AceShowbiz - Actor Jesse Williams is defending his decision to use a controversial meme to promote his new film about the mother of 1950s African-American hate crime victim Emmett Till.
The "Grey's Anatomy" took to social media earlier this week, beg September 24, to promote the film by posting an iconic image of Mamie Till Mobley crying over her son's battered body in his casket.
Emmett, 14, was beaten, shot through the head and dumped in the Tallahatchie River with barbed wire tied around his neck after he was falsely accused of flirting with a white woman, and following her son's murder, Mamie became a civil rights leader and teacher.
Williams' picture appeared to be a parody of American footballer Colin Kaepernick's controversial Nike advertisement, which features the caption, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything," and it left some social media users furious.
"This is probably the worst thing you could've done here," one user wrote on Twitter.
However, Jesse insists he was trying to highlight Mamie's sacrifices, not diminish them.
"I would absolutely never make light of the tremendous tragedy that foisted Mamie Till Mobley into her life of activism and could never pretend her child being brutally tortured and executed was her 'sacrifice'," he writes on Instagram. "That doesn't even kinda make sense..."
"My heart is always with my people and this includes my artistic commitment to telling our stories," he continues. "Always have, always will. And while I stand for creative expression, every swing ain't gonna be a homerun (sic)... Those who are sincere in this work and concern, I thank you."
Williams has listened to the backlash, however, and removed the promotional image.