Exclusive: Shaheem Reid Interviews Forest Whitaker For Lee Daniels, The
Butler (The Round Up)
Hip Hop Historian Shaheem Reid recently sat down with Hollywood’s A-list actor Forrest Whitaker to discuss a series of topics surrounding the release of Lee Daniels, The Butler. Shaheem asked Whitaker what was his thoughts about the controversy surrounding civil rights veteran Harry Belafonte and Jay Z .
The movie is inspired by the true story of Eugene Allen, who served eight presidents during his tenure as a White House domestic and who was the subject of a 2008 Washington Post profile by Wil Haygood, the film stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, who grows up amid Southern cotton fields, witnesses the systematic abuse of his parents (Mariah Carey, David Banner) and learns that one goes along to get along. Cecil spends the movie carrying Jim Crow on his back and fear in his eye; that he personifies, both metaphorically and actually, the “good Negro” of the American Racist Dream is never much of a question. But even as Cecil lives his life slightly adjacent to history, building a heroic film around him requires a herculean effort.