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Steve McQueen Shares His Thoughts On Hollywood Directors Not Hiring Black Actors

Steve McQueen Shares His Thoughts On Hollywood Directors Not Hiring Black Actors

Thanks to reader "Logic" for pointing this clip out; somehow I missed it yesterday. Gotta love the silence in the room; reminds me of the "wily Caucasians" scene from Chameleon Street :) Wish I could find that clip online.

Although, if I could now add… well Steve, so what're you gonna do about it?

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Shirley Carter

Is. There a Director, who maybe interested. In. A IDEA ' About. To Reprising A. "TV Series " w/ An Actor" Who has an Unchany Rezimst , to the Actor Who PLAYED THE ROLL. IF INTERESTED IN MY IDEA. HAVE YOUR CHEW CALL ME , EMAIL. ME . THANKS ,P.S. I THINK A DIRECTOR WILL SEE MY VISION ONCE HE HEAR'S. MY. " Idea ".


Snag Films has Chameleon Street

Binky Davis

Next time Mr McQueen does a Film, he might want to consider using Film Composer Paris Holley I thought for sure they would pick him for the score, but I guess not. I was with him in New York at a sound stage I saw him writing a piece and I saw him go from instrument to another writing the different parts down, he plays 36 instruments I could not believe what I was seeing, but he's real, anyway take a look and see for yourself Google him he's on YOUTUBE. He feels the aura of the writer and the actors the passion and the soul of the films characters and what comes out is a magnificent soundtrack, this was the first time I've met a composer that actually puts himself into the film in order to compose the score, its hard to find someone who's that good and not about just the money, I really like this guy.


I get the feeling that Brad Pitt will take over schmoozing detail for Oscar season.

Shawn Carter

Ralph Ellison's Invisble Man novel is relevant on every major white television network in the USA. White people do not believe in white privilege or inheritance rights- they just have this idea of entitlement. "If I want to be big actor I will be because I am white and the networks are owned by white people- if I want that good job I will get it because the corporations are owned by whites." That mentality is what defines whites privileges. Everyone else that is not white is hoping they can reach their dream or goal. America was not built by white people and this is not "NEW" Europe. The wealth of this nation belongs to all people- not the white majority! You cannot rewrite history making whites superior on tv (tell a lie vision- the stereotype box-idiot box, etc) because history is written in stone and it proves otherwise. White Supremacy is a fallacy.

Enoch Mubarak

Hollywood directors find and hire plenty black actors when time comes to make slave, servitude and prison movies.


practice what you preach how come mcqueens two first films didnt have blacks as the leads.You want change it starts with you.Why make a movie about a irish civil rights activists instead of making a movie about a black one.Why make a sex addiction movie about a white blue colored upper middled classes mae with sexual addiction issues? Why not challenge the perception about black sexuality portrayed by hollywood;as being oversexed.Shame was such a mickey mouse project with so much potential to be better.You can defend him all you want but hes a hypocrite .He likes to preach but doesnt practice there fore his words should be taken with a grain of salt .The reason black actors arent getting leads ie because of the old model of blacks in hollywood .The formula hasnt been changed at all its the same no matter what whether mainstream or independant.Give black actors white lead roles only then will the formula change .Black actors need to go audition for white roles and be good enough to change perceptions that hollywood has .It's easy when you've made something to act like you care about and issue just to get people in your corner but .When your actions dont match your words you just sound like and idiot and a hypocrite


As a black man myself who cares ? I simply don't watch tv and why cry over directors not casting more black actors in their films ? It's their film and they can cast who they please. What we need are more black directors taking chances. How many christian theme/ Tyler Perry/ Gangster turned rapper/ dance movies are we going to have ? I just heard on the radio about a new tv show called "SOUL MAN" staring Cedric the Entertainer, it's about a former R and B singer turned Preacher ugggh ! The last good tv series I watched was The Wire and that was created by a white man, danm shame.


The truth is that in the independent world, and these days in the studio world too, lead actors determine the value of a movie based on the value of those actors overseas. The distributors overseas pre-buy the distribution for independent films (about 50-70% of the funding for a film) based on actors international value, whether those lead actors are men or women. In the studio world, the studios determine the budgets based on estimates of what they think their box office with be in the foreign territories (again 50 – 70% of the budget). Many of the buyers in the international territories area women, interestingly enough. And though, a lot of those buyers may have male bosses, they have autonomy in setting the prices for these films. It is a fact that in international markets that are most valuable (Europe, Australia, Asia, even Latin America now) women have very little foreign value (maybe with the exception of Angelina Jolie), and men of color (with exception of Denzel & Will) have very little foreign value. I'm sure that historical box office data in these territories determines this, though it's kind of a chicken and egg scenario since very rarely the historical data is tested. But weather the foreign audiences are racist & sexist or the foreign distributors are, it's very much this foreign market that limits the ability of US moviemakers to be able to cast leading women and men of color. Maybe if more tentpole movies (which are typically less dependent on the star power of the lead, but more on the spectacle and high concept) were made with men of color and female leads, this glass ceiling could be broken. But another failure like Catwoman is risky business…


I am a British performer of African Caribbean decent and I sit and watch TV sometimes and feel non-existent. Nothing but a plethora of white faces. I have a very mixed background but looking into the mirror the face that I see is not represented in british movies or tv. This should not be a f***ing discussion, I exist where am I represented.



