When word spread across social media that Michael B. Jordan was on team #AllLivesMatter folks were dismayed. After all, the actor played the lead role in Fruitvale Station, a film that chronicled the life of Oscar Grant, an unarmed Black man killed by police.
For many, it didn’t make sense that Jordan could hold such views, and many of his fans were upset. So upset, in fact, the Creed star felt he needed to set the record straight, once and for all.
Friday, Jordan penned an open letter for ESSENCE.com affirming his belief that Black lives matter, and calling “any report that states otherwise is a complete fabrication.”
First and foremost, I believe that Black Lives Matter – unequivocally and without exception. I have never said, written, snapchatted, tweeted, Instagrammed or implied anything to the contrary. Any report that states otherwise is a complete fabrication. I portrayed Oscar Grant in my first leading role in a feature film, Fruitvale Station. I am a founding member of the Blackout for Human Rights Network. I gave a speech just a few months ago on the importance of the Black Lives Matter Movement at the BET Awards. It is frustrating to see a false claim stirred up on social media which has caused my supporters to question where I stand on this crucial issue. But I am confident that my history and continued engagement with my community will speak louder than unfounded rumors.
Jordan also had a message to Black women who bristled at use of the word “female” to describe women.
Lastly, my fans who are women mean the world to me. This is especially true of Black women, who as a group have supported my work long before the industry knew my name. I deeply regret and am ashamed that I said anything to disappoint or disparage them. I apologize with my whole heart for referring to women in the way that I did. The word ‘female’ used in the manner that I did is dismissive and strips women of their humanity. It is a slang term that guys sometimes use to sound slick and cool coming up. But words have power and I realize now more than ever that this careless language is dehumanizing, inappropriate, and immature. I’m a better man than that. This reference to women will not come out of my mouth publicly or in private again.
Read Michel B. Jordan’s entire open letter on Essence.com.