Wednesday, May 5, 2021

British ‘Get Out’ Star Addresses Samuel L. Jackson: ‘I Resent That I Have to Prove I’m Black’

Actor Daniel Kaluuya attends the Universal Pictures Special Screening of "Get Out", in Los Angeles, California, on February 10, 2017. / AFP / VALERIE MACON
Actor Daniel Kaluuya attends the Universal Pictures Special Screening of “Get Out”, in Los Angeles, California, on February 10, 2017.

*Daniel Kaluuya, the black British star of Jordan Peele’s hit horror movie “Get Out,” defended his blackness against a comment made last week by Samuel L. Jackson, who wondered aloud “what that movie would have been with an American brother who really feels that.”

Jackson later explained that his remark was a commentary on Hollywood, not black British actors.

Kaluuya – who will soon appear in Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” and recently was cast in the lead on Steve McQueen’s “Widows” – addressed the complaint.

“Big up Samuel L. Jackson, because here’s a guy who has broken down doors. He has done a lot so that we can do what we can do,” he told GQ.

“Here’s the thing about that critique, though. I’m dark-skinned. When I’m around black people I’m made to feel ‘other’ because I’m dark-skinned,” Kaluuya continued. “I’ve had to wrestle with that, with people going ‘You’re too black.’ Then I come to America and they say, ‘You’re not black enough.’”

Kaluuya said the U.K. experiences racism, too, such as riots in London that saw black people killed by the police. But he claimed that such issues weren’t covered in the mainstream media, so people may have the wrong perception of what the experience was really like.

“This is the frustrating thing … in order to prove that I can play this role, I have to open up about the trauma that I’ve experienced as a black person,” he said. “I have to show off my struggle so that people accept that I’m black. No matter that every single room I go to I’m usually the darkest person there. I kind of resent that mentality.”

Kaluuya added: “I resent that I have to prove that I’m black. I don’t know what that is. I’m still processing it.”



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