In a recent interview with the International Business Times, actor Samuel L. Jackson states that the only reason 12 Years A Slave was funded was that Steve McQueen is British and not an African-American.
“I would think that if an African-American director went into a studio and pitched that particular film, they would be like: ‘No, no, no” Jackson said.
He did say he is glad the film was made although he isn’t sure why a black British director wanted to make a film about slavery in America.
“Look, I’m glad 12 Years got made and it’s wonderful that people are seeing it and there is another view of what happened in America. But I’m not real sure why Steve McQueen wanted to tackle that particular sort of thing.”
Jackson also noted that “America is much more willing to acknowledge what happened in the past: ‘We freed the slaves! It’s all good!’ But to say: ‘We are still unnecessarily killing black men’ – let’s have a conversation about that.”
This is where Jackson, while well meaning shows that he is not so educated about the issue of slavery in America and how Hollywood has helped to hide the fact that the institution of slavery was never abolished but merely transformed. The 13th Amendment of the United States constitution specially states that slavery is still legal as long as the person has been convicted of a crime.
However, there are no films that portray the backroom deal the Lincoln administration and Republicans made with former confederate states in allowing prison slavery to replace plantation slavery with the passage of the 13th Amendment. Lets see a film get made about that issue.