Samuel L. Jackson has conceded his controversial comments about black British actors were “highly insensitive”.
The Pulp Fiction star sparked backlash in March (17) after he suggested that African-American actors should be cast in films set in the U.S. rather than British actors while discussing smash hit horror Get Out, which stars Brit Daniel Kaluuya, in a radio interview. He also suggested they get cast over Americans because they are cheaper and considered better actors by directors as they are classically trained.
John Boyega and Ruth Negga have spoken out against his remarks, which he later insisted weren’t criticisms but simply a commentary on the way Hollywood works, and he has now opened up to London’s Evening Standard, admitting he probably should have kept his thoughts to himself.
“The British actors are cheaper statement was a poor effort at levity and highly insensitive on my part. Firstly, I have no knowledge of anyone’s price quotes but my own and I have no animus towards actors from any country doing any job,” he said.
“I’m a bit of a feather ruffler at times and I wondered something out loud that wasn’t intended to be a social commentary, and probably should have just remained a question in my mind.”
He also added that he has been able to work in many different countries and he has met many talented actors who deserve their shot in Hollywood.
In his original comments, the movie veteran questioned whether Daniel, who plays an African-American man meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time in Get Out, would be able to understand the difficulties of interracial dating like an African-American would.
Daniel responded in an interview with GQ, saying, “This is the frustrating thing, bro – in order to prove that I can play this role, I have to open up about the trauma that I’ve experienced as a black person. I have to show off my struggle so that people accept that I’m black.
“I’m just an individual. Just because you’re black, you (get) taken and used to represent something. It mirrors what happens in the film. I resent that I have to prove that I’m black.”