Anthony Mackie: “Black Dudes With Dreadlocks” Are Part Of Police Violence Problem; Actor Slammed For Comments
Anthony Mackie is under fire for a new The Grio interview, in which the actor discusses racial issues including the Oscars snubbing Selma and the recent spate of high-profile police altercations with unarmed blacks. His comments on Tuesday led numerous outraged Twitter users to call Mackie a “sell-out” and brainwashed, with many critics going so far as to label him a “house Negro.”
The lack of Oscar support for Selma has made headlines, but Mackie plays down the idea that the Academy Awards voters were being discriminatory. “People are just tired of being bombarded with race right now,” says the actor. “So everybody is shying away from certain topics and certain movies.”
He goes on to remark, “If you look at all the movies and actors that are nominated, they all gave damn good performances. Me specifically, if that’s something I want, I have to step my game up. I have to do better movies and I have to act better.” Mackie does admit that black actors are at some disadvantage for certain roles. “Hollywood believes that there’s no market overseas for black actors,” he explains. “They say that about Denzel Washington, they say they have no foreign value. If we’re not financing and doing our own stories, we can’t expect to see ourselves come award season.”
But Mackie may be generating the most controversy with his take on the topic of police violence against young black men. He tells the outlet, “Like my nephew wanted to grow dreadlocks. I’m like fine, I’ll sit you down and I’ll watch ‘The First 48’ with you and everybody you see on that show, that’s doing something wrong, they’re black dudes with dreadlocks. So, do you want to be seen as part of the problem or do you want to be an individual?”
“Let’s just say you have locks and you walking down the street,” says Mackie. “The police pull you over and say you fit the description of somebody. You start yelling and arguing with the cops. Next thing you know you pressed up against the wall going to jail for something you’re not even involved in just because you look like somebody and you don’t know how to handle yourself.”
Mackie is now taking a lot of flack for his remarks, with most Twitter users blasting him for seeming to sell out and turn on his own community. “Anthony Mackie, what are you doing? Please stop,” wrote one person. Another joked, “I just want to send out a HUGE thank you to Anthony Mackie for solving racism and police brutality. ‘Don’t get locks.’ Who knew?!” A third person cracked, “White supremacy is a hell of a drug.” “Didn’t Anthony Mackie play Tupac? Somebody needs to get sued for that lol,” wrote another critic. Yet another detractor tweeted, “No, Anthony Mackie doesn’t have a point. Acquiescing to the idea that it’s ok to qualify humanity based on hair isn’t a point.” Someone else said, “I don’t want to hear anything from Anthony Mackie but Capt. America details.” Another comment: “Anthony Mackie should just be quiet be the good lil house negro that he is since doesn’t have anything intelligent to add.” What do you think about what Anthony Mackie had to say about Selma and the police?