Inside Quotes: Stop Crying Racism At Hollywood Says Antoine Fuqua; ‘Put In The Work’

Inside Quotes: Stop Crying Racism At Hollywood Says Antoine Fuqua; 'Put In The Work'

“I wouldn’t use the term racist, as much as I would say the playing field is not even in Hollywood. But ultimately, you have to put in the work […] It’s very easy to cry racism when you’re not qualified to do the work or your work isn’t transcending to where you want it to be. Hollywood is a business and you have to look at it that way […] I do see other things – like people who don’t understand or are ignorant to our culture. But I wouldn’t call them racist. If anything, it’s our job to expand their minds to our experience […] There are no African Americans that run major studios and most of the executives at the top level are not African American. So when the people in those jobs are developing stories, nine times out of 10, their stories won’t be about African Americans – they’ll be about people who look like themselves. To say that those people are racist is not necessarily the case […] 99.9 per cent of the people that have given me my opportunities in this business were not African American […] Denzel [Washington] gave me a great opportunity when we did Training Day together, and I also became friends with Mr Sidney Poitier, who has given me great counsel and advice. But in terms of people in the studio system, most of the people who have given me my jobs were not African American. So I can’t sit back and say Hollywood is racist.”

Words from director Antoine Fuqua while doing press in the UK where his latest effort, Olympus Has Fallen, which is set to be released in theaters there this week. Apparently he was asked whether he felt the American studio system was a racist one, likely in regards to the dearth of black talents in front of and behind the camera.

The above is from a teaser interview with The Voice (UK), who promise that the full exclusive interview with Fuqua will be posted on April 11. 

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Comments

Doctor Reno

that's such a load of typically black racist bull shit. You can't scratch your ass anywhere in hollywood without bumping into a black man or black who cannot act (can barely speak english) and dummer than shit.
racism such as you exemplify is wearing thin and just about run out any residual credibility it may have had 50 years ago.
The days of being given everything just because you claim to be afro-whatever is coming to an end and threats of physical violence by you folks to intimidate, and force non blacks into submission are just about to end.
You've been given a free ride for 50 years and you were even given a half-black president contrary to every standing US law, an illegal alien that you are even too stupid to get the fact that he is screwing you just like he's screwing everyone else in this country–so stupid that all you can do is continue the same tired racist lies, the same tired threats, the same tired and grossly obvious lies about your so-called underprivileged status which is now so obviously fiction that your veiled threats, your greed, your lack of work ethic have been discredited and have been so over used that the rest of the country has had it with you and your lies.
America is starting to stand up after 50 years of oppression by you and your thugs and you are about to find out that threatening 'racial unrest' has lost it's power to intimidate and that your potential victims, i.e., everyone not black, are going to call you on your violence–most normal Americans are opposed to violence. the reason you've gotten a free ride up to now, but you an your gestapo government are going to find that Americans are just about done running away from the violence you've used to get your own way for so long–you've persuaded America that violence is all you folks know and that the next time you make threats the citizens are now willing to tell you to do your best because we are not moving.

Darryl

Another Black Uncle Tom celeb that made millions talking non sense about black people to appease his white studio exec masters. Hollywood is an industry of racism, most black people know the deal, it's not about putting in the work, it's about power and control, It's okay for a couple of token black people to be in hollywood to make it for we can send them out to the press to say black people are lazy, complain, and are just not working hard because I made it ,why can't you or it's not racism because a white person gave me a break so I can't say that. Racism is an instituion, it's bigger than one or two people. The reality is hollywood has an unspoken word when it comes to black peopel in entertianment, it's don't let too many black people in that will be able to challenge and compete with us that can shift the balance of power and money to an even playing field. That's why we have to support independent black filmmakers and writers that are doing it themselves that are not going to play ball because they love black people too much to sellout. Leave these sellout black celebs to their white studio exec masters pulling their strings. You know what he saying is bs because if this is how he really feels about black people putting in work why not invest in some black filmmakers or black authors that are putting in the work that just need the backing to get their stories told, oh I forgot it will upset his white studio exec masters, this black guy we made is trying to invest in his own people, you know we can't give him no more jobs. That's why you want see none of these black celebs really investing in black films to challenge and compete with their white counterparts, if they do invest in black films it will be stereotypes that are non threatening to hollywood power, but what you can count on getting from them is a lot of lip service that means or does nothing because looking and being too black will cost you a career in hollywood. It's really about power and control anybody that tell you different is laughing behind your back if you believe it.

Wayan Brothers Lover

CareyCarey is the king of coonery. Someone should tell him that the day of the Geechee is gone!

tric

Granted some of them might not be racist, but to say they feel more comfortable developing films for people who look like them is a cop out, this is 2013 not 1913, if they refuse to open their minds and accept people as people instead of looking at skin color then that leads me to believe they are selfish, ignorant and a tad bit prejudice.

