California rapper-actor Snoop Dogg tore into the Roots remake Monday in an Instagram video showing the Long Beach native encouraging Americans to join him in not watching the controversial slave saga set to air on Memorial Day.
“12 Years a Slave, Roots, Underground… I can’t watch none of that sh*t,” the Doggystyle rapper said about the 2013 Academy Award-winning slave epic, the A & E-produced retelling of the 1977 original Roots, and the WGN America series about the Underground Railroad.
“I’m sick of this sh*t. How the f*ck they gonna put Roots on Memorial Day?” Snoop Dogg asks in the short video clip.
Snoop, who has about 75 acting credits to his name, takes exception to the entertainment industry’s portrayal of black history.
“When you all going to make a f*cking series about the success that black folks is having?” the rapper asked.
“They just going to keep beating that sh*t into our heads as to how they did us, huh? They just want to keep showing the abuse that we took hundreds and hundreds of years ago,” he said, rejecting Hollywood’s portrayal of black history.
Four decades after the original version aired on ABC, a new eight-hour Roots series is set to premier across three networks simultaneously this Memorial Day — and is being touted as an epic on race reimagined for the era of Black Lives Matter.
“There is a whole generation of Americans who don’t know the story, don’t have a connection to Roots,” executive producer LeVar Burton, who starred as Kunta Kinte in the original, told the Hollywood Reporter about the decision to update the hit series. “It was still very daunting to even contemplate. But I felt that there was merit in trying. And if I could help make it as good as it could be, it would be much better than just sitting on the sidelines.”
But Snoop Dogg is more interested in producing positive portrayals of black people on television and in film, as opposed to “old” slave narratives centered around suffering and failure.
“F*ck them television shows. Let’s create our own sh*t based on today, how we live, and how we inspire people today,” he said.
Roots premieres May 30 on History, Lifetime, and A&E.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson.