Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people and wounded another with an assault rifle in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was found not guilty on Friday on all charges, including intentional homicide. Many who followed the story were angered, though not surprised, by the outcome for the then-17-year-old who traveled from Antioch, Illinois, to a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Kenosha. The protests came in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake by a white police officer.
Many A-list celebrities, in addition to politicians and journalists, took to social media to speak their minds about Rittenhouse’s acquittal.
Oscar, Emmy, and Tony-winning actress Viola Davis quote-tweeted a video that summarized the Rittenhouse trial, including the right-wing fundraising effort that aided his defense (as well as controversial comments by Judge Bruce Schroeder) with the words “Welcome to America.” She followed the remark with an “angry” emoji and two hands clasped in prayer.
Three-time Grammy award-winner Lizzo also did not mince words.
George Takei said that “justice [was] denied,” but added, “mark these words: We will never stop fighting for what is right and just.”
Takei’s Star Trek colleague LeVar Burton pointed to the Rittenhouse verdict as the latest example of “two kinds of justice in America.”
A lack of surprise over the jury’s decision was mirrored by Daniel Dae Kim, Michelle Williams, and Roxane Gay.
Model Brooklyn Decker called the decision a “disaster,” and actor Josh Gad worried that future vigilantes will feel emboldened, a sentiment echoed by Patti LuPone.
Finneas O’Connell focused on the racial injustice element of the decision, as did Chelsea Handler.
NASCAR star Bubba Wallace pondered what Rittenhouse’s life would be like if he were Black, and Colin Kaepernick said the case was further evidence for the need to “abolish our current system.”
Sophia Bush tweeted a visual aid that compared Rittenhouse’s behavior on the witness stand to a photograph taken while he was out on bail.
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