After more than 5,000 people signed a Change.org petition asking ABC to fire Grey's Anatomy actor/known woke bae Jesse Williams, Shonda Rhimes fired back. "Um, people?" Rhimes tweeted, "Boo don't need a petition. #shondalandrules" A person named Erin Smith wrote the online request, calling Williams' acceptance speech at the BET Awards — which has been met with acclaim — a "racist, hate speech against law enforcement and white people." Smith's petition was created July 1, and has received upwards of 5,000 signatures in four days. Williams' words at the BET Awards was a stirring speech on Black identity, cultural appropriation, and the struggle against police brutality and misconduct. "Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data," Williams said in the speech, "and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people everyday." Rhimes' dismissal of the petition to fire Williams was echoed online. Fans of Williams and Rhimes pointed out the greatest irony of the Smith's request: Some of the ABC executives that could fire Williams (including Rhimes herself) are Black women who have voiced their support for his inspiring call to action.
Williams also tweeted a message that some consider a response to the petition to fire him: