Sony Producer Says Black Actors Shouldn’t Have Lead Roles Because International Audiences Are Racist
Emails between a producer and Sony chair Michael Lynton discussed that idea while talking about the financial performance of Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer.
An unnamed producer wrote in an email to Sony chairman Michael Lynton that films with black actors — using Denzel Washington in The Equalizer as an example — don’t perform well because the international audiences are “racist,” according to documents found in the Sony hack.The producer suggested that the two-time Oscar winner should not star in big-budget films as the international audience will not accept him in a leading role because of his race.
“I believe that the international motion picture audience is racist — in general pictures with an African American lead don’t play well overseas. When Sony made Equalizer they had to know that Denzel opens pics domestically, however the international gross would be somewhat limited,” the producer wrote in an Oct. 27 e-mail.
Lynton wrote back asking if he was saying The Equalizer “shouldn’t have been made or that African American actors should be excluded?”
“No, I am not saying ‘The Equalizer’ should not have been made or that African American actors should not have been used (I personally think Denzel is the best actor of his generation),” the producer responded. “Casting him is saying we’re ok with a double if the picture works,” the producer wrote, using a baseball analogy.
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