So, let me begin this post by saying that I’m actually a big Daniel Kaluuya fan. Even though most people know him for his immaculate performance in Get Out, I remember getting hip to him from Kick-Ass 2 and Sicario. In any case, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed with his recent comments in Radio Times. The way I see it, the roles he plays don’t allow him to be ambivalent about racial issues.
Ok, for those who missed it, Kaluuya just did an interview with the aforementioned Radio Times. Now, during the course of the conversation, he expressed that he didn’t want to become “the race guy” and that he’s “just Daniel, who happens to be Black.” Furthermore, he described the topic of race as “boring” and that it’s a “narrative that is pushed.” All in all, Kaluuya doesn’t really want to be bothered with these issues anymore.
Now, there are a couple of reasons why he’s way out of line for these statements. First, he’s operating in Hollywood, where Black people have had to fight for EONS for decent representation. Shit, based on the fact that #OscarsSoWhite was a very recent movement, it’s clear that minorities are STILL struggling for proper recognition. On top of that, with opportunities for Black actors being so scarce, a large number of British thespians, including Kaluuya, have been picked over scores of Black Americans who are looking for their shot. So, Kaluuya has benefitted from the path that was forged before him, but now doesn’t want to talk about inequality? Son, get the flying fuckity-fuck outta here!
Second, despite his assertion that most of his roles don’t revolve around race, the fact of the matter is, damn near all of the films that he’s known for have a strong undertone or flat-out overtone about racial issues. Hell, in Get Out, Chris Washington was fetishized for his potential by a White family. In Black Panther, W’Kabi followed Killmonger, who’s sole goal was Black liberation. In Queen & Slim, which I’ve already expressed my love for, his character and his lady were victims of an overzealous police officer, much like many Blacks here. Next, he’s scheduled to play Fred Hampton in an upcoming project. So, for someone who doesn’t want to deal with race, he sure spends a lot of fucking time playing roles soaked in it.
In the end, shutting the fuck up is free, man. Ultimately, no one is asking him to be the beacon of the movement. However, there’s no need for him to thumb his nose at a discussion that his films actively contribute to. By and by, non-American Black people always seem to have a skewed perspective about race in this country. At the end of the day, discrimination is DEEPLY rooted in how this nation was constructed and currently operates. The way I see it, if he doesn’t want to be bothered by it, then leave Hollywood the fuck alone, fam. That is all. LC out.