PAUL ROBERSON | November 21, 2011 Reply IN ALL FACTS/HIS-story…"BIRTH OF A NATION," produced by a arch-racist JEWISH filmmaker, D. W. GRIFFITH, did in all facts give rise to what is today, the very ethnocentric film industry–that is now, TODAY, controlled/run by people who are JUST-LIKE-HIM! SAY IT AIN'T SO… AND, what better way to keep negatively affecting the psyche of so many people of color–THAN ALL the AMOS N' ANDYisms movies–OR, da showing that only white women in the big ole paw of a giant gorilla, are to it tastes-and, not a big chested, big butt black african woman or a hispanic! AND, WOULD SOMEONE, ADL-FEARLESSLY, PLEASE…tell me why there are so many Jewish women/men–and, not nearly as many gentiles, on the "Silver-Screens," of Hollywood, HISTORICALLY!? Here cum da ADL!!! OABPR

LJ Matthew

Where can I view Part 1 of this roundtable?


Okay, so the US is not perfect. Why doesnt he talk about how in the UK their situation is worse!?
Black British cant even get (ANY) work period. Why doesnt he address that??


wow… nothing worse then a hypocrite, huh? – how about this for an explanation: 12% of the U.S. population is black – so about 1 in every 10 people are black – that is a REAL statistic – the movie biz is representing the reality of our country – now think of this: name the top 10 lead actors – i'd bet you that either denzel or will smith are on that list – 1 in 10


hi, my name is karwan othman from iraq,i think i(scriptwriter). i have stories movies for sell if your guys interested, 1st one is imagination action the movies name(the daimond man). the 2nd movie is sci-fi action(Xsee). this movie talk a bout true story(1988) movie is name (the brave photographer). 4th movie is comedian name is (my mum was stripe). last story is action movies name is (continue missions). like i said if your are interested. please let me know as soon as possible …………….thank you.


He has a point, but he chose not to hire black actors, or even tell stories that had to do with the black experience with his first two film "Hunger" and "Shame". Sounds to me like he's on a new found crusade that has more to do with his next film "Twelve Years a Slave" than a true conviction about Hollywood's dedication to black talent.


He makes a point, America consistently appears to look at things myopically from a cultural standpoint even though it is a pluralistic society. I can relate to his belief that the ambivalence to that reality of pluralism makes the American experience surreal.

karwan othman

hi,my name is karwan othman from iraq. i think i(scriptwriter). i have stories movies for sell if you are interested, 1st stories imagination action names(the daimond man). second one is sci-fi action movies name is(X see). the third one is action movies name is (continue missions). the 4th one is talk a bout true stories (1988) movies name is (the brave photographer). the 5th one is comedian movies name is (my mum was stripe)all this stories with me. so like i say if you intrested let me know, i will give you all details. thank you


How come he didn't make the lead role of his current film a black man?


White privilege on display. Love how they find themselves speechless. "Shameful!"

Steven Sanders

Damn, Steve McQueen went hard in this segment. I think some white directors and writers are very one dimensional in their approach of fleshing out characters of color. I wish one of the "other" directors would have man up and said something. Jason Reitman sounded like an idiot with his response.


Really comes down to this, some folk fault black directors for DARING to not have a black cast in EVERY film they make and some don't.

McQueen has a right to cast who he wants and his black card shouldn't be revoked over something so trivial.


Yeah, I'm finally able to post again! But I only have a few and this seems to be the only interesting post. So far there seems to be a lot of favoritism going on here like you might have found on TP's site before the Kim K. backlash. SM's point is very legitimate but would've had more punch if he took his own criticism. I guess being American, blacks have been spoiled in that our black directors (particularly Indie directors) have burst out on the scene with not only black lead films but majority black actor films. Bit of a cop-out to say he's only written/directed two films. So had Spike, Singleton, F. Gary Gray, Townsend, Keenan, Dash, Kasi, Perry, Palcy, Talbert, Hudlins, Hughes, Tillman, and how many others, not excluding the new kids on the block Rees, Mahoney, DuVernay etc… It's a legitimate gripe and definitely would've been brought up if the roundtable consisted of black directors. If anything, this reminds me of the post criticizing Shonda Rhimes – but at least her first couple of scripts were "black." If today either one prefers to delve into the lives of whites then just accept it rather than make up excuses. Asides from that, the clip was funny. Let's hope the next few films make up for the white-out and aren't made in such a way they're so desperate for attention.


PAUL ROBERSON | November 21, 2011 Reply

IN ALL FACTS/HIS-story…"BIRTH OF A NATION," produced by a arch-racist JEWISH filmmaker, D. W. GRIFFITH, did in all facts give rise to what is today, the very ethnocentric film industry–that is now, TODAY, controlled/run by people who are JUST-LIKE-HIM! SAY IT AIN'T SO… AND, what better way to keep negatively affecting the psyche of so many people of color–THAN ALL the AMOS N' ANDYisms movies–OR, da showing that only white women in the big ole paw of a giant gorilla, are to it tastes-and, not a big chested, big butt black african woman or a hispanic! AND, WOULD SOMEONE, ADL-FEARLESSLY, PLEASE…tell me why there are so many Jewish women/men–and, not nearly as many gentiles, on the "Silver-Screens," of Hollywood, HISTORICALLY!? Here cum da ADL!!! OABPR


steve MC QUEEN MISSED a golden opportunity to OUT the ETHNOCENTRIC/racists in da semi-circle!
BUTT, because he was trying to be polite–STEVE missed the golden opportunity to seriously challenge this gathering of ETHNO
CENTRIC/RACIST fellow-filmmakers–AND, to call them out for what they actually and absolutely are…RACISTS!!! AND, STILL…he did not just come out and OUT all of the directors in the discussion as RACISTS, ETHNOCENTRIC RESISTANCE TO A PEACEFUL INCLUSION OF PEOPLE OF COLOR!!! THAT'S THE FACT GOD DAMN IT!!! OBAPR PAUL ROBERSON, DIGITAL FILMMAKER


