While promoting his new movie, Kong, Samuel L. Jackson called out the casting of the lead role in “Get Out”, questioning if the successful movie would be better received if the lead role was given to an African American actor “who really understands” racial issues, instead of British actor, Daniel Kaluuya, born in London to Ugandan parents.
“There are a lot of black British actors that work in this country all the time. I tend to wonder what would that movie have been with an American brother who really understands that in a way. Because Daniel grew up in a country where they’ve been interracial dating for a hundred years. Britain, there’s only about eight real white people left in Britain. … So what would a brother from America made of that role? I’m sure the director helped. Some things are universal, but everything ain’t.”
In an interview with GQ, Daniel, who played the lead role of Chris in “Get Out” – a movie that cost about $5 million to make while grossing over $100 million since its release – responded to Jackson’s criticism.
“When I’m around black people, I’m made to feel ‘other’ because I’m dark-skinned,” he said. “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!”
Kaluuya went on to reference the racism that he and other black people have experienced in England, including police violence similar to events that have taken place in the U.S.
“I really respect African-American people. I just want to tell black stories,” he continued. “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.”