Amanda

I hear what Antonie Fuqua is saying, yes black people do need to work HARD. If anyone wants to make anything out of this one life we have you've got to go for it. Complaining is exhausting and it is tiring. However, I think Fuqua is also an uncle tom but he sounds like another Morgan Freeman he's a house negro. Yes, I said it, Fuqua like Freeman "made it" in Hollywood he's not going to complain about the white studio executives who give him work. Why would Fuqua bite the hand that feeds him? Great Fuqua made it in Hollywood, congrats, but I think it is so simplistic for him to downplay the institutionalized racism. Look at Tyler Perry a black director who is making films with predominately black casts, no Perry's movies aren't perfect. However, Perry is a black man who is challenging the white Hollywood system he's doing things his way and he doesn't care what the black snobs, and house negroes think. Yet notice, in the mainstream white and black media Perry is attacked constantly he's called all kinds of names. However, the box office tells another story, Perry's new film has already made $39 million dollars in only two weeks of release.

Spirit Equality

If Hollywood isn't racist, why is it that all of the executives with power to green light films at major film studios are white? Is that just a coincidence? No qualified applicants who have melanin? Something bigger is going on than Fuqua is willing to acknowledge.

CareyCarey

DARK TIDE?! Who said it featured Halle Barry fighting off a carnivorous great white shark, I should have read the synopsis? I was lost but know I've found — after reading the comments — that it's really about Antoine Fuqua fighting off great black snarks who just happen to be blind – when convenient.

Listen, for those who are near-sighted or swimming under water, let me bold the print of what Antoine actually said, so we all can achieve a better understanding of his position.

"I WOULDN'T USE THE TERM RACIST, AS MUCH AS I WOULD SAY THE PLAYING FIELD IS NOT EVEN" ~ ANTOINE FUQUA

There it is, Antoine DID NOT say racism didn't exist in Hollywood, any blind fool knows that it lives, breaths and breds there, however, the crux of his "argument" centers on the fool's errand of constantly crying about it. What, its not a fool's errand? Sure it is because only a fool would carry a sign stating the obvious with hopes of gaining any resemblance of a substantial reward.

And again, lets get this straight, Antoine didn't say racism wasn't alive in Hollywood, so I am left to wonder what the overly aggressive raised-black-fist crowd hopes to achieve by flashing the race card? Can it be they're looking for utterly ambiguous and porous rewards such as this: "You have to know the business you're trying to go into and talking about these things– dissecting these issues- is equipping you for what's to come"

WHAT!? Now if that ain't a bunch of mess, you can kick me in my ass and call me a punk. When did "crying racism" translate to "dissecting issues"? And, how is pointing a finger and casting an evil eye at white people in Hollywood equipping ANYONE for "what's to come"? Besides, what IS coming, I've always believed racism — since the beginning of time — has always been alive and kickin' and ain't never going nowhere — as long as power, money, greed and influence rules the world.

So I'm agreeing with Antoine, put-up or shut-up, because crying without tears is nothing but a adult form of temper tantrums. That's right, it's a normal response when something blocks a person from gaining independence or learning a skill which would help them move forward. Unfortunately, in this case (in reference to screaming racism) the adult may not yet have the skills to express anger and frustration in other ways, so they tear-less-ly cry, bitch and moan.

FilmGuy

White people are not required to give you anything. Or love you. Or hear your stories. That's not even the American spirit. If you want a film career, make a film. If you want to show it somewhere, send it to/start a festival. If you want to distribute it worldwide, open a chain of theaters/create an online distribution site.

At what point do you need to go running to Hollywood for a handout? That's that weak ass massah-gone-give-it-to-me mentality. You cannot expect to be done right by others until you learn to do right by each other.

Black people must speak love to one another and destroy this culture of hate that poisons them daily. Speech is full of hate, music is full of hate. Has anyone ever really stopped and thought about why the Negro is despised worldwide? It's not just slavery. Go before that. Do your research. When you find that answer, you'll find see how silly you look to go pandering to them for anything. You once had it all you beautiful black geniuses! Hate destroyed you. And only love can rebuild you.

Jay Miller

Every few years, a black person makes this same statement. It is always a man who thinks because he's doing well, that he is somehow better than his black brothers who are not '"putting in the work." The last time, it was Will Smith who said there was no racism in Hollywood then tried to take it back when the backlash came. (http://rense.com/general42/holly.htm)

So what kind of "work" is he talking about? Not writing and directing, that's the work you get from Hollywood. He's talking about socializing with the decision-makers who are all white. And you have to convince them that you are just like them, oblivious to the ridiculous unfairness in the biz, where less than one percent of the TV writers are black and 95% of the ones working are on BET (WGAW report), where we have not one black male lead in on a network series but two with black women who sleep with white men, where black actresses are replaced by untalented stereotypes and one man makes 90% of the black movies each year and they are abysmally bad.

