Hollywood is afraid to let “black people tell the stories” – Director of ‘Boyz N the Hood’

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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 they’re not racist,” he said. “They’re not racist, they grew up with Hip Hop so [they] can’t be racist.”

Singleton also criticized black film executives for being scared. “You’ve 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] don’t know there’s a whole lot of black people who work in studios that don’t need to be there because they won’t—if I give them the best thing possible, they’re 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 don’t exist anymore, whether or not they’re black, white, or whatever. So we’re not going there. What doesn’t 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. “You’re 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 hadn’t 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.”

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“You’re seeing dreams die right before you,” he said of the film’s final moments. “It adds to the pathos of the scene, you’re seeing dreams die right before you. The authenticity of it comes from, I’m directing this and I’m doing it from the heart. These are stories that I’ve seen and that I’ve heard of in my environment. I’m 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 now—so-called black films now—they’re great. They’re great films. But they’re just product.”

Unlike Boyz N the Hood, “they’re not moving the bar forward creatively or anything you want. It’s not that you have to say something or you have to make an important movie. We’re in the entertainment business. We’re in the business where you’ve 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 don’t have anything that’s special,” he said. “Boyz N the Hood wasn’t 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: