YouTube Star Kian Lawley Fired From Fox’s ‘The Hate U Give’ After Racist Video Resurfaces

UPDATED: Twentieth Century Fox has fired YouTube star Kian Lawley from the upcoming film “The Hate U Give” and plans to recast his role after a past video resurfaced of Lawley that included racist comments.

“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,” a spokesperson for Twentieth Century Fox Films told Variety.

In the clip, Lawley is heard using the N-word and other racial slurs. “We’re all black drinking purple Kool-aid and eating Kentucky fried motherf—king chicken,” he says. [The video contains offensive language and can be seen in full here.]

Lawley apologized on Monday night 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. I understand the impact and I have grown and learned since then. From now on I plan to use my voice for positive change,” Lawley said in a statement to Variety.

He first responded to the backlash Sunday on Twitter, writing, “If u don’t learn from ur mistakes, u can never grow as a person. I’ve learned a lot & I am grateful to have the power to change. I never want to be who I was yesterday. We’re in a constant battle to become a better version of ourselves, use ur voice as ur weapon.”

Lawley was set to play the boyfriend of the film’s star, Amandla Stenberg. The movie is based on Angela Thomas’ novel of the same name, which centers on race and police brutality. Additional cast members include Issa Rae, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Algee Smith, Lamar Johnson, and Common.

POPULAR ON VARIETY:

More Digital

  • Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO

    Netflix CEO Says U.S. Rollback of Net Neutrality Rules Is No Big Deal

    UPDATED: Twentieth Century Fox has fired YouTube star Kian Lawley from the upcoming film “The Hate U Give” and plans to recast his role after a past video resurfaced of Lawley that included racist comments. “Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in ‘The Hate U […]

  • Netflix Reed Hastings

    Netflix Falls Short of Q2 Subscriber Expectations Worldwide, Stock Dives

    UPDATED: Twentieth Century Fox has fired YouTube star Kian Lawley from the upcoming film “The Hate U Give” and plans to recast his role after a past video resurfaced of Lawley that included racist comments. “Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in ‘The Hate U […]

  • NewFronts West - Streamys Brand Awards

    IAB's NewFronts L.A. Edition to Feature Streamy Brand Awards for Advertising

    UPDATED: Twentieth Century Fox has fired YouTube star Kian Lawley from the upcoming film “The Hate U Give” and plans to recast his role after a past video resurfaced of Lawley that included racist comments. “Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in ‘The Hate U […]

  • Roku TV Wireless Speakers

    Roku Launches Wireless Speakers for Roku TVs

    UPDATED: Twentieth Century Fox has fired YouTube star Kian Lawley from the upcoming film “The Hate U Give” and plans to recast his role after a past video resurfaced of Lawley that included racist comments. “Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in ‘The Hate U […]

  • USA Today - Kate Gutman

    A+E Exec Kate Gutman Joins Gannett's USA Today Network as Head of Content Ventures

    UPDATED: Twentieth Century Fox has fired YouTube star Kian Lawley from the upcoming film “The Hate U Give” and plans to recast his role after a past video resurfaced of Lawley that included racist comments. “Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in ‘The Hate U […]

  • Netflix Logo

    Netflix Extends Unreleased Korean Series ‘Kingdom’ for Second Season (EXCLUSIVE)

    UPDATED: Twentieth Century Fox has fired YouTube star Kian Lawley from the upcoming film “The Hate U Give” and plans to recast his role after a past video resurfaced of Lawley that included racist comments. “Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in ‘The Hate U […]

  • France fans with painted facesFrance v

    France Celebrates Soccer World Cup Triumph

    UPDATED: Twentieth Century Fox has fired YouTube star Kian Lawley from the upcoming film “The Hate U Give” and plans to recast his role after a past video resurfaced of Lawley that included racist comments. “Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in ‘The Hate U […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content