Actor Lee Daniels on ‘whiny’ #OscarsSoWhite controversy: ‘Stop complaining’


Lee Daniels: Not playing the victim card.

From The Guardian: Oscar-nominated film-maker Lee Daniels has criticised the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, saying that people need to “stop complaining”.

Daniels, whose film Precious made him only the second black director to have ever been nominated for an Oscar, has spoken about his frustration with those who claim the past two years of all-white nominees is a clear sign of industry racism.

“Go out and do the work,” he said to the New York Times. “Oscars so white! So what? Do your work. Let your legacy speak and stop complaining, man. Are we really in this for the awards?”

He also believes that a defeatist way of thinking about Hollywood would have prevented him from achieving success. “If I had thought that way – that the world was against me – I wouldn’t be here now,” he said. “These whiny people that think we’re owed something are incomprehensible and reprehensible to me. I don’t expect acknowledgment or acceptance from white America. I’m going to be me.”

Daniels has since gone onto achieve success with the hit TV drama Empire and new show Star, for which he cast a white actor in the lead to help America feel more unified. “I felt that the country, instinctively, I thought, needed to heal,” he said in a recent interview. “And I thought that this white girl is so fabulous that black people will embrace her and white people will embrace her.”

The next set of Oscar nominations will be announced on 24 January, and experts are predicting a more diverse set of nominees with Moonlight, Fences and Hidden Figures all expected to be in the race.


7 responses to “Actor Lee Daniels on ‘whiny’ #OscarsSoWhite controversy: ‘Stop complaining’

  1. Now he’s the epitome of an American!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Spot on Karen being an American means you have no color your an American no hyphen in the name just an American.


  3. I could not agree more . . . blacks need to stop the bellyaching–get out there and produce, and direct, and act in films which showcase the talents that our black brothers and sisters have. Sitting back and bitchin’ ’bout how hard it is does not solve this problem. Look at the fact that the number one make actor “The Rock” is partially black, he was also voted as the most handsome man (forgive me if I have misquoted that, I am strictly going by memory. Look at who some of the very top music earners are . . . black Americans! I myself do not wish to participate in viewing films made by those who have squandered their talents by complaining how unfair the system is to them . . . get off your duff and do something which is memorable.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very true Auntie.
      About 14 years ago, I got to be in the presence of the “Rock.” What a delightful and handsome young man. I was working at a county park and he showed up for a movie on the beach for us and mingled with the people.
      He showed the upmost respect for each and everyone that attended. He took plenty of time and enjoyed the evening. He has such an infectious smile, you want to be in his presence. He has held true to his morals, so far. He has not lowered his standards to act vulgar and I pray he continues having self respect. He doesn’t make color an issue. He leads by example.
      An excellent example for all youth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Glenn and Auntie, indeed, the Rock is outrageously SPECIAL and the epitome of a decent human being, a great American. I also know that he yearly sends a plane-load of “stuff” (athletic shoes, clothing, school supplies, building materials) to a small village in Central America…and the people he takes with him to deliver this stuff, remain in the village for some time to work on improving the village school building (like put windows in….). The children and the villagers turn out with all they can muster to say “thanks” in their own way—-children’s “choirs” and folk dance exhibitions, all dressed up as best they can….It’s, IMO, quite a BIG DEAL and I don’t think he’s EVER spoken aloud about doing this. He just DOES IT.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Glenn47 . . . I am delighted that you have told us about your up front and personal experience with Dwayne Johnson. He certainly seems to put off an aura of goodness in the films I have seen him in. Thank you for sharing with us. I certainly agree . . . He is handsome!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m likely the odd one out on this, but I don’t see how making movies and te levi sion productions actually works for the betterment of fellow humans. Given that photos and moving pictures are so powerful as a propaganda tool, it just seems to me, those in power would never let such a powerful tool out of their grasp.
    Therefore, mass produced moving pictures and photography are important to the human family only insofar as the human family understands they are used primarily as a tool of those in power. We must be very wary of these tools.
    A wise man I know has said, “The mind has no firewall.” Any image that is seen cannot be unseen. And any image that is seen must be viewed through a critical lens.


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