Charles S. Dutton Talks 'The Obama Effect'

Charles S. Dutton Talks 'The Obama Effect'

[INTERVIEW] The veteran actor steps behind the camera for a humorous look at the 2008 Presidential Election

Starrene Rhett Rocque

by Starrene Rhett Rocque, August 13, 2012

Charles S. Dutton Talks 'The Obama Effect'

Charles S. Dutton

Photo courtesy of Larry Busacca/Getty Images

how ridiculous they’ve been with the hating.  Consequently I said, 'find the most outrageous comic out there' and we selected Katt Williams. Katt Williams being synonymous with Republican is extremely funny. However, he doesn’t just play a stand up. I wrote him as a character and it’s a complex character who is wrestling with his own political ideals.

EBONY: You already know that Republican critics are going to come for you!

CD: I’m not apologizing for one inch of the frames that come across that screen. They’re my ideas, my vision I wrote it, I directed it and I edited It with my editor but it’s what I wanted to put out there. Had this been a more harmonious, cooperative and compromising four years for the president like it always is for any president—Republican or Democrat—I would have had to write a different movie because I would have said 'you know what, it’s been fair.' He was able to get a lot of things accomplished and the country is doing better but the man saves the automobile industry and he’s still criticized, so it’s just amazing. So at that point I said for all the hundreds of millions of dollars that they’re putting into destroying this man, and making sure he’s not elected, then I don’t give a damn about what kind of Republican I put on the screen. I specifically told the costume designers and makeup and hair not to touch Katt Williams. Let him be Katt Williams. That was a cinematic choice because I knew it would be funny but what Katt Williams says in the film is what I wrote.

EBONY: I’m sure the critics just love that, huh?

CD: Already the Right Wing blogs are criticizing the film, which is absolutely lovely. That’s  exactly what I wanted and I can’t wait to go on Fox and Friends and Bill O’Reilly and handle those guys because they ain’t gonna be dealing with no chump. They ain’t gonna be dealing with no Black Democrat who’s gonna stay safe. They gonna be dealing with a street n*gga. We didn’t want to do that too early, we wanted to wait until we got closer to the election before I started booking those kinds of things and debating those guys but already the Republican guys are saying that this is a studio-financed film and that the Obama campaign financed film and they should be ashamed of themselves because it’s a propaganda movie but they should start thinking before they talk because the obvious thing is, if this was a Hollywood financed film or an Obama campaign financed film, do you think we would just be opening in 8 damn cities? It would be in 50 cities in 3,000 theaters. There would be a ton of press and they would have spent 30 to 40 million with promoting the film. We didn’t have that kind of dough to promote the movie that way. We did it with a shoestring budget with Black radio and a couple of TV appearances in a couple of cities like Detroit, Atlanta and Chicago so it’s been a grassroots effort. We didn’t want to go to the studio because we didn’t want to be dictated by them, so if the Right Wing blogs would just simply understand that they might have a few other things to say about it,but I expect their ignorance to continue. And that’s fine, because when it’s a safe time, I can use their own ignorance against them.


More great reads from Starrene Rhett Rocque

Stay in the Know
Sign up for the Ebony Newsletter