But Antoine is definitely putting in the work. And this article proves it.

van

I have an idea to make them listen. If all black people stop supporting white films (the comic. Book movies and franchaises) then go to an positive black movie and then hollywood would consider, otherwise, its whatever makes money and also do you have what it takes., I hear a lot of people complian about hollywood but don't have the talent to entertainment the world. That's just it can entertain the world, do you have what it takes, then are you bankable will people go and see you. Think about it. I love Antoine's films, they're universal and entertaining get on that level and hollywood will fuck wit u! :)

ScriptTease

Oh what the Hell….. Please fix this commenting system!!!!

getthesenets

"Hollywood is a business and you've got to look at it that way"

Basically that.

Beemooree

Antoine bye with our statement. If an actor isn't putting in the work, they wouldn't be working. You were just lucky enough to be one of the directors hollywood has chosen. There are other black actors out there who are excellent and have "put" in work but hasn't gotten a chance. And please don't forget the rule hollywood plays by which is " 1 or 2 at a time"

Beemooree

Antoine bye with our statement. If an actor isn't putting in the work, they wouldn't be working. You were just lucky enough to be one of the directors hollywood has chosen. There are other black actors out there who are excellent and have "put" in work but hasn't gotten a chance. And please don't forget the rule hollywood plays by which is " 1 or 2 at a time"

Beemooree

Antoine bye with our statement. If an actor isn't putting in the work, they wouldn't be working. You were just lucky enough to be one of the directors hollywood has chosen. There are other black actors out there who are excellent and have "put" in work but hasn't gotten a chance. And please don't forget the rule hollywood plays by which is " 1 or 2 at a time"

ScriptTease

I have a question? When Directors such as Ava Duvernay Write and Direct their own features, is it because they enjoy writing just as much as they enjoy directing, or is it because they are just not getting any scripts worthy of their time and energy?
I ain't trying to piss anyone off, but just by observing this website alone, the only thing black people tend to write about is dealing with "black issues and black struggles". We need a variety, and maybe that is what HollyWhite is constantly receiving from black writers. I'm not talking about the RedWings and the 42's, those stories need to be told every so often, but it seems, IMO that is what I keep stumbling upon, is black struggle style documentaries. We need variety. Imagine "The Notebook" with an all black cast…. imagine "Juno", with an all black cast….. imagine, "Harry Potter, X-men, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days… Etc…. we need variety. Black folks want to live vicariously as well when we go to the movies. We ain't living vicariously when pointing out the fact "I'm black" in a movie is whats going to be seen. I hope I'm making sense. We need to put as much energy in promoting "Sometimes Love" (wishful thinking, but my screenplay ;) as we do in promoting "Lottery Ticket". I know I'm new to this, but I find myself asking, how is that "Soul Plane" was shown nationally, and "Middle of Nowhere" did not make it to my area. I don't understand all of this. In some sense Antione is right, but for the most part he is wrong. It's like Hollywood do not want positive black films, perhaps to keep us some what oppressed….. again, I don't know.
#wanted:agent

donnadara

He sounds like the Herman Cain of Hollywood.

CareyCarey

If I was light, bright and damn near white, would you hold me tight? If my hair was dyed, fried and laid to the side, would you hug me like you love me? What if I was fat, black and wobbled when I walked , would you take me home to your mother? If I was a woman who had small breast and wore my hair in a tiny afro, would I receive the same love as a buxom brown beauty with $2000 extensions flowing down her back?

Surely I wouldn't automatically receive "less" favor and little respect if I my black and lips were blamed for global warming. So what if I had bucked gaped teeth and my skin was ashy black and my nose was 3 inches long, and my head was bald with bits of peach fuzz encroaching on my Vaseline greased chrome dome, y'all would still love me, right? Even if I was bald and ugly with crooked teeth, would it make a difference if dated the white woman Ann Coulter?

Well hell, I am a little confused because the last person I described was the actor Jimmie 'J.J.' Walker of the television series Good Times. By many standards it would be a stretch to call him a handsome man… and he did date the bigoted Ann Coulter. But my point is, although he in essence said the exact same thing as Antoine Fuqua, he didn't receive the same amount of love and understanding as the younger and fresher looking filmmaker. Is this a case of if your looks are "tight" step right, if ugly and black, step back?

