Co-Star Lil Rel Howery Calls for ‘Empathy’ as Jess Hilarious Issues Emotional Apology Following Racist Comments
Jess Hilarious is embroiled in ongoing controversy concerning her video about several airline passengers she falsely perceived to be Muslim, and now her “Rel” co-star has appeared to defend her.
The Instagram comedian-turned-actress uploaded a video on Twitter over the weekend zooming in on four Sikh men boarding her flight.
“Where you going? Where are you going?” she asked in the since-deleted clip after audibly gasping.
The star, accused of having the men booted from the plane, was inundated with criticism as many claimed she racially profiled the men. The timing of the incident was poor too. That Friday, a man with white supremacist ties opened fire on a mosque in New Zealand, resulting in the deaths of 50 people.
“Look y’all, I’m not racist & never have I ever been,” Jess said on Instagram in what many deemed a lackluster apology. “We have Muslims in my family,” she said. “However, I was totally unaware of the different types of Muslim,” apparently still clueless that Sikhs are not Muslim and missing the point that prejudice against anyone is the issue. “So yes, I admit I’m ignorant to the facts, so TEACH ME.”
The comic also denied having the men kicked off the flight and added, “I’m sorry to all Muslims … deeply sorry. But I am not a racist loves.”
But as criticism refuses to let up, it appears Moore has support from her sitcom co-star and fellow comedian Lil Rel Howery.
Howery uploaded a photo to his Instagram account Monday, March 18 and included a caption many believe could be a way of backing Jess.
“As I leave Chicago I’m leaving with one thought and one thought only… I can only control the actions of one person and one person only and that person is me which is already a tuff job lol… Be kind,” he wrote in the caption of his post. “Show empathy and inform the misinformed…Anger solves nothing but empathy and correct information helps us understand each other… Have a dope week peeps!!! #GoodMorning.”
While some remained fervent in their criticism of Hilarious, others began to come around and shared love for the star, who has since announced plans to donate $15,000 to Christchurch, where the New Zealand shooting took place. She also shared a video apology saying she was initially defensive because she didn’t “take the time to really know what’s transpiring.”
“Love you @comedianlilrel and @jesshilarious_official ! ”
“Sounds like they are attacking you about Jess. We love to consume people instead of allowing them to grow and change. The same folks are not doing a damn thing to address or change the misery of their lives. That part.”
“Almost everyone in these comments are racist to their own race, I’ve never seen another race tear down their own race like African Americans. Some of you people are pathetic and just love jumping on the hate band wagon. There are far more critical situations that you should put all this hate and anger towards instead y’all ready to cancel Jess.”