John Singleton, the director of Boyz N the Hood asserted in an interview released on Monday that “so-called liberals in Hollywood” are not “letting black people tell the stories.”
In an interview that crossed a wide array of topics led by , The Hollywood Reporter’s Stephen Galloway, Singleton commented that this generation of Hollywood are not as good as their parents or ancestors were. They feel theyre not racist, he said. Theyre not racist, they grew up with Hip Hop so [they] cant be racist.
Singleton also criticized black film executives for being scared. Youve got a lot of black executives at the studio who are afraid to give their opinion about what black culture is, he said. And [filmmakers] dont know theres a whole lot of black people who work in studios that dont need to be there because they wontif I give them the best thing possible, theyre scared to give it to somebody.
Singleton also commented on Stephanie Allain, the executive producer who fought to get Boyz N the Hood produced, Stephanie Allain kicked and screamed to get Boyz n the Hood made. Those people dont exist anymore, whether or not theyre black, white, or whatever. So were not going there. What doesnt exist is financial infrastructure for people, and not necessarily black, but just people of different visions, to be able to do different types of work.
But, on a lighter note, Singleton did comment that outside of Hollywood there are more people producing new and untraditional productions. “Youre going to get different types of stories made. A good example of a person who happens not to be black, Benh Zeitlin who did Beasts of the Southern Wild, that would never have been made if it hadnt been made in that model. That could never have been made in the studio. 12 Years a Slave could never have been made in the studio model.
Singleton recalled a point in time when he had when writing Boyz N the Hood: I learned that no one was going to write the films I wanted to do except for me. No one was going to have the vision to tell the stories that I wanted to tell except for me.
Youre seeing dreams die right before you, he said of the films final moments. It adds to the pathos of the scene, youre seeing dreams die right before you. The authenticity of it comes from, Im directing this and Im doing it from the heart. These are stories that Ive seen and that Ive heard of in my environment. Im following the axiom of dramatize what you know.
John Singleton commented that black filmmakers at major studios are not producing the same type of productions any because studio executives will not let them.
The black films nowso-called black films nowtheyre great. Theyre great films. But theyre just product.
Unlike Boyz N the Hood, theyre not moving the bar forward creatively or anything you want. Its not that you have to say something or you have to make an important movie. Were in the entertainment business. Were in the business where youve got to get as many butts in the seats and get people excited on Friday, Saturday, and even come out Sunday to see the picture. And even after that, they got to want to buy it, they got to want to order it, push a button and get it.
When you try to make it homogenized, when you try to make it appeal to everybody, then you dont have anything thats special, he said. Boyz N the Hood wasnt made for everybody. It was made for like a young black audience that buys Hip Hop records.
Watch the interview via The Hollywood Reporter in it’s entirety below: