Actor Samuel L. Jackson seemed to be suggesting that Daniel Kaluuya, the star of Jordan Peele’s hit horror flick, should “get out.” Kaluuya pushed back against Jackson’s xenophobic comments in a recent interview with GQ.
Peele’s film Get Out breaks new ground in terms of dealing with racism in America.
Peele’s writing purposefully avoids the typical stereotype of the Deep South dealing with a black man, and instead uses the satire he’s become famous for to take a “stab at the liberal elite” and their casual racism.
Ironically, the film elicited an ethnocentric hot take from Jackson about the national origin of Kaluuya.
In an interview with New York City’s Hot 97 radio station he had some words of opposition to foreign workers in his own field of labor. He mentioned the recent hit film, “Get Out” as an example. “There are a lot of black British actors in these movies,” said the actor. “I tend to wonder what that movie would have been with an American brother who really understands that.”
He did not confine his hot take to one film, bringing up “Selma” as another example. “There are some brothers in America who could have been in that movie who would have had a different idea about how King thinks or how King felt.” What is rather telling is the lack of potent outrage at his intolerance for foreign workers.
In an interview with GQ, Kaluuya was asked for his thoughts about Jackson’s comments.
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.
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!
This is the frustrating thing, bro—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. 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. You know what I’m saying? I kind of resent that mentality. I’m just an individual. You probably feel that as a writer, too. Just because you’re black, you get taken and used to represent something. It mirrors what happens in the film.
I resent that I have to prove that I’m black. I don’t know what that is. I’m still processing it.
Too often we’re presented with an oversimplified image of racism as a black versus white thing. It’s really a human versus human thing. If you’re different from the humans around you there is probably going to be some sort of tension created. It’s universal.