Tessa Thompson, best known for her portrayal of Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok and in the wider MCU, recently penned a letter urging Hollywood to cease their support of both police-oriented and, in the words of one ScreenRant reporter, “anti-black content.”
Thompson penned the letter in collaboration with Kendrick Sampson, who has been involved with the civil rights protests which spread across the country following the death of George Floyd from almost the very beginning. Three weeks ago, the Flash actor was shot with rubber bullets while attending the protests in Los Angeles.
The letter, which Thompson and Sampson published in Variety alongside Black Lives Matter co-founders Patrisse Cullors and Melina Abdullah, urges Hollywood execs to divest from stories that present the legal system as being less corrupt than it really is, and police not as violent as they, in their view, have shown themselves to be.
This message, which comes as the latest in a series of pro-black actions taken by dozens of American celebrities, has been signed by over 300 black Hollywood names, including Black Panther and Da 5 Bloods star Chadwick Boseman, as well as Idris Elba, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Billy Porter and Michael B. Jordan.
With their letter, Tessa Thompson and Sampson draw attention towards the racial prejudices that are embedded in the ways in which Hollywood prefers to tell its stories. As many journalists and film critics have already pointed out following Floyd’s death, the number of films and TV shows centered around likable cops far exceeds those which focus on protesters, who are often depicted as vain, vicious and mistaken.
While opponents of Black Lives Matter and its sister causes continue to warn against the dangers of ‘cancel culture,’ many industry leaders accept the movement and the fresh, original and above all previously-unheard stories which it brings, with a long-overdue welcome.