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Colman Domingo Says ‘Candyman’ Never Shows Black Characters Being Brutalized

Domingo said he is "a little exhausted with stories that are focused on Black trauma."

"Candyman"

“Candyman”

Universal Pictures

Colman Domingo said in a recent interview with The New York Times that he is “a little exhausted with stories that are focused on Black trauma,” which is part of the reason the upcoming horror tentpole “Candyman” appealed to him. Directed by Nia DaCosta and co-written by Jordan Peele, the film serves as a direct sequel to the 1992 original “Candyman” and stars Domingo opposite “Watchmen” Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and “WandaVision” favorite Teyonah Parris. Domingo said the film made a specific choice never to depict the brutalization of its Black characters.

“[Focusing only on Black trauma] perpetuates a narrative — that’s the only way that the world sees us, as being abused and victimized,” Domingo said. “I love what Nia DaCosta has done in ‘Candyman,’ which is that you never see any of the trauma onscreen. You never see a Black body being brutalized.”

When The Times reporter noted that only white characters in the film are shown being brutalized, Domingo responded, “I think it was very conscious.”

Domingo is currently in theaters with “Zola,” which he said is similarly deliberate in how it depicts its Black characters. “The character you think would be the ratchet character is actually the white girl who is appropriating Black culture — a certain window of Black culture, of street ghetto culture,” the actor said. “And the Black girl is more suburban and just like, ‘I’m just trying to go and strip and you’re doing all this and you’re doing the most, sis.’ I think it’s really saying something about who we are.”

Domingo’s road to “Candyman” started the day after Jordan Peele won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay with “Get Out.” The two had a general meeting. “I thought — clearly he’s going to cancel this appointment ‘cause, I don’t know, he’s been out all night, doing what people do after the Oscars,” Domingo said. “It was a 10am meeting. Jordan came down, we talked for 45 minutes and became fast friends. He wrote the character for me.”

After several release days because of the pandemic, “Candyman” is set to open in theaters August 27 from Universal Pictures.

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