News

Ryan Reynolds Said He & Blake Lively Are Sorry For Having A Plantation Wedding

The actor married Lively in 2012 at a former slave plantation and in a new interview, called the venue choice a “giant f*cking mistake.”

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively attend the premiere of "Pokemon Detective Pikachu" in 2019 | Getty Images
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively attend the premiere of "Pokemon Detective Pikachu" in 2019 | Getty Images

Ryan Reynolds has finally addressed the criticism surrounding his wedding, which was held at a plantation in 2012.

In an interview for the September issue of Fast Company, the actor apologized on behalf of himself and wife and actor Blake Lively for holding their wedding ceremony at Boone Hall, a former slave plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. Reynolds said, “It’s impossible to reconcile.” 

“It’s something we’ll always be deeply and unreservedly sorry for,” Reynolds told the magazine. “What we saw at the time was a wedding venue on Pinterest. What we saw after was a place built upon devastating tragedy.”

At the end of last year, Pinterest and wedding planning site The Knot both vowed to stop promoting Southern plantations for weddings. The change came after advocacy organization Color Of Change wrote a letter to The Knot asking them to rethink glamorizing plantations that once housed slaves as wedding venues. 

“The wedding industry routinely denies the violent conditions Black people faced under chattel slavery by promoting plantations as romantic places to marry,” Jade Magnus Ogunnaike of COC said at the time. 

Reynolds said the couple later got married again at their home “years ago” but added, “shame works in weird ways.”

“A giant f*cking mistake like that can either cause you to shut down or it can reframe things and move you into action,” Reynolds continued. “It doesn’t mean you won’t f*ck up again. But repatterning and challenging lifelong social conditioning is a job that doesn’t end.”

Lively herself has come under fire in the past for her own romanticization of the Antebellum south on her since-disbanded lifestyle website, “Preserve.” One spread from 2014 called “Allure of Antebellum” featured white models in clothing inspired by the “Southern Belle.” 

One Gawker critic at the time said of the feature: “According to a Lively-styled fashion spread on her lifestyle website Preserve, the hottest lifestyle for fall is the lifestyle of owning human beings without government interference.”

In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the subsequent resurgence of Black Lives Matter, Reynolds and Lively both posted the same statement on their social media accounts which said, “We’re ashamed that in the past we’ve allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is.”

They also said they’re reexamining their own bias, complicity, and “our own mistakes,” without explicitly mentioning the plantation wedding. The couple said in the May 31 post that they donated $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, in addition to a reported $1 million donation they made to the fund last year. Several comments under both posts mentioned the couple’s plantation wedding. 

According to Fast Company, they also donated $1 million to the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights in 2019.