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Denzel Washington States Commitment to August Wilson to Open the Door for more African Americans in Film

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NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 19: Actors Viola Davis, Denzel Washington and Saniyya Sidney (front) take part in SiriusXM's Town Hall With the cast of 'Fences' hosted by Karen Hunter on December 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM) *** Local Caption *** Viola Davis; Denzel Washington; Saniyya Sidney
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 19: Actors Viola Davis, Denzel Washington and Saniyya Sidney (front) take part in SiriusXM’s Town Hall With the cast of ‘Fences’ hosted by Karen Hunter on December 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM) *** Local Caption *** Viola Davis; Denzel Washington; Saniyya Sidney)

Not sure how I missed this when it was sent to me but glad I listened to it. Denzel speaks very powerful words here about creating additional opportunities for black actors with his current power and influence in Hollywood via August Wilson’s writings.

In a 1990 essay, August Wilson made it clear he’d only allow a black director to helm an on-screen adaptation of his Tony-winning Fences. More than two decades later, Denzel Washington is fulfilling that wish, directing and starring in the film about an African-American family in 1950s Pittsburgh. During a Town Hall with the cast, SiriusXM Urban View’s Karen Hunter asked why this was so important to the late playwright.

“It’s not color, it’s culture,” Washington said. “Steven Spielberg did Schindler’s List. Martin Scorsese did Goodfellas, right? Steven Spielberg could direct Goodfellas. Martin Scorsese probably could have done a good job with Schindler’s List. But there are cultural differences. I know, you know, we all know what it is when a hot comb hits your head on a Sunday morning, what it smells like. That’s a cultural difference, not just color difference.” See the entire video below…

 

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Kevin "KevRoss" Ross is a music and radio industry expert. He is a 20 -plus year entrepreneur with the leading most successful industry trade publication and site Radio Facts (www.radiofacts.com). He has also published various books, magazines, performed marketing and promotions for major corporations and recording artists and he is on the advisory board of several industry organizations. This year Ross introduced his non profit organization LOMARI (Leaders of the Music and Recording Industry) to help teach young minority students how to market and manage their music and products.

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