Samuel L. Jackson has spoken something controversial yet brave when it comes to Black actors who win Oscars.
According to Unilad, Jackson told The Times that he feels Black actors win for doing awful things in film. In his words, he and his wife went to see 1994’s Bugsy, starring Ben Kingsley and Harvey Keitel. Both were nominated at the Academy Awards, including Tommy Lee Jones, Jack Palance and Michael Lerner were nominated as well.
"D**n! They got nominated and I didn't?" he said.
“I guess Black folk usually win for doing despicable sh-t on screen. Like Denzel [Washington] for being a horrible cop in Training Day. All the great stuff he did in uplifting roles like Malcolm X? No–we’ll give it to this motherf—er.”
He added that he felt he should have won an Oscar, citing his performances in Jungle Fever and Pulp Fiction. “But Oscars don’t move the comma on your check–it’s about getting asses in seats and I’ve done a good job of doing that,” he said.
This isn't the first time people have commented on how Black actors seem to get nominated or win for roles that don't represent the community in the best light.
Often on social media, fans comment on how films about slavery or abusive roles like Washington’s in Training Day, Halle Berry’s in Monster’s Ball and Mo’Nique’s in Precious get awarded, despite their wider body of work. Clearly, with Jackson‘s statement, there is still a stigma surrounding Black actors and the Oscars.