Wilmer Valderrama feels a "major responsibility" to inspire the younger generation.

Wilmer Valderrama

Wilmer Valderrama

The 'NCIS' star - whose parents are Venezuelan and Colombian - insisted it is vital to "inspire and create awareness" for people of colour in order for the world to "move forward".

He told 'Entertainment Tonight': "[People of colour] have a major responsibility in this moment in time to continue to create images that our younger generation can look up and say, 'Hey, that's me or that looks like me.'

"Now, more than ever, we need to inspire these roles.

"We have to inspire and create awareness for other alternatives for young people. I'm excited that we're part of that small contribution...As people of colour we can represent and be proud and move forward hand in hand, because this is gonna take all of us to really be on the same page."

The 40-year-old actor admitted he felt "helpless" and "confused" at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic because he wasn't sure what he could do to help.

He said: "When this pandemic started, I felt very confused about what my role was as an activist and somebody who likes to show up where the conversation needs to be had.

"I felt a little helpless and I had to do a little searching and figuring out what my role is in this moment, and it was just amplifying the voices."

But now, the Harness organisation - which brings together artists and activists to form collaborations for social change - he founded with America Ferrera and Ryan Piers Williams in 2016 have begun their 2020 Census campaign, #BeCounted, in partnership with Stacey Abrams' Fair Count and NowThis, and Wilmer insisted it is vital for people to take part.

He said: "Among so many other things, you have to be counted. You can't be an invisible family. You can't be an invisible community.

"At this point, we also have to understand where we all are. The next phase is we got to register to vote. If you're eligible to vote, you have to get out there. That same fire, that same passion, we have to take it to the polls."


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