Leah Daniels Butler on Black Casting Directors – Black History Month


Being within the leisure trade is difficult however comes with rewards, so once I was requested to speak about what Black historical past meant to me, I couldn’t begin the dialog with out mentioning the historical past of Black casting administrators who made it potential for me to be within the place I’m in now.

I’m blessed to have been mentored by a casting legends Jaki Brown and Kimberly Hardin, two phenomenal girls whose shoulders I stand on. They gave me a possibility and platform to be part of a number of the best historical past in Black cinema.

There’s additionally Monica Swan, Chemin Bernard and Robi Reed, who’ve all performed an enormous half within the historical past of Hollywood, paving the way in which in championing variety each on and off the display.

Reuben Cannon, the primary Black casting director in Hollywood, said “African People don’t get the respect they deserve in Hollywood.” These phrases inspire me to do all inside my energy to vary this actuality.

Due to all of them, I’m right here now and in a position to assist convey particular occasions in Black historical past to life by means of movie and tv. Having the glory of casting movies similar to “Behind The Motion,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and “The USA vs. Billie Vacation,” gave me the chance to analysis and study extra about Black historic figures and tradition than I used to be ever taught at school.

Cicely Tyson stated, “I’ve discovered to not let rejection transfer me.” A paramount assertion understood on my own and girls who look as I do. Segregation was outlawed in 1964; as a Black American girl in 2021, I exclaim the significance we as a individuals have contributed to trendy-day society which so many occasions has gone unmentioned.

Leah Daniels Butler is casting director who has labored on “The Butler,” “The Paperboy,” “A Lady Like Grace” and “The USA vs. Billie Vacation.” She additionally solid the upcoming “Coming 2 America” starring Eddie Murphy.


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