Scarlet Meyer
December 26, 2016 6:19 am
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo was just in the middle of a Twitter storm. And while she did get called out pretty hard by fans and critics alike, she did have a lot to say in response. All and all, what is important is that she stood up for herself and her decisions, and has owned up to any hurt and offense she caused with her actions. It all sounds crazy, but the backlash started over the use of emojis.

Yes, you read that right — emojis.

Pompeo initially got involved in this Twitter controversy by trying to start a boycott A&E over their decision to air a documentary about the KKK. Pompeo believed that it was disgusting to promote the hate group, especially given the timing and our country’s current political climate.

While Pompeo was supporting a good message — refusal to normalize a hate/terrorism group — what people took issue with was her use of black emojis in her tweets. Pompeo is white, so many people on Twitter didn’t think it was okay for her to use them, especially given the context of her Twitter post. Similarly her reaction to the backlash just created more backlash, and when all was said in done she spent three hours on Twitter discussing this issue with critics and fans alike. What really caused issue was Pompeo’s responses to the backlash and her defensiveness when her tweets and use of the emojis were questioned.

Seriously, this is such a grey area. It is so great that Ellen Pompeo is using her voice and fame to bring attention to such an important issue. However part of being a good ally in the fight against racism as a white person is to listen when people of color are taking an issue with your actions, however small one might think their mistakes are. The long and short of it is if you’re not listening to the people you’re trying to help, you’re not being a good ally. Instead of being defensive a better tactic is to reflect and examine your actions.

We however think Pompeo summed it up perfectly in the following tweet:

Well put, Ellen! The main issue we’re fighting about here is hate and racism, so as long as we’re all fighting to dismantle that, we are heading in the right direction and are mostly on the same page!

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