The protests against the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, and others have sparked protests all over the country that are fast-becoming a hot button political movement. Major cities, like NYC and Los Angeles, are implementing curfews and are seeing the arrests of both peaceful protesters and, in some instances, people who were just going outside to buy tampons.
A number of high-profile celebrities and public figures have offered their thoughts and opinions on the protests. As millions of people clamor for police reform, there have been a slew of strong sentiments about the actions or protesters as well as those of police officers.
There are also several stories and images, however, that depict a more unified narrative with police officers and demonstrators joined in advocating for justice against the murder of George Floyd. Hugh Jackman felt compelled to amplify those stories when he tweeted an image of a Black protester wearing a face mask, hugging a white cop.
Hugh posted the image with a one word caption: "Solidarity."
It's currently racked up nearly 6k retweets and over 69,000 likes, but there's been a large negative response to the actor's tweet, with many users calling the tweet "shallow" and "copaganda" meant to "obfuscate" the facts of the protest and depict police officers in a positive light.
This is shallow propaganda designed to obfuscate and maintain oppressive dynamics— 𝙱𝚛𝚎𝚗𝚗𝚊𝚗 𝙼𝚘𝚘𝚛𝚎 ⓥ🚩 (@islandrhythmz) June 3, 2020
As a white person you do better. Read books and talk to black people crying for justice AND healing. That was a healing moment you can never understand.— Faith Baxter (@LiveByFaith81) June 4, 2020
Other Twitter users weren't happy with Hugh's commentary, writing, "You forgot the rest - Solidarity for a photo op, then back to shooting at and beating peaceful protesters and journalists."
You forgot the rest - Solidarity for a photo op, then back to shooting at and beating peaceful protesters and journalists.— Jonathan Robert (@jonathan_eff) June 3, 2020
Really this is your contribution really— Ranibow Sprimkle ™️ (@Muffin_Chips) June 4, 2020
Others pointed out that some of the characters Hugh Jackman played, namely Wolverine and Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, were proponents of social equality who sought to fight injustice and that his recent posting was in direct conflict with the ideals those two fictional characters supposedly embody.
Did you pay attention to any of the x-men movies you were in— Queer Buzzkill (they/them) (@sjw_LauraKinney) June 3, 2020
bro was in les miserables and he still doesn't get it?— gracielita🌹 (@GBinEP) June 4, 2020
Several other Twitter users have also pointed to the fact that Hugh Jackman has gone on record saying he's friends with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump and stated he is able to maintain friendly relationships with them because they don't discuss politics.
Several reports indicate injuries sustained by journalists covering the protests are overwhelmingly inflicted by police officers and not demonstrators.
Performative.— Lumpy Louise, The Angry Candy (@LumpyLouish) June 3, 2020
How many cops is that one covering for? At what time does he change into riot gear and bring out the gas and rubber bullets.
Please use your platform for more. Show the violence. Make us whites uncomfortable because we haven’t realized our privilege. If you are uncomfortable because of a video or photo it probably means you should post it. You have a huge platform, do better— Michelle Forsyth (@michjforsyth) June 3, 2020
The Twitter account, "U.S. Press Freedom Tracker" has recently published some statistics saying no fewer than 279 "press freedom incidents" have occurred. More than 45 arrests of journalists have been made, along with 149 police assaults, 40 pieces of equipment destroyed, 42 physical attacks on journalists, 40 tear gassings, 23 pepper spray attacks, and 69 cases where journalists were shot by rubber bullets.
LATEST DATA, MAY 26-JUNE 3:— U.S. Press Freedom Tracker (@uspresstracker) June 4, 2020
*279+ total press freedom incidents*
—180 assaults (149 by police)
—40 equipment/newsroom damage
Assault category breakdown:
—67 physical attacks (42 by police)
—40 tear gassings
—23 pepper sprayings
—69 rubber bullets/projectiles
Without the press, we wouldn't have anyone to trust. Can't trust many cops, the Prez, the politicians, most people trust the press. When Trump bashes the press most people know the press is telling the truth.— lc (@lcregnrs) June 4, 2020
Many are disconcerted by the attacks on journalists, as one Twitter user writes: "Without the pres[s], we wouldn't have anyone to trust. Can't trust many cops, the Prez, the politicians...."
Recent pollings also suggest the majority of Americans support the protests, and with many still going strong all around the country, it doesn't appear they will end any time soon.