Director warns of 'troubling trend' of hiring white people to tell 'black stories'
Boys n the Hood director John Singleton accuses Hollywood of 'latent racism'
Friday 20 September 2013
John Singleton, the Oscar-nominated director of Boyz n the Hood, has warned of the "latent racism" in the Hollywood studio system, pointing to a "troubling trend" of hiring white directors to tell "black stories".
The 2 Fast 2 Furious filmmaker said the commercial success of white-directed "black films" such as The Help and baseball drama 42 was making it "harder rather than easier for African-American writers and directors to find work".
In an opinion piece for The Hollywood Reporter, Singleton wrote: "The Help's $170 million domestic box office set a new paradigm for how Hollywood wants its black pictures: uplifting, sentimental and inoffensive. It's no one individual filmmaker's fault. It reflects the latent racism that influences what gets made and what doesn't in the studio system."
He claimed a screenwriter friend told him: "Hollywood feels like it doesn't need us anymore to tell African-American stories." The friend believed the thinking behind it is: "We voted for and gave money to Obama, so [we don't need to] hire any black people."
This year - which has seen box office success for The Butler, critical acclaim for Fruitvale Station, and Oscar buzz for Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave – has been a banner year for black directors.
But Singleton claims that studios will have been puzzled by The Butler's success, saying the mindset remains: "We want it black, just not that black."
While Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino hired black producers on The Color Purple and Django Unchained respectively, Singleton said the practise was no longer as common.
He highlighted an upcoming biopic of James Brown by The Help director Tate Taylor, which is being penned by "two Brits", though he concedes: "The Brits tend to have a greater appreciation for African-American creative culture than most white Americans."
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rape threats, death threats and a police investigation after video poking fun at an Islamic Party in Malaysia goes viral
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 6-year-old writes ice cold Valentine's card to his stepmother
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
Sweeney Todd, theatre review: Emma Thompson returns to London stage after 25 years in absurdly deluxe ENO production
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
Top Gear live to go ahead: Jeremy Clarkson to join Richard Hammond and James May... just don't call it Top Gear
Tidal: Madonna insists Jay Z's new streaming service is 'not about consumption and greed'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men