Lena Waithe calls out Black actors for not boosting Black productions

Lena Waithe, creator of tv shows like The Chi and BET's Boomerang, is wondering why Black stars aren't funding more Black films. 

Lena Waithe
(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Lena Waithe, creator of tv shows like The Chi and BET’s Boomerangis wondering why Black stars aren’t funding more Black films.

Waithe sat down with The New York Times, to discuss her upcoming film Queen & Slim and how she views the future of Black film.

“You can make a very well-done independent black movie for three million bucks, and that’s a drop in the bucket for what some of these black stars make per movie,” said Waithe.

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Queen & Slim, a Warner Bros. film dropping in the fall according to IndieWire, is obviously not coming out of a Black studio and Waithe says it’s because Black men don’t run any major studios.

Waithe explains even on the indie scene, Black talent isn’t getting shown a lot of love in the financial department.

“And don’t get me started on black financiers!” Waithe told The New York Times. “How many of those do we have? I’m not [going to name] names because I know better, but there are some very big black movie stars out there, and they could pay for two or three or even five small independent movies to get made by black directors and black writers.”

Waithe also called out actors in the Black community for not helping with pivotal films that have been important to the culture.

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“Let me give you two movies that are very important to the black community: ‘Moonlight’ and ’12 Years a Slave.’ Whose production company put those out?,” Waithe asked The New York Times interviewer, who replied Brad Pitt’s company, Plan B.

Waithe continued by saying, “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. I do give credit to Ava [DuVernay] for trying to build something that hasn’t been built before, but that’s a lot on Ava’s back”.

“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,”  Waithe said.