Actor and director Bill Duke, who most recently made a splash with his documentary Dark Girls, made an appearance on Black Hollywood Live's Portraits interview show last Friday - a conversation I thought was worth sharing, given topics discussed, and industry veteran Duke's typically very candid ways.
Among subjects discussed... Duke talks about what has been dubbed a historic year for black films, and what black participation at the 2014 Oscars might look like.
“Do I welcome the fact that these films are being recognized? Yes. Do I think there’s great work that’s been done on these films? Yes. My hope, and I guess is a naive hope, that because of the financial success of these pictures and because of the quality of the films that have been made that it will inspire studios and/or networks and online entities to begin to see the value of creating content that is more representative of the entire nation, the entire world.”
Duke discusses power players George Lucas and Steven Spielberg:
“When I see Steven Spielberg and George Lucas sit down and on the Huffington Post talk about the inclusions…they use the word inclusion of this industry potentially in the next 4 to 5 years. I think we should be listening...its not just two guys saying this...its George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg.”
Duke gets frank about Reality TV Stars and their positioning on TV:
“If you ask me if there is any craft to what they do, the answer is no.”
On recent news coverage of celebrities wearing "Blackface" during Halloween...
“I think a lot of people that do it don’t understand the history. They think its funny, but it’s not funny to me. They’re people who sacrificed their lives so that we are able to be here today and that sacrificed their lives so that wouldn’t exist anymore…and to erase that and to say well you know that’s the past and now we are all cool, denies the truth of our reality and I will not accept that.”
And there's a lot more... it's 72-minute conversation, and while a wide range of topics are discussed, the business of entertainment drives it. He shares his early years in the business, peaks and valleys, up until the present.
It's all worth a listen, so watch below: