Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.07.52 AMLee Daniels recently participated in a roundtable discussion that included white movers and shakers in the television industry, from producers to writers. Daniels was joined by Beau Willimon (House of Cards), Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers), Alex Gansa (Homeland), Michelle King (The Good Wife) and Sarah Treem (The Affair) discussed the lack of diversity in the writer’s room with The Hollywood Reporter

When asked what he thought about white writers writing for black storylines, he gave an interesting answer.

“I don’t know what gives me more pleasure: watching my story unfold or going in and watching a room full of black people talking for me and writing words for black people,” he said. “I hate white people writing for black people; it’s so offensive. So we go out and look specifically for African-American voices. Yes, it’s all about reverse racism!”

Imagine the silence that occurred after that. But surely he said all of that in some jest. But to prove a point. Especially since Empire does have white writers and a white co-creator.

But does Daniels, who is also credited as a writer on his projects, write good black characters? There are those people who take issues with Empire’s so-called negative portrayal of black people. But typically those people seem to the be ones with issues with the gay storyline, as well as calling some of the characters ‘ghetto’.

Just like Tyler Perry, Daniels has a lot of people in the black community that doesn’t like his work. But you know how the saying goes, you can’t please everybody, but your bank account. And Daniels is definitely doing that with Empire. 



Image Credits: The Hollywood Reporter

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  • mmmdot

    I honestly don’t like whites writing for Black people either. And while I did like “Precious’ and ‘Empire’, I know there are some problematic issues with his depictions. [Didn’t he say something about being colorstruck? Particularly when came to Black actresses? Idk] I just think it’s important for us to be aware of the stereotypes in the media we consume. We just need to be aware that what we’re seeing on the screen isn’t full picture and that there are things that are being omitted. Example? On Empire, when they depicted the family living in hood selling drugs, it’s easy to assume EVERY in that neighborhood was JUST like them. Black communities which are HABITUALLY characterized “ghetto” communities ignores the people who work everyday as nurses, teachers, civil servants. Or those maintain gardens, are active in local politics, and volunteer.