Woody Allen racist? He gives double-talk about not hiring black actors
Woody Allen has been called many things, but his latest rant has us wondering if he needs someone to burst his little white bubble.
Last year, Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, a sort of modern take on the classic Tennessee Williams play, A Streetcar Named Desire, earned him a Best Screenplay Oscar nomination and sent actress Cate Blanchett home with the Best Actress award.
As the writer/director has been doing press for his latest flick, Magic in the Moonlight, starring Emma Stone, he's been asked some tough questions and, sadly, given some disappointing answers.
Allen — famous for ditching Mia Farrow to marry her adopted daughter — sat down with the New York Observer. Reporter Roger Friedman brought up the fact that, during last year's Oscar race, some anonymous complaints were made, criticizing Allen for rarely hiring black actors. He went on to ask if Allen would consider hiring Viola Davis in his next movie and possibly add some diversity to his films.
"Not unless I write a story that requires it," he said. "You don't hire people based on race. You hire people based on who is correct for the part. The implication is that I'm deliberately not hiring black actors, which is stupid. I cast only what's right for the part. Race, friendship means nothing to me except who is right for the part."
It's not surprising that the idiosyncratic and nebbish director doesn't often write scripts with black characters. Most writers simply write what they know and, if he doesn't know interesting black people, then we certainly don't want him to make up inauthentic characters just to add diversity. But something else he said in the interview made us think he's even more clueless than we thought.
Allen admitted that he worries he hasn't influenced any other filmmakers as a director. Well, duh! To us, it seems pretty clear that new filmmakers want to break new ground, not tell stale Woody Allen-esque stories that don't include diverse characters. So, really, it's Allen's own fault for not broadening his own horizons by having the courage to create characters with skin that is a different color than his.
If there's ever been a sign that Woody Allen is all washed up, it has to be this.