“It kind of put my feet back on the ground in terms of ‘OK, you’re still just another n—er working in town,” actor says of near arrest in LA
The Los Angeles Sheriff Department is lucky Samuel L Jackson‘s lawyers didn’t strike down upon them with great vengeance and furious anger.
The actor revealed that while he was on a break from filming the 1994 Oscar-winning film “Pulp Fiction,” he and several friends were nearly arrested by Sheriff’s deputies.
“One night … I went with some friends to a restaurant down the street, Hugo’s,” Jackson said in a piece he wrote for Vanity Fair. “When we were done, we walked outside and stood on the corner for a while, just talking. All of a sudden, five sheriff’s cars screeched up. The policemen surrounded us, guns pointed, lights in our face: “Get on the ground!”
When Jackson and company asked what they were accused of, the deputies said they had gotten reports of five black men standing on the corner with guns and baseball bats.
“I said, ‘So when you pulled up and didn’t see a bat — I mean, maybe we could’ve had a gun concealed on us, but you didn’t see anything that looked like a bat. What-ever,'” Jackson wrote.
“I was thinking to myself, I’m in Hollywood now, on the verge of breaking through, and this is still going on,” he continued. “It kind of put my feet back on the ground in terms of ‘OK, you’re still just another nigger working in town, so you still got to walk softly.’ And I still do. Just an object lesson for life in L.A.”
Jackson’s revelation comes as the conversation around race in Hollywood has reached a fever pitch, given the lack of any actors of color among this year’s Academy Awards nominees.
Director Spike Lee announced that he will not attend what he called the “lily-white Oscars.” Lee received an honorary Oscar from the Academy in November and had been expected to appear on stage at next month’s ceremony.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, also African-American, issued a statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day promising changes within the group’s membership.