Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe speak out on New Zealand shooting
Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe, and Sam Neill are speaking up about the horrifying mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. On Friday, at least 49 people were killed, and 20 were seriously injured, when terrorists opened fire on two mosques in the area. According to CNN, "three people were arrested in connection with the shootings"; one man has been charged with murder.
On Friday, Waititi-a native New Zealander who grew up on the East Coast and in Wellington-released a statement about the tragedy on Twitter, writing that his "heart is broken."
"My country is weeping and so am I," he wrote. "I am dying knowing that this kind of hatred can happen in my homeland. All my love goes out to Christchurch, the victims, the families, the Muslim community, and all who have chosen our islands as their home. This is not us."
The director is known for films like Hunt for the Wilderpeople, a comedy that broke box-office records in New Zealand, and the Marvel hit Thor: Ragnarok. He's also set to direct upcoming episodes of the Star Wars series The Mandalorian. He continued on Twitter, weighing in on the fact that N.Z. police are warning citizens to avoid mosques.
"Do not allow those criminals the satisfaction," Waititi wrote. "Go to Mosque, Church, Synagogue, Marae, Maunga. Sink into community and love. In the words of Bob, 'The people who are trying to make this world worse aren't taking a day off. How can I? Light up the darkness.' One Love."
Russell Crowe, who was born in Wellington, but grew up mainly in Australia, also released a statement about the shootings via Twitter: "40 dead in NZ. Senseless, pointless, cruel deaths. My heart breaks for all the families involved, and for the beautiful people of New Zealand to whose hearts this pain will attach, for a long time. Kia Kaha."
"Kia kaha" is a Maori phrase that means "be strong."
Sam Neill, a New Zealander who lives in Queenstown, also penned a similar sentiment on Twitter, calling the attacks "beyond grotesque horrific white supremacist terrorist crime."
"With love and heartbreak to the Muslim community of Aotearoa, we are with you," he wrote. "You are us. We are all NewZealanders. #TheyAreUs Kia kaha. We weep together."
John Legend went further than most with his comments, calling on President Trump to condemn white supremacy in this country and take concrete steps to combat it here.
In his tweet expressing sympathy for the people of New Zealand, Trump, who has been criticized for equivocating "all types of racism," called the mosque shootings a "horrible massacre." However, he did not characterize the attack as an act of terrorism, as that country's prime minister did.
In his posts condemning white supremacists for the attacks in New Zealand, John Legend also called on President Trump to combat that "evil ideology" head-on.
In his posts condemning white supremacists for the attacks in New Zealand, John Legend also called on President Trump to combat that "evil ideology" head-on. (Photo: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)
"The killings in New Zealand are so horrific and heartbreaking," wrote the "Voice" judge and EGOT recipient. "This white supremacist terrorist movement is so destructive here and abroad. We need to unite against it." -Vanity Fair