Titled Hollywood 4 Black Lives, the letter is now live on Sampson's nonprofit's site, BLD PWR (Build Power), which he penned alongside Tessa Thompson and Black Lives Matter co-founders Patrisse Cullors and Melina Abdullah. Over 300 Black artists and executives have signed the initiative, including Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Mackie, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Billy Porter, Cynthia Erivo, Idris Elba, Issa Rae, Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, and more.
The letter reads:
To our allies in Hollywood:
Sampson co-organized a demonstration in Los Angeles in late May, where he was the victim of police violence. Footage of him being shot by seven rubber bullets and taking baton beatings were broadcast on CNN.
“We can do this,” he told Complex of the ongoing protests and fight against police brutality. “It is gaining momentum. It is actually working. People are divesting from the Minneapolis PD. We can replicate that all across the United States. And I think that it's important that we do.”
He continued, “I need the support to go towards this liberation movement, defunding the police and prosecuting killer cops, we can build a better community, and we will.”
A few days before the letter's arrival, Black Artists for Freedom issued a statement that was also signed by a number of notable Black artists, demanding that cultural institutions “break ties with the police.”