Woody Allen Will Hire Black Actors “If The Story Requires It”

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Woody Allen is responding to accusations that he excludes black actors from roles in his movies.

The accusation originally came when the New York Daily News claimed that during the casting of Allen’s play about Harlem’s Cotton Club, “Bullets Over Broadway,” the director “specifically requested there be no black gangsters in his musical,” cited a confidential source.

During an interview with the New York Observer, writer Roger Friedman says Allen was “horrified” when the subject was approached.  The writer says they then discussed some of the amazing talent of black actors like Viola Davis. When asked if he would ever consider casting any of these actors, he simply 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.”

He went on to give details on his personal relationship with Chris Rock, who appeared in a PBS documentary about Allen.

“He loved my work. When I got married to Soon-Yi he bought me a wedding present,”  Allen said. “When I ran into him in Rome, we took him out for dinner.”

In an attempt to further indicate that he can get along with black people, he added: “I’m friendly with Spike Lee. We don’t socialize, but I don’t socialize with anyone.”

He finally added: “I don’t have white friends either.”

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(Photo Credit: THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)