Samuel L. Jackson accepted a lifetime achievement at the Dubai International Film Festival this week, and he didn't pull any punches when talking about "Oscar bait movies" during his acceptance speech. From a report in Gulf News:
This time of the year is always interesting. Last year we had the OscarSowhite rhetoric … This year seems to be different. We have all these films like Moonlight, Birth Of A Nation … The politics that happen during this time is always interesting. There are discussions like Manchester By The Sea may be interesting to some people, but it's not inclusive or that Moonlight is all black film … There are all these Oscar bait movies like the one with Will Smith that has that life is so wonderful, just smell the roses theme.
Jackson also had some thoughts on politics:
My politics are my politics. Some say I am a role model because I am an actor. But I feel I am a role model because I am a husband, am a father and a college graduate. I am one of those rare black people in America who has not gone into jail … I had no police encounters … I am who I am. I say things about my country that lot of other people don't want to say. Just like what happened recently [the gun shootings in Chicago during the Thanksgiving weekend], I am not shocked by it. I understand because I lived in that part of the town. All I can do is the best person I can be.
And though he (jokingly?) said his agent won't let him give his opinion about Donald Trump, he did have some thoughts on the plight of Muslim Americans:
What's that amazing series about the Muslim kid who goes to prison [HBO series, The Night Of]? You get to see a Muslim family going through something and you feel that's some black [expletive]. Muslim Americans are getting arrested the way the Black Americans got arrested in the past. Like somebody said, Muslim Americans are the new black people in America … But the Muslim community is a vital part of our country.
Jackson stars in the upcoming Kong: Skull Island, in theaters in March.