‘Get Out’ Star Daniel Kaluuya Responds to Samuel L. Jackson Comments on Black British Actors
Samuel L. Jackson has never shied away from controversy. To quote Samuel L. Jackson (as the fitted-cap-sporting, status-obsessed supervillain from Kingsman): “Do I look like I give a f--k?” And in fact he did not, speaking candidly earlier this month about his disappointment in the preponderance of black British actors taking roles Jackson feels should have gone to African-Americans.
Jackson singled out Get Out, praising the film overall but expressing his objection that star Daniel Kaluuya came in from across the Atlantic to lead a parable about racial tensions in the U.S. Jackson later amended his comments to clarify that “It was not a slam against [black British actors], but it was just a comment about how Hollywood works in an interesting sort of way sometimes.”
Either way, Kaluuya has a response for Jackson. Deadline notes an interview with GQ in which the actor confessed to frustration with being constantly othered:
Here’s the thing about that critique, though. I’m dark-skinned, bro... When I’m around black people, I’m made to feel ‘other’ because I’m dark-skinned. 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.’ I go to Uganda, I can’t speak the language. In India, I’m black. In the black community, I’m dark-skinned. In America, I’m British. Bro!
You’re getting singled out for the color of your skin, but not the content of your spirit, and that’s everywhere. That’s my whole life, being seen as ‘other.’ Not fitting in in Uganda, not Britain, not America. They just highlight whatever feature they want.
The man makes a strong point. Actors of color are getting it from all sides, and drawing a distinction between black American and British performers probably won’t help anything. Kaluuya and Jackson should just sit down together and hash out their points of view over a nice cup of tea. (Sink.)