‘Olympus Has Fallen’s’ Antoine Fuqua: “I Can’t Say Hollywood Is Racist”
Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), who’s in the UK promoting his new action film, Olympus Has Fallen, says that labeling Hollywood as racist isn’t exactly correct.
In an interview with Black British newspaper The Voice, he acknowledged that ignorance persists, but ultimately, the hard work still falls on Black filmmakers and could-be Black executives. Read a snippet below:
“I wouldn’t use the term racist, as much as I would say the playing field is not even in Hollywood. But ultimately, you have to put in the work.
It’s very easy to cry racism when you’re not qualified to do the work or your work isn’t transcending to where you want it to be. Hollywood is a business and you have to look at it that way.
I do see other things – like people who don’t understand or are ignorant to our culture. But I wouldn’t call them racist. If anything, it’s our job to expand their minds to our experience.
There are no African-Americans that run major studios and most of the executives at the top level are not African-American. So when the people in those jobs are developing stories, nine times out of 10, their stories won’t be about African-Americans – they’ll be about people who look like themselves.
To say that those people are racist is not necessarily the case.
99.9 per cent of the people that have given me my opportunities in this business were not African-American. Denzel [Washington] gave me a great opportunity when we did Training Day together, and I also became friends with Mr Sidney Poitier, who has given me great counsel and advice.
But in terms of people in the studio system, most of the people who have given me my jobs were not African American. So I can’t sit back and say Hollywood is racist.”
The full interview will be released by The Voice this Thursday, April 11th.
Starring Morgan Freeman and Gerard Butler, Olympus Has Fallen premiered March 22 in the U.S. and has grossed over $76 million worldwide.