After BET Speech, Jesse Williams Focus of Dueling Petitions | NBC Bay Area

After BET Speech, Jesse Williams Focus of Dueling Petitions

Williams has played Dr. Jackson Avery on "Grey's Anatomy" for seven seasons

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    Matt Sayles/Invision/AP
    Jesse Williams accepts the humanitarian award at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 26, 2016, in Los Angeles.

    Jesse Williams is the subject of dueling online petitions following the actor's fiery speech after receiving a humanitarian honor at the BET Awards last month.

    One petition calls for the "Grey's Anatomy" star to be fired over the June 26 speech in which he criticized police in America, saying: "We know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day."

    Williams and Grey's Anatomy creator and Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes both tweeted seemingly in response to the petition.

    Williams said, "Do not promote empty people & their tantrums. Pure clickbait to gain followers, attention & money, for themselves, not you. Never you."

    Rhimes wrote: "Um, people? Boo don't need a petition. #shondalandrules."

    Another petition, filed in response to the one calling for Williams' firing, voices support for Williams, calling him "a brave leader."

    Williams has played Dr. Jackson Avery on the ABC drama for seven seasons.