Celebrity Reactions to Zimmerman Verdict Range From 'Hallelujah!' to Jury Should 'Kill Themselves'
In the hours after George Zimmerman was found not guilty on Saturday evening of any crimes in his shooting of the black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, many famous people quickly expressed their views on the Twitter social website regarding the trial and the verdict.
The celebrities ranged from a conservative columnist who cried “Hallelujah!” to a football star who posted that the members of the jury should "go home tonight and kill themselves." Other messages expressed thoughts of prayer for those involved with the case, as well as fatal predictions regarding the defendant and the six-woman jury.
Perhaps the most extreme reaction came from Roddy White, a wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League, who posted: “All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid.”
Yeah, a 17-year-old "kid" or "child" who was three inches taller than Zimmerman.
Meanwhile, Rainn Wilson, an actor from The Office situation comedy, used dark humor when stating that he is hanging out “in a gated community with a gun, looking for some suspicious characters today."
Another actor, John Cusack, stated that "the need for justice & civil liberties /rights for all Americans inspires US to reclaim rights so this tragedy cld have positive meaning.”
Steve Harvey, a black comedian and talk show host, said: "A Child is Dead & The Man that Killed Him is Free & Again The Child is Black ... My Country Tis of Thee?"
“George Zimmerman not guilty can u believe that,” noted former basketball star Shaquille O'Neil. “Wow."
Actor-director Richard Dreyfuss had a similar response:
It's 2013, and an American jury just acquitted a man who admitted to stalking and killing an unarmed child.
Greek actress Nia Vardalos called the verdict "disgusting" and stated: "Ths is the second tragic night in the Martin household."
“I can't handle this,” stated actress Kat Dennings. “All that really matters are Trayvon's parents, and making sure nothing like this ever happens again."
Meanwhile, several celebrities described their remarks as coming from the heart.
Whoopi Goldberg posted: "My heart is with trayvon martin's family tonight, so my focus is on them. No one else really matters.”
Filmmaker Lena Dunham had a contradictory response:
No. My heart is with Sybrina Fulton, Rachel Jeantel, everyone who loved Trayvon and has been sent the message that his life didn't matter.
Singer/songwriter John Legend gave a similar but more succinct response: "My heart hurts"
“My heart is heavy ... for all who knew and loved #TrayvonMartin,” wrote English singer-songwriter Mandy Moore. “His life mattered. This is shameful."
Actress-director Sophis Bush posted: "The wind is more than knocked out of me … My heart aches for this boy's family. Justice System? I don't think so.”
For some posters, their deep emotions led them to make vulgar remarks.
Actor and credit-card commercial star Alec Baldwin, who recently quit Twitter – again -- resurfaced with a post-verdict comment: "Florida is a parallel universe. A (expletive) one."
“Dear Son,” wrote comedic actor Tom Arnold, “I love you, and there is no shame in running away from creepy a-- crackers.”
Comedian and actor Marlon Wayans referred to a classic cartoon in his reply to the verdict:
Niggas are official "sport.” Rabbit season, duck season, nigga season. We are officially game, like deer. Black parents, hold your kids at home because apparently, killing black children is okay.
He also stated: “I'm not happy, our judicial system has once again failed us. They traded us one OJ and a BARACK for a ZIMMERMAN.”
Wayans concluded: “We bringin slavery back next?”
Nevertheless, some celebrities supported Zimmerman and the trial's outcome. Billionaire Donald Trump tweeted:
Zimmerman is no angel, but the lack of evidence and the concept of self-defense, especially in Florida law, gave the jury little other choice.
When the jury rendered its verdict, Ann Coulter summed up her feelings in just one word: “Hallelujah!” In response, actress Olivia Wilde called the conservative columnist "a hateful winch" before posting: "I feel sick."
At about the same time, Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr. -- better known as rapper Busta Rhymes -- referred to Michael Vick, quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles football team who was convicted of cruelty to animals for arranging dog fights: “Mike Vick did 2 years for dogs Zimmerman kills a human Not Guilty.”
But perhaps the most interesting comment of all came from President Barack Obama, who released a statement on Sunday calling the death of Trayvon Martin "a tragedy."
I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.
The Democratic occupant of the White House also urged Americans to focus on "calm reflections" now that the trial is over.
As NewsBusters reported on Thursday, Time columnist Marc Polite accused the police in central Florida of "racial fear-mongering" when the call went out for calm no matter what the verdict would be.
Using Polite's standard of an "assumption of violence" from black people, MSNBC's Al Sharpton could have been classified as a "racist." Does this epithet now apply to the president as well?