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Lee Daniels Doesn’t Want to Take on Racism in Hollywood, But Has No Problem Accusing Black Community of Homophobia

lee_danielsIn the midst of his discussions about whether actress/comedian Mo’Nique was truly “blackballed” for her refusal to participate in the Hollywood game while campaigning for the film Precious, director Lee Daniels made extremely revealing comments about how much he is willing to close his eyes to racism in order to succeed in his industry.

But his unwillingness to confront racism on behalf of his people stands in stark contrast to previous comments he has made attacking the entire Black community for close-mindedness in not accepting homosexuality.

During an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Daniels discussed the brewing controversy over comments he made to Mo’Nique, who has drawn a flood of media coverage after saying Daniels told her she was “blackballed” in Hollywood because of her behavior during the Oscar campaign for Precious. But in the process, Daniels revealed his painfully hollow feelings on race.

“We were on the [press] campaign and she was making unreasonable demands…she wasn’t thinking, and this is where reverse racism, I think, happens,” Daniels said. “I said, ‘You have to thank the producers of the film, you have to thank the studio,’ and I think she didn’t understand that. And I said, ‘Listen, people aren’t going to respond well if you don’t.”

His use of the term “reverse racism” was odd, as if he was somehow implying that the power in the situation resided with Mo’Nique rather than with the studios that have dictated her fate.

“I love her, and I’ve spoken to her. And she’s brilliant, and I like working with brilliant people,” he continued. “But sometimes artists get in their own way — I know I certainly do often. I have my own demons that I get in front of myself…”

Daniels said in order to make it in his business “you gotta play ball.”

“This is not just show. It’s show business and you gotta play ball. I don’t like calling the race card. I don’t believe in it, because if I buy into it then it becomes ‘real.’ If I knew what I knew when I was 21, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now.”

“Some people call that selling out,” Lemon pointed out.

“I guess I’m a sell out then. Call it what it is, but I’m not going to not work, not going to not tell my truth, not going to not call people on their bull. Call it what it is. And see you in theaters.”

His implication was that those who complain about racism in Hollywood are just creating distractions that keep them from working—if they would just shut up and keep their head down, then the white people might throw them some bones. It is precisely the sort of attitude that invades insider industries like Hollywood, where a Black artist is allowed inside the door but is then afraid to make waves that might result in other Black artists coming through the door behind him. Daniels is clearly not interested in making any demands on Hollywood that might endanger his insider status.

This was a premise thoroughly explored in the seminal 1969 novel and film, The Spook Who Sat By The Door, about how white industries will hire a Black token to quiet dissent. But what’s curious about Daniels’ reluctance to speak on racism in Hollywood, this refusal to “play the race card,” is that he has no compunction about turning around and attacking the Black community for its so-called “homophobia,” which he claims is “killing” Black women.

“When I did Precious I had to do research on AIDS in the ’80s so I went to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis Center in New York City, and I expected to see gay men, and there were nothing but African-American women and babies with HIV. And that blew me away,” Daniels said last month in a room full of white TV critics during a panel discussion about his extremely successful TV show Empire.

Daniels said this was because of the “rampant” homophobia in the Black community, which he said forces Black men to secretly engage in gay sex to avoid being stigmatized.

What people are saying

40 thoughts on “Lee Daniels Doesn’t Want to Take on Racism in Hollywood, But Has No Problem Accusing Black Community of Homophobia

  1. Get your six minutes of fame. Some of these Hollywood (Satan) Negropeans is a shame. But you make money off of Black Suffering!

  2. I totally agree with the with Nick Chile's and I hope Lee's hypocrisy is bought to his attention. Even though I'm sure he will absolutely not understand and accept it. But I assure you Hollywood will help him understand quick. Only then will he have to come back to the black community for protection. Just like ON and Michael Jackson and so many others. It never fails. Mark my words.

  3. Peggy Brown says:

    To me Empire is a trashy series. Full of stereotype. I was looking forward to the series but find it boring and nasty. Love seeing both lead actors but do not like the series.

  4. Jay S Forney says:

    Brothers and Sisters can we talk? I guess that's a yes Mr Daniels you open Pandora's box and I guess I have to close it for him, On paper in the white man's world you probably thousand times smarter than me, But in the real world You don't have enough brain function to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher, Now let me explain This homosexual behavior, When two grown-ass men don't know the difference between the digestive system and reproduction system, that's a problem at its lowest common denominator common sense, and most people who go to Ivy League schools found out that something they can't buy, let me give you a history lesson on the African mind, True Africans who have not been tampered with don't believe in unnatural things, Do you know how many boys was rape during slavery? Do you know how many mens was rape body slave owners, women having sex with women and men having sex with mens people having sex with animals all of behavior of Europeans, they took away our names spirituality and language.Now they want our private parts So you keep happening with that mission and may your life be hell on this earth.

