During a recent sitdown on the talk show The Real, Lee Daniels made some eyebrow-raising comments about racism.
During a segment about the backlash against the Mall of America’s black Santa, the Empire creator said, “I wouldn’t be where I was if I embraced racism. If I embraced it, then it became real. And if it became real, I would be an angry black man.”
Daniels also said that he was in “denial” about the current state of race relations in the country and that his children don’t comprehend race because they grew up with a white and a black father.
The Oscar-nominated director also opened up about why, despite his hesitation, he chose a white lead for his new Fox series Star, a drama centered on a rising female singing group.
“In the beginning, [the story] is told through a white girl’s perspective because I felt that the country instinctively, I thought, needed to heal,” Daniels stated. “And I think that this white girl is so fabulous that black people will embrace her and white people will embrace her.”
Clearly, Twitter didn’t take too kindly to Daniels’ “new black” comments:
Later in the interview, Daniels stressed that Star will address current events and even politics.
“I wanted to explore politics, as I do with most of my work, what’s going on right now in America,” he said. “So we explore the excitement and the glamour of the evolution of a group, weaved in with a little bit of what’s happening now in the streets.”
Star, which debuts on Dec. 14, also features Queen Latifah, Tyrese, Benjamin Bratt, Naomi Campbell and Lenny Kravitz.