Why Kesha, Sarah Paulson, and Stanley Tucci Are Posting #ITakeResponsibility

In response to the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, the production company Confluential Content partnered with the NAACP and a group of celebrities to launch the #ITakeReponsibility campaign. Performers and influencers including Kesha, Julianne Moore, Kristen Bell, and Stanley Tucci are speaking out in a new PSA video about their complicity in systemic racism and how they’re committing to taking action against now. Here’s how the campaign goes beyond a PSA—and how you can help.

What’s the message behind the #ITakeResponsibility campaign?

Confluential Content and the NAACP launched the #ITakeResponsibility campaign as a way to “encourage white Americans to call out hate, step up, and take action to help turn the tide of systemic racism in this country.” The first step in that lifelong endeavor is by having high-profile white celebrities take ownership of everything from an “unchecked moment” or “unfair stereotype” to “explaining away police brutality.” Then, participants in the PSA commit to dismantling the racist system they’ve benefitted from.

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“In order for us as a nation to get to a better place, we’re going to have to adjust how we see each other and engage in open and honest conversations that might be painful at times,” Derrick Johnson, President & CEO of the NAACP, said in a statement. “The fight for civil rights and human rights have always required a diverse coalition of partners and allies. It is powerful when white people can speak openly about the individual and structural racism and privilege that deny others their full rights. We need everyone to join us on the frontline in the fight for justice and equality.”

Confluential Content partner Adam Platzner said he can no longer “sit idly” during this immense moment in history. “We believe this initiative has a real opportunity to do something transformative,” he said in a statement. “It’s one thing to say you are an ally and stand in solidarity, but you must be ready to take tangible next steps and do the work to begin dismantling racism.”

Which celebrities have committed to take responsibility so far?

Famous faces who have joined the #ITakeResponsibility campaign so far include Aaron Paul, Aly Raisman, Bethany Joy Lenz, Bryce Dallas Howard, Debra Messing, Ilana Glazer, Julianne Moore, Justin Theroux, Kesha, Kristen Bell, Mark Duplass, Piper Perabo, Sarah Paulson, and Stanley Tucci.

Over the course of the two-minute video, the participants make declarations about fighting injustice. “I will no longer allow an unchecked moment,” Tucci states at one point. “I will no longer allow racist, hurtful words, jokes, stereotypes, no matter how big or small to be uttered in my presence.”

Theroux points out that “Business as usual should not be life-threatening” for Black people in this country. Paul ends the PSA by calling for “killer cops” to be prosecuted: “They are murderers. We can turn the tide. It is time to take responsibility. Call out hate. Step up and take action.”

How can I support the campaign?

The #ITakeResponsibility campaign is calling for those who watch the PSA to then begin donating, signing petitions, and registering to vote. Campaign organizers are also encouraging people to take the pledge at and post their own video in solidarity with #itakeresponsibility.

responsibility campaign

Courtesy of #ITakeResponsibility

responsibility campaign

Courtesy of #ITakeResponsibility

responsibility campaign

Courtesy of #ITakeResponsibility

At the end of the PSA, viewers are directed to the campaign’s website to further educate themselves on the issues facing the Black community and how to help. Actions on the site include:

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