and as of press time, there are 5,139 signatures. The writer of the petition, Erin Smith, claims she will send the petition to ABC in order to get him fired. In the petition, Smith also compares Williams’ speech and lack of consequences to Isaiah Washington, a former Grey‘s cast member who was booted from the show for using homophobic slurs towards T.R. Knight, a cast member on the show at the time. “Why was Burke’s character fired from Grey’s Anatomy after his inappropriate homophobic slur, but nothing for Jesse Williams?” the petition questioned. “Why the one-way street? Why the support for a hater? Why the hypocrisy? #AllLivesMatter All humans bleed the same color. #EqualConsequences4RacistBehavior.” Williams may have responded to the petition with a tweet on Jul. 3, which read, “Do not promote empty people & their tantrums. Pure clickbait to gain followers, attention & money, for themselves, not you. Never you.” Shonda Rimes, the creator of the show, took to Twitter to assure fans of the show and the haters that Mr. Williams is not going anywhere despite the petition.
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