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Samuel L. Jackson Criticizes Hollywood’s Unwillingness to Deal with Modern Day Racism

Actor Samuel L. Jackson is using his blockbuster status to create compelling conversation about Hollywood’s limited views about race on the big screen.

Speaking directly to UK’s The Times, the coolest man in the movies expressed his concerns about racism within Hollywood, and politics at the Oscars.

The film icon believes that the popularity of Steve McQueen’s Oscar-nominated epic, 12 Years a Slave, serves as a healthy distraction to audiences who fail to realize that bigotry is still dynamic in modern America.

“America is much more willing to acknowledge what happened in the past,” Jackson said. Over the course of his 40-year-career, the Washington, D.C.-born, Tennessee-raised thespian has raked in a hefty $9 billion at the box office, and yet confirms that he still faces racial discrimination in the film industry “on a daily basis.”

Major studios are notorious for overlooking projects that have a current-world motif, or shed light on an issue facing our “post-racial” America. For instance, if you read the reviews about Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station versus the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s blatant snubbing of the project, you would be miffed as to why the true story of a modern-day racist act wouldn’t warrant the same applause as one that happened in the early-to-mid-1800’s.

The actor was quick to point out that same fact, saying that Fruitvale Station “tackled the issue of race in a far more forthright and braver way than 12 Years A Slave.”

“It (Fruitvale Station) is a film about African-Americans – a dark period of history that they don’t like to explore in that particular way,” he said.

He’s right, too. In an age where we celebrate the accomplishments of America’s first Black president; where we tout the accomplishments of our Black elite, Hollywood still is afraid to put their dollars behind an explosive piece of art.

The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier star has every right to worry about the limitations Hollywood places on confronting discrimination, which still plagues the country to this day.

“(Fruitvale Station) explains things like the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the problems with (the popular police practice) stop and search, and is much more poignant.”

Will we ever see a modern day telling of racism and discrimination in America on the big screen? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

What people are saying

10 thoughts on “Samuel L. Jackson Criticizes Hollywood’s Unwillingness to Deal with Modern Day Racism

  1. Danielle Kwateng says:

    I totally agree with his point and it's been made clear by award season. "Fruitvale" was more poignant in creating a conversation about current race issues in this country. They just don't want to talk about it

  2. Wesley Hunte says:

    the pure truth ,,its funny a lot of people have seen 12 years (Enslaved) i call it,,and they say great film but it happend then,,you (us) people should get over it,,but what them people forget that its still going on now,,"Still,,"

  3. Anonymous says:

    The word "Racism" is used 99% of the time to deflect accountability from those that use it…. It is easier to blame others for our problems instead of accepting the fact that our own actions are the main influence in our lives…you never see these guys challenge the horrible things going on in China, Russia or other countries that have laws in their government that IS racist……yes there will always be racism but why paint millions of innocent people with a broad brush for what 1000 are doing…..follow the money…..the article above….they make a living from playing the race card..wish these folks would put the same amount of energy into creating something worth while like a cure for cancer or maybe teach love instead of just being an glamorized example of bitch and contempt….

  4. Vic Stafford says:

    America doesn't like having mirrors shoved in its' face!

  5. Donna Lawson says:

    "The greatest trick white privilege ever pulled was convincing white people it didn't exist."

  6. Anonymous says:

    The greatest self deception presently being pulled is believing racism still exists at the level it once did…
    Donna Lawson ..your right…it DID exist….no denying that but pretending its evan close to being what it was is self deception ( a convenience for some folk)…they can blame all their problems on someone else….I tell you who sees it best is those visiting from other countries….most are dumb founded that Black America is still acting as if its just as bad as it was decades ago… I have started seeing other Black folk raise up their voices and say I am free and I am not in bondage and white America is NOT my problem…my problem was my own thinking and listening to those that profit from saying white America is what is keeping me down, my problem was my father abandoned me as a child, my problem was I grew up depending on the government for my income, and it made me feel ashamed..
    it aint white keeping me down its me keeping me down……
    …they are no longer believing the lie…no longer living the lie of convenience….they are heros and are the ones offering hope to our children instead of contempt and hate..they offer an example of solution instead of bitterness…and guess who spits hate in their faces….it ain't white America.. its Blacks.. telling them they are selling out….they are getting off the blame train and leading their families , their neighborhoods, their schools and jobs, leading us in hope and peace…this is what Dr. King wanted for America…..he knew the blame game would do nothing but create hate….create despair….this thinking of hate is so ingrained into the mind of some it is going to take generations to get it out…..or until it is not profitable to think this way any longer….and no…no one is forgetting the past…ever..

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wesley Hunte ,it will always be around but what your not saying is that it only exist in a small amount of what it was a few decades ago…it has changed dramatically so why act as if its the same? If you know the way of encouragement. love, hope, then be an example of these things and lose the contempt because its killing our children…lead as an example…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Those who claim racism is "better" do so because America isn't legally selling humans anymore. But racism hasn't gone ANYWHERE. It's just not always in plain, segregation & slavery sight. And as someone who was born and raised in America but has spent extended time in 24 countries: it's not just in black peoples' heads. And it's certainly not a matter of "convenience". Convenience? My goodness that's arrogant and asinine. Who would WANT that "convenience"? How uncomfortable it must be to admit that racism is still very much a wide spread issue that one would rather dismiss it as a concept of self-deception. Just wow.

  9. Anonymous says:

    i agree wit sam period, i live n chicago and im 36 now and the still can't tell if yur a young thug or a grown ass man..this is modern..they never wanna talk about or do nothing about it, jus keep talking about politics, terrorism, make u not ask these questions about wats going on now in america

  10. Mildred Clark says:

    Great view point. I am convince that you young people will bring an end to this issue as well ( Enslavement for the 21st century.)

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