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Lena Waithe Calls Out Will Smith & Denzel Washington For Not Funding Black Films

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Lena Waithe Calls Out Will Smith & Denzel Washington For Not Funding Black Films

Lena Waithe is calling out two of Hollywood’s biggest names for not supporting black films.


Black Hollywood has had many ups and downs, but now it seems that Lena Waithe is trying to change that by calling out black Hollywood royalty.

In an interview with the New York Times, Waithe calls out Will Smith and Denzel Washington for a lack of financial support for black films.

“And don’t get me started on black financiers! How many of those do we have?” she said. “I’m not [going to name] names because I know better, but there are some very big black movie stars out there, and they could pay for two or three or even five small independent movies to get made by black directors and black writers. Let me give you two movies that are very important to the black community: Moonlight and 12 Years a Slave. Whose production company put those out?”

These two films that were produced by Plan B which is owned by Brad Pit, who also backed up Ava Duvernay for films like “Selma” along with a few other films directed by black Hollywood directors.

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Waithe continues by praising Ava who recently was the mastermind behind the Netflix special on the exonerated five “When They See Us.” However, she says that Ava cannot be the only person we rely on.

“Wasn’t Denzel [Washington]. Wasn’t Will Smith,” she continued. “You won’t catch me making $20 million a movie and not paying for at least four or five independent movies a year. I do give credit to [director and producer] Ava [DuVernay] for trying to build something that hasn’t been built before, but that’s a lot on Ava’s back.”

She continued,

“I’m over here trying to build a community, and I don’t see other people doing it. I really do feel like there’s a way for us to change the movie business from the inside out, but we’re all in our own silos doing our own thing.”

Now you know when someone comes for black Hollywood totality, black two free is going to speak up. Recently, Waithe was in a sticky situation as Jason Mitchell the former star of her show The Chi who was dropped due to sexual misconduct allegations.

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One Twitter user who happened to see the NYT interview tweeted out saying,


Safe to say there is still a whole lot of work to be done for the community of black actors, directors, and producers in Hollywood.

As of now, neither Smith or Washington has responded.

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