Director Lee Daniels Says 'The Butler' Represents 'a Movement'

Apparently the civil rights movement was not enough for Lee Daniels.

The director is currently hyping Lee Daniels' The Butler, which chronicles the story of Eugene Allen’s 34 years as a butler in the White House and climaxes with the ascension of Barack Obama. Daniels dubs the film a “movement.”

Daniels assumed white folks would be less interested in a movie about a black man, so he balanced Lee Daniels' The Butler's primary black actors such as Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey and Cuba Gooding, Jr. with white actors.

I want people from Oklahoma, I wanted people from Nebraska, I wanted people from Idaho who wouldn’t be so excited about going to see an African-American film with these African-American actors, people that understood some of these other folks, white folks that were celebrities.

And not only did Daniels make sure all the white racists out there would see his film, he made sure to please his buddies on his side of the political aisle by casting some legendary liberals in key roles.

If you really study these actors that are in it, they’re all political activists in their own right, from Vanessa Redgrave down to Jane Fonda. They were really behind the film not just as a movie, but as a movement.

With the apex of the film being the election of President Obama, Daniels bloviated that his film “wasn’t just a celebratory moment for African-Americans, it was a celebration for America … It’s white people and black people that came together in electing Obama.”

He added that it was disturbing to hear of Trayvon Martin’s death, saying, “I didn’t want to come out of the cocoon and find that there’s this bad stuff. Have we changed?”        


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