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What is Zendaya's take on the BLM protests? Actress thanks activists in Emmy speech

Kate Fowler September 21, 2020
What is Zendaya's take on the BLM protests? Actress thanks activists in Emmy speech
ABC via Getty Images

The Zendaya BLM protests connection explained: When Zendaya accepted her award at the Emmys last night, from her living room through a webcam, she took a moment to give a nod to young people leading the BLM protests—but it’s not the first time the actress has supported the movement.

24-year-old Zendaya became the youngest woman to win best leading actress in a drama for her role as Rue in the HBO hit Euphoria.

During her speech she touched on current issues, but pinpointed young people as a source of hope in it all. She said, “But I just want to say there is hope in the young people out there. I know that our TV show doesn’t always feel like a great example of that, but there is hope in the young people.”

With young people becoming a key part of the Black Lives Matter movement this year, we can only assume her speech is a nod to it. An assumption confirmed when she went on to say, “To all my peers out there doing the work in the streets: I see you, I admire you, I thank you.”

Though Zendaya has previously been reluctant to call herself an activist, we’d say she’s pretty close. Here’s a history of Zendaya speaking out for the BLM movement.

Zendaya at BLM protests

As the world took to the streets in June of this year to protest for the Black Lives Matter movement in the weeks (and months) following the alleged murder of George Floyd by police officers, so did Zendaya.

Zendaya, among many other A-listers, was reportedly spotted at the LA BLM protests.

Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images

InStyle interview with BLM founder

For her September cover with fashion magazine InStyle, Zendaya was interviewed by a co-founder of the BLM movement, Patrisse Cullors, and discussed the momement.

On the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, Zendaya said: “I didn’t know what I could do to help. And that’s when I reach out to people like you. Because at the end of the day, I’m just an actress, you know? And I don’t pretend to be anything other that that. If I don’t know something, then I ask people who are actually on the front lines doing the work. I’m up in the bleachers, not on the field.”

When asked how she feels about recent events, Zendaya summed it up by saying, “It’s painful”.

Instagram takeover with a BLM founder

Zendaya’s interview with Partisse Cullors wasn’t her first collaboration with the activist, as the actress invited her to takeover her Instagram in July.

Zendaya put her money where her mouth is and gave her platform of over 79 million Instagram followers to someone who’s on the front lines of the BLM protests. Patrise shared informational images and videos regarding supporting the movement and fighting racism.

Zendaya speaking out for BLM protests on social media

Zendaya is loved online for tweeting like any other non A-list 24 year old does, with slang and memes, but the actress also uses her platform for good and often posts regarding issues she feels strongly about.

She often addresses police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement on her accounts, not just this year but for as long as she’s had these platforms.

One particularly popular tweet was during the wake of Alton Sterling, an alleged victim of police brutality in 2016. Zendaya tweeted, “How many more times must this happen for us to matter? How many more must we lose? BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.”

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Kate is a fashion journalism graduate from London College of Fashion with an untouchable knowledge of pop culture. Her eye for the strange corners of the internet have resulted to huge-hitting articles while she has also written features for Vice. The solar system might make your world go round, but writing about the internet, music and celebrities has Kate in orbit.