Sanaa Lathan On Marginalization of Black Stars: ‘We Need to Come into the 21st Century’

By Sameer Rao Sep 01, 2015

Sanaa Lathan has made a name for herself with compelling roles in a variety of media, yet has gotten most of her lead roles in films aimed at black audiences. In a new interview with The Huffington Post, part of promotion for her upcoming thriller “The Other Guy” with Michael Ealy and and Morris Chestnut, she spoke candidly about Hollywood’s race issues. 

She cited the success of films like “Think Like A Man” as evidence that people of all backgrounds are interested in films with black casts or protagonists, and that they shouldn’t be pigeonholed by studios:

I think Hollywood has a ways to go. Certainly in the last couple of years with “Think Like A Man” and even recently with “Straight Outta Compton” doing well. But I think the language needs to change, the language about, “Oh, this is an urban film or this is a niche film.” No, these are Hollywood films. And it’s to marginalize us because it’s like some kind of a freak thing that we’ve made all this money off this movie. That’s a problem for me.

Additionally, Lathan spoke on the regressiveness of such policies, put forth by white studio executives (who, according to a report released in February by UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, make up 94 percent of studio heads):

I think we need to come into the 21st century. And films should represent the world that we live in. And right now when you look at Hollywood it’s not an accurate representation of the diversity of the world that we live in.

“The Perfect Guy” hits theaters on September 11th.

(H/t The Huffington Post)