Seems actor Rockmond Dunbar had a lot to get off his chest regarding the term “black Hollywood” recently in his interview with The Urban Daily. The California native, who currently appears on Sons Anarchy, had this to say when asked… “What are your feelings on Black Hollywood and White Hollywood not embracing black actors?”
“There’s a really awkward answer for that. Just recently I posted on Facebook, “There is no Black Hollywood!” After my 25 years of doing research and studying, I cannot find the CEO. I can’t find the president and there are no board members. There isn’t even a public service number I can call to get help as a black producer, actor, director. There is no Black Hollywood and I hate separatism. Let’s just cancel out the term “Black Hollywood.” We should just call them Hollywood actors and watch their films because they’re great, not because they’re black.
Some of my actor friends and I were talking about this and I was the only one who spoke from a place of honest hurt. I was hurt because I’ve played a prolific father of three and a devoted husband on the longest running drama. I’ve played a black heart surgeon on Heartland. I’ve played so many different characters that my career is diverse. But on Soul Food, it was our third NAACP nomination. I was walking the red carpet and a guy waved me over for an interview and asked, “How do you feel about being snubbed for the third year in a row?” I said, “What are you talking about? We’re nominated as a cast.” He said, “Yeah, the cast is nominated, but you are the only one who hasn’t been nominated in an individual acting category.” That question devastated me for years. It burned a little bit. Idris Elba was on the show and he said, “Man, I get nominated by NAACP for playing a drug dealer and you play a father and haven’t been nominated.” Gary Dourdan said the same thing. He thought I was going to get nominated and I didn’t.
So when you talk about White Hollywood accepting us, White Hollywood has accepted me. I have been on a number of shows where I have been the only black character. Sons of Anarchy is in its fourth season and didn’t have a main black character for the first three. You rarely see me in Jet Magazine, Ebony, and Essence. You rarely see me in black publications, but I’m a Goodwill Ambassador with diplomatic status for West Africa. So this whole notion of Black Hollywood existing, I haven’t felt it. Maybe I need to cut a rap album or something. [laughs]
I’m not quite sure how to take this. He seems to be annoyed by the term but somehow still wants to be “validated” by the black community. Hmm…
What do you say?