One of the biggest issues surrounding the world of Hollywood and entertainment is visibility. With the #OscarsSoWhite movement highlighting the lack of inclusion for people of color in Oscar nominated movies, we began to see more people of note addressing the discrepancy of roles for non-white actors. Particularly whitewashing, where roles intended for people of color are rewritten or given to caucasian actors in an attempt to reach a wider audience. And while it seems like movies and TV have been making positive steps, inclusion is still a hot topic issue. And it turns out that for Samuel L. Jackson, the issue also extends to British black actors being cast in roles written about the African-American experience.
Samuel L. Jackson recently appeared on Hot 97 FM in order to promote his role in Kong: Skull Island. Eventually Jordan Peele’s acclaimed new horror movie Get Out came up, and he revealed that he’s not too happy with Daniel Kaluuya getting the role of Chris. As Kaluuya is British, Jackson believes that he couldn’t really understand his character’s history, and that it should have been given to an African-American. He said:
There are a lot of black British actors in these movies. I tend to wonder what that movie [Get Out] would have been with an American brother who really feels that. Daniel grew up in a country where they’ve been interracial dating for a hundred years. What would a brother from America have made of that role? Some things are universal, but..
Samuel L. Jackson’s opinion is certainly a controversial one, especially for black actors who have managed to book exciting and important films in Hollywood.
And Get Out wasn’t the only film that Samuel L. Jackson took issue with. For similar reasons, he cited Selma with problematic casting. The film saw British Nigerian actor David Oyelowo being cast as Martin Luther King Jr., which Jackson felt similarly conflicted about.
Well, not everyone is taking his viewpoint lightly. In fact, Star Wars: The Force Awakens star In fact, Star Wars: The Force Awakens star John Boyega took a bold stance against Jackson’s comments.
What do you think? Is he right?