Octavia Spencer Doesn’t Agree With John Singleton’s Claim That Black Directors Are Being Shut Out
Photo Credit: S & A

Octavia Spencer Doesn’t Agree With John Singleton’s Claim That Black Directors Are Being Shut Out


As we all

know, John Singleton caused some controversy recently, in an interview he gave to The Hollywood

Reporter last month, in which he said that he was very much troubled by the increasing trend of black directors not being allowed to tell

black stories (HERE).

As he said: “They

ain’t letting the black people tell their stories. And you’re like, oh ok,

we’re going to take your stories but you know what, you’re going to go starve

over here and we’re not going to let you get a job…

This came months after an op-ed he penned also for The Hollywood Reporter, in which he discussed the lack of black directors helming black films, in a piece titled “Can a White Director Make a Great Black Movie?,” which was published in September 2013.

In that guest column, Singleton pointed out examples in The Help, and the upcoming James Brown biopic, Get On Up, both of which were directed by white filmmaker Tate Taylor

A month after that piece was published, actress Octavia Spencer,

who’s a close friend of Taylor and who, of course, had a Oscar winning supporting role in The

Help, and will also appear in Get On Up, challenged what Singleton


In an October interview she gave to The Grio, as she shared, the problem for her is not so cut-and-dried as Singleton makes it out to be, stating: “Black directors don’t get the funding for

their films. That’s the problem, not that white directors are telling these stories.

It’s a Catch-22 really.

She continued

on: “Do I feel that white

directors have to tell only white stories? No. Do I feel that black filmmakers

should only tell stories about black people? No. If we say that, then that

means Asian people cannot write about anybody but Asians. I don’t think a woman

should only write about women…I think you, as an artist, you are driven by what

compels you to tell that story.

And finally, she added that: “If you’re a black

director and the protagonist of your story happens to be black, if you have the

same background, then you might have a better insight to that story. But I

don’t think it lessens the impact of the story or is valued more if a person is

of the same race or the same gender. .Singleton is going to put everybody in a


So whose side

are you on, Singleton or Spencer? Or perhaps you have a different take

altogether. What do you say?

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