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12/30/2016 10:32 am ET

Lee Daniels: Actors Of Color Should ‘Stop Complaining And Do The Work’

The Hollywood heavyweight has some thoughts about systemic racism.
The &ldquo;Empire&rdquo; creator encouraged actors who were standing behind last year&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.huffingtonp
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The “Empire” creator encouraged actors who were standing behind last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy to focus more of their attention on building their legacy.

Lee Daniels has some choice words for actors of color who seem to blame the system for a lack of roles.

In an interview with The New York Times in promotion of his new Fox musical drama, “Star,” the 57-year-old “Empire” creator encouraged actors behind last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy to focus more of their attention on building their legacy.

“Go out and do the work. Oscars so white! So what? Do your work,” he said. “Let your legacy speak and stop complaining, man. Are we really in this for the awards?”

Daniels added that his disinterest in seeking validation from white America has ultimately benefited his career.

“If I had thought that way — that the world was against me — I wouldn’t be here now,” he said. “These whiny people that think we’re owed something are incomprehensible and reprehensible to me. I don’t expect acknowledgment or acceptance from white America. I’m going to be me.”

Daniels also opened up about how he doesn’t let racism play a role in his career in an interview earlier this month with the daytime talk show, “The Real.

“I wouldn’t be where I was if I embraced racism,” he told the show’s hosts at the time. “If I embraced it, then it became real. And if it became real, I would be an angry black man.”

And there you have it ― strategies for success, according to Lee Daniels.

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Read more of Lee Daniels’ interview with The New York Times here.

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