Often times when you hear people in Hollywood discuss why more black films aren’t put into production, they point to the risk of producing and financing an African-American movie. What if it doesn’t sell? Writer and director John Singleton told a mostly black audience at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Saturday that they shouldn’t fear being black because “negritude” sells.
“Don’t be afraid to be black” Singleton told the audience, noting that some of the most successful films of recent years have featured black people. Furthermore, Hollywood was worried about making those films until the moment they began to rake in millions.
“Don’t try to be something else,” Singleton implored the crowd. “Everyone’s gonna copy our shιt anyway. I made the blackest Fast and Furious, I made Paul Walker say ‘Cuz’ in the movie. I elevated it. You can’t front that [black films] don’t make money. I haven’t lost anybody money. People said, ‘Twelve Years a Slave, I don’t want to feel bad, oh, that’s a hard sell — $178 million, so what the f— is commercial, you know?”
Singleton had some not so nice words for blacks who are afraid of taking roles they view as risky. “They tuck their balls up under their αss to be accepted, you know what I mean?”
Singleton used “Poetic Justice” as an example, saying Ice Cube didn’t want to play a romantic role in the film but Tupac jumped at the opportunity.
He explained that some of the most successful movies were those with the “negritude”, a word Singleton says he learned from Stanley Crouch.
“A lot of people were afraid to take that Jamie Foxx part in Django Unchained, but it’s Quentin’s most profitable movie, $425 million. It has negritude in it,” Singleton said.