Taika Waititi criticised for ‘policing black anger’ with ‘out of touch’ protest tweet

Adam White
EPA

Taika Waititi has been criticised for “policing black anger” in a tweet in which he appeared to criticise the anti-police brutality riots that have taken place across the USA.

The Thor: Ragnarok and Jojo Rabbit director shared a clip of rapper Killer Mike speaking through tears as he urged black protesters to “not burn your own house down” and instead “fortify your own house.”

Peaceful and non-peaceful protests, riots and looting have occurred in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Kentucky and New York in recent days, along with other cities and states across the United States, following the death of George Floyd.

The 46-year-old was killed after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, while Floyd pleaded for his life.

Waititi captioned the shared Killer Mike clip with: “Watch the whole thing. Eloquent. Clear. Everyone is angry but there is a way to direct that anger.”

Waititi’s tweet was met with strong backlash, however, with numerous Twitter users accusing him of attempting to police black anger.

“You are not Black and you do not get to decide how or when Black people should express and direct our pain and anger,” read one tweet. “How about you open your purse and use your platform to uplift our voices and resources? This is very disappointing coming from you.”

Another wrote: “You’re not going to sit here and police my anger and my community’s anger. You are no one of us. Don’t you dare tell us how to respond. Keep your respectability politics to yourself.”

“Millionaire filmmaker being out of touch on your left,” read another. Another Twitter user wrote: “I implore you to seek out Black voices that don’t just say what you WANT to hear. Listen to the Black people in your mentions.”

Filmmaker Matthew A Cherry, who won an Oscar in February for his short film Hair Love, also tweeted at Waititi, writing: “This ain’t it either.”