One of the things I love about Lee Daniels is his honesty – specifically in interviews. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to converse with Mr Daniels – although Sergio has – but I can say that, as an interviewer, there’s nothing more pleasing than a interviewee who isn’t afraid to be unfiltered. It makes my job so much easier, and the entire experience much more interesting, which in turn translates to a pleasurable read (or listen) for you folks!
Sergio already interviewed Lee Daniels about The Butler HERE. Now here’s another interview Daniels gave to KCRW that I thought was worth sharing.
Daniels talks in detail about the making of the film, and specifically addresses being an *out* gay black filmmaker in Hollywood. One of the more distressing, although *understandable* things that Daniels shares during the conversation comes towards the end of it, when he’s asked to comment specifically on Hollywood’s acceptance of black artists, versus gay artists, versus black gay artists, Daniels replies, stating that he’s actually “afraid” to answer the question, and that he’ll have to remain silent on it, because, “I want to work.”
I mention this because, in my experience, given the number of interviews I’ve done over the years, this is very much the position that many (and not just artists of color) take – understandably so. They want to work in an industry in which very few companies retain a monopoly. Criticize it and its practices, no matter what you think of them, and you might find yourself kicked out and blacklisted. So, instead, many take on a vow of silence, and maybe vent their frustrations in private instead.
This may not be acceptable for some of us on the outside looking in, who would prefer that they be completely fearless and speak truth to power, regardless of what the consequences might be. But this is the reality of the business for many, whether you think it’s “right” or “fair.”
Daniels’ interview begins around the 6:50 mark: