Lee Daniels Doesn’t Care If The ‘Oscars Are So White,’ His Legacy Speaks For Him
Lee Daniels is aware of the lack of diversity among the crowd of nominees at the Oscars. But he’s not looking for any validation from white America, declaring, “I’m going to be me.” And he’s suggesting that his fellow thespians follow suit.
In an interview with the New York Times this past Wednesday (Dec. 28), Daniels was frustrated by the mention of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy during an exploration into his new FOX television drama, Star. With race acting as a cornerstone in his new series, it’s understandable why the topic was brought up. But, the Academy-award winning director chalks his success up to his outlook on his career, which represents a polar opposite to the hashtag movement. In the video below, The Butler maestro discusses his anti-embracing view of racism in a chat with The Real hosts. Daniels claims that if he embraced racism, he would eventually become “an angry black man.” Therefore, he remains true to himself and continues to do what he knows best.
And don’t get it twisted, this doesn’t mean that because the Precious director and producer is opposed to embracing racism, he is also ignorant of its prevalence. He developed Quincy Brown’s character, Derek, with his son in mind who recently fled their “Upper West Side ‘bubble’ and began experiencing real-world racism.” Not to mention his unified approach of addressing the current state of our country in relation to Black Lives Matter and police brutality. Daniels was adamant in casting a “white girl that had some swag” (Jude Demorest), as the title character to ensure white people weren’t being made fun of, that they felt cool.
Despite the positive advancements the Oscars has made in diversifying its voting body, as well as its nominees in response to #OscarsSoWhite, Daniels offers some advice to the “incomprehensible and reprehensible whiny people.” Much like fellow onscreen connoisseur, Denzel Washington, Daniels advises industry participants to stop complaining, do your work, and let your legacy do the talking. After all, “are we really in this for the awards” anyway?