Out on the press tour for his new movie Kong: Skull Island, Samuel L. Jackson sparked a controversy with his comments on the casting of Jordan Peele's hit horror movie, Get Out and 2015 Oscar winner Selma. The leads in both films, Daniel Kaluuya and David Oyelowo are British men. Jackson's comments on Get Out begin around the 25 minute mark.
I know the young brother who's in the movie, and he's British. So, there are a lot of black British actors that work in this country. All the time. I tend to wonder what would that movie have been with an American brother who really understands that in a way. Because Daniel grew up in a country where they've been interracial dating for a hundred years... So what would a brother from America have made of that role? I'm sure the director helped. Some things are universal, but everything ain't. Which is one of the thing's about Selma, and some other things, you know, there are some brothers from America that could have been in that movie that would have had a different idea about how King thinks or how King felt...
When asked why black British actors got these roles, Jackson commented, laughing, "they're cheaper than us, for one thing. They don't cost as much... And they think they're better trained for some reason, than we are, because they're classically trained... Everybody needs to work, but there are a lot of brothers here that need to work, too."
The comments caused a stir on Twitter, with English actor John Boyega, known for his role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, calling it a "stupid ass conflict we don't have time for."
For his part, Get Out director Jordan Peele had admitted earlier in March to The Observer that, "I didn't want to go with a British actor," but a discussion with Daniel Kaluuya changed his mind. "Once I'd wrapped my head around how universal these themes were, it became easy for me to pick Daniel, because at the end of the day, he was the best person for the role."
Jackson subsequently clarified his comments to the AP, saying they were directed at Hollywood, not the actors themselves.
"It was not a slam against them, but it was just a comment about how Hollywood works in an interesting sort of way sometimes." According to the AP, "Jackson was complimentary of the skills and hard work black British performers put in to take on American roles, but he said that was a one-way street."
"We're not afforded that same luxury, but that's fine, we have plenty of opportunities to work," he said. "I enjoy their work. I enjoy working with them when I have the opportunity to do that."
But the controversy did not end there. According to Mashable, an "aspiring filmmaker" named Gloria Tafa discussed the issue in a thoughtful Facebook post—earning a response from Samuel L. Jackson himself.
Samuel L. Jackson's response was simple: