Samuel L. Jackson and John Boyega are at war over whether too many black people from Britain are being cast in Hollywood movies.
Jackson criticized the trend for British performers to play African Americans, claiming they can’t relate to racism in the same way.
He cited Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out and David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King in Selma as films where “an American brother” might have done better.
Boyega – a Brit who played the lead in Star Wars: The Force Awakens – promptly hit back at Jackson for his “stupid ass” intervention.
Jackson made the call in a 40-minute interview on Hot 97, a hip hop radio station in New York City (from 25:50):
During the show, recorded on Monday, he said black Brits were being cast because they’re cheaper than their US equivalents and have more formal training.
Boyega responded on Twitter, saying: “Black brits vs African American. A stupid ass conflict we don’t have time for.”
Here are Jackson’s comments – sparked by a discussion of Get Out – in full:
The thing in my mind is – I know the young brother that’s in the movie [Daniel Kaluuya] , and he’s British.
There are a lot of black British actors that are working, all the time.
I tend to wonder what would that movie would have been with an American brother who really understands that. Because Daniel grew up in a country where they been interracial dating for 100 years. Britain – there’s only about like eight real white people left in Britain…
What would a brother from America have made of that role? I’m sure the director helped. Some things are universal, but everything ain’t.
Which is one of the things about Selma, and some other things. There’s some brothers from America that could have had a different idea about how that works and how King thinks.
When asked why so many black British actors were in Hollywood, he said:
They’re cheaper than us for one thing! They don’t cost as much, unless you an unknown brother.
They think they’re better trained for some reason than we are, because they classically trained. I don’t know what the love affair is with all that.
It’s all good – Everybody needs to work, but there’s a lot of brothers here that need to work.
They come here because there are more opportunities and they actually get paid when they work here…