Kian Lawley Fired: Fox Removes YouTube Star From ‘The Hate U Give’ After Racist Video Surfaces
20th Century Fox has decided to drop YouTube personality Kian Lawley from its upcoming film after a video of him making racist statements surfaced online.
Kian Lawley To Be Replaced
Lawley, who was set to star in the studio's YA adaptation The Hate U Give will be replaced by another actor. Scenes featuring Lawley will be reshot, a rep for the studio said in a statement on Monday, Feb. 5.
"Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in The Hate U Give. The studio plans to recast the role of Chris and reshoot scenes as needed," the spokesperson said.
Although a release date for the film has not yet been set, the movie's production wrapped up in November last year. Fox's bold decision to replace Lawley and reshoot scenes mimics Sony's move to replace actor Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World after sexual assault allegations surfaced against the House of Cards star.
Racist Video From The Past Comes Back To Haunt Lawley
Fox's decision to fire the YouTube star and actor from the film comes after a past video of him making racially charged comments in a video started circulating the internet.
The 12-second profanity-laced video clip, which was shared on YouTube last month, shows the actor using the N-word on more than one occasion in a racist tirade.
Ironically, Lawley was cast to play the role of Chris, the white boyfriend of the film's black protagonist Starr Carter who's played by Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg.
The Hate U Give is an adaptation of the titular Black Lives Matter-inspired best-selling novel authored by Angie Thomas. It also stars Common, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Anthony Mackie, and Issa Rae.
Lawley Issues Apology
On Monday, Feb. 5, Lawley issued an apology for his insensitive remarks and accepted the studio's decision to drop him from the film.
"Words have power and can do damage. I own mine and I am sorry," he said. "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."
Lawley is not the first YouTube star whom creative partners have cut ties from right after being found to have made offensive remarks or showed insensitive content online.
YouTube suspended all of its projects with Logan Paul after he published a vlog of a suicide victim from Japan's suicide forest. Disney also ended commercial ties with Swedish YouTube star PewDiePie after multiple videos he posted were found to contain anti-Semitic content and Nazi references.