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KJ Apa Is Replacing Kian Lawley In “The Hate U Give”

The Riverdale star will take Lawley's role after the actor was fired for making racist remarks.

Posted on April 3, 2018, at 8:31 p.m. ET

KJ Apa, best known for playing Archie on the CW’s Riverdale, is replacing Kian Lawley in the upcoming film The Hate U Give. Apa will fill the role of Chris, lead character Starr Carter’s (Amandla Stenberg) boyfriend, a source close to the film confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

Representatives for Apa did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

Representatives for Apa did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.

Lawley was fired from The Hate U Give back in February after a video of the actor making racist remarks surfaced online.

"Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in The Hate U Give," a spokesperson for 20th Century Fox said in a statement to BuzzFeed News in February. "The studio plans to recast the role of Chris and reshoot scenes as needed." In a statement to BuzzFeed News at the time, Lawley said: "Words have power and can do damage. I own mine and I am sorry. I respect Fox’s decision to recast this role for The Hate U Give as it is an important story, and it would not be appropriate for me to be involved considering the actions of my past."A source also confirmed to BuzzFeed News that CAA talent agency parted ways with Lawley in light of the video.
Instagram / Oaktreetee / Via instagram.com

"Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in The Hate U Give," a spokesperson for 20th Century Fox said in a statement to BuzzFeed News in February. "The studio plans to recast the role of Chris and reshoot scenes as needed."

In a statement to BuzzFeed News at the time, Lawley said: "Words have power and can do damage. I own mine and I am sorry. I respect Fox’s decision to recast this role for The Hate U Give as it is an important story, and it would not be appropriate for me to be involved considering the actions of my past."

A source also confirmed to BuzzFeed News that CAA talent agency parted ways with Lawley in light of the video.

The film, which does not have a release date yet, is based on the 2017 novel written by Angie Thomas.

Balzer + Bray

The Hate U Give originally filmed from September to November 2017, and production started up again this month so Apa can film his scenes. Apa and his costar, Stenberg, haven't been shy about posting photos and videos of each other on Instagram while working together.

Amandla Stenberg / Instagram

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