splash_blackdirectors-thr_splash_2018-1519844310
Austin Hargrave for The Hollywood Reporter

Jordan Peele, Lee Daniels, Barry Jenkins And John Singleton Trade Life Gems In 'Hollywood Reporter'

Gather 'round, listen up. 

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, directors Jordan Peele, Lee Daniels, Barry Jenkins and John Singleton gathered for the first in a candid conversation concerning Hollywood's racial politics, and dropped gems on who can tell what stories, creating a lane, and destabilizing the norm.

“Are black people gonna go see white people’s movies now that we have our own?” quipped Peele when asked about the game-changing effects of the internationally celebrated Black Panther film.

The four men, who make up the only African American director nominees in the 90-year history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, had plenty of invaluable takeaways. Here are a few that resonated loudly:

There's power not just in numbers, but in unity. I’ve met all these guys in the past couple of years, and the energy I get from all of them is this phalanx mentality where we all realize we’re exponentially stronger together than we are separately. - Peele

Find your voice, create your lane and master your craft. I learned from Francis Coppola, who had given me some advice. He said, “Try to write as many of your works as possible so that you have a singular voice.” So that’s what I was trying to do, be a writer-director. Then I got mired up in the drama where I wanted to actually explore different genres, but I felt there was a ceiling of what they wanted me to do. It’s interesting though, because I’m doing this [FX] show now, Snowfall. It’s a popular show, and I could have done it 20 years ago, but they said, “Who wants to see Boyz N the Hood on television every week?” Now, everybody wants to see Boyz N the Hood on television. -Singleton

Black stories matter. The last piece of the excuse for this sort of systemic lack of inclusion that we’ve seen, with some exceptions, was the business part of it kicking in. For so long, you’d hear this notion that the international business is not there and that black people, we’ve always watched white movies, but white people don’t come to black movies. And there are other exceptions that have inched us forward, but when Straight Outta Compton came out, it was an international blockbuster. -Peele

If you really want to be real, we could only do “black” stories. And until recently, it was, “How can black movies make money?” I don’t know if you can call it racism, maybe it’s just the business and the naivete about who our audience was. People have learned through Empire and through Black Panther and through Get Out. - Daniels

Destabilize the norm, by any means necessary. Spike [Lee] did that a lot, too. But I did feel like if [Get Out] didn’t work, it would really not work. And because I come from comedy, my whole pedigree is standing onstage trying to get everybody to laugh — everybody, not just the smart people or the dumb people or the white people or the black people. So, the premise I gave myself was this airtight box that I had to work my way out of to figure out how you make a movie where a black man kills a white family at the end of the movie and white people are going to be cheering with black people. (Laughter.) And so a lot of that was this idea of subverting what people think is about to happen. - Peele

Be responsible for your truths and do your homework. I don’t have [author Tarell Alvin McCraney’s] experience; what do I have that’s relatable to his experience? Let me go knock on somebody’s door. Let me go to a friend or a loved one who has that experience and go, “Will you share with me? And if you share with me, I promise to take the things you share and try to translate them in a way that is responsible and respectful and meaningful.” And that was what I did with Moonlight. I sat down with Tarell because Tarell lived that experience. And as an artist, I had to really have a come-to-Jesus and go, “OK, I don’t know this better than him, so I have to really inject the things he tells me.” And then from that point, we’re artists, you take authorship over the piece and you go out and you create. I do remember the scene where the two kids meet on the beach. It was so difficult because as a director, especially as a writer-director, you know, everything. And I was like, “I don’t know this shit.” I had to be really open about what I didn’t know. But I agree with Lee, it’s not black and white. It can’t be. -Jenkins

There are enough people now that you can go to, to have a conference with or to say, “I don’t understand this world, can you help me?’’ So, I’m not assailing against anybody white trying to do a black story — try it, but get someone to help you. What’s interesting when you see Black Panther is you realize it couldn’t have been directed by anybody else but Ryan Coogler. It’s a great adventure movie and it works on all those different levels as entertainment, but it has this kind of cultural through-line that is so specific that it makes it universal. - Singleton

And speaking to other directors, there’s a wide skill set needed, but nothing is more important than being the world’s foremost expert on that story and being able to impart that. - Peele

Never let 'em see you sweat. The world will be watching every move on your face, so when they mention your name, smile, and keep that same smile even if you don’t win. - Daniels

From the Web

More on Vibe

Dave Kotinsk

Charlamagne Tha God Makes Kevin Hunter "Donkey Of The Day"

Charlamagne Tha God let the choppa fly Wednesday morning (April 16) when he crowned Kevin Hunter, Wendy Williams' soon to be ex-husband and manager "Donkey of The Day."

