Audiences are loving the new horror thriller "Get Out," which was written and directed by Jordan Peele of the sketch comedy show "Key and Peele" and stars Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams. Critical reception has been mostly positive, but there is one critique by Samuel L. Jackson that has Kaluuya "blackness" in question.
In a recent radio interview with Hot 97 in New York, Samuel L. Jackson said that he was looking forward to seeing the film, but added that there was one thing he had a slight issue with. He prefaced his comments by saying that he thought the success of the film was great, but that he felt the casting could have made a big difference. "The thing in my mind is, I know the young brother that's in the movie, and he's British...I tend to wonder what would that movie have been with an American brother who really understands."
The New York Times picked up on Jackson's remarks, as did other news outlets. During an interview with GQ, Daniel Kaluuya praised Jackson for his work as a Black pioneer in Hollywood, but also shared his issue with the actor's point of view.
"I'm dark-skinned, bro. When I'm around black people I'm made to feel "other" because I'm dark-skinned," he said. "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.'" Kaluuya said that he feels people don't understand the Black experience in places like London and Uganda because it's not a part of the mainstream media. He added that he respects African Americans and that he just want to "tell black stories."
"This is the frustrating thing, 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," Kaluuya told GQ. "I have to show off my struggle so that people accept that I'm black. No matter that every single room I go to I'm usually the darkest person there. You know what I'm saying? I kind of resent that mentality. I'm just an individual... I resent that I have to prove that I'm black."
Samuel L. Jackson later told the Associated Press that he wasn't taking shots at British actors and that his comments were just about how things work in Hollywood sometimes.