Riverdale actor Cole Sprouse says that he was arrested on Monday while participating in protests, and he shared a lengthy explanation about it all via his Instagram page. This was one of the many protests that have been sparked over the course of the past week by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and Cole’s notes about the experience included a lot for his followers to consider.
Cole told his 32.4 million followers that he did not want to be centered in this or for the focus of this story or experience to be on him. He noted that he had been a part of a peaceful group of protesters in Santa Monica on Monday and he was standing in solidarity with others.
The Riverdale actor said that the group of protesters in Santa Monica were told at one point that they needed to retreat. Cole says they were told that if they did not leave the area, they would be arrested.
The actor says that for many people in the group, they found another line of police officers blocking their pathway to leave. Then, he says, officers started zip-tying Cole and other protesters in the group.
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A group of peaceful protesters, myself included, were arrested yesterday in Santa Monica. So before the voracious horde of media sensationalism decides to somehow turn it about me, there’s a clear need to speak about the circumstances: Black Lives Matter. Peace, riots, looting, are an absolutely legitimate form of protest. the media is by nature only going to show the most sensational, which only proves a long standing racist agenda. I was detained when standing in solidarity, as were many of the final vanguard within Santa Monica. We were given the option to leave, and were informed that if we did not retreat, we would be arrested. When many did turn to leave, we found another line of police officers blocking our route, at which point, they started zip tying us. It needs to be stated that as a straight white man, and a public figure, the institutional consequences of my detainment are nothing in comparison to others within the movement. This is ABSOLUTELY not a narrative about me, and I hope the media doesn’t make it such. This is, and will be, a time about standing ground near others as a situation escalates, providing educated support, demonstrating and doing the right thing. This is precisely the time to contemplate what it means to stand as an ally. I hope others in my position do as well. I noticed that there are cameras that roll within the police cruisers during the entirety of our detainment, hope it helps. I’ll speak no more on the subject, as I’m (1) not well versed enough to do so, (2) not the subject of the movement, and (3) uninterested in drawing attention away from the leaders of the #BLM movement. I will be, again, posting the link in my story to a comprehensive document for donations and support.
The 27-year-old actor emphasized that none of this was a narrative about him. In addition, Cole said, he knew that as a white, straight man and public figure, his detainment paled in comparison to what others involved in this movement experience.
More than once, Cole noted that he did not want the media to center him in their coverage of his detainment. Rather, he said, this was a time for him to stand ground near others and do the right thing.
“This is precisely the time to contemplate what it means to stand as an ally,” Cole said at one point in his lengthy caption.
Cole urged others who find themselves in similar positions to stand as allies as well. He also said that he wouldn’t be speaking further on the subject. The Riverdale star pointed out that he is not the subject of the movement and he wants the focus to remain on the Black Lives Matter leaders.
The post garnered more than 1.4 million likes and nearly 14,500 comments in less than 24 hours. Many people praised Cole for his approach to getting involved with this.
“we stan an unproblematic king,” commented one follower.
“Powerful words, Cole. Thank you for taking a stand,” noted another follower.
Quite a few other commenters, however, wrote comments criticizing the looting that has happened in a number of protest areas. They questioned Cole’s description of looting being a legitimate form of protest and there was quite a bit of back-and-forth among various commenters. It didn’t appear that Cole engaged further with anybody commenting, and it looks like he has said what he believed needed to be said.