Jesse Williams and his Grey’s Anatomy co-star Ellen Pompeo don’t seem fazed by the petition to have the 34-year-old actor fired from the long-running ABC series.
On Tuesday afternoon, Pompeo shared pics of her paddleboarding adventures while vacationing with Williams in Maui, Hawaii. “When you vacation with @ijessewilliams and he’s afraid to lose to you in a paddleboard race,” she captioned a photo of herself and her handsome co-star.
Pompeo followed that post up with a video where Williams knocks her off the paddleboard. “When you talk too much smack to @ijessewilliams,” she quipped.
The co-star quality time comes after Williams was accused of being a “racist” following his stirring speech at the 2016 BET Awards. A petition was started on Change.org demanding that he be fired from Grey’s Anatomy, the medical drama he’s starred on since 2009, stating that he “spewed a racist, hate speech against law enforcement and white people.”
“If this was a white person making the same speech about an African American, they would have been fired,” the petition, which had over 9,700 signatures on Tuesday afternoon, added.
Williams received a standing ovation following his speech at the BET Awards, which honed in on the right to equality for all and putting an end to racism in America. “Freedom is somehow always conditional here,” he told the audience. “Freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though? The hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.”
While Williams has yet to respond to the petition, he did post a cryptic tweet on Sunday. “Do not promote empty people & their tantrums,” he wrote. “Pure clickbait to gain followers, attention & money, for themselves, not you. Never you.”
Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes also threw her support behind the actor. “Um, people? Boo don’t need a petition. #shondalandrules,” she tweeted.
After the BET Awards, Williams spoke to ET about his impassioned, politically charged speech. “I’m here for all the incredible protestors, activists, attorneys, organizers that are sacrificing [an] incredibly great deal to be heard and get access to equal rights and justice in this country,” he said. “[The BET Awards] recognizing me is really recognizing them in my view, and I think that means that we’re getting traction.”