  5. This post is pretty much the definition of word salad.

  6. The problem I have With Daniels is that he keeps using the excuse of DL homosexuality is killing Black women yet in his movies he portrays them as if he's wiping his gay azz with them. I'm sick of him and his excuses. The reason he's not attacking racism in Hollywood is because he doesn't want to 'bite the hand that feeds him'. So in essence he's contradicting himself when he says he not going to NOT tell his truth or 'not call people on their bull'. Really Daniels? Hollywood needs to called on ALL OF THEIR BULL. You and other gay black men are always trying to get white males of power to accept you. It's your frustration. But now that you've been given a little tiny taste of the successful pie, you do as all 'sellouts' do, turn against your own race of people. All Black ain't loyal, someone said and you Mr. ain't loyal.

  7. Nita Ramey says:

    Hollywood didn't blackball Mo'Nique… Lee Daniels did because she wouldn't "play the game" like he does"

    He says gay African-American men are stigmatized by the Black community so they have to go DL and as a result are killing Black women with HIV! He says he is concerned about the huge number of Black women dying from AIDS! So, if the Black community is more accepting of gay men, then women will stop dying in large numbers from AIDS!

    Hmmmm… Must be the reason why Black women have the lowest marriage rate at 27%, compared to Black men at 49%, because they marry other races, a minuscule percentage of Black women, and Now with same-sex marriage… other men!

    Lord help us!

  8. Romans, Chapter 1. Some will be given over to "A Reprobate Mind". This man is a bitter black homosexual who is afraid of the white institutional racism that suppresses black people in the industry. But he is open to screwing all the gays in Hollywood , black, white, other, who has power , financing, and position. Money and success is his God. He has sold God out. However, his gayness is just a "Sign" of Jesus returning in these "Last Days" Don't judge him. It is time to get our religious "house in order" with God.

  9. Black balling her is the same as 'Blackballing' her DL gay husband. That's whom they were really after. HIM! He supported her is not appearing in the Junket, so they eliminated her to get to him. I bet in reality, they want him to dump her. But he won't, so they ex'd him by dumping her. That circle is cold hearted.

  10. Let's just understand what Daniels role in Hollywood is. To eliminate Black women and strengthen the gay men's circle. But not before tapping that Black goddess energy.

  11. Medusa Brown says:

    Get that nigga Lee Daniels to do it he will do anything for us! I will not watch any of daniels movies not even bootleg!

  12. What is wrong with some of you? You can't fight internal and external recism with homophobia. Along with other isms and phobias, it's hate. Some of you are just as bad as Daniels. In order to fight blacks who have self-hatred issues, we have to do it with love.

  13. A phobia is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance. Unlike the brief anxiety most people feel when they give a speech or take a test, a phobia is long lasting, causes intense physical and psychological reactions, and can affect your ability to function normally at work or in social. This definition is from the Mayo Clinic and most heterosexuals do have an irrational fear of homosexuals. In many cases, they are able to function normally when they encounter a homosexual. In many cases, many normal and sane people can become violent when they encounter the homosexual. I saw the video too, and I do not disagree with what he is saying. It is true many gays and lesbians were molested. But, that could be a chicken and an egg question. I can explain more if you choose to debate me. I can also easily debate you on other parts of the Dr.'s video if you choose to.

  14. Peace Nluv says:

    DL men aren't killing Black women, Black women constantly willing to engage in condomless sex is the true culprit. Still thinking HIV/AIDS is a gay disease, they willingly spread their legs for raw dick, instead of more wisely engaging in safer sex. Protect yourself sexually no matter what your orientation is. If you choose to have unsafe sex, then that was a decision you purposely made, and are equally responsible for any negative outcome.

