Kian Lawley has been fired from upcoming movie The Hate U Give after a video surfaced showing him making offensive remarks.
The actor and YouTube star had been cast in the role of Chris, the boyfriend of main character Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), in the adaptation of Angie Thomas’ young adult novel of the same name, which tells of a woman drawn to activism after she witnesses the police shooting of her unarmed friend.
However, executives at Twentieth Century Fox Film announced on Monday (05Feb18) that they have decided to cut Lawley from the film after a bleeped 12-second video showing him apparently using the N-word and making racist comments was posted on YouTube on 26 January. The video is believed to be a few years old.
“Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behaviour, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in The Hate U Give,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “The studio plans to recast the role of Chris and reshoot scenes as needed.”
At present, the film does not have a release date, and a replacement actor for Lawley has not yet been announced. In response to his firing, Lawley has issued an apology for his actions.
“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,” he said. “I understand the impact and I have grown and learned since then. From now on I plan to use my voice for positive change.”
In addition to Stenberg, the cast also features Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie, Issa Rae, Lamar Johnson and Common.
Lawley is best known for his online videos, but has attempted to transition to Hollywood in recent years, appearing in TV show H8TERS and movie Before I Fall as the character of Rob Cokran.
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