The Power 105.1 host and Hunter were once comrades, but their friendship ended when Hunter allegedly grew irate Charlamagne played matchmaker with his longtime friend Wax and his then-mistress now the mother of his newborn daughter, Sharina Hudson.

"Think about that. Big grown-ass married negro from Brownsville, Brooklyn, supposed to be some thorough-ass hood dude upset because he thinks I'm trying to hook his side chick up with my homeboy. Does that not make him a Grade A sucker?" Charlamagne questioned.

The two-time bestselling author was once Williams' protege and in his nearly 13 minute-rant against Hunter, he expressed empathy for the talk-show host. "The reason why I've never had smoke for Wendy is that number one: I feel sorry for her. She was an abused woman on various levels," Charlamagne said.

Charlemagne spoke about the several attempts Hunter allegedly made to destroy his career, including promoting last year's narrative he supposedly raped a woman in South Carolin. The 2001 criminal sexual conduct charge was later dismissed after the radio host provided a DNA sample.

"There are only two people on this planet that I don't give a damn about, and Kevin Hunter is one of them."

Charlamagne was in rare petty form while delivering his stinging rant, and said his divorce after 21 years of marriage is the universe's response to his behavior.

"Kevin you so busy trying to curse others you end up cursing yourself. Did you really think you could go around treating people the way you treat them and not suffer any consequence from the universe all these years? The sad part is you treat everybody like doo-doo, but the one person you treat like doo-doo that you should never treat like doo-doo is your soon-to-be ex-wife.

"Bro, you are nothing without her."

After also crowning Hunter Doo-Doo Brown, Charlamagne predicted all that he dished out to Wendy would come back via Sharina Hudson.

"It's only a matter of time before Sharina leaves you. Don't think she's staying around. Whatever you get from Wendy, Sharina is going to get a bunch of that from child support. Oh, wait for it. It's coming. The same thing you did to Wendy, Sharina's going to do to you with another man. Guaranteed."

Watch Charla's "Donkey of The Day" below.

Continue Reading
Actor Michael B. Jordan backstage at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Michael B. Jordan Would Like To Be Considered For B2K's Millennium Tour

Michael B. Jordan loves nostalgia. From the 90s and beyond, the actor has always shown love to those who helped create our favorite music memories. Now, Jordan is looking to throw his hat in the running for B2K's Millenium Tour.

The actor shared a hilarious video of himself, Terrance J and Ridiculousness' Steelo Brim jamming to Diddy's "I Need A Girl Remix" this week on Twitter with the caption, "Is there any more room on the Millennium Tour?" Fans of the 2000s hip-hip/R&B era are aware the jam was released in 2002 from Diddy's LP, We Invented The Remix.

https://twitter.com/michaelb4jordan/status/1116092812787953665

We're sure B2K, Mario, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd and the rest of the family wouldn't mind having Killmonger on the road with them. Meanwhile, the guys have brought out several special guests on the Millennium Tour. So far, surprise performances have included Ashanti, Ja Rule, Bow Wow and B5.

Enjoy "I Need A Girl Part 2" below.

Continue Reading
Screenshot from BET Livestream

Jhene Aiko Sings "Eternal Sunshine" At Nipsey Hussle's Memorial Service

Friends, family, and fans all gathered at the Staples Center Thursday (April 11) to tell stories, and offer warm anecdotes before saying their final goodbye to Nipsey Hussle. The memorial service billed as a celebration of life featured several musical performances including Jhene Aiko who sang a tender version of "Eternal Sunshine" from her Souled Out album.

The Los Angeles native dressed in black slacks, a black turtleneck and donned a tilted church hat as she took to the stage shortly after Lauren London and the couple's children greeted the audience. The song from her classic 2014 album Souled Out brought tears to many who watched the nearly three-hour service via live stream.

https://twitter.com/nicole_perez1/status/1116417574768656386

Jhene Aiko voice is soooo peaceful man it takes you to another world

— Lay (@gr8Tvibes) April 11, 2019

https://twitter.com/apryll_marie/status/1116415816885469185

On March 31st, the Grammy-nominated rapper was gunned down outside of his Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles. Reportedly, the 33-year-old left his home sans security to greet a friend just released from prison who served 20 years. The Victory Lap artist was planning to gift him with clothes.

Hussle's untimely death has sent shockwaves throughout the hip-hop and sports community, prompting fellow artists and athletes to vocally express their sadness and condolences, chief among them being Barack Obama who wrote a letter to Hussle's family that was read during the service.

Following the memorial service, a procession will pass by his Marathon Clothing store and end at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills where Hussle, real name Ermias Joseph Asghedom, will be laid to rest.

Continue Reading

Top Stories