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In the wake of a petition circulating to have Jesse Williams fired from Grey’s Anatomy, many of his celebrity friends and colleagues are speaking out, and sharing their support. HipHollywood caught up with guests during the 2016 Essence Festival in New Orleans, and got their thoughts on Williams’ powerful BET Awards acceptance speech, and how it has motivated them.

“It’s starting conversation, which is what it’s supposed to do,” said Jordin Sparks. “He took that moment of recognition, and turned it around, and said hey come on guys, we have to start the conversation, before action can get started.”

“It was so powerful, it was so needed, it was so on time,” added Lance Gross. “Jesse is a friend of mine, and I was watching and rooting for him.”

“Jesse’s speech at the BET Awards is exactly what I believe artists are supposed to do,” said Malik Yoba, who has been very vocal throughout his career about social injustices and racial issues. “And Robeson said it the best, artists are the gatekeepers of the truth.”

Hit the Floor star, Rob Riley, who along with Yoba can be seen in the TV One original film Bad Dad Rehab, said while he supports Williams, he’s not surprised by the backlash that he has gotten.

“Anytime you stand for what you believe in there are going to be consequences,” added Riley. “When you are trying t do something great, and bring people together, there are going to be people there to tear you down.”

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EXCLUSIVES

Michael Rapaport Calls Himself The “MVP Of Talking Trash” Following Janet Jackson Controversy

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Michael Rapaport came under fire earlier this month for slamming Janet Jackson Appreciation Day which was on Super Bowl Sunday. But now, he is speaking a slightly different tune.

On February 4th, as Janet fans used social media to praise the singer, Michael took to Twitter to do what he does best: Talk mess.

“Can anybody crying for Janet Jackson right now tell me the last Janet Jackson song that was popping,” he wrote. “Motherf*cka’s wanna make nothing something 24/7/365 & Super Bowl Sunday.”

Michael, however, is slightly backing down from his aggressive words. HipHollywood caught up with the actor during the premier of Shot In The Dark, to discuss not only his ability to talk “sh*t,” but being attacked by Black Twitter.

“I love Janet Jackson, respect Janet Jackson,” he told us exclusively. “The context of what I said is that Janet Jackson isn’t popping now like she was popping in the 80’s, 90’s. Doesn’t mean she’s not an icon.”

Rapaport, who is known to stir up on some drama with his Twitter antics, then added about being a sh*t talker: “I’m proud of the way I talk sh*t, I’m the MVP of talking trash. I can give it as good as I can take it.” 

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