‘Get Out’ Star Daniel Kaluuya on Samuel L. Jackson’s Comments: ‘I Resent That I Have to Prove I’m Black’

Daniel Kaluuya Widows
Stewart Cook/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya has responded to Samuel L. Jackson’s recent comments about black British actors in American roles, defending both his casting and his experience as a black man.

In an interview with GQ, Kaluuya criticized the notion that he could somehow not fully understand the plight of African-Americans due to his nationality, commenting, “I resent that I have to prove that I’m black. “

Related

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson Explains Black British Actors Comments: ‘I Didn’t Say They Were Taking Anything’

“In order to prove that I can play this role, I have to open up about the trauma that I’ve experienced as a black person,” Kaluuya said. “I have to show off my struggle so that people accept that I’m black.”

Kaluuya was reacting to Jackson’s public musings on whether or not having an American in the role of a black man meeting his girlfriend’s liberal, white, racist family would have made the film different somehow.

“There are a lot of black British actors in these movies,” Jackson told New York radio station Hot 97. “I tend to wonder what that movie [‘Get Out’] would have been with an American brother who really feels that.” He continued, “What would a brother from America have made of that role? Some things are universal, but not everything.”

Related Content ‘Get Out’ Star Daniel Kaluuya Joins Viola Davis in Steve McQueen Heist Movie ‘Widows’

Kaluuya, featured in the upcoming “Black Panther” film and recently cast as the lead in Steve McQueen’s “Widows,” was born in England to Ugandan immigrant parents. He expressed frustration at being perceived as “not black enough,” when he and other black Brits often experience discrimination in a country with a history of racism.

“I’m dark-skinned, bro. When I’m around black people I’m made to feel ‘other’ because I’m dark-skinned,” he added. “I’ve had to wrestle with that, with people going ‘You’re too black.’ Then I come to America and they say, ‘You’re not black enough.’ I go to Uganda, I can’t speak the language. In India, I’m black. In the black community, I’m dark-skinned. In America, I’m British.”

Kaluuya also compared the situation to the plot of “Get Out,” in which black people are often made to speak for their race.

“Just because you’re black, you taken and used to represent something,” he said. “It mirrors what happens in the film.”

POPULAR ON VARIETY:

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 8

Leave a Reply

8 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Christine Lewis says:

    I love Daniel. And It’s seems to me that he has never been short of work.

  2. adam says:

    From the article: “having an American in the role of a black man meeting his girlfriend’s liberal, white, racist family would have made the film different somehow.”

    So this family is liberal AND racist? How does that fit in with how we understand American politics?

  3. axzl says:

    You wonder if most of the criticism here is from people who actually read Jackson’s thoughtful comments, or if it’s just the same old racist BS. Pretty sure it’s the latter.

  4. Ashley West says:

    Jackson has played intelligent people. He is absolutely not qualified for that role.

  5. Yeah, the comments were ill advised.

  6. JimmyJoe says:

    What an idiotic statement by Jackson! It’s called “acting” for a reason. You don’t have to be American to play an American any more than you have to be a murderer to play a hit man, a soldier to play an Army Ranger, or a space alien to play a Jedi Master in a galaxy far, far away…You simply have to have the talent to convey the character and message.

    Perhaps Jackson should stick to his day job and leave the philosophy to those better suited to intelligently express those type of opinions. Don’t black actors have enough barriers without creating artificial ones?

  7. Coffee says:

    Don’t worry about it, Daniel. Sam Jackson is always shooting off at the mouth like he’s the spokesperson for all black people. Just ignore him like me and all the other blacks in Hollywood.

  8. Andrea Smart says:

    when u r allowed to be a man and not a white or colorful man then u become a man

More Film News from Variety

Loading