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Amandla Stenberg
Amandla Stenberg

Amandla Stenberg on 'Dramatic Irony' of 'Hate U Give' Recasting Over Actor's Racist Comments

Amandla Stenberg said she was struck by the “multidimensionality” of her film “The Hate U Give,” about a young woman’s activism after her friend, an African-American teen, is killed by a white policeman. Stenberg, who plays main character Starr, also said she admired the way the movie tackled the prevalent issue of police brutality through a personal narrative.

Thus, the actress said it was “dramatic irony” that the team had to recast Starr’s boyfriend when an old video resurfaced of the original actor who portrayed the character, Kian Lawley, using racist slurs.

“To reshoot on a Black Lives Matter film because one of our cast members — who is a white man — was racist, it was painful,” Stenberg said. “But we laughed because that’s all you really can do in those circumstances.”

Stenberg spoke alongside the film’s director, George Tillman Jr., and fellow cast member Algee Smith during the Variety Screening Series.

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