‘Riverdale’ Star K.J. Apa Replacing Racist YouTuber in ‘The Hate U Give’
Riverdale's hunky teen Archie Andrews may be embroiled in the dark underbelly of small-town mob dealings and drama, but actor K.J. Apa is moving up in his career as a Hollywood leading man.
Apa has replaced disgraced YouTube star Kian Lawley in upcoming film The Hate U Give—based on a novel centered on racism, police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement—following Lawley's racism scandal.
In February, video footage surfaced of the YouTube personality using racist profanity and making racially offensive comments, resulting in Lawley being booted from the 20th Century Fox film.
Following Lawley's removal from the production, he issued an apology on Twitter, writing, "I am deeply sorry to those that were [affected] by my choice of language. I understand that I am in the public eye & have many supporters, but none of my actions that took place should be supported. Words have power and can do a lot damage. I own mine and I am sorry."
The vlogger added that he "respects Fox’s decision to recast this role...as it is an important story, and it would not be appropriate for me to be involved considering the actions of my past."
In The Hate U Give, Apa will play Chris, who is the boyfriend of lead character Starr (Amandla Stenberg), a young black girl who witnesses a friend get killed by a police officer. According to Deadline, re-shoots for Apa's scenes (originally filmed with Lawley) began on Wednesday (April 4).