A scene from the recently-premiered second season of She’s Gotta Have It is spurring backlash on Black Twitter, so much so that even actor John Boyega has slammed the series.
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2019
The scene in question depicts Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise) talking about how Black British actors take roles from Black American actors. Darling went on to have a dialogue with Black British man, Olu (Michael Luwoye), in which Olu says that British actors are more equipped for certain roles because they don’t carry the burden of Black American history. Darling then attempts to explain to Olu about how Black Brits aren’t “unburdened.”
— mi (@helloalegria) May 26, 2019
The scene has received criticism online, with many directing the critiques toward series creator, Spike Lee:
no but #ShesGottaHaveIt2 really really reeeeeeally said [black brits] have stockholm syndrome and fell in love with our captors. do you know how UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLY offensive that shit is?????? but we can’t catch a fart in the wind to say “hey uhhh maybe you guys don’t know us?”
— mi (@helloalegria) May 26, 2019
Spike Lee really is putting gasoline on a camp-fire for utilizing stereotypical tropes about Black British people on she’s gotta have it pic.twitter.com/M5rlAMd0jB
— A Pimp Named Darkseid (@ApokolipsPimp) May 27, 2019
so not watching season two of she’s gotta have it was good decision based on that black british actors clip
— amber (@theartpleb) May 27, 2019
so regarding last RT, as much as i love She’s Gotta Have It, the way they portrayed Olu as a black man ignorant to the struggle of black British people was incredibly hurtful to watch. however i felt Nola’s reaction sort of fit her considering how much more woke she thinks she
— zhané (@zhanenaomi) May 27, 2019
I’m not British but this dialogue is so incredibly ignorant and irresponsible
— Kail (@Kailbum) May 27, 2019
the majority of Black Brits are African and Carribbeans who faced hella colonial torture and injustice there. Racism is a diaspora wide thing. This is xenophobic and wrong and indicative of ppl searching for twitter hot takes yuck!
— Own-ya-gee-ah-kah (@Tiffany_Ezinwa) May 27, 2019
White British actors are never critiqued for the countless American roles they take. Even with the MANY roles they have access to in the UK that black British actors don’t. Which interestingly also explains the mass exodus of said actors to America to play African American roles.
— M’Challa (@_melaade) May 27, 2019
Lee has responded to the criticism on Instagram
I would say you hate to see it but…what else do you expect from him at this point skskskskskksksksksk pic.twitter.com/IkX5NCWEwU
— Comorienne ???????? (@_ShamGod) May 27, 2019
Samuel L. Jackson ignited a conversation a few years back when he spoke about the debate, speaking specifically about Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out, saying “There are a lot of Black British actors in these movies. I tend to wonder what that movie would have been with an American brother who really feels that. What would a brother from America have made of that role? Some things are universal, but not everything.”
Kaluuya hit back at Jackson, saying, “I resent that I have to prove that I’m Black. 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. I’m dark-skinned, bro. When I’m around Black people I’m made to feel ‘other’ because I’m dark-skinned. 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.”