By: Amanda Anderson-Niles
Lee Daniels has struck gold yet again with another hit film. “The Butler” topped the box office last weekend in its first take, and it’s even generating plenty of buzz suggesting the film could rack up some Oscar Awards. Daniels isn’t a stranger to this kind of success considering he did also direct “Precious,” and that film gave comedian Mo’Nique her very first Academy Award. So things are looking pretty sweet for the movie producer and director, but he’s still managed to find himself the target of criticism not because of his new movie, but because of some recent comments he made about black women and welfare.
In a recent interview with Larry King, Daniels (who is an openly gay black man) addressed the issues many black men face that could hinder them from coming out of the closet. In the process, he made a remark about black women and welfare that is causing some backlash. He says:
“I think they (black gay men) are prejudiced upon even from the African Americans too. I think that the reason we have AIDS…I did a movie called ‘Precious’ and when I was doing the research for ‘Precious,’ I walked into the gay mens health crisis center in New York City and I expected to see studying [of] AIDS and HIV, I expected to see a room full of gay men, but there are nothing but women that are there – black women with kids, I thought I had walked into the welfare office – but they service black women with AIDS, why?… Because black men can’t come out. Why? Because you simply can’t do it. Your family says it, your church says it, your teachers say it, your parents say it, your friends say it, your work says it. And so you’re living on this DL thing and you’re infecting black women.”
The comments have outraged plenty of black women, when asked about the backlash surrounding his comments, he tells HuffPost Live about his love for black women:
“To be a gay man, I’m obsessed with and I’m in love with black women. They are everything to me. From my mother, to my grandmother, my sisters…they are me because they embraced me when black men didn’t embrace me. So I fall to the floor for every black woman.
“I wish I were straight because I love women so much. I love black women. They are the the reason that I’m here today because I was rarely accepted by any African American men growing up inclusive of my dad.”
What do you think about Lee Daniels’ comments? Speak on it below.