Katherine Heigl on discussing George Floyd's death with her daughter: 'How will I explain the unexplainable?'

Katherine Heigl has a challenge ahead of her.

Heigl, 41, shares three children with husband Josh Kelley, including an 8-year-old daughter, Adalaide, who is adopted and black.

The former "Grey's Anatomy" actress shared a pair of posts to Instagram on Sunday to express her distress at having to find a way to teach Adalaide about the death of George Floyd.


She began her first post by explaining that she often doesn't use her platform to address the state of the country, leaving that to "those with far more experience, education and eloquence," but that the current civil unrest has made it difficult to sleep.

"And when I do I wake with a single thought in my head. How will I tell Adalaide? How will I explain the unexplainable? How can I protect her? How can I break a piece of her beautiful divine spirit to do so? I can’t sleep," Heigl wrote in the caption of a picture of her daughter. "I lay in my bed in the dark and weep for every mother of a beautiful divine black child who has to extinguish a piece of their beloved baby’s spirit to try to keep them alive in a country that has too many sleeping soundly. Eyes squeezed shut. Images and cries and pleas and pain banished from their minds. White bubbles strong and intact."

The actress said her own "white bubble" has begun to "bleed" because she has a black daughter, a Korean daughter and a Korean sister with Korean kids of her own.

"It has taken me far too long to truly internalize the reality of the abhorrent, evil despicable truth of racism. My whiteness kept it from me. My upbringing of inclusivity, love and compassion seemed normal. I thought the majority felt like I did," Heigl continued. "I couldn’t imagine a brain that saw the color of someone’s skin as anything but that. Just a color. I was naive. I was childish. I was blind to those who treated my own sister differently because of the shape of her beautiful almond eyes. Or her thick gorgeous hair. Or her golden skin. I was a child. For too long. And now I weep."

Heigl said that as a "hopelessness is seeping in," she begins to feel fear that she won't be able to affect change.


"Then I look at my daughters. My sister. My nephews and niece. George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. The hundreds, thousands millions more we haven’t even heard about," she continued. "I look and the fear turns to something else. The sorrow warms and then bursts into flames of rage."

Heigl then shared a second post, this one containing several photos of Adalaide, but also pictures of Heigl's 11-year-old daughter, Nancy.

"I’m not sure what most think justice looks like but right now, to me, it looks like a hard, ugly life in prison for Officer Chauvin and the others who just stood there. On their phone. I want them to pay. I want that payment to be harsh," the second caption reads. "I want it to be a painful, irrevocable consequence for their evil acts and behaviors and for those consequences to scare the s--t out of every other racist still clinging to their small, stupid minded hate. The hate that soothes their weakness and cowardice. The hate that makes them feel powerful and in charge. The hate that distracts them from their meager-ness."

The actress went on to say that while she once would have tried to change the minds of racists, she no longer cares "for their hearts or minds or souls" or whether "they die with their ugliness stamped all over them."

"What I want is for them all to be so scared by Officer Chauvin’s consequences that they are afraid to breathe in the direction of a black man, woman or child. Let alone try to hurt them," Heigl wrote. "I want them to shake in their beds at night for fear that they too could end up like Chauvin. I want him to be an example of what happens to a racist in this country."

The "One for the Money" star acknowledged that her anger "is not very Christian of" her, then pointing out that "Jesus got pretty damn mad at the temple" and that God brought on floods, famine and more in the Bible.

"Perhaps rage is part of the divine," she concluded. "Perhaps the heavens want our rage right now. Perhaps our rage is theirs. All I know is that I want it to end. Today. Forever. Whatever it takes."


Heigl's posts come on the heels of the death of Floyd, an African-American Minneapolis resident who died in police custody after a white officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for eight minutes as Floyd struggled for air and begged for his life.

Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.