Lena Waithe Wants More Black Movie Stars To Finance Black Independent Films: “I’m Over Here Trying To Build A Community, And I Don’t See Other People Doing It”

Lena Waithe says it’s time for more successful Black film stars to help fund Black independent films.

When it comes to continuing the perpetuity of Black films, writer, actor and producer Lena Waithe, says it’s a good idea for Black film stars to pitch in to help finance their community’s projects.

The 34-year-old sat with The New York Times to discuss her upcoming project ”Queen & Slim,” and in doing so, she addressed the lack of financial support independent films receive and how she wishes more Black movie stars would help. “Don’t get me started on black financiers! How many of those do we have? I’m not [going to name] names because I know better, but there are some very big black movie stars out there, and they could pay for two or three or even five small independent movies to get made by black directors and black writers,” Waithe said.

Waithe’s new film #QueenAndSlim stars #DanielKaluuya and #JodieTurnerSmith, and is directed by #MelinaMatsoukas. The film and TV exec noted that if not for the success of #GetOut and #Moonlight, big studios would not have supported Queen & Slim’s production. She also highlighted that #BradPitt’s Plan B Entertainment is the only reason #BarryJenkins’ #Moonlight and #SteveMcQueen’s #12YearsASlave exists today.

“Wasn’t Denzel [Washington]. Wasn’t Will Smith. You won’t catch me making $20 million a movie and not paying for at least four or five independent movies a year. I do give credit to Ava [DuVernay] for trying to build something that hasn’t been built before, but that’s a lot on Ava’s back,” Waithe explained. Waithe continued, “I’m over here trying to build a community, and I don’t see other people doing it. I really do feel like there’s a way for us to change the movie business from the inside out, but we’re all in our own silos doing our own thing.” Waithe’s film, Queen & Slim is set to be released Nov. 27, 2019.

What do you think?

Lena Waithe Under Fire for Jason Mithell
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

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