Lee Daniels, the director of this summer’s blockbuster, “The Butler,” says his father beat him for being gay. In an August interview, the director of 2009′s “Precious” talks about homophobia and racism, and how that impacted his childhood and his later works.
“I ran from that for such a long time – my identity – because I was beaten for it, and then my dad died and I was sort of happy that he did because I dunno that I would have been alive, he’d just kept beating me for being gay,” Daniels told KCRW. “So my mom didn’t want me around cause then… in the African American community we don’t embrace that [being gay]. You know, we simply don’t because men have to be strong and being gay is not a good thing. And so my mom took me to an all-white school… at that point I went from being ‘gay, gay, gay’ to ‘n—er, n—er, n—er.’ …It’s a very, very, very painful experience to live and I try to show that in all of my work, you know, the personal atrocities that I’ve lived.”
Daniels, in this fascinating and revealing interview, reveals his father put him in a trashcan, to punish him, and that’s where he would write. He also says he knew he wanted to express himself in a different way. Daniels says he’s since forgiven his father.
The interview, below, starts at about the 6:55 mark. The relevant portion starts at about the 21:05 mark.
Hat tip: Queerty
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