Despite the success of films such as 12 Years a Slave, Hollywood is still reluctant to hire Black people to tell our stories.
John Singleton criticized the major studios March 19 for refusing to let African-Americans direct black-themed films. "They ain't letting the Black people tell the stories," the Oscar-nominated director-writer told students at Loyola Marymount University, expanding on a theme he addressed in a Dec. 18 Hollywood Reporter op-ed piece. "[Studio executives say] 'We're going to take your stories but, you know what? You're going to go starve over here and we're not going to let you get a job.' The so-called liberals that are in Hollywood now are not as good as their parents or ancestors. They feel that they're not racist. They grew up with hip-hop, so [they] can't be racist. ‘I like Jay Z, but that don't mean I got to give you a job.' "
He added: "They want Black people [to be] what they want them to be. And nobody is man enough to go and say that. They want Black people to be who they want them to be, as opposed to what they are. The Black films now — so-called Black films now — they're great. They're great films. But they're just product. They're not moving the bar forward creatively. … When you try to make it homogenized, when you try to make it appeal to everybody, then you don't have anything that's special."