Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” hits theaters this weekend, and there’s at least one person who’s decidedly not excited to see it: actor Harry Lennox. In a wide-ranging conversation with Sergio over at Shadow and Act earlier this summer, Lennox doesn’t hold back on his criticisms of the film, specifically, and black imagery in the media, more generally:

Which leads me to asking do you constantly have to think about the image you are portraying as black man every time to do a role?

“I think about it every day and any time that a role is offered, and believe me lots of crummy roles are offered. But at this point people know better than to mess with me with a lot of these things. For example Lee Daniels sent me the script for that film he’s making now, The Butler, about the black butler at the White House. I read five pages of this thing and could not go any further. I tried to read more of it, and I’m not a soft spoken guy, but it was such an appalling mis-direction of history in terms of taking an actual guy who worked at the White House. But then he “niggerfies” it. He “niggers” it up and he gives people these, stupid, luddite, antediluvian ideas about black people and their roles in the historical span in the White House and it becomes… well… historical porn. I refused.”

Read more over at Shadow and Act.

Read this online at http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/08/lee_daniels_the_butler_bashed_as_historical_porn.html


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