Ava DuVernay shades Liam Neeson in Twitter lesson on white privilege and helms Time magazine issue on optimism

Ava DuVernay took the helm of Time magazine for the optimism issue. (Time)


Director Ava DuVernay threw some serious shade at actor Liam Neeson and First Lady Melania Trump in a series of tweets outlining the hypocrisy when it comes to “white privilege” and its benefits versus how Black folks would be treated if they committed the same offenses.

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DuVernay ran down the double-standard when it came to Neeson’s recent unhinged admission about how he went on a hunt to kill a ‘Black bastard’ in an effort to avenge a friend who said she was raped by a Black man. In comparison she said to imagine if Will Smith had done the same. His career would be over, she suggested.

“When people ask me what white privilege is. Imagine if this was Will Smith.”

Then, DuVernay tweeted an old modeling pic of Melania Trump, half-naked, chilling in a jet, and saying how Michelle Obama would have never gotten away with the same. She said: “When people ask me what white privilege is… Imagine what would happen if this was Michelle.”

DuVernay also noted how Trayvon Martin was labeled a thug when he was simply on his way home from a store with Skittles in 2012 when he was killed by George Zimmerman.

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“When people ask me what white privilege is…. Imagine if this was a white boy in a hoodie with a bag of Skittles who was just trying to walk home,” the Oscar nominated filmmaker wrote.

She ended by outlining how white privilege benefits some and not others and charged people to look deeply into how racism permeates inside of them.

“Sometimes it’s hard for white folks to grasp the notion of white privilege. My three posts below are real world, easy examples of how the system we live in favors some and not others. If you’d like to acknowledge Black History Month in some way, recognize this within yourself.”

The Joy of Ava DuVernay

In addition to sharing important lessons about white privilege during Black History month, the celebrated director and activist took the helm of Time magazine to create a special issue exploring art and optimism.

According to the magazine’s editors:

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay joined TIME as the guest editor of its 2019 Optimists issue. This year, for our second annual Optimists issue, we invited TIME’s readers and DuVernay’s followers to participate, soliciting video submissions that express individual visions of optimism. “Prioritizing hope whenever possible is a brave and bold thing to do,” DuVernay writes in her editor’s letter which begins this issue. After receiving hundreds of expressions of hope, all bold and brave in their own ways, these are the visions of joy TIME and DuVernay chose to share back with you.

The editorial lineup features an A-list lineup of thought leaders and influencers.