June 24, 2019
Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images
In an interview with The New York Times, Lena Waithe shared her grievances with the progression of black film and the lack of giving back within the community. She then specifically called out Will Smith and Denzel Washington.
“Wasn’t Denzel. Wasn’t Will Smith…You won’t catch me making $20 million a movie and not paying for at least four or five independent movies a year.”
The producer went on to give herself props but said that the responsibility was too great for her to support alone.
“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.”
Let’s just say that the people weren’t feeling these comments from Waithe and gave her major backlash for coming for the Hollywood OGs. It also opened up The Chi creator to fire for how she managed what recently went down on the show regarding sexual misconduct allegations against her series’ now-fired lead actor Jason Mitchell.
The same Denzel Washington that produced and directed The Great Debaters, Antwone Fisher and Fences? That paid for Chadwick Boseman's education? The man that signed a 10 year deal with @NetflixFilm for August Wilson's films? @LenaWaithe, please fuck off! https://t.co/0GHOrMn2os
— International Film Critique (@IntFilmCritique) June 22, 2019
Lena Waithe is getting on my nerves. When she needed to speak up, she stayed quiet but now she's opening her big mouth to disrespect those who have been doing the work long before anyone knew of her. pic.twitter.com/xBMTJQb6sU
— ❣️Maya❣️ (@Maya86B) June 22, 2019
In addition to the dragging, some users took time to educate or remind the likes of Ms. Waithe on the many things that both Washington and Smith have done for the black film community.
Most recently, the 2019 American Film Institue honoree and ‘Fences’ producer signed a 10-year deal with Netflix to bring other August Wilson plays to the platform via motion picture. We just reported on the first up film in the series, ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.’ You can get a sneak peek of the cast and more details here.
On the latest BET Experience Genious Talks, interviewer Jemele Hill asked the 35-year-old about her controversial comments. Insisting there was no shade or insult intended in her remarks she went on to explain that everything was fine and there was no beef.
“Look, Will, Denzel, I have a relationship with both camps, no shade no tea, I was just texting with Jada—everybody’s fine.”
TELL US: Fair or Foul? Do you agree with Lena Waithe?