Amandla Stenberg Knew The Hate U Give Was a Success Based on the Number of White People Crying

Stopping by The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Monday night, The Hate U Give star Amandla Stenberg discussed the one clear-cut sign that, to her, meant the recently released film version of Angie Thomas’s YA novel about police brutality had triumphed. “It’s meant to be a tool of empathy,” she said. “And so far it’s been really successful. We’ve had a lot of white people crying after, which is great.” Laughed the actress, “I’ve never seen so many white people crying before. It’s amazing.”

Stenberg also touched on the film’s depiction of code-switching, racism, and police brutality. Of course, you’d think everyone would be able to empathize with victims of police brutality, but, unfortunately, that’s not the America we live in, which is why Stenberg and the movie’s makers hoped the movie would help humanize black victims to viewers who might only be exposed to police violence via the evening news. When asked by Noah what her hopes are for the film, “beyond white people crying,” Stenberg laughed, “White people crying actually was the goal.”

Explained the actress, “We wanted to make sure that those who have been affected by the ways the media misconstrues these events actually have a real sense of empathy and are able to place themselves into the shoes of our communities.” Said Stenberg, “These are not just news events. These are happening to real people. They affect us in really deep and pervasive ways.”

As for people of color, Stenberg hopes the film will allow them the chance to work through their feelings about the injustices depicted, and probably also cry. “We wanted this to be a space within which we can be ourselves and see ourselves represented and feel validated by that,” she said of the film’s black audience. “And maybe process some feelings we don’t ever have the opportunity to move through.”

Amandla Stenberg Glad The Hate U Give Is Making Everyone Cry