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Lee Daniels’ Take on #OscarsSoWhite: ‘Stop Complaining, Man’

"These whiny people that think we’re owed something are incomprehensible and reprehensible to me," says the Oscar-nominated producer and director.

Lee Daniels

Lee Daniels

Joseph Viles/FOX

Lee Daniels’ show “Empire,” about the drama among the members of a hip hop mogul’s family as they fight for control of the company, has found a large audience ever since its premiere in 2015. Soon, his new show “Star” will premiere on Fox, and in honor of the new series, the New York Times has run a profile of the producer and director. In it, he expresses his negative opinion about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy over representation and diversity at the Academy Awards.

READ MORE: ‘Star’ Review: Lee Daniels Descends Into Poverty Porn With ‘Empire’ Follow-Up (Spoilers)

“Go out and do the work,” he says. “Oscars so white! So what? Do your work. Let your legacy speak and stop complaining, man. Are we really in this for the awards?”

“If I had thought that way — that the world was against me — I wouldn’t be here now,” he continues. “These whiny people that think we’re owed something are incomprehensible and reprehensible to me. I don’t expect acknowledgment or acceptance from white America. I’m going to be me.”

Daniels directed the 2006 film “Precious,” based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire, which received six Oscar nominations and won two for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. He also produced the 2001 film “Monster’s Ball,” which also won the Oscar for Best Actress.

READ MORE: Lee Daniels and Julie Klausner to Mentor Diverse NYC TV Writers, and More Filmmaker Opportunities

“Star” premieres at 9 p.m. ET on January 4 only on Fox.

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