Billy Dee Williams defends blackface, says actors ‘should do anything’ they want to do

Billy Dee Williams thinks actors should be able to perform in blackface.

In a new episode of Bill Maher’s “Club Random” podcast, the “Star Wars” actor recalls watching Laurence Olivier in 1965’s “Othello,” in which Olivier wore blackface to play the title role.

“When he did ‘Othello,’ I burst out laughing,” Williams said of Olivier. “He took his a– out and walked around with his a–, you know, because black people are supposed to have a big—-.”

“I thought it was hysterical. I loved it,” he added. “I love that kind of thing.”

Maher noted that “today they would never let you do that,” to which Williams responded, “Why?”

“Black face?” Maher asked in a surprised tone.

“Why not? You should do it,” Williams said. “If you’re an actor, you should do whatever you want.”

Maher then pointed out that Williams, 87, “actually lived in a time where you couldn’t play the roles you should have played.”

“The fact is, you don’t go through life saying, ‘I’m a victim,'” he added. “I refuse to go through life telling the world, ‘I’m pissed.’ I’m not going to be angry 24 hours a day.”

Earlier in the conversation, Williams said, “If I’m going to be creative, let me be creative as an individualist. I don’t want to do anything based on this idea that you’re a black person, you’re a white person and things of that nature. I am an artist. I am a creative entity in this life.

Williams has been promoting her memoir “What Have We Here?” ”, which recounts his childhood in Harlem and his career on Broadway and Hollywood. The actor is known for his role as Lando Calrissian in the “Star Wars” universe, as well as for the films “Brian’s Song” (1971), “Lady Sings the Blues” (1972) and “Mahogany” (1975).

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News Source : www.nbcnews.com


With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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