Soon after the announcement of Jesse Williams as director of upcoming historical drama Till, the Grey’s Anatomy actor is being called out for using memes inspired by Nike’s recent campaign to promote the film on social media.
Williams combined photos of Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie, with the language and imagery of Colin Kaepernick’s latest campaign.
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Before deleting this and uploding a newer image, Jesse Williams used this image to promote his upcoming film, which tells the story of Emmett Till’s mother after his death. It received A LOT of backlash, do you think this image was appropriate or do you agree that he DEFINITELY chose the wrong image?⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #emmetttill #racisminamerica #jessewilliams #newmovie #blexmedia #blex
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The activist uploaded several other images as well before removing them due to the backlash. Check out responses to the promo move below.
I know damn well Jesse Williams did not just make Emmett Till into a Nike meme. pic.twitter.com/K9BgrR0xUD
— chy (@SpazzMuffins) September 24, 2018
Jesse Williams was promoting his new movie about Emmett Till with a series of real photos from the lives of his family after the tragedy with the Nike branding from their new campaign. Like… what? pic.twitter.com/FXbirFxHDS
— Chachie (@ChachieMusic) September 24, 2018
Jesse Williams or his team didn’t think an Nike inspired meme with Emmett Till’s mom crying near her son’s casket was offensive?
— Jerome Trammel (@MrJeromeTrammel) September 24, 2018
Jesse Williams directing more trauma porn and using a Nike ad meme to promote it is the most Jesse Williams thing I can think of.
— – (@pseudonova) September 24, 2018
Respect that mother’s incomparable journey on her own terms then, NOT terms you’ve conveniently borrowed from a recent Nike ad. Her journey doesn’t need 2nd-hand co-signing from the crassness of a Nike marketing campaign.
— Sandy Alexandre 🌺 (@salexandy) September 24, 2018
a nike meme of emmett till’s mother to promote a movie????? i hate jesse williams. wow.
— I’M MALCOLM X. (@itssnaz_) September 24, 2018
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.