Actor Ryan Reynolds has publicly apologized for hosting his wedding at a former slave plantation.
In 2012, the “Deadpool” actor, and his now-wife, actress Blake Lively, tied the knot at Boone Hall in South Carolina, and the venue offered the kind of idyllic scenery fit for such an occasion, its checkered past as a former slave plantation was not so pleasant. Now, eight years and one massive Black Lives Matter movement later, Reynolds has apologized.
Speaking with Fast Company, Reynolds said that choosing Boone Hall for their wedding venue was a “giant f***ing mistake.”
“It’s something we’ll always be deeply and unreservedly sorry for,” he said. “It’s impossible to reconcile. What we saw at the time was a wedding venue on Pinterest. What we saw after was a place built upon devastating tragedy. Years ago we got married again at home—but shame works in weird ways. A giant f***ing mistake like that can either cause you to shut down or it can reframe things and move you into action. It doesn’t mean you won’t fuck up again. But repatterning and challenging lifelong social conditioning is a job that doesn’t end.”
At the time of the wedding, the press mostly focused on the glamour of the event. It wasn’t until 2018 that Reynolds caught flack for the locale when he publicly praised Marvel’s “Black Panther.” As the Black Lives Matter movement picked up steam, he and Lively have donated considerable money to the NAACP and other charitable causes.
“It’s a topic he’s reluctant to talk about, in part because he worries that white celebrities too often drown out non-white voices, even if that’s not their intention,” reported Fast Company of Reynolds philanthropy.
In late May, Lively and Reynolds issued a statement about systemic racism and their desire to become better educated on the subject:
We’ve never had to worry about preparing our kids for different rules of law or what might happen if we’re pulled over in the car. We don’t know what it’s like to experience that life day in and day out. We can’t imagine feeling that kind of fear and anger. We are ashamed that in the past we’ve allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is.
We’ve been teaching our children differently than the way our parents taught us. We want to educate ourselves about other people’s experiences and talk to our kids about everything, all of it… especially our own complicity. We talk about our bias, blindness and our own mistakes. We look back and see so many mistakes which have led us to deeply examine who we are and who we want to become. They’ve led us to huge avenues of education.
We are committed to raising our kids so they never grow up feeding this insane pattern and so they’ll do their best to never inflict pain on another being consciously or unconsciously. It’s the least we can do to honor not just George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Eric Garner, but all the black men and women who have been killed when the camera wasn’t rolling.