Lee Daniels on "The Butler"

Monday, August 19, 2013

Director Lee Daniels and screenwriter Danny Strong discuss their new movie “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” It tells the story of White House butler Cecil Gaines, who serves during eight presidential administrations between 1957 and 1986, and traced the civil rights movement. The film was inspired by Wil Haygood’s 2008 Washington Post article “A Butler Well Served by This Election” about the real life of former White House butler Eugene Allen. “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” opened nationwide August 17.


Lee Daniels and Danny Strong

Comments [8]

@THE Truth from Becky- Although I respect your right to spend your money as you see fit, your idea that movies based on history is some how "pinning for time" is ludicrous. The problem is NOT enough people know, see or hear about stories of this nature. Our history books are filled with one sided tales and accounts suited to one group of people.

@Elaine from LI you mentioned one movie...where are all the others you speak of? Look at how many movies come out during the year and tell me how many are related to history and race relations in this country. If you read the article closely you would see that he referring to what he was told by a president of one of the studio's he presented it to. Let's be frank, 90% of the movies in the country are saturated with the majorities point of view. Its obvious when we have the Academy Awards, there is lack of black written & produced movies up for nomination.

I'm so tired of people trying to leave the history in the past as if that will help us ALL "get along." Don't you understand that negates it, completely! It's time we start facing the realities of what this country was built on and how some Americans are still struggling for their story to be told.

Aug. 21 2013 11:56 AM
john from office

Is there any rap music in this film?

Aug. 19 2013 01:51 PM
William from Manhattan

Terrific interview - these guys are great, and Leonard is in clover.

Aug. 19 2013 01:51 PM
gene from NYC

There is a way to reflect on the prominence of smoking historically that doesn't romanticize it.

But to show Oprah wreathed in smoke, as if she were appearing in the tobacco industry's most coveted celebrity ad of all time is irresponsible.

The tobacco industry, it can well be argued, was the impetus for the total enslavement of blacks 1620-1699. To glamorize and encourage the further enslavement of blacks--to nicotine this time--in this day and age, with all we know, is more than ignorant and irresponsible--it's just despicable.

Aug. 19 2013 01:47 PM
The Truth from Becky

I noticed hollywood directors and screen writers insist on going back to this time period to make movies...this is another one that I have NO intention of wasting my money on...tap into your creativity and stop pining for a time gone by, trust me we know these type of stories all too well.

Aug. 19 2013 01:44 PM
Anonymous from Manhattan

Had to coax someone to use the N-word huh? Oh I'm so sure.

Aug. 19 2013 01:39 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I didn't even know the White House *had* butlers. Does it still?

Aug. 19 2013 01:34 PM
elaine from li

What was with the anti-Semitic remark in The New York Times Magazine yesterday? Why can't Mr. Daniels just say it is hard to make good thought provoking movies about important topics and about minorities. I really don't understand why he feels there are an abundance of Holocaust films in wide release. I think there are more films about racism. Fruitvale, 42 (great film). In all honesty, it is so ironic. Here's some advice, that applies to racists and anti-Semites- Just because you think it, doesn't mean you have to say it.

Aug. 19 2013 11:06 AM

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