IN ALL FACTS/HIS-story…"BIRTH OF A NATION," produced by a arch-racist JEWISH filmmaker, D. W. GRIFFITH, did in all facts give rise to what is today, the very ethnocentric film industry–that is now, TODAY, controlled/run by people who are JUST-LIKE-HIM! SAY IT AIN'T SO… AND, what better way to keep negatively affecting the psyche of so many people of color–THAN ALL the AMOS N' ANDYisms movies–OR, da showing that only white women in the big ole paw of a giant gorilla, are to it tastes-and, not a big chested, big butt black african woman or a hispanic! AND, WOULD SOMEONE, ADL-FEARLESSLY, PLEASE…tell me why there are so many Jewish women/men–and, not nearly as many gentiles, on the "Silver-Screens," of Hollywood, HISTORICALLY!? Here cum da ADL!!! OABPR


@ Blaqbird, Hello, I cannot dispute anything you've said (except the douchbag comment), your points are well taken. McQueen was asked a question and he answered. And this is also true—> "Change will come when we stand up and do something about it". And yes (we're batting 100 so far :-)) we should never stop speaking out about it, however… now I have to direct you to my reply to Ms. Lucy. See, my biggest concern in this thread can be found in the many forms of comments – "speaking out" – which I believe many fall in the category of racist rants, slanted "non-facts", lack of purpose and hate filled hyperbole. As I've said before, I believe those forms of "feedback & opinions" are counter-productive and have a tendency to do nothing but persuade the intended audience to run for the hills. When that happens we've accomplished nothing. On a side note, have you ever heard of the group The Blackbirds or the jazz artist Bobbi Humphrey? Well, when I see your name and read your posts I think of them. Here's a sample of her music—> It's off her Just A Love Child CD


IN ALL FACTS/HIS-story…"BIRTH OF A NATION," produced by a arch-racist JEWISH filmmaker, D. W. GRIFFITH, did in all facts give rise to what is today, the very ethnocentric film industry–that is now, TODAY, controlled/run by people who are JUST-LIKE-HIM! SAY IT AIN'T SO…
AND, what better way to keep negatively affecting the psyche of so many people of color–THAN ALL the AMOS N' ANDYisms movies–OR, da showing that only white women in the big ole paw of a giant gorilla, are to it tastes-and, not a big chested, big butt black african woman or a hispanic!
AND, WOULD SOMEONE, ADL-FEARLESSLY, PLEASE…tell me why there are so many Jewish women/men–and, not nearly as many gentiles, on the "Silver-Screens," of Hollywood, HISTORICALLY!? Here cum da ADL!!!


I live a comfortable life and I have great family & friends. I can't fault people who voice their opinions regarding racism in this country and abroad. Everyone experiences things differently and for anyone to say that it only causes more problems to voice that experience fall right into the trap that happened many centuries ago. "Dun't caus no troble caus masta gon be mad and take our food away". People are going to do what they want regardless of what you say or do. So McQueen keep voicing your opinions amd keep making the movies YOU want to make.



Seriously? The venom at HazeFest is justified I don't think it has anything to do with the "herd mentality". That person was being a douchebag.

Anyway, I get what you're saying about how change has only come about through a revolution, but why can't McQueen share his thoughts on what he sees? Are they not valid? Is he incorrect about his assessment? The moderator asked him a question, and he answered it…TRUTHFULLY. Would you have him say nothing? Would you have him put his head down and be like Jason Reitman and say, 'I'm not stepping in that.'? He probably would have been ripped to shreds more than he is now. Plus he has every right to state his opinion like you do on this here board.

Change will come when we stand up and do something about it, but that doesn't mean we should stop speaking out about it.


I really admire this man's work. His jump from arthouse to feature length films makes his work so…different. He comes across so curt in his interviews which kinda bothered me at first, but I relize it's because he thinks so highly of and is very specific about his projects. I like that he has found a talented actor in Fassbender whos career is certainly on the rise and will continue to do so for years. So much respect for him. I would've liked to hear the explanations from the other directors though.


WOW, why is there so much unnecessary venom directed at HazeFest, Priorities and a few more who had the courage to say what was right? Seriously, the bases of their comments are simply saying it's non-productive for the "WOE IS WE/ME" crowd to scream FIRE & RACISM every time someone lights a bigotry cigarette. Really this thread has turned into a town meeting for bullies and cowards. I mean, if I am not mistaken, a few of our well-spoken visitors (Jug, Floyd Webb, Tyrone Noobla and others) have voiced the same arguments as the above, but yet, the bullies have stayed clear of them. Granted, Jug is smooth with his approach (and and has a non-threatening voice), nevertheless, he has consistently voiced his dismay at the "Scream RACISM" crowd. In secure BULLIES, that's what they are. The herd mentality has blinded their normally sane minds of many of the commenters. Listen, lets talk facts. It's a fact that racism and bigotry has been around since before Socrates and Euripides – right? Yep, great scholarly minds have debated the universal ways mankind, however, the only real change – for the underprivileged – has come by way of wars and legislature. Case in point, the Emancipation proclamation and the Civil Rights Act was the direct results of war and/or the threat of violence. Look, the heart of a racist only changes when his life, money and liberty is in balance, not when a bunch of crying Negroes are singing that same old tired tune "THEY'RE RACIST AND LET ME COUNT THE WAYS". Folks, it's a waste of time and it simply does not work like that. In fact, it's counter-productive. The cry me a river argument is akin to the relative who's always complaining their bad back and their hip replacement. You know, the one that you dread talking to or at the very least you resist asking them "how do you feel today". Or, how about that friend who has the funkiest breath in the world – huh? I call their stankin' mouth SHOTGUN BREATH. You can smell that spray when they enter the room. So what do you do with those predictable cousins? Well, in most cases – with trepidation and shame biting at your conscience – when they come knock-knock-knocking on your door, you pretend like you're not at home, or at the very least, you feign sickness, or, you're in a hurry and promise to get back with them at a later time. In short, screaming racism only attracts goose-necks. It's an old and tired game.


