Samuel L. Jackson has clarified his controversial comments regarding the casting of black British actors on films that depict the African-American racial experience.
Speaking to ET at last Wednesday’s premier of his latest film Kong: Skull Island, the actor said, “You listen to the conversation, it becomes a different thing…I totally respect and love all those U.K. guys that come over here and work.” He then added, “I understand that coming here gives them a unique opportunity to advance their careers, and hopefully go back home and create opportunities for their friends and other guys, and let them know that they can come here, and they can succeed.”
The controversial remarks came about when Samuel L. Jackson was being interviewed by Hot 97, and was asked about his take on Jordan Peele’s horror film, Get Out, which tells the story of a young African-American man played by British actor, Daniel Kaluuya who has to deal with white liberal racism.
“There are a lot of black British actors in these movies,” Jackson said in the interview. “I tend to wonder what that movie (Get Out) would have been with an American brother who really feels that.”
He then also pointed out the film Selma as another example, which starred another British black man, David Oyelowo in the important role of Martin Luther King.
“There are some brothers in America who could have been in that movie who would have had a different idea about how King thinks,” he pointed out.
Star Wars star, John Boyega who is also a black British actor took exception to this comments and tweeted out, “Black brits vs African American. A stupid ass conflict we don’t have time for.”
Black brits vs African American. A stupid ass conflict we don't have time for.
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) March 8, 2017
In another interview at the Kong Island premier, this time with the Associated Press, Samuel L. Jackson made it clear that he wasn’t dissing British actors.
“It was not a slam against them, but it was just a comment about how Hollywood works in an interesting sort of way sometimes,” he explained, and he stated that he actually loves working with them. “I enjoy their work,” he said. “I enjoy working with them when I have the opportunity to do that.”
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