Called out. Twitter comedian Elijah Daniel accused Riverdale star KJ Apa of being “silent” about Black Lives Matter and racism. The two celebrities found themselves feuding on Twitter on Sunday, June 14, after a fan suggested Daniel check out the film The Hate U Give, which stars Apa as Chris, the main character’s white boyfriend.
“I love that movie, but I do have a question,” Daniel, 26, wrote. “If KJ was the costar of that movie, why is he so silent? He has such a massive young audience and got paid to be in a movie about police brutality and … posted a black square?”
While the two have feuded on Twitter before — they faced off in December 2018 when Daniel said Riverdale “sucks” — the comedian noted his issue was “completely unrelated to the beef [they] formerly had.”
Apa, 22, didn’t appreciate being put on the spot about his #BlackOutTuesday photo. He shot back, “I don’t need to post about my opinions and beliefs in order for them to be real to me. I support black lives — but I don’t feel it’s necessary to prove to people I do by posting my attendance at these protests.”
But Daniel thought he missed the point. “I didn’t say you needed to prove anything,” he countered. “This was a question about you not using your extremely large platform after being paid to be in a film about police brutality.”
The CW star didn’t respond on Twitter — but he did seemingly react to the tweet on Instagram. In his Story, he shared a 1993 speech made by late rapper Tupac Shakur on his Instagram Story. The video shows the “Changes” singer talking about how white people see black people as “thugs” at the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration.
The rapper’s thoughts on the words “thug” and “thug life” were the inspiration for the title of The Hate U Give, the Angie Thomas novel the movie is based on. “Pac said ‘Thug Life’ stood for ‘The Hate U Give Little Infants F–ks Everybody.’ T-H-U-G-L-I-F-E. Meaning what society gives us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out. Get it?” the author wrote in the young adult book.
Unfortunately, some fans are still hoping to hear more from Apa himself. “Posting on social media is not to ‘prove’ anything. It’s to spread awareness and give resources to your followers to help. With someone that has such a big platform, one would think to use it to make a difference,” one follower wrote. Another cited Apa’s costar Vanessa Morgan, who plays Toni Topaz on Riverdale, in a clip taken from a round table discussion DCTV black actresses hosted about Ahmaud Arbery in early May.
“I also wanted to encourage my white friends to post about this,” Morgan, 28, said at the time. “Because all of these racist, white supremacists … They’re not following me. They’re not following any of us. … I would like to encourage my friends to help us out and post. And just because you might not identify with us, just because the color of your skin and you’re white … This is a human issue. And if you have any type of heart and can feel for people, I feel like we all just need to come together and post and say that we’re not going to accept this anymore.”
For more information, visit BlackLivesMatter.com.