  15. Jay S Forney says:

    First thing I would like to say thank you for having this dialogue with me.Secondly I wanted you to look at the video because I thought it would open up a true dialogue about Africans and homosexuality and now here we are, it seems to me that you are very intelligent and have a great mind.I don't consider myself being smart at all, but I do consider myself being a god a little G made by the Most High.now you have some insight who you dealing with.Now let's take the word "phobia" if I didn't like pedophiles or oral sex would that be a phobia, You see I practice what I preach, You see heterosexuals are guilty of some of these practice, In 70s if you ask black man to go down on a woman that will be fighting words.So where did this behavior come from? how did we start confusing the digestive system with the reproductive system? if you answered those two questions, look at this,"Biology" Now, I would like for you to picture in your mind, four naked people standing in front of you, two men two women looking at the anatomy of those four people, Is it that hard to see who was made for who? Please don't forget about the digestive system versus the reproduction system, When you answer that question, Maybe phobia is the problem, When a man is scared of be with a woman so he choose to be with a man. Maybe you can answer that question forgive me for my dialect of the Kings language, gods don't specialize in language we specialize in creation.I thank you for your time.

  16. Jay S Forney says:

    First thing I would like to say thank you for having this dialogue with me.Secondly I wanted you to look at the video because I thought it would open up a true dialogue about Africans and homosexuality and now here we are, it seems to me that you are very intelligent and have a great mind.I don't consider myself being smart at all, but I do consider myself being a god a little G made by the Most High.now you have some insight who you dealing with.Now let's take the word "phobia" if I didn't like pedophiles or oral sex would that be a phobia, You see I practice what I preach, You see heterosexuals are guilty of some of these practice, In 70s if you ask black man to go down on a woman that will be fighting words.So where did this behavior come from? how did we start confusing the digestive system with the reproductive system? if you answered those two questions, look at this,"Biology" Now, I would like for you to picture in your mind, four naked people standing in front of you, two men two women looking at the anatomy of those four people, Is it that hard to see who was made for who? Please don't forget about the digestive system versus the reproduction system, When you answer that question, Maybe phobia is the problem, When a man is scared of be with a woman so he choose to be with a man. Maybe you can answer that question forgive me for my dialect of the Kings language, gods don't specialize in language we specialize in creation.I thank you for your time.

  17. Jay S Forney says:

    I ask of two things from you, 1.look up the medical term of phobia 2.look at this video and get back with me, let's have an intelligent discussion, I know you probably won't but you can't say I didn't try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBpu_MWxYtM&feature=youtu.be.

  18. Melissa Relf says:

    A salad with good tasting ingrentients

  19. Jay S Forney admire the debate without insults you guys are having. actually enjoy reading what you are both saying.

  20. AFTER THIS INTERVIEW I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY CERTAIN BLACK PEOPLE NOT FALLING FOR THE OKIE DOKE TYPE SHOW HE HAS ON RIGHT NOW . WHEN I WATCH HIS SHOW OBJECTIVELY IT'S LIKE HE SLIPPED ME A MICKEY AND IF YOU DON'T WATCH IT YOU FALL FOR THE OKIE DOKE ,WITCH IS THE HOMOSEXUAL OVERTONES.BUT WHEN I HEAR HIM TALK ABOUT THE RACE CARD THIS DUDE IS ALREADY TAINTED BECAUSE HE IS GAY, HE'S HOLLOW BECAUSE HE GETTIN MONEY NOW AND FORGETTING THE BLACK PLIGHT.MONEY AND THE PEOPLE IN YOUR SURROUNDINGS WILL HAVE YOU LOSE FOCUS OF WHATS REAL.HE'S SURROUNDED BY WHITE PEOPLE THAT ACCEPT HIS LIFESTYLE , THEN INTERJECT IT ON TV TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE BLACK MAN

  21. Diana Peter says:

    What I am tired of is the black community being lumped together as one. We all do not think alike or feel the same way. The black community this… The black community that…wits

  22. Benny Igwebe says:

    You don't have a proper brain function , one pf those in denial of the reali.

  23. My friend, just like you are a man of God, so am I. I always pray that God guides me to the right path, which I believe he or she has despite my imperfections. Saying that, paraphrasing the Mayo Clinic's definition of phobia, a phobia is basically an illogical fear. It is usually the fear of a person, animal, object or act without real experience or reasoning. So, the dislike of child sexual abusers is logical. Child abusers attack the most vulnerable of our population. And, the dislike of oral sex may be logical if it is associated with a real negative experience. In the case of some heterosexuals, the fear of homosexuality is an illogical fear or phobia. Many heterosexuals have not met or gotten to know many gay people. They assume from the media and stories that they've heard from others, homosexuals are oversexed immoral human beings who were damaged as children. In reality, some homosexuals are normal people who do normal things who generally live ordinary lives. There are some that are depraved. There are also many heterosexuals who are depraved.

