As the world mourns the 29-year-old Memphis native, many prominent celebrities implored fans not to watch the violent video of his death.
The death of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old Memphis man who was beaten to death by police officers earlier this month, made new headlines this week when body camera footage from the killing was released. The haunting footage, which features Nichols screaming for his mother as he explains that he was just trying to get home, sparked another debate about the United States’ ongoing problem with police brutality and seeming inability to make progress on the issue.
As the tragic video made rounds on social media, Tyler Perry took to his personal Instagram account to mourn Nichols’ death and implore his followers not to let the footage of the beating turn into entertainment.
“I said for my own peace of mind, for the sake of my own sanity, for my hope for what’s left of the human race, I would not watch the awful murder of another Black man,” Perry wrote. “This time I would refuse. I wanted to have the luxury of many people in the world who can just turn it off with ease. Many people can’t imagine it happening to them because honestly, it never will. I was determined to see what that space felt like for once, I would cover my ears and not let in the outside. I knew it wasn’t possible because when some people hate the outside it doesn’t matter what’s on the inside even if what’s in there looks like them.”
Perry continued: “So today I will cry, I will be depressed, I will curse, I will be outraged, I will want to burn some shit up, I will be in agony, I will let my heart break for his family, I will moan with his tenor harmony from my own experience that is every black man that’s ever called for the safety of the arms of mamma, I will inaudibly scream.”
Perry was far from the only prominent entertainment figure to weigh in on Nichols’ death. Many of his Hollywood peers paid tribute to Nichols and shared Perry’s sentiment about not letting the video be sensationalized. Keep reading for a roundup of celebrity reactions to Nichols’ death.
For The Love Of God. Torture P*rn Is Not Going To Serve Your Soul. #TyreNichols. https://t.co/YinukydfFj
— Dr. Love (@questlove) January 27, 2023
I’m heartbroken and angry to see another family, another community hurting due to police brutality. I stand with my hometown and the people of Memphis as we demand justice and accountability. #JusticeforTyreNichols
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 28, 2023
As we mourn the loss of a man who had much ahead of him, I want to showcase #TyreNichols in his true essence. He was a loving father, considerate son, & loyal friend with a passion for skateboarding & photography. Rest in power & know that we’ll seek justice.
🎥: Austin Dean pic.twitter.com/fYAKPfdlzv
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) January 28, 2023
The vicious, unjustified beating of Tyre Nichols and his ultimate death at the hands of five Memphis police officers is just the latest, painful reminder of how far America still has to go in fixing how we police our streets. pic.twitter.com/ITmrNNJhiT
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 28, 2023
My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father.⁰⁰Here’s my full statement. pic.twitter.com/ghROhSGtao
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 28, 2023
I will not be watching that video of #TyreNichols. I understand why his mother wanted it released. I just cannot watch another snuff film. I feel like Martavius below. It never should’ve happened. 💔 https://t.co/8bnjhQ1qxV
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) January 28, 2023
TOO FACTUAL!!! https://t.co/Om43WiAzrN
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 28, 2023
Emmett Till’s mother demanded he had an open casket at his wake just to make sure America learned from the horrors of white supremacy. America didn’t learn anything, except that it could continue to get away with the horrors of white supremacy. #TyreNichols
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) January 28, 2023
I couldn’t watch it. I’ve seen so many versions of it of the same thing and they all make me physically ill. With profound sorrow, I send deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the innocent #TyreNichols.
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) January 28, 2023
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