What Did Obama Think of ‘The Butler’?

He cried a little and laughed a little.

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images
Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

In a sit-down with Tom Joyner and his co-host Sybil Wilkes of The Tom Joyner Morning Show, President Barack Obama discussed at length his feelings about Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the Affordable Care Act.

Black America Web reports that Joyner and Wilkes also took a moment to lighten things up with the president, asking him if he saw Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Here’s what President Obama had to say:

You know, I did see The Butler, and I did tear up.  I teared up just thinking about not just the butlers who have worked here in the White House, but an entire generation of people who were talented and skilled, but because of Jim Crow, because of discrimination, there was only so far they could go.  And yet, with dignity and tenacity, they got up and worked every single day, and put up with a whole lot of mess because they hoped for something better for their kids.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler is about a black White House butler and is loosely based on former real-life White House butler Eugene Allen. The cast is star-studded, led by Forest Whitaker as the butler, Cecil Gaines, supported by Oprah Winfrey and Cuba Gooding Jr., who both received praise from Obama for their performances.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, my favorite part was probably some of the jokes Cuba Gooding told.

 TOM JOYNER: Mine too.

 THE PRESIDENT: We can’t repeat — but we can’t repeat them on the air.

TOM JOYNER: Exactly. I know what youre talking about.  I know the scene youre talking about, and I love that scene too. 

 THE PRESIDENT: But all of the acting was terrific, and I thought Forrest Whitaker was wonderful.  And Oprah, my girl, she can act.