‘Night School’ Producer Will Packer on Hollywood Racism, ‘Advantage’ of Being ‘the Only Black Person in the Room’

TheGrill 2018: “For me it’s more microaggressions than someone saying ‘Get that black s–t out of here,'” Packer said of the racism he’s encountered

Power producer Will Packer currently has the No. 1 comedy in the country in “Night School,” and he says he got to where he is by first having success outside of the movie business.

“The way to be successful in this town is to make noise without this town,” Packer said during TheWrap’s annual media and technology event TheGrill.

Packer has had tons of box office success, producing films that targeted to African American audiences.  His films, which include last year’s surprise hit “Girl’s Trip,” “Ride Along,” “Think Like a Man” and “Stomp the Yard,” have grossed more than $1 billion.

“Night School,” his latest film starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, pulled in $27.3 million over the weekend.

He told the audience gathered at the SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills that he’s encountered some racism along the way: “For me it’s more microaggressions than someone saying ‘Get that black s–t out of here.’”

But even so, Packer said that often being “the only black person in the room” has been advantageous.

“I’ve always felt like that gave me an advantage because nobody else has a perspective like me,” Packer said. “You can say whatever you want about model and creative notes, but nobody knows my perspective and my lens like me. I think we’re more open now to people hearing diverse voices that don’t represent the typical white male patriarchy.”