Many black directors have made films with white casts. Hope Floats, From Hell, King Arthur, for example. Why is all this hate being directed at McQueen?


For those squawking about how no one is obligated to hire Black actors, and we're responsible for our images, etc.–did you miss the part where McQueen also noted the lack of opportunities for Black DIRECTORS? Maybe you were too busy out spending all the money being thrown at you to produce your own feature length projects that will revolutionize the industry?

Plus, it goes beyond the simple idea of just hiring POC in films to be all kumbaya. Re: Eddie Murphy's original Tower Heist idea with an all Black star cast that was shelved to appeal to mainstream (much of White) America. Ironic that the most positive reviews from that flop were about Eddie Murphy's performance, isn't it. If "your color does not matter, stop crying racism!" as one genius screamed below, why does Hollywood so often make movies that are color free as possible? The Last Airbender can tank big time, that didn't stop Akira from being made with another all White cast, does it.

For some reason I'm kinda glad McQueen is not American. It adds another slant to the angry Black person box that's checked off so often here in the States. But i don't expect him to be a spokesman to raise his fist all the time, he's one person and might get tired of this convo all the time. When that idiot moderator introduced him as "the one minority in the room" McQueen could have also said he was probably the only one in the room to have received an fine art genius award as well.


Good one Steve tell it like it is. The silence of these American European male directors said it all it just goes to show that Hollywood will always be racist and sexist and there're supposed to be liberals yeah whatever…


I am black and I felt uncomfortable when Steve starting talking and I loved that the one director responded…"I'm not jumping into that one…" What does that mean? Kind of of appalled. I was already shocked at the way the panel was divided. It makes me very sad.


The moderator asked why no women directors and then the directors started naming them and he look baffled that they were naming them! McQueen has an elegance of speech that amazes me. I definitely want to work with this dude!


Why aren't people in a tizzy over The Hollywood Reporter's biased assembly of this all-male, majority white panel? Or their deficient moderators pithy remarks about how the women directors mentioned had made "small" and "little seen" films. I'm sorry but "The Artist" is small and little seen and the gentleman director is sitting right alongside the others. I even venture to say that "Shame" while much buzzed about is a small film and will be little seen since Searchlight is not putting it into wide release. So the questioner is part of the problem and the host (The Hollywood Reporter) set it up horribly.

As far as McQueen, I feel he did the best with the situation he was in: a room drenched in privilege and ignorance. Is he the clarion of diversity in film? No. Did he speak from his own opinion unafraid in a room full of "others?" Yes. We'd all be up in arms if he sat there like them. At least he was a grown-up with a mind and an opinion and didn't cower. I do hope he heeds his own advice and diversifies his own films a bit more. However overall I think his reaction in this very distinct situation is spot-on. Its The Hollywood Reporter and its inept interviewer who should get bashed.







I know if the roles were reversed White directors and actors would be saying the same thing. Most white audiences don't venture into black society because they feel they have nothing in common, but yet black audiences are so willing to venture into a white society that doesn't care if they're aound. McQueen is an intelligent person who realizes that white america only cares about pleasing white america. "Hazefest", your comment is absolute rubbish! "When are we ever going to get over this race thing?" I think that question should go to whiteywood. "Hollywood was created by the white man!", So that makes it right that they only allow whites to become mega stars and get all this overrated attention? I feel sorry for people like you who have no idea what it means to be a minority is this obnoxious society, but maybe one day you will. So I think you should take your own advice and STFU!


"Although, if I could now add… well Steve, so what're you gonna do about it?"

Well, to answer your question, he already did. He hired Chiwetel Ejiofor to star in his next film "12 years a slave". Brad Pitt is producing, also Pitt and Fassbender are cast in supporting roles. But the lead actor is Chiwetel Ejiofor.


Classic. You truly cannot make some people happy.


When are we ever going to get over this race thing. Jesus, haven't we evolved at all as a HUMAN RACE? Looks like we haven't and until then, we will never reach our fullest potential in terms of what the medium can do and that will have absolutely nothing to do with someone's skin color. Why can't we accept the fact that we are all one? We probably never will because people like McQueen keep bitching about how there aren't enough black people in lead roles. Give me a break, seriously. What he fails to realize is that Hollywood was created by the white man and they ain't going to give it up so keep ranting and raving while doing absolutely nothing to help your "noble" cause. You are not doing anything "noble" Mr. McQueen, you are bringing up a tired old argument. If you want more black folks on the screen, write more black folks in to some goddamn roles because powerful acting has no color barrier, I'm sorry. I always feel, with this argument in particular, that it will never prove anything. What is this argument supposed to prove? That black people can act? That they're intelligent? That they can display their realities onto the screen in a concise and coherent manner. I know of a lot of blacks in Hollywood, and they're all pretty damn good in my opinion…there is nothing more to prove. It seems that this tired old argument only does one thing: prevent black filmmakers and actors and storytellers from real progression. Yes, their stories are very important just as the next color of person's but this is seriously detrimental to the progression of film as a whole. Newsflash, you don't need to prove yourselves anymore! You're fucking great, is this what you need to hear? Please STFU already. And this goes for Latinos and other brown and marginalized people. STFU and work, your color doesn't matter, I'm so sick and tired of this conversation already. You people are truly sick and ignorant.


It is quite obvious that McQueen thinks of himself first as a Brit….then as a black man. I am an African-AMERICAN and it pains me to hear an argument like this made by someone who is not qualified to make it. First, this argument is old. Welcome to the party, Mr. McQueen. Spike, Denzel, Oprah, Fuqua, and countless others have been making this same argument for years. You, Mr. McQueen, do not have the right nor credentials to make it. First off (as has been noted by other posters), the leads in the two films of yours that have been released are white men. But more importantly, they (he) is a white man from the UK. Carey Mulligan, the female lead of Shame. is a white woman from the UK. Which brings me to point number two: His next film is "12 days a slave" starring Chiwetel Ejiofor. He's black this time, but he's still from the UK. McQueen, a british man, plans to tell the story of my slave ancestors and is going to give the lead role to another brit? All -the-while protesting that there aren't enough black actors working today! You should be ashamed of yourself, McQueen! (A) More black actors should mean MORE BLACK ACTORS…not more of the same black actors. Ejiofor is a very popular choice among many directors. He's a good actor and should be a top choice. But, had McQueen not cast him, Ejiofor would still have other roles to play. If you are going to protest the lack of black actors, CAST NEW BLACK ACTORS! (B) It is insulting to actual African-Americans that the story of a Black man kidnapped in NYC and sent to be a slave in the American Deep South is going to be "told" by a British Director and starring a British Actor. Hey, I'm sure being black in the UK was not easy…but it ain't like being black here, brotha. Here, in America, there's an unspoken solidarity. Everywhere I go, when I make eye contact with another brotha there's an instantaneous solidarity — a shared history. When I go overseas, that ain't there. Black dudes in the UK and all across Europe don't have that shared history…there is no unspoken bond. It's not like looking in the mirror. Just because we have the same skin color, man, don't make us the same. Please, take your own damned advice and cast some new black people. And please, for the love of god, stop trying to be an African-American. You ain't. You want to make a story about a slave played by Ejiofor — set the $hit in the UK. But don't try to tell our story when you aren't planning on using us to do it!

Sista Toldja

This thread reminds me what my mother told me when OJ Simpson was on trial; people will defend a murderer if they like him. Steve gets a pass because he's black and the only avante grade filmmaker Hollywood is giving attention to. You may not be able to pick Glasgow on a map, but I damn sure can. He could've easily cast the priest (Liam Cunningham's role)as black, and any number of guards; the sympathetic guard comes to mind. Then there's Michael Fassbender's boss in Shame; definitely could've been played by a black, Asian, Hispanic, or Pakistani actor. Totally believable for a business in NYC, as he even said. So this bullshit mentality that he should only have 1 black person 10 min speaking in a 2 hr film is not going to pass the stink test. Next year if 12 Years… doesn't go to development hell, then he has more credence to speak on such matters. Don't act like Marcus Garvey, but keep hiring Christopher Columbus to take us back to Africa, Steve. Jason Reitman is no more obligated to hire blacks or other races for films than Prince Harry is to hire blacks to work in Buckingham Palace. Reitman is Hollywood royalty, and if white people' s stories speak to him then so what? Everyone in this comments section has to deal with white people; reversely Reitman has not had much interaction with blacks (The Jackson Family & Sidney Poitier do not count). I will continue to say create and invent your own path. Anyway, I have projects to keep me satiated, so I can only poke my head in this weekend but so much. Peace.


Wow…not asingle one of them had an answer and that was very telling. They looked so uncomfortable. I agree with Eric Holder….americans are cowards when it comes to discussing race. Or should i say White Americans.


This is just awesome. Checking the roundtable videos more online…

The Angry Prude

Hello Y'all, it's the angry prude, who's frigid and ain't getting any (as Sergio says) in the house. I was going to stay out of this one because I knew the big hitters would show up for this slam fest. Oooh yeah, as ska-triumph mentioned, Martin Luther King, Barrack Obama and Booker T Washington would be proud of the eloquent commenters who have voiced their opinion on the man who resembles Cedric The Entertainer's older fatter-ass ugly brother. Anyway, after reading the post and the comments I had to come back to make amends to Steve Mc Queen. That's right, over the past few months I've been kind of hard on the man. Well, not the man but his latest movie. I mean, Steve seems to be an alright dude (Sergio said he is the greatest guy he has ever met in his life (but Sergio is a big brown nose suckup) so I had to re-think my position on Mr. McQueen. See, my head got a wee bit twisted because of this hypocritical thang. Well, around these here parts many mentioned the need for more positive black images and the need to tell our stories. I was all for that because I was sick and tired of the white folks having all the fun. Yes sir, off with Tyler's head and HIP HIP HOORAY for Alrick Brown's Kinyarwanda and Dee Rees' Pariah and Ava Duvernay! But wait, the world turned: Out with the positive black messages, fudge our stories, no longer will we champion beautiful black images on the screen. Lets turn our heads toward the nasty white naked ass of the pervert whorish white dude. Oh, forgive me, that Shame fella has an "addiction", he's not a freak who will get his freak on with anything with 2 legs – in the most decadent ways – in a dark dank basement, in the club, at his job, and in your house with your lady if you let him. Listen, I don't know why some folks are calling pimpin Steve a hypocrite, he is giving us what we asked for. That is, an IRA movie with no black folks (even The Crying Game had Forest Whitaker) – and then he brings us the nut sacks and booties of a bunch of low down confused come freaks. But you know what, a choir boy can't lead me out of my storms. How could he, he doesn't know my pain, he has not walked in these shoes. So, although some are calling Stevie a hypocrite, forget the definition of the word, the boy is talking about something he knows. He ain't in Hollywood and he sho ain't white but he does not hire black folks, nor make movies for and about us. But he does have a whole lot of Negroes noses WIDE OPEN – just like the white man! That reminds me "Who will help me make the pie?" asked the gullible and starving black folks. "NOT I!!!" said the fat black dude from England. "Who will help us eat the pie?" asked the same black folks. "I WILL!, I WILL!" said the arrogant and confident Steve McQueen. "And I'll even point fingers at them white folks while I eat y'alls pie and stick y'alls money in my pocket". "OH STEVE, CAN I HAVE YOUR BABY" said many of the sistahs @ S & A. "Wait a minute baby" said Stevie, " I abide by Biggie's Ten Crack Commandments 4, 5 and 7. I never get high on my own supply and money & blood don' t mix like two dicks and no bitch. You got me mixed up with that white dude, the shameless one. I'm pimpin baby and it sho ain't easy, but it pays real good"


