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Even Woody Allen’s biggest fans would admit that his movies over the years have been lacking in racial diversity.
In April, the New York Daily News ran a report in which anonymous sources said the director refused to hire black actors for his Broadway adaptation of Bullets Over Broadway. Allen’s rep flatly denied the rumors, saying, “Your item is completely untrue.”
Allen, whose latest comedy, Magic in the Moonlight, hits theaters Friday, addressed them directly in a recent interview with the New York Observer. He was described as having been “horrified” by the reports, and when asked whether or not he would cast a black star like Viola Davis, he responded: “Not unless I write a story that requires it. You don’t hire people based on race. You hire people based on who is correct for the part. The implication is that I’m deliberately not hiring black actors, which is stupid. I cast only what’s right for the part. Race, friendship means nothing to me except who is right for the part.”
Allen later added that he’s “friendly with Spike Lee.” He said that the two don’t socialize, but he doesn’t socialize much with anybody. “I don’t have white friends either,” he joked.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson