Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch First Trailer for 'Roots' Reboot Watch First Trailer for 'Roots' Reboot Taraji P. Henson Will Topline Film Based on Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Worked for NASA During the Space Race Taraji P. Henson Will Topline Film Based on Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Worked for NASA During the Space Race Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act July 31, 2014 at 10:24AM

Woody Allen says there is a reason why black actors don't appear in his films. Whether it makes sense, is something else altogether.
359
Woody Allen

So, you know Woody Allen, of course. The filmmaker who’s seemingly been a critics’ darling, since the early 70’s; Your typical liberal New Yorker, who also loves to play jazz. But there’s that one thing though. You know what I’m talking about. That one thing that's been whispered about, or even loudly discussed, ever since Allen’s started writing and directing his own films. And that thing is, the fact that you never see black people in his movies.

And considering that most of his films have been set in New York, one of the most racially diverse cities on the entire planet, how is it that black people are virtually non-existent in his films?

Well that's not entirely true. There have been a few exceptions. There was Sonia Rolland playing Josephine Baker in "Midnight in Paris," although she was basically relegated to the background, as an extra with no lines. And there was Hazelle Goodman in his 1997 film "Deconstructing Harry," playing... take a guess, a prostitute but of course. Maybe the most significant presence of a black actor in a Woody Allen film was when Chiwetel Ejiofor appeared in "Melinda and Melinda."

And that’s about as much as I can come up with.

So what's the problem? Why hasn’t Allen had black actors in his films, especially in starring roles?

Well, he was just recently asked that question in a profile about him, in the New York Observer (HERE). When asked why black actors haven't appeared in his films, the writer of the piece states that Allen was “horrified” when the subject was brought up.

But Allen has his reasons. It’s very simple. According to the filmmaker: “Not unless I write a story that requires it. You don’t hire people based on race. You hire people based on who is correct for the part. The implication is that I’m deliberately not hiring black actors, which is stupid. I cast only what’s right for the part. Race, friendship means nothing to me except who is right for the part.”

Run that by me again...

Talk about contradictory. He says he doesn’t hire black actors unless the story requires it, but, at the same time, he says he doesn’t hire based on race.

HUH? I’ve read his response a few times already, and it still doesn’t make sense.

But not to fear, because, as he says in the interview, Allen is friends with both Chris Rock (who he once took out to dinner in Rome), and Spike Lee: “I’m friendly with Spike Lee. We don’t socialize, but I don’t socialize with anyone [...] I don’t have white friends either.”

Oh that Woody. Always good for a laugh.

So what do you think about this? Or maybe you really don’t care? Or maybe you don't think Woody Allen has to put black actors in his films. Or is Allen really being upfront and honest about how he and other white filmmakers think? That is, unless the part actually calls for a black or POC actor, casting an actor of color is not even something that occurs to them. That shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone, should it?

The message is, basically, if you’re a black actor, don’t bother showing up at any casting calls for Allen’s movie. But hey, Tyler Perry is still hiring.

This article is related to: Things That Make You Go Hmm..., Woody Allen


Shadow & ActNewsletter