Jesse Williams to Produce and Star in Harry Belafonte Biopic

By Kenrya Rankin Apr 01, 2016

Whether you are a fan of Jesse Williams’ acting or his activism, you have a new reason to rejoice: The “Grey’s Anatomy” star is taking on a new role that brings both camps together.

During an appearance on the podcast “Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period” earlier this week, he casually said, “[I’m] developing this Harry Belafonte biopic that I’ll be starring in and producing.”

For the uninitiated, not only is Harry Belafonte, 89, an accomplished actor and singer, but he’s also a civil rights icon. From bankrolling the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Council to acting as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF to calling President George W. Bush “the greatest terrorist in the world,” he has never shied away from using his platform to speak up for people of color.

Williams is following in his footsteps, never missing a chance to fight for Black liberation. In fact, Williams counts Belafonte as a mentor and the two were featured in Ebony’s 70th anniversary issue (along with budding activist Zendaya).


During the podcast interview, Williams also talked about why he dedicates so much energy toward the fight for social justice. “I care more about activism and social justice and law than I do about acting. I do. I always have,” he said. “I happen to act and I have a really good time doing that. I have an awesome job with awesome people that I love, but I am constantly—there’s this magnetic force puling me to toward activism. I have to do it, I have no choice.”

He also said that he’s currently executive producing two documentaries. One is about police in schools and the school to prison pipeline, and the other—for Black Entertainment Television—will focus on the Black Lives Matter movement. Listen to the full podcast below.