Hugh Jackman Criticized for Sharing a Photo of a Protester and Cop Hugging

The 'Wolverine' star was accused of being "tone deaf" for sharing a photo of a protester hugging a police officer on social media.

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Jun. 5 2020, Updated 3:19 p.m. ET

hugh jackman protester officer
Source: Instagram

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.

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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."

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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