ABC/Lou RoccoLee Daniels is calling out The Hollywood Reporter for not mentioning some of the pioneers of inclusion.
In an Instagram post, Daniels shared THR article,”How Michael B. Jordan Pulled Off Hollywood’s First Officially ‘Inclusive’ Production.” He circled the headline, writing he felt “misled” by the article, which”falls short in its misrepresentation of the historical record of Hollywood.” The article is about Jordan’s upcoming legal drama Just Mercy.
“Perhaps the author was unaware of previous undertakings to break down barriers in the industry,” Daniels wrote in his caption. “Is it believable that this is the “first” successful effort to diversify Hollywood production projects?”
Although Daniels questions why the trade failed to acknowledge other filmmakers who advocated for diversity, the Empire creator called the article “important,” saying Jordan and the studio were “properly heralded” for “their leadership in the film industry.”
“Michael’s efforts and rider are to be applauded and supported by all in Hollywood who hope to see a broader cross-section of America in the film industry,” he adds.
However, Daniels points out THR should have also acknowledged the many “unofficial” champions of inclusion, too.
“There is no mention of John Singleton, who brought Hollywood to south-central Los Angeles and diversified his film projects with actors and a film crew never seen before,” Daniels writes. “Where is a mention of Melvin Van Peebles, Julie Dash, Sidney Poitier, … Spike Lee… or Charles Dutton, who refused to step on the set until he saw greater African-American representation alongside him.”
He adds, “Michael would agree that the ‘unofficial’ contributions to diversity of these artists and countless others…deserves to be honored and acknowledged.”
“We must not turn our backs on the sacrifices of the groundbreaking African-American predecessors who paved the way and opened doors for all,” he adds.