Samuel L. Jackson clarifies comments regarding black British actors who take African-American roles

'It was not a slam against them, but a comment about Hollywood'

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Samuel L. Jackson has tried to clarify his controversial comments criticising the casting of black British actors in films concerning Americans race relations.

The Kong: Skull Island actor made the initial comments while speaking to New York radio station Hot 97 about the film Get Out, which stars British actor Daniel Kaluuya as an African-American man who interacts with white liberal Americans. 

“There are a lot of black British actors in these movies,” he said. “I tend to wonder what would that movie would have been with an American brother who really feels that.

“Daniel grew up in a country where they’ve been interracial dating for a hundred years… What would a brother from America have made of that role? I’m sure the director helped, but some things are universal, but [not everything].”

Speaking to the Associated Press at Kong’s US premiere on Wednesday, Jackson said that, while the public didn’t quite misunderstand the quote, he was trying to critique the system rather than the actors. 

“It was not a slam against them, but it was just a comment about how Hollywood works in an interesting sort of way sometimes,” he said.

After complimenting his British peers, he continued: “We’re not afforded that same luxury, but that’s fine, we have plenty of opportunities to work. I enjoy their work. I enjoy working with them when I have the opportunity to do that.”

Jackson’s initial comments angered numerous British actors including Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor John Boyega, who responded on Twitter saying: “Black brits vs African American. A stupid ass conflict we don't have time for.”

Numerous black British actors have been cast in Hollywood films concerning race relations, including David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King in Selma and Chiwetel Ejiofor in the Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave.

Meanwhile, Jackson recently appeared on James Corden’s Late Late Show and reenacted numerous performances from throughout his career within 10 minutes.

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