In a somber monologue on CNN backed by images of cities burning amid unrest sparked by the murder of unarmed black man George Floyd, Don Lemon called out wealthy celebrities for not making their voices heard.
Said Lemon: “A lot of people I ask to come on this show, to talk about this —wealthy celebrities, wealthy political people, [say], ‘I can’t do it. I’m mad. I don’t want people to see me mad. It might hurt my business. I’m so upset that I had to go to my country house and I just can’t do it.’ Where are you? Why aren’t you fighting for these young people? If you don’t do it now, when are you going to do it? … If you are a millionaire or a gazillionare or a movie star or a politician and you don’t step up now, when the hell are you going to do it? Stop making excuses. What are you worried about? Why are you afraid of what someone else is going to think of you? And your anger. That it’s going to hurt your business or your reputation. Or your, I hate this word, this drives me crazy. Your brand. I hate that. You are your brand. Step up, people. Step up, Black Hollywood…Beyoncé released a message, you can’t?”
“I want to hear from everyone,” Lemon continued. “I want to hear from the former president. I want to hear from the former first lady. I want to hear from the current president.”
“What about Hollywood? Strangely quiet.”
“By me calling out your name, that doesn’t mean I’m calling you out, it means I love you Ellen,” Lemon added. “It means I love you Oprah. I know they give millions to dollars to charity every year, but I mean your visibility in helping speak out for these people. … I want to see you Tracee Ellis Ross, I want to see you Tyler Perry. I want to see you Drake. I want to see you, my friend Anthony Anderson. I love you, I love all of you, I want to see you doing this,” he added. “I want to see you Diddy. I want to see you Jane Fonda, who I love and respect. Do something, help change racism in this country.”