Jesse Williams Name Trending For The Wrong Reason Over Emmett Till Movie Memes

Written by Ann Brown

Not a good look, Jesse Williams. After years of being considered a social media activist, actor Williams is now being raked over the coals over his latest move.

Jesse Williams drew some major criticism after promoting his new Emmett Till film with memes that incorporated Nike’s new campaign with Colin Kaepernick…and it was so harsh, he pulled the pics,” TMZ reported.

The “Grey’s Anatomy” star had just been tapped to direct a new film about Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till. “The film follows Mamie’s fight for justice after her 14-year-old son was murdered in the South for allegedly whistling at a white woman,” TMZ reported. Sounds like a promising telling of a historic and tragic incident, but things turned sour when Williams tried to promote the film himself.

He posted a series of “photos featured both Emmett, Mamie and others involved in the outcry following his death with Nike’s new Kaep-led tagline, ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.’ He also teased his new flick with ‘TiLL Coming Soon,’” TMZ reported.

The memes caused Williams name to start trending–for the wrong reasons.

The problem with the memes is that by using the tagline Williams did suggests that Till-Mobley had a choice in the matter. But she did not “choose” to have her young son murdered by white racists. “It wasn’t a sacrifice, and to paint it as such for the sake of jumping on a current trend is both disgusting and disrespectful,” Monique Judge wrote in the Grapevine column for The Root.

Jesse Williams
Jesse Williams presents the community assist award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)


Many were surprised, shocked, and disappointed by this move by Williams, who has been known for speaking out against injustice.

“Jesse has been hailed as a modern day civil rights hero and was even given the Humanitarian Award by BET two years ago … where he delivered a powerful speech about police brutality in America,” TMZ reported.

Opinions about Williams, who very much promoted Black Girl magic on social media, started to change when he left his wife, who is Black, for another woman, who is white. “Remember how we started giving him the side eye after that and being suspicious of his every move? You would think Jesse would have taken some time to reflect and plot out his moves more carefully, but you would be wrong,” Judge wrote.

But let’s not let the social media scandal obscene the news. Williams will make his directorial debut with the film “Till,” and it will focus on Till-Mobley’s fight for justice.

Though he has pulled most of his posts, Williams has yet to issue an apology.