Singer Cher apologized on Saturday after she was criticized for suggesting on Twitter she could have prevented George Floyd’s death if she was there.
Floyd, a Black man, died in police custody last year. Video showed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white and currently on trial for the death of Floyd, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes while he was handcuffed and repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.”
On Friday evening, the 74-year-old singer and actress said in a since-deleted tweet: “Was talking with Mom & She Said ‘I Watched Trial Of Policeman Who Killed George Floyd, & Cried’. I Said ‘Mom, I Know This Is Gonna Sound CRAZY, But.. I Kept Thinking …..Maybe If I’d Been There,…I Could’ve Helped.”
The tweet drew online criticism accusing the pop star of having a “white savior complex” and potentially behaving in a self-serving way that does little to tackle systemic issues like racism.
“@Cher I say this with respect: White savior complex. Stop,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another Twitter user wrote: “We as white women just need to be careful that we don’t make ourselves the star of the story. I’m sure you didn’t intend that, but it can come across that way.”
Cher initially doubled down on her stance following the criticism, telling fans: “You Don’t Know What I’ve Done,Who I Am,Or What I Believe.I CAN,I HAVE,& I WILL..HELP.”
But, she said on Saturday, after speaking with her friend, “Karen,” she realized: “You Can Piss Ppl Off,& Hurt Them By Not Knowing Everything That’s’NOT Appropriate’To Say.”
“IM TRULY SORRY If I Upset AnyOne In Blk Community,” she said on Twitter.
The apology came amid the second week of testimony in the trial of Chauvin, who was charged with third-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, and second-degree murder in the death of Floyd.
Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests against systemic racism and renewed calls to end police brutality and racial inequities.