KJ Apa defends his silence on Black Lives Matter

Publish Date
Wednesday, 17 June 2020, 5:27PM
Getty Images

Getty Images

New Zealand actor KJ Apa has explained why he hasn't been vocal about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Apa, who plays Archie on the hit TV show Riverdale, was called out on his silence by actor Elijah Daniel, The New York Post reports.

A fan recommended Daniel watch The Hate U Give, a movie based on the 2017 novel by Angie Thomas about a young girl and how she grapples with the reality of police brutality in her town. Apa plays the main character Starr's boyfriend in the 2018 film adaptation.

Daniel tweeted: "I love that movie but i do question...if KJ was the co-star of that movie why is he so silent? [sic]"

Apa had posted a black square on his Instagram feed, but according to Daniel had posted little else in response to the movement.

He continued: "He has such a massive young audience and got paid to be in a movie about police brutality and ... posted a black square?"

Apa stood by his decision - and responded saying he didn't think it was necessary for him to post his support on social media.

"I don't need to post about my opinions and beliefs in order for them to be real to me. I support black lives - but I don't feel it's necessary to prove to people I do by posting my attendance at these protests."

However, his fans were less than impressed with his response and accused the star of not using his platform for good.

One fan wrote: "I hope you realise that 'I don't need to post about my opinions and beliefs in order for them to be real to me' just shows how privileged you really are."

Another posted: "With someone that has such a big platform, one would think to use it to make a difference."

A Twitter user pointed out that his Riverdale co-star Vanessa Morgan had appeared in a video discussing the BLM movement and wanted as many people as possible to share their support on social media.

Morgan, who is black, says she wants her white friends to post about the BLM movement.

"I would like to encourage my friends to help us out and post," she said.

Apa is half Samoan, and the 22-year-old recently admitted in an interview that he wishes he pursued his heritage more growing up.

He told The Journal: "My dad is a chief in Samoa. I almost identify more as a Samoan than I do as a New Zealander, just because I grew up with so much Samoan family and the Samoan culture is really close to me.

"I feel ashamed of myself for not pursuing it more, for not spending more time with my Samoan side because I'm out there all the time."