Katherine Heigl is losing sleep over how to explain the horrific death of George Floyd to her African-American daughter.
The Knocked Up star, who adopted Adalaide as a baby in 2012, has taken to Instagram to share her anguish at the murder of Floyd, an African-American man who died on 25 May after Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on camera kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes as he placed him under arrest.
Chauvin has since been fired from the force and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Three fellow cops, who looked on as the police brutality horror unfolded, have also been terminated from their positions.
The controversy sparked widespread Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S., and Heigl has admited she is pained at having to explain to young Adalaide why the colour of her skin may affect the way the eight-year-old is treated in public when she is older.
In a pair of long posts on Instagram, Heigl confessed she “typically” shies away from voicing her thoughts on “the state of our country” online, instead choosing to “act quietly and behind the scenes”, but this time is different, because she simply “can’t sleep”.
“And when I do, I wake with a single thought in my head. How will I tell Adalaide? How will I explain the unexplainable? How can I protect her? How can I break a piece of her beautiful divine spirit to do so?” Heigl wrote alongside a sweet snap of her second child.
“I can’t sleep. I lay in my bed in the dark and weep for every mother of a beautiful divine black child who has to extinguish a piece of their beloved baby’s spirit to try to keep them alive in a country that has too many sleeping soundly.”
The actress, who is also mum to 11-year-old daughter Naleigh, adopted from South Korea, acknowledges that she has been slow to “truly internalize the reality of the abhorrent, evil, despicable truth of racism” due to her “upbringing of inclusivity, love and compassion”, but it’s since dawned on her just how widespread the issue has become – and what once made her “weep” for long overdue change has turned into “flames of rage”.
Weighing in on Floyd’s death directly, Heigl raged, “I’m not sure what most think justice looks like but right now, to me, it looks like a hard, ugly life in prison for Officer Chauvin and the others who just stood there…
“I want (racists) to be so scared by Officer Chauvin’s consequences that they are afraid to breathe in the direction of a black man, woman or child. Let alone try to hurt them. I want them to shake in their beds at night for fear that they too could end up like Chauvin. I want him to be an example of what happens to a racist in this country.”
Heigl, who also shares a biological son Joshua with singer husband Josh Kelley, concluded her angry missive by adding: “All I know is that I want it to end. Today. Forever. Whatever it takes.”
She joins a whole host of stars using their platforms to condemn the former police officers’ actions, including Rihanna, Beyonce, Kerry Washington, and Reese Witherspoon, among many others.