Samuel L. Jackson is not one to hold his tongue, even if his opinion is a little on the controversial side.
In an interview on New York’s Hot 97 on Monday, the Kong: Skull Island star got real about a Hollywood trend that’s been bothering him: black British actors playing African American roles.
When discussing the new hit horror film Get Out, starring Brit Daniel Kaluuya, Sam just had to get this pet peeve off his chest:
“The thing in my mind is, I know the young brother that’s in the movie. And he’s British. There are a lot of black British actors in these movies. I tend to wonder what would that movie have been with an American brother who really understands that in a way. ‘Cause 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? And I’m sure the director helped. Some things are universal, but everything ain’t.”
It wasn’t just Get Out that got Sam thinking about this. He also had some thoughts on David Oyelowo‘s acclaimed portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma:
“There are some brothers in America who could have been in that movie who would have had a different idea about how King thinks or how King felt.”
You can hear all of the star’s musings on the subject starting about 25:30 (below)!
At least one black British actor heard Sam’s thoughts and dropped his own — fellow lightsaber-wielding Star Wars: The Force Awakens star John Boyega, who tweeted:
Black brits vs African American. A stupid ass conflict we don’t have time for.
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) March 8, 2017
Ha! But before they get into a lightsaber duel over it, maybe Sam should just sit down and have a cup of tea with Get Out writer-director Jordan Peele.
Interestingly, Peele initially had the same worry before casting Kaluuya; he told The Observer just this past weekend:
“I didn’t want to go with a British actor. because this movie was so much about representation of the African American experience. Early on, Daniel and I had a Skype session where we talked about this and I was made to understand how universal this issue is. Once I’d wrapped my head around how universal these themes were, it became easy for me to pick Daniel, because at the end of the day, he was the best person for the role. He did the audition and it was a slam dunk.”
Though he didn’t go into detail on the experiences with racism Daniel shared, we can guess at least one thing that may have come up…
It is public record that Kaluuya had to sue the London Metropolitan Police for assault and false imprisonment just three years ago.
So maybe this kind of racism isn’t as uniquely an American experience as Sam believes.
What do YOU think??