Hugh Jackman has shared a powerful message on fighting racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death.
“In difficult times when I’m unsure what to do, or how to lead my family… I reach for the words of my mentors who’ve helped guide me through life,” Jackman, 51, began in an Instagram post on Monday. “One of those mentors is Nelson Mandela. He said ‘Racism must be opposed by all means that it has at its disposal. No truer words have been spoken.”
The Australian actor went on to reveal that the police killing of Floyd “has prompted many conversations” with his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, 64, and their son, Oscar, 19, and daughter, Ava, 14.
“I was taught, and try to teach my kids: the balance between the head and the heart, between emotions and reason is very difficult,” Jackman wrote. “My instinct is always that when emotion is high, I try to call on reason. And when my brain is dominating, I try to open my heart. My emotions tell me that we need to take this tragic loss (and all those that came before) to change systemic racism the world over. My reason tells me one size does not fit all. We need to listen and begin to try and understand.”
Jackman and Furness, who struggled with infertility, made a deliberate decision to adopt mixed-race children. Oscar is biracial and Ava is half Mexican, half German.
“Mixed-race babies have such a hard time being adopted that Deb and I checked off that box specifically when we were filling out our forms,” he said while speaking to Parade magazine in 2009. “Our lawyer brought the form back to us and said, ‘This is not the time to be politically correct. Are you sure this is what you want? We were definite about it.”
Jackman has called the decision “the best thing we’ve ever done.”