    Additionally, am I right by assuming that you believe that the sexual expression and sexuality of Africans that live on the continent and in the diaspora is monolithic? I can tell you if you say yes to this question, I would be insulted as a person of African descent and as a human being. Let me tell you why. I want to believe that all black people are unique, intelligent and complex human beings. I want to believe that we value various experiences, including our sexually experiences. I want to believe that we are capable of being tolerant of diversity within our community. People who truly believe that they are civilized believe in the beauty of human diversity, which includes human sexuality. Furthermore, you've mentioned the biological aspect of human sexuality. If you look at the reproductive and digestive systems, you would notice that they are linked. The penis is both an erotic zone, and it also expels waste. A woman's internal sexual organs are connected to her bladder. Lastly, the buttocks is an erogenous zone for men and women. As a matter of fact, one of a man's erogenous zones is near his anus hole, and by touching this area, he is able to have more powerful orgasms. Ironically, feces comes out of this area. So, based on this information, your argument against certain sexual acts based on biology is not valid. For some reason, the Good Lord decided to join our most pleasurable areas with our most disgusting areas of our bodies. It is just what it is.

    Finally, if I saw four naked people, 2 men and 2 women, staring at each other genitals, I would be speechless to be honest, and I think most people would be too. Based on my experiences, my understanding of human sexuality and my belief system, I would believe that the opposite sex as well as the same sex genitals are a perfect match. It really depends on the sexuality of these people I believe. The key word of my previous sentence is believe. Based on your belief system, you would assume that genitals of a man and woman are a perfect match. In my belief system, a man's or a woman's genitals can match either gender. In my belief system, homosexuality, heterosexuality, and bisexuality are neither good or bad; they are all normal to me. I believe that a person should follow their natural sexual orientation. Why do I have this belief system? Since most of my experiences with homosexuals, heterosexuals and bisexuals have been positive experiences. Also, I'm a free thinker, and I believe that people should live their lives that best suit them. I'm done with my argument. If you want to continue to debate me, I welcome you to ask me more questions.

  24. My problem with this? An agenda biases it. EVERYONE in Hollywood, depending on their status, portfolio, etc. "plays ball". The seasoned character actor, the aspiring newcomer, the rising new star…like any job pretty much, there is a pecking order, protocol and corporate culture (or "games" some would say) to be played. Everything I've read suggests Daniels and Monique were FRIENDS. Everything I've read suggests there were expectations around her Oscar nod that she DID NOT feel obligated to fulfill.
    If management, ownership, etc sees you as not a team player, difficult, demanding, there is almost always a cost. Daniels is essentially saying if paying that cost to get to the place he needs to be to realize his vision, deliver his art and reach his dream results in some folk tagging him a "sellout", so be it.
    If a WHITE director said what he said under these circumstances, nobody would bat an eye.
    Black public figures come under a strange scrutiny. In addition to having to navigate biases, bigotry and yes, racism along their path, they also need to be aware that they must "represent", and somehow hold up an all encompassing, acceptable, not too radical (unless…) or not to passive ideal of "blackness" that does us ALL justice.
    Because those you disappoint are gonna demand your membership card otherwise.

  25. guess I’m a sell out then. Call it what it is, but I’m not going to not work, not going to not tell my truth, not going to not call people on their bull. Call it what it is. And see you in theaters.”.NO NEED TO GUESS YOU ARE LET THAN A SELL OUT.

  26. He's just an opportunist riding on the backs of Black people who came before him & the opportunities he'll get for being Hollywood's Uncle Tom!

  27. Doesn't force them to do anything, it's a free choice they made to protect themselves not caring about the consequences or the other person.

  28. Nic Few says:

    Yes, because people only have sex to reproduce… JAY your logic is beyond ignorant… Brother do the community a favor and expose yourself (READ, TRAVEL, BEFRIEND) before you decide to speak for the community. Men like you fuel Lee's troubled argument.

  29. Johnny Kain says:

    Lawrence Johnson Thank you for the clinical/psychological definition of the term "phobia". Would you mind presenting the sociological definition of the term as well. I am sure you know that some words have more than one meaning.

  30. You people are full of crap. Are you really attacking this man for supporting something he believes in? Let's not act like homophobia isn't a thing in the black community. Even within these comments, the homophobia is evident. This is an issue that Lee Daniels is choosing to tackle because it's closest to his heart. Like he said, he doesn't believe in playing the race card. Therefore, it's not logical to him to "make waves" in hollywood. Why should he have to? I wouldn't want to risk my career either. And I know that 99% of you in these comments wouldn't be putting your career on the line either. You're complaining that he's not doing anything to help the black community but he's giving and is continuing to give young black actors roles in his projects. Projects that are launching careers for some people. So stop the whining. When you produce your own TV show, movie, songs, whatever… Then you can tackle the issues that you want to tackle. But don't EXPECT someone else to drop what they're doing and do it for you.

