When White People Co-opt the Black Experience

A thought provoking and soul searching read. I hope it makes you consider yourself in the world


I have recently read an interview with several A-list Hollywood actors from The Hollywood Reporters Annual Actor Roundtable. Amongst the men involved were Michael Caine, Will Smith and Samuel L Jackson. Topics covered in the interview included career paths, racism and aging. Michael Caine has made some comments on race in the interview which are being presented as progressive in some areas of the media, but I feel the need to point out that they are exactly the opposite of that. When the topic of prejudice and racism comes up Michael describes his struggles with oppression as a working class actor and compares this to the black experience in acting saying when he first started out he was “the ‘black’ actor” and that “Cockneys were the first ‘blacks’ in England”.

While I appreciate Michael is trying in his own way to show support, such comments are extremely problematic. Experiencing one form of…

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