Kian Lawley Makes YouTube Return After Being Fired from The Hate U Give

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Kian Lawley was supposed to star in the upcoming movie adaptation of Angie Thomas‘s novel, The Hate U Give, but he was fired after an old video of him saying the N-word leaked. The YouTube star, who was also dropped by his talent agency as a result of the racist vid, apologized for his actions and said he understood where the movie studio was coming from in its decision to recast the role of Chris.

“Words have power and can do damage,” he said in a statement. “I own mine and I am sorry. I respect Fox’s decision to recast this role for The Hate U Give, as it is an important story, and it would not be appropriate for me to be involved considering the actions of my past. I understand the impact and I have grown and learned since then. From now on I plan to use my voice for positive change.”

The 22-year-old has been laying pretty low since the firing, but returned to YouTube earlier this week in order to “reflect on what [he] did” and apologize “to the people directly affected by [his] poor choice of language.”

“I said some words about five years ago that I should’ve never said, ever, and no one should ever say,” he starts the sit-down video. “My words hurt a lot of people and it’s something I regret 100% and it’s something that I wish I could take back. I wish I could take back everything I said completely. I want to take this time to reflect on what I did and say I’m sorry to the people directly affected by my poor choice of language and honestly I want to apologize to every single person that was unfortunate enough to watch that video.”

He says he’s used the past few weeks to “sit down, focus, reflect and review” himself and ultimately came to the realization that he needs to push himself to be a better person every single day because he has a major voice.

The Zac and Mia star continues, “I’ve also come to a realization — a very strong, vivid, awakening realization — that I have a voice. […] And I want to use my voice to spread love, to spread light, to spread peace. And I want to spread nothing but positivity from now on. I think and I hope that it does help a lot of people, including myself.”

KL’s upcoming movie, Monster Party, is currently in post-production, but so far we don’t know what roles, if any, he has planned next.