"I don't need to post about my opinions and beliefs in order for them to be real to me," said the Riverdale star

By Robyn Merrett
June 15, 2020 08:07 PM
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KJ Apa
KJ Apa
| Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty

KJ Apa is opening up about why he's been "so silent" when it comes to showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Earlier this month, a fan suggested that rapper and comedian Elijah Daniel — who has previously feuded with Apa — should watch The Hate U Give, which follows Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) as she witnesses her childhood friend (Algee Smith) get fatally shot by police.

Apa, 22, starred in the film as Starr's boyfriend, Chris.

In response, Daniel wrote back: "I love that movie but I do have a question, completely unrelated to the beef I formerly had with him, if KJ was the co-star of that movie why is he so silent? He has such a massive young audience and got paid to be in a movie about police brutality and... posted a black square?"

On Sunday, Apa — who posted a black square on June 1 as participation in Black Out Tuesday — responded by telling Daniel, "I don't need to post about my opinions and beliefs in order for them to be real to me."

"I support black lives — but I don't feel it's necessary to prove to people I do by posting my attendance at these protests," Apa added.

Daniel has yet to respond to Apa, but fans pointed out that Apa's Riverdale costars Cole Sprouse, Camila Mendes and Madelaine Petsch "have all gone to protests and are posting resources and yet... what is KJ doing?"

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Apa did not respond further, but he did share a video on his Instagram Story of late rapper Tupac Shakur speaking at the 1993 Indiana Black Expo.

"When I say Thug Life, I mean that s---. 'Cause these white folks see us as thugs. I don't care what y'all think. I don't care if you a lawyer," said Shakur. "If you a man. If you an African-American, if you whatever the f--- you think you are, we thugs and n----- to these motherf------."

Earlier this month, Apa's other Riverdale costar Lili Reinhart came out as a "proud bisexual woman" ahead of attending a Black Lives Matter protest.

Reinhart, 23, shared the news on her Instagram Stories on June 3 alongside a flyer with details about the "LGTBQ+ for #BlackLivesMatter" protest being held in West Hollywood, California.

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"Although I've never announced it before, I am a proud bisexual woman," she wrote. "And I will be joining this protest today. Come join."

Reinhart most recently dated Sprouse, 27. PEOPLE confirmed last month that the two, who play love interests Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones on The CW show, were broken up.