Kenosha, Wisconsin’s Mark Ruffalo Sounds Off on Looters, Kyle Rittenhouse, and Trump

Kenosha, Wisconsin’s Mark Ruffalo Sounds Off on Looters, Kyle Rittenhouse, and Trump

On Tuesday night, Avengers star Mark Ruffalo joined a socially distant version of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. After exchanging some light pleasantries, the two got down to business, discussing the shooting of Jacob Blake—by a police officer, seven times in the back; the ongoing protests and riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Trump’s divisive rhetoric in the wake of it all.

You see, the Oscar-nominated actor is perhaps the most famous living person from Kenosha—since Orson Welles is no longer with us—and as such, the unrest in the city hit close to home, literally.

“These protests have been predominately peaceful. We don’t hear about that, you know? We only see the guys, like in Kenosha, Wisconsin, they made 170 arrests over those days of protests, and 120 of them were from out of town. And they were provocateurs, and they were trashing a town that they’re not even from. That was what broke my heart, because that’s not what I know about Kenosha, Wisconsin,” said Ruffalo.

Ruffalo, 52, also took issue with the media’s coverage of the Kenosha protests as well as the strange right-wing narrative that formed around 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, a vigilante who traveled across state lines illegally armed with an AR-15 and is accused of fatally shooting two Black Lives Matter protesters and injuring a third. (He’s since been charged with first-degree intentional homicide.) 

“That community is also facing generations of racial injustice and inequality. But the news I was seeing coming out of there didn’t feel honest to me,” explained Ruffalo. “It felt salacious, and of course they’re going to go for the worst things. And of course you have the 17-year-old with the AR-15 being called from out of state to come and be a vigilante and basically shoot people. All of this was heartbreaking, and I was honestly, Trevor, I was paralyzed. I didn’t know how to respond to it.”

Since Ruffalo says he couldn’t travel to Kenosha—given that he was sequestered with his family due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—he hosted an Instagram Live conversation with Kenosha BLM organizers.

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