A moment from the new season of Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It,” is so polarizing that actor John Boyega called the series, “Trash.”
In the controversial episode, Nola Darling is speaking to a potential love interest, Olu, about British Black actors taking jobs away from American Black actors. The two engage in a wordy-debate, with Nola telling Olu that British Blacks empathize with their oppressors, and Olu telling Nola that British Blacks do not carry the weight of Black American colonization the way Black Americans do.
The inter-diaspora sparring was captured by one Twitter user from across the pond, who said of the exchange,
“Star Wars” actor John Boyega, who is British, agreed with the commentary saying, “trash.”
He also sided with another commentator who had a lot to say about the way fictional character Olu was dressed (a Nigerian man wouldn’t be wearing Kente cloth, he would wear Ankara). He also retweeted a fan who was appalled at the writing choice to have a moment where Olu’s name is mispronounced.
Some fans chimed in to slam Boyega for his critique’s of Spike Lee’s work, and insinuated that if he has a problem with how a British Black man was depicted on screen, he should focus on telling those stories, versus playing American born Black men in films like “Detroit.”
John responded by saying as an actor it’s his job to act..even if it’s cross-cultural.
It’s clear there is some underlying tension between British and American Blacks that this show has brought to the surface. It’s unfortunate to see us at conflict among ourselves, considering the whole world is pitted agains us, but these wounds need to be acknowledged so they can be healed. Perhaps this moment will help spark the conversation.
When a commentator asked Spike Lee if he was going to offer an apology to the British community for the controversial scene, Spike responded on his Instagram account saying, “No apology needed.”