The "Grey's" actor was honored at the BET Awards with the Humanitarian Award for his efforts to raise awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. Upon accepting the award, he delivered a powerful speech touching on the treatment of black families and the systemic racial issues that plague America.
“We know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s gonna happen is we’re going to have equal rights and justice in our country, or we will restructure their function, and ours,” Williams told the audience.
Despite some initial controversy surrounding a tweet Justin Timberlake wrote after the speech, Williams was supported by celebrities in the audience and on social media, including Timberlake.
However, it appears not everyone was positively moved by the actor's words, as a Change.org petition to fire Williams from "Grey's Anatomy" has garnered over 6,500 signatures.
"Jesse Williams spewed a racist, hate speech against law enforcement and white people at the BET awards. 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. There's been no companies making a stand against his racist remarks and no swift action condemning his negative attitude," reads the petition.
"Grey's" creator and future queen of the world showrunner Shonda Rhimes was quick to defend Williams in a tweet, reminding us all who the real ruler of Shondaland is.
Williams also responded to the petition, encouraging followers to ignore the "empty people."
Rest assured, Dr. Avery will be saving lives next season. Because once Shonda speaks, you can bet this petition, and all the haters, will quietly disappear.