Another painful lesson for all the aspiring YouTube celebrities out there: be careful what you say and do before you post it for the entire world to see. Actor and YouTube personality Kian Lawley found himself in hot water this week when he was fired from his new movie role after a video resurfaced of him using racially insensitive remarks.
Lawley was set to co-star in The Hate U Give, based on the best-selling young adult novel by author Angie Thomas, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.
The novel is about a young girl named Starr who becomes an activist after witnessing police murder her unarmed friend.
Amandla Stenberg, who came to prominence playing Rue in The Hunger Games, stars in the film version as Starr.
Co-stars in the big screen adaptation include Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie, Common, and Issa Rae, with Lawley set to play Starr’s white boyfriend.
In a recently surfaced YouTube clip, Lawley is seen hanging out with friends when he says, “We’re all black, drinking purple Kool-aid, and eating Kentucky fried motherf—king chicken.”
Later in the same YouTube video, which is said to be “three or four years old,” Lawley explicitly uses the n-word, though the audio of the word is bleeped out.
20th Century Fox announced today they will be removing Lawley from the film and reshooting all of his scenes with a new actor.
It’s a similar situation to what happened last fall when actor Kevin Spacey was removed from All the Money in the World at the last minute due to sexual misconduct allegations.
Lawley issued a statement, which reads in part, “Words have power and can do damage. I own mine and I am sorry. I respect Fox’s decision to recast this role for The Hate U Give as it is an important story, and it would not be appropriate for me to be involved considering the actions of my past.”