Terrence Howard is one of the most renowned Black actors in Hollywood. His astonishing career included an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in “Hustle & Flow.” He’s performed on Broadway, and made viewers fall in love with his character Lucious on “Empire.” His roles often portray strong men of power and authority who command and demand your respect. But according to Howard, Black men are viewed “as a threat” in the film industry.
To promote his new movie, “The System,” he spoke with Revolt TV about the evolution of Black stories in films.
When asked what type of stories he wants to see, Howard uttered, “I would like to see more white stories” before laughing. “No, but I would like to know the ability of men to be men and people to be people.”
The 53-year-old said he notices fewer men of power and strength and more that behave like women. But he understands that looks different in terms of race.
“The man has been demonized…the strength in character and faults that come with a man are necessary for balance,” Howard explained. “With the new formula, most men are made to be effeminate and not have their power or sense of strength. They allow white men to be able to be strong but when its Black men, it’s seen as a threat.”
He continued, “I don’t want to remove a few chromosomes to fit in someone’s story, so I feel they need to expand their stories to allow men to be men and simultaneously appreciate a woman’s beauty.”
Howard’s co-star Tyrese Gibson previously addressed Hollywood’s colorism issue in a viral interview last year. The R&B singer said his muscular physique and dark complexion made him a big hit with the ladies. But Hollywood executives were not impressed.
“Throughout my whole childhood, it was not cool to be dark-skin in the ’hood,” the actor told Leah A. Henry of “Leah’s Lemonade.” “It was always the light-skinned Black people that seemed to have gotten all the attention and all the love and considered pretty, attractive, or handsome. And since I’ve been in Hollywood, we dealt with the same thing.”
He posited that Howard booked more gigs than him because of his lighter skin tone.
“I just did a film with Terrence Howard — we’re able to joke about it now — but I was the star of the film, and they had an idea to go with someone else, who I won’t mention, and then I suggested Terrence Howard. And he thanked me for, like, a week straight,” he said. “Terrence Howard has no idea how many roles that I was about to book, and they went with him because he’s the lighter-skinned Black man with the green eyes.”