Lena Waithe recently called out Black Hollywood’s A-listers for not investing in independent black films.
“Don’t get me started on black financiers!,” The Chi creator 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 pointed out that two major black independent films, Moonlight and 12 Years Slave, were produced by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, and not black actors.
“Wasn’t Denzel. Wasn’t Will Smith, ” she continued. “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.”
The 38-year-old added that Black Hollywood has the manpower to take over the movie industry but it’s going to take everyone to work together and not individually.
“I’m over here trying to build a community, and I don’t see other people doing it. 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 is currently gearing up for the release of her first feature film, Queen & Slim, which she described as “the Black Bonnie & Clyde.”