Samuel L Jackson: Hollywood diversity is improving
Samuel L. Jackson believes diversity in Hollywood is improving.
The 67-year-old actor thinks film and TV better reflects "real life" issues and there are now more "interesting" portrayals of female heroes and mixed race couples on screen.
Speaking on UK TV show ‘This Morning’, the ‘Pulp Fiction’ star said: "I think there are more films and television shows for sure that deal with real life issues.
"There are transgender people and gay people all over television, there are specifically more Asian, Hispanic and black people on television – and behind the scenes – creating and doing things. […] A lot more women heroes, a lot more interesting couples on television in terms of mixed race, especially in America – you guys [in Britain] have had that for a very long time."
‘The Avengers’ actor – who is married to actress LaTanya Richardson – also admitted he is worried about a "backlash" from people seeing this diversity as a form of tokenism in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite scandal which engulfed the Academy Awards this year.
He said: "Now I know there is going to be an interesting sort of backlash or this year things will happen – you know, films with people of colour, that have directed them, acted in them, and you’ll start thinking ‘Well, did they do this because they had that controversy last year or am I really worthy of this award?… Are they doing this as some kind of token thing?’
"So you create a whole set of circumstances that aren’t necessary, and hopefully those films and those people will be worthy."
Elsewhere in the interview, Samuel was keen to talk about his involvement in the ‘One for the Boys’ campaign, which aims to encourage men to take their health seriously and highlight male cancers.
He said: "Men don’t tend to pay attention to their bodies like women… and men, especially in this country die from stomach cancer more than women, and men do get breast cancer and lung cancer, and skin cancer and whole lot of other things that they don’t talk about.
"We [men] are taught not to talk about our pain and just tough it out and be a man, and we just don’t go to the doctors as often as women."