I'd love to get this young man in a room with black directors from America, including the vets and the exciting newbies. I think that conversation would be fascinating.


I'm not going to argue about whether or not McQueen is a hypocrite (which I don't because the facts speak for themselves), I'll submit this. I SEE the breakdowns, every day all day. I see what casting directors put out for projects-and note, the main roles are normally cast by the time these are distributed-and this is what is put out in many of the networks notices ……"We are committed to diverse, inclusive casting. For every role, please submit qualified performers, without regard to disability, race, age, color, national origin, ethnic origin or any other basis prohibited by law unless otherwise specifically indicated."…which means that by this thinking there would be many more actors of all strands on tv & in films right? C'mon y'all, do I really need to say "WRONG, WRONG" in my best Charlie Murphy voice LOL And I will say that not all directors have their choice of who they can cast. Very few do actually, they have their choice from who is provided to them-either by the Casting Director or the studio/network themselves. And that number is shrinking because many studios are A) squeezing everyone with gigs & paydays so if you want to work, you do what I tell you to do & B) they're now hiring foreign directors looking to break into Hollywood to get footholds in foreign markets. So these directors often don't "rock the boat" about casting, they just want to make their movie. As long as the choices aren't super-outlandish, they stick around. Sometimes they walk (see AKIRA) & sometimes they stay (again, see AKIRA). but the idea of "standing behind a painter telling him how to paint" is an utterly ridiculous notion because it denies that fact the painter is not in total control of the project top to bottom & that with the lack of diversity, he's saying "I'm going to paint you a self portrait and then paint someone else & say See, isn't that great. Look how wonderfully I see you". That is essentially what McQueen is referencing and the fact that the other directors were gobsmacked means that, LIKE MOST OF THE TIME YOU HAVE TO BRING UP INSTITUTIONAL RACISM/DISCRIMINATION TO WHITE PEOPLE, that their ideas of life, love & the rest don't even include people of color, even while at the same time they say they're making projects that reflect the human condition. THAT is what McQueen is talking about, if you say I'm making films about PEOPLE, then include people all over the place. If you say "I'm making movies for Black people" as Tyler Perry has said, then you can't get mad. But hell yes I'm pissed when you see the above legaleez mentioned on a casting notice and then EVERY character is white. Bullshit! Anyone who believes the "best actor" gets the job is seriously deluded.


the hypocritcal aspects of mcqueen's strangely over the top reaction has already been commented on, but i want to address the "silence" on the part of the other directors: what the hell do you expect them to say exactly? why on earth would a bunch of wht guys try to answer the question about why some else didn't hire somebody else? this reminds me of the silly post on this blog a few months ago where someone asked why light-skinned actresses don't speak up about how dark-skinned actresses don't get enough work: fine questions, totally wrong audience!! again, they're entertainers (directors in this case) NOT social scientists. what the hell should they know (or care!) about why other people don't hire who somebody else thinks they should hire? the moderator here is an idiot. on that point, mcqueen was on target.

Lucy Hamlet

I LOVE, LOVE your site! I am working on a project to share more African Film Content in my city (Toronto, Canada) and your site is sooo very informative and helpful. Just had to let you know!


Lachman Balani

Sammy Davis Jr., Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington…


Those whom are saying McQueen is wrong about lack of diversity in leading roles in Hollywood are basically saying Shadow & Act is wrong because that's one of the reasons the blog was created.

What world are you living in because I would love to visit it when I need a vacation from reality.

Reginald VanGleason

What a hypocrite. Last time I checked, Michael Fassbender wasn't Black. This endless whine is getting tiresome. A filmmaker casts whomever they think is going to be best. Besides, I just checked the listings of my multiplex up here in redneck country. Out of 7 films playing here, 6 of them feature black, hispanic, asian and native actors in starring roles and my multiplex is deep in the heart of whitebred inbred country. Stop whining Steve. You're just plain wrong.


I would disagree with McQueen's tone on this particular panel. It's like standing behind a painter and telling him what to paint. It doesn't work that way. And he kinda does what HE wants, so what's the finger-pointing here?

They're silent, because there's nothing really to say. It's not them this tirade should be directed at in the first place. Big Hollywood people, but not these.
These are mostly auteurs, people who make movies based on personal experiences. If they haven't had that much of an experience with people of other races, there's not that much to talk about. I mean, wouldn't it be worse if they started to create lame stereotypical characters just for the sake of diversity?
We need writers/directors of other races to tell more truthful and personal stories about people of those races – that one I agree with. Other than that – the criticism here is WRONG.

Karen Seneferu

Why would you acknowledge what you benefit from, RACISM?!

Floyd Webb

Steve's new in town. Hollywood could care less. I forgive him

What the hell? Hollywierd has been doing the same thing for over 100 years. Why should we expect them to stop now.

Let's be honest and admit, it aim't their damn responsibility to represent me with my worldview. What Sam Goldwyn say to the man who asked when will the Indians win in a cowboy movie? He said "when they pay for the goddamn movie."

I ain't mad at Sam. He offered to put up half the budget to do a rebuttal to the infamous BIRTH OF A NATION if Booker T Washington came up with the other half. What happened? One of our local Chicago shysters took that money from Booker T like he was an Alabama hick! Ummm wrong metaphor…sorry.

Anyway, it is not their responsibility. When Hollywood writers TRIED to be socially responsible during and after WWII, what happened? Joe mcCarthy called them commies and got them blackballed. The Hollywood leadership crumbled in face of Joe and Ms Edgar and tossed the progressives out. Soon after black characters do powerfully portrayed in films like. Intruder in the Dust and Home of the Brave reverted to the musical comedy, occasional expat German produced Gershwin opera, Porgy and Bess (Director Otto preminger was doing the star Dorothy Dandridge I heard. Deutschland über Alles, y'all)

Hollywood invaded the black cinema market the way the mob took over the numbers business. From 1910 to 1920 there was a thriving black cinema business, but the film were poorly financed and looked like it. Plus negroes could not be trusted with their own images.

Cinema was off-limits. Then, black chicago filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles left San Francisco for Paris in 1959 after being by Hollywood who offered him a job as an elevator operator so he could work his way "up". He returned years later as a FRENCH filmmaker with his black film, La Permission or Story of a Three Day Pass. The rest is history, then The LA REBELLION happened at UCLA Film school and we were off again, round two, same century.

Moral of that short history lesson? Support the cinema you want to see. Digital presents opportunities for production and distributon/aggregation we never had access to before.

"Get back Jesse, that paradigm has shifted and it's still movin'!!"

That all the bandwidth I can spare talkin' bout Hollywood and I can'ts spares no more!

Do us all a favor, support my documentary film project at
Donate and buy my iPhone app.

Yes. I use every opportunity to promote my film. YOU can help it exist.

Sent from my iPhone, brother on the run…you can't hit a moving target so easy.


I always wondered what would happen if during a forum like this someone of a certain renown (ideally a black person) would pose that question to directors and producers who work for an industry that takes pride in its allegedly liberal values. Now I know.

The only guy in this discussion likely open to the possibility of working with lead actors who is not of his race is the black dude. And it is only for that reason that I sometimes find myself disappointed that McQueen has provided showcases for white actors like Michael Fassbender. Don’t get me wrong, Fassbender is a wonderful talent. But he is also a white male which means he is part of the demographic that gets already about 90% of the best/top roles Hollywood has to offer. However I can’t fault McQueen for making the movies he wants to make, nor can I fault him for being the most open-minded of the directors on that panel.


Team McQueen. I want to be his date at the Oscars next year when Shame is nominated, and I love how he came off arrogant as hell. Those white directors looked like they were sucking lemons.

And folks complaining about all the White actors as leads in his films; ya'll are probably mad that he's a Brit, too.


I think I love McQueen. And it's amazing how speechless everyone else. Everyone talks about being open minded and "right" but no one can cast a black person as a lead.


@ZEUS I am not one to talk about selling out but when you are constantly being stifled and undermined then yes, you are selling out on yourself, your ability and your potential. I would be the first to encourage minority actors to audition for "majority" movies but if it consistently means getting cast as some dumbed down side kick then it is time for a freeze! You cannot tell me that an aspiring actor always goes to audition for a sidekick role. And you cannot tell me that the actors that get the lead roles are the best suited candidates. I do not buy that. I think some of these people walk in there and the casting directors take one look at the actor/actress who happened to be very talented but they also noticed he/she was black (or dark skinned) and decided "Wow, this was the best audition yet. You know what? How about you settle as the side kick!" I think black actors and actresses should pull out of these movies until they are ready to judge purely on talent and not skin tone.

Tyrone Noobla

Steve Mcqueen is acting like he is somehow different than his lighter skinned fellow humans but he is exactly like them. He is doing movies where Caucasians are the leads one after the other and one actual fellow, Michael Fassbender, is in all of his films. Just because he cast Chiwetel in his latest film 'Twelve Years a Slave' he somehow thinks he is different. The truth is that he wouldn't have had access to Chiwetel or even thought of him if it weren't for him being selected to direct Chiwetel in the Focus Features up and coming 'Fela' biopic. He is as western Euro-centric as anyone else. But the point of this all isn't about people hiring black directors, actors or crew it is about stories that make a difference. If someone can't tell a story that makes a difference enough to make it to the big screen then why even consider the actors or actresses in it. The whole film industry machine is struggling to tell stories that count. If people are mad that they aren't cast in a film or hired to direct, write or play a part in a film then figure out a way to make your own film and make it good and something worth seeing. This is for people of any color, race or creed. People are so backwards in their approach to things. Caucasians have been in film and doing movies since Edison invented the moving picture camera in New Jersey in the early part of the 20th century. So a lot of the reason there are many involved in the film decision making process is because they have been doing it forever and have become incredibly good at it. They aren't trying to keep people out. A lot of them are Jewish and very close to be Africa's neighbors on the globe. So this argument or shock is just an annoying deterrent for having real conversations in film.