  31. Your statement is partially true. Yes, there are black women constantly willing to engage in condom-less sex. However, there are black women who are MARRIED to these men and have been lied to the entire time. You can't use the same argument for those women. They don't have to use condoms with their husbands. The bottom line is NO ONE has the right to take away another's right to make an informed decision. When that man decided he wasn't going to tell the woman about his sexuality and still engage in homosexual encounters on the low, he opened that woman (possibly wife) to consequences of his decisions. It's a combination of things. It's definitely not a one vs. the other issue. There are several things killing black women.

  32. Jay S Forney says:

    I must agree with you that I was very ignorant person, and thank you for pointing that out, but only in your unnatural world, by the way I don't live in the community I live in the universe, I'm glad you have to read someone else's book to validate you you want to be, save yourself some time and convince me water is not wet, or convince me that you took a spaceship to the Sun but it was at night time, it looks like you are the one who is exposing himself to the world. like you're some Einstein, So I'm laughing at you, you are so smart but you can figure out what a penis and a vagina is. so keep on using your digestive system for your sexual pleasure,.Since you like doing things backwards just sit on your food and see how much nutrition do you get from it , don't try to attack me girly boy you dealing with a god.I like the intelligent conversation I was having with Mr. Lawrence Johnson.BUT YOU, We both live in Cali I'll be more than glad to meet you.

  33. Jay S Forney says:

    Yes, because people only have sex to reproduce… JAY your logic is beyond ignorant… Brother do the community a favor and expose yourself (READ, TRAVEL, BEFRIEND) before you decide to speak for the community. Men like you fuel Lee's troubled argument.

    Jay S Forney · Top Commenter · Actor / Sman at SAG-AFTRA.
    I must agree with you that I was very ignorant person, and thank you for pointing that out, but only in your unnatural world, by the way I don't live in the community I live in the universe, I'm glad you have to read someone else's book to validate you you want to be, save yourself some time and convince me water is not wet, or convince me that you took a spaceship to the Sun but it was at night time, it looks like you are the one who is exposing himself to the world. like you're some Einstein, So I'm laughing at you, you are so smart but you can figure out what a penis and a vagina is. so keep on using your digestive system for your sexual pleasure,.Since you like doing things backwards just sit on your food and see how much nutrition do you get from it , don't try to attack me girly boy you dealing with a god.I like the intelligent conversation I was having with Mr. Lawrence Johnson.BUT YOU, We both live in Cali I'll be more than glad to meet you.

  34. This thing is a hypocrite. He has no love or respect for the Afro America family of people. He is all about himself. Hollywood love stepped fetching spooks like him.

  35. Lee Daniels tends to speak out on the form of discrimination and oppression that bothers him most, but isn't that the case with most of us. There are many ways of taking on racism. It does not always require debates, accusations, and face to face combat. To change a game, it is not always wise to reveal that you are actually attempting to change it. When attempting to shatter a power structure, it would be insane to inform those of the power structure that you are attempting to shatter or destroy it. It can create a kind of fear and distrust that will shut doors and hinder opportunities to make desired changes. Imagine…. standing upon a doorstep of where you wish to enter and telling them how jacked up their entity is before entering. You are likely to get the door slammed in your face in more ways than one. Sometimes, it is the silent trailblazer with the smile upon his or her face who is the most revolutionary and effective game changer of all.

  36. So he feels comfortable chastising or calling black people out on their bull as he said or wrong thinking but not white people because he feels they can hurt his earning potential. Pathetic.

  37. Jay S Forney lmbo! "can't figure out what a penis and a vagina is" I'm done.

  38. Well I guess black women need to put condoms on their dicks??? Sounds like both black men and black women, who by the way have the highest rate of HIV cases compared to any other race (according to the whites that create the statistics in the first place) Need to be equally responsible for using condoms. If black women are spreading their legs to raw dick as you describe sir, then it looks like black men are constantly ramming their dicks into raw you know what! Sir, we can play the blame game all day.. But when it comes down to it.. There are responsibilities that both parties have. And since the man is the one with the dicks it would seem to me that he has a responsibility to put a condom on it!!!

  39. Another instance where the black woman is at fault and the black gay man is unaccountable for his behavior. Patriarchy at its best. Smh

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