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Ezra Miller Under Fire for 'Sympathizing' with Mike Brown's Killer

Ezra Miller Under Fire for 'Sympathizing' with Mike Brown's Killer

Ezra Miller Under Fire for 'Sympathizing' with Mike Brown's Killer

MIiller co-directed a 2015 documentary from Darren Wilson's perspective that has left many fans divided.

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It feels like Ezra Miller is the name on everyone's lips as of late.

Promoting his latest film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the 26-year-old has been making the publicity rounds with features in Hollywood ReporterGQ, and even Playboy. The openly queer actor has also made red carpet headlines with his looks for a deceased Hedwig and a high fashion Dementor.

Twitter had fallen head over heels with Miller until a tweet went viral that cast him in a much more problematic light. 

"He made a documentary about Mike Brown’s murder from the perspective of the officer who shot him," says the tweet. "Looking hot in heels ain’t gonna change shit about that, pal!" 

At first glance, the claim seemed true. In 2014, the killing of Mike Brown and subsequent acquittal of his shooter, police officer Darren Wilson, ignited national outrage. The long history of police brutality of African Americans and the publicity of Mike Brown's death spurred protests in Ferguson, Missouri launched public and political discourse around the nation, and inspired the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The next year, Miller, along with Black Lives Matter activist Sol Guy, premiered The Truth According to Darren Wilson in 2015 at the Tribeca Film Festival. The four-and-a-half minute documentary shows footage from the minutes leading up to the officer's one and only post-acquittal interview with George Stephanopolous.

"Mike Brown and Darren Wilson have been on a collision course for 395 years," reads the description. "Our reaction as artists to the ongoing situation was... to seek a way to personify and close the gap between us and Darren Wilson, to move past the standard display of shock and disbelief. This is an issue beyond race; this is a question of our humanity and moral fabric."

Reading the description, it sounds like Miller and Guy do in fact want their audience to empathize with Darren Wilson, which many Twitter users point out, is not who deserves to be humanized. Mike Brown was killed, lay dead on the street for hours, and didn't receive justice. The outrage is certainly understandable. 

But upon watching the short film, a much different picture is painted.

It begins with a closeup of Wilson talking through that day's events. He nervously describes everything in detail, repeats certain points, and reiterates repeatedly over and over again that he was just trying to do his job. At just around the 4-minute mark, someone knocks on the door and summons Wilson for his Stephanopolous interview and it's revealed that the whole time, Wilson was actually obsessively rehearsing what he was going to say in the mirror. 

The short documentary implies that Wilson is a liar, and while the title and description certainly gaslit readers into believing he's in need of understanding, Miller and Guy actually lead empathizers into a false sense of security before revealing his constructed preparations.

While many Twitter users are "canceling" Miller based only on the description, a much more nuanced debate is happening between those who watched the film and are wondering if exposing Wilson was worth giving him a platform or an opportunity for anyone to empathize. But is this a cancelable offense?

I'm not so sure. It's hard to say if the documentary does more harm than good but ultimately, it's up to all of us to read beyond sensationalized headlines and tweets, look into the facts, and make judgments on who to cancel for ourselves. 

I, for one, will continue to preach the gospel of Ezra Miller.

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!