Lee Daniels: “Oscars So White? So What! Do The Work”
Steve Granitz

Hollywood film and television mastermind Lee Daniels sparked quite the controversy by choosing an aspiring White actress as the lead in his latest TV series STAR, and he’s had much to say in response to the criticism.

Daniels’ first round of backlash in connection to the new series came when he made a few questionable comments about not embracing racism during an appearance on The Real in mid-December.

Adding fuel to the fire, the award-winning producer and director has since taken things a step further with his critical commentary about how many in the African-American community have responded to the ongoing lack of diversity in Hollywood. Specifically, he had a few choice words of unsolicited advice for those who supported the #OscarsSoWhite movement.

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“Go out and do the work,” he said during a recent New York Times interview. “Oscars so White! So what? Do your work. Let your legacy speak and stop complaining, man. Are we really in this for the awards?”

Echoing some of his sentiments expressed on The Real, Daniels went on to add that he doesn’t subscribe to the concept of seeking validation from “White America” when it comes to his work. 

“If I had thought that way—that the world was against me—I wouldn’t be here now,” he continued. “These whiny people that think they’re owed something are incomprehensible and reprehensible to me. I don’t expect acknowledgment or acceptance from White America. I’m going to be me.”

Apparently, Daniels didn’t get the memo that “those whiny people” who continue to fight for equality in Hollywood played a huge role in the diversification of this year’s Oscar nominees, as well as those who sit on the deciding committee.