I don't know, but the message I heard was the fool's errand of calling a racist a "racist" does little to nothing in stopping their racists ways. In fact, I believe it encourages them to "dig in", protect and cover-up their entrenched positions. In short, as the song says "I can't make you love me if you don't. You can't make your heart feel somethin' it won't"

But I think we all can agree that both JJ & Antoine are dropping priceless wisdom, right?

mawon

And what is he trying to say? Black people don't put in work? That's why we're underrepresented? And he says, "well, shucks, all the executives are white so all the stories will be white. Duh!" As if there's nothing racist about a major institution in a diverse country being controlled by all whites. And there's nothing racist about white execs not being able to look pass race and greenlight a few films with black, brown or yellow leads.

Whatever, Fuqua. Continue knocking other negroes and thanking massa for those crumbs.

mawon

Why can't you criticize Hollywood for being racist and work hard? I don't see how the two are mutually exclusive. It's not "complaining." It's reality.

And who gives a fuck that mostly white people gave him a leg up? That's cause mostly white people run this ish because mostly white people have benefitted from systematic racism and mostly white people love to keep the system going so mostly white people pick tolkens to go on press tours and make excuses for their racist asses.

Simone

"Stop Crying Racism At Hollywood", in my opinion Hollywood is racist, i'am not afraid to say that, and i also say we don't need to focus on Hollywood, we need to focus the way we make our movie succeed in all audience, we don't need to focus on black audience exclusively. Some of my friend aren't black, but they love afro cinema and every time they buy movie. We must support this cinema in going to theater, buy DVD to help director to continue make movie. We can't just say Hollywood is racist and do nothing, many people know that, it is not new. I'm a member of Black movie entertainment, we create Black Movie Summer festival to promote Afro cinema, this we will make the 4 edition, subject is Woman, and we thing that we need to captivate audience with event like that, specially in France where there no black cinema, sometimes, there's a few African film, a few week ago Alain Gomis have released, the movie "Tey Aujourd'hui" no word in mainstream media, last week Kinshasa Kids was released, no word in mainstream media, the week La Playa Dc will be out on theater, i don't thing mainstream media gonna talk about this great movie, at black movie entertainment we don't wait to talk about all this movie, we consider that everything may have a place to exist.

Personally in the last 3 week i buy Restless City, Red Hook Summer, The last Fall, Yelling To The Sky, Smashed, Unconditional, Rengaine, La Pirogue, Boy, Mama I want to Sing, We And I, The Sapphire, Love And Other Four Letter Words. I don't say every people need to buy like me, but, if we buy one per month, we will finish the year with 12.

We clearly need to do more for chance thing like Ava Duvernay and AFFRM movement is doing. Hollywood is not our main problem, we need to do great movie, put more energy to promote, I thank Shadow And Act, the blog and Tambay inspire me and made me do more and with this blog i know the movie who's will out and i can buy them, thank a lot. I don't wait something from Hollywood, i clearly need to do more for help and make that thing change in positively, i stay optimist.

sandra

2013!

The year we black creators PAUSE the "Hollywood is racist" recording we've got going on in our minds and replace it with "A seven nation army couldn't hold me back!" (Thanks WHITE Stripes lol). You can't just throw your hands up when you get knocked down 6, 7, or 8 times and nobody likes whiners. When failure is no longer an option, you will succeed. I'm prepping a few scripts that should be ready for the market by the end of this year. I've done (and continue to do) the research on the business and technical side. I don't expect anything to be handed to me. I'm prepping myself for the fight, battle and the war.
Do you think the Jews had it easy when they started arriving here from Eastern Europe, most of them dirt poor and not speaking the language. Don't be jealous or envious when you see just how much power they have today or when you see their insane Pacific Palisades/Beverly Hills/Brentwood/Bel-Air mansions. Get your own. Work smart and work hard. You can achieve whatever you focus your mind on and persevere in. HWD is ignorant and lacks creativity. We already know that. No amount of stating the fact is going to change the fact. Only sustained and focused action from mavericks can bring forth real change. That's where people with fresh ideas (like us) come in. For the love of humanity and all things sacred and pure, we have got to STOP COMPLAINING and start teaming up with each other and DOING. We already have the template of success in front of us.

Adam Scott Thompson

"If I got anything against the black chaps it's this. No one gives it to you. You have to take it." — Frank Costello

Black Big Bird

Well stated, Antoine! You just have to go out there and take yours!

urbanauteur

Wow, Pearls of Wisdom from the Audie[Leave the Weeping to the Willow Tree] Murphy of accommodation film making…go back to The Replacements fool!

Tony Clomax

I'd agree. I look at Antoine Fuqua as a filmmaker to emulate. He's simply put in the work and his work speaks for itself. As a filmmaker who happens to be Black, I can complain and complain, but i truly believe that if you put in the work and create a great product, then it'll open up bigger doors for you. Yes, racism and racists exist, but we can't be quick to scream it when an opportunity didn't present itself to us. Just work hard, be smart, constantly grow and the rest will turn out the way it's suppose too. [writer/director of 12-steps to Recovery & Disciplinary Actions].

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