Widows director Steve McQueen has claimed he experiences racism every day.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave director discussed the lack of Golden Globe nominations for his latest film, which is based on an ’80s British TV series about four women who plan a daring heist, and stars Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, and Cynthia Erivo.
When asked if he had experienced more racism since Brexit, when the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, he scoffed: “Every day, mate. Yes, of course!… You deal with it. You have to or you go mad.”
The 49-year-old insisted that Britain has taken “two steps backwards”, blaming a rise in Nationalism for the hostile political climate. He also recounted a racist moment experienced by his mother when she was out shopping.
“She had a new credit card with her and was struggling to remember the pin. The guy behind the till said: ‘It’s four digits in this country’,” he recalled. “But the day before Brexit you wouldn’t have even thought about saying that. Apparently, you’re allowed to now.”
McQueen’s film, which received rave reviews in some quarters, was snubbed at the nominations for the Golden Globe, which is run by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
While many in the movie industry were shocked, the Hunger director was pragmatic about the omission.
“As an artist you have your path and that’s fine. And sometimes the world won’t agree with you…,” he continued. “I’m here hopefully for a little while and will do my work. I’m just telling a story about four women trying to get their s**t together, about the environment in which we’re living, in a way that’s not high heels and handbags, that’s about human beings and full-on conversations.”