Director Lee Daniels struggled mightily to get his new film into theaters.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler, loosely based on the life of a black man who served for decades in the White House as a servant, required 35 producers to raise the necessary funds. That’s a number the vast majority of movies do not demand. The director, who is black, says trying harder is simply what minorities must do in today’s America in order to thrive.
Working in Hollywood, an industry not known for its diversity behind the scenes, makes such efforts even harder. Still, Daniels refuses to play the race card on his peers.
When you are a minority, not only must you endure what minorities endure, but that also means in the workforce,” says Daniels. “In my workforce, which is creating film, it’s harder. And that’s OK because that makes me work harder. It teaches my son to work harder. I don’t look at is as woe is me. … No way. Get up and go to work, man. It’s politically incorrect, anyway, to scream racism in Hollywood, in America. It’s time to now not do that. We’ve got to call it as we see it. All of the adversity I’ve gone through _ be it being called faggot, be it being called nigger _ all of that has made me the man that I am.