White Film Directors Refuse to Address Why They Don’t Cast Black Actors (Video)

Posted on November 18, 2011 /Video

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Afro-British director Steve McQueen raised a serious question about diversity in films during The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Roundtable discussion series. Unfortunately, his question would go unanswered.

Filmed last month at Siren Studios, the series is an hour-long discussion amongst Hollywood’s leading filmmakers and the award seasons’ top contenders. The panel included filmmakers McQueen, Bennett Miller, (Moneyball), Mike Mills, (Beginners), Alexander Payne, (The Descendants) Jason Reitman, (Young Adult) and Michel Hazanavicius.

After being addressed as a “minority,” McQueen asked his peers why black actors aren’t cast in their films. Given that in reality, African-Americans account for a large part of the population in certain areas where films frequently take place. The panel blatantly ignored the question and remained silent. Mr. Reitman broke the silence by declaring (with a smile) ‘Not stepping into that.’

“And actors. You know, some people just give up because they can’t be in movies. I’m always astonished by American filmmakers, particularly living in Southern areas, where they never cast one black person or have never actually put them as a lead in a movie. I’m astonished! It’s shameful! It is shameful. How can you be living in a country or in cities in America as a director. I mean, I don’t know–how can you live in New York and not cast black actors or Latino actors? It’s shameful. It’s unbelievable,” said McQueen. Watch the video below:

We know white directors aren’t obligated to cast blacks, but at least be upfront and honest as to why. Thoughts?

(Photo: Joe Pugliese/THR)

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