Blaqbird & Jug

Remember, for some (The Blacker Than Thou Group), being a black director means ALWAYS having an entire black cast for every movie or you're a sell out.

Others races are free to cast folk who aren't the same race but not us.

Of course this is bullshit and goes against all things creative but that is how some think.


Blaqbird & Jug

Remember, for some (The Blacker Than Thou Group), being a black director means ALWAYS having an entire black cast for every movie or you're a sell out.

Others races are free to cast folk who aren't the same race but not us.

Of course this is bullshit and goes against all things creative but that is how some think.


Okay, for folks who're screaming "he only casts white actors"-He has done exactly two films & one of them was a biopic about an IRA terrorist. Not exactly a plethora of Black roles there. Second, he teamed with his muse Fassbender on a work that does have a black actress in it. And now his third film is about slavery. But the fact that folks are screaming he has no black faces (which isn't true) is proving his point. If you say "every role should be black" that's as ridiculous as them saying "every role should be white". "What real" should be the mantra, what's real for the story we're telling. FRIENDS in New York with no black people is not real or true (yes I know they added some dark faces after the outcry). Much as I love MODERN FAMILY, them having NO people of color besides Manny & Gloria on the show….ever?! THAT is not reality-ESPECIALLY in L.A. Having none, having some & having proportions that fit the story you're telling are all three different things. Sometimes we need to evaluate the body of work first before summary judgement.


Um….did I miss something? Because last I heard, McQueen has only directed TWO films with a third on the way. Hunger was based on the Northern Irish prison hunger strike….I don't know much about Ireland nor will I claim to know but Bobby Sands was a white Irishman…. So I'm not really sure how the lead in that film was supposed to be black. You could make the argument with Shame, but that's it. I'm not sure why Leeh is questioning how many black leads are in his films when he as only directed two. Plus like other folks said, 12 Years a Slave and Fela are on the way.

Steve McQueen, thank you for saying out loud what so many of us having been saying on these boards for the longest time.

And shame on all the rest of the directors in that room who have the power to change things, but remain silent. You all are the problem.


Off the Mf'ing chain!


Wow. I read the transcript excerpt online at but didn't realize there was much more to this video. You could hear a proverbial pin drop in that room. They have NO explanation! It is quite shameful.


I agree with Leeh. McQueen mostly casts whites in lead roles. I'm not too sure if he is using them to move up in the industry & create a name for himself. But, whatever it is, it is working!

I am surprised Reitman (Up in the Air) director didn't make a comment on McQueen's statements on the lack of diversity in Hollywood. He is married to Chinese woman and he just stood there like a lazy log! LOL



Duncan MaNutz

And still we have this issue….what's the next step ? We need a "Movement" – "Occupy Hollywood"


Wow. That man spoke it. God Bless him. Speak the truth and shame the devil while you're at it. @ Jug, I don't think it matters on whether they have a back up or not. I honestly think he and Viola are a few of the people in this industry that just can't take the B.S anymore. I will be the same way in interviews cause honestly I don't need Hollywood to validate me. In the words of Marvin "Make me wanna holler, throw up both my hands." I love the silence from Hollywood's most "prominent" directors who are more than guilty of what he was speaking. They don't fight to have a strong minority cast. Most of them the stories that are "white" stories and could care less. The day just got great for me! Thanks Steve!!!


He told it like it is.


And thank you, Tambay, for the speedy response. I know you have your hands full.

As for the clip, I eagerly await the day when a woman of color is sitting on this panel and making her colleagues look like imbeciles. Until then I'll just amend McQueen's statement to: 'there are obviously more WHITE women directors than black directors.' There, all better.


And there are how many black people in Steve Mcqueen's films???


So much whiteFAIL on that clip. Steve McQueen makes me proud that I was born a Black Brit.


Why should a person of color/woman have to "speak truth" to what they are not responsible for? Why did the moderator immediately turn to the only person who didn't look like them to account for something that everyone else in the room is complicit in?

Props to Queen for telling it like it is, but these kinds of discussions go nowhere. You even saw it. The other men said "I'm not touching that," the roundtable concluded and the world kept turning as it has for too long.

It's time to flip the script.


Maybe this is a year where folks can stop being political. Cuz Viola said something also in her THR Roundtable discussion about diversity. Not nearly as stern, but definitely enough to let folks in the room know what the eff she was talking about (and they also appropriately had dopey faces). A friend of mine just told me that McQueen comes from the fashion photography world so just doesn't give a fuck if he gets blacklisted in Hollywood, dude will still do his thing. Viola could go back to the stage. Maybe that's the key, having another ace in the hole to tell muthafuckas what time it is! LOL


Gat damn…..Steve McQueen SNAPPED! He certainly hit the nail on the head right there in the end about the portrayal of reality, I love how all the other directors were just silent, its like Steve just slapped them in the face LOL


"I'm not stepping into that"??? Really? I wished someone had asked him "why not step into that"? Answer the damn question. Great clip.






OMG…This clip is HILARIOUS! Watch the GOLDEN SILENCE he evokes. Thanks for the heads-up Logic.


LOL! McQueen is the man. Much respect!!


Maaaan, I'm floating on air after watchin' that! Folks lookin' at the floor, crickets off in the corner. You know sphincters were tight as hell after that! Ever wonder what it looks like when a grown man feels like he's in Kindergarten again? There it is…. LMBAO

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