The actor faced immense backlash online after posting the tweets.
Known to many as Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey's Anatomy, actor Jesse Williams has faced backlash after using Emmett Till's mother in a meme. The ill-informed move was meant to promote his upcoming feature Till, a film version of the 2005 documentary The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till by Keith A. Beauchamp.
The meme parodies Colin Kapernick's now-infamous Nike ad, using the same “believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” format. Instead of Kapernick's mug, however, the caption is placed on top of pictures that feature Mamie Till-Mobley sobbing over her son Emmett's coffin.
On Monday Williams removed the tweets and vehemently apologized for his actions in a lengthy screenshot posted to Twitter. “As much as I’d like to address what my intentions were and the meaning of those images," Williams said, "it’s more important that I first acknowledge that I seem to have offended and possibly hurt some of the very people I aim to uplift.”
You can read his full apology here. The film is expected to begin filming next summer, with Academy-Award winner Whoopi Goldberg attached to act and produce.