‘Why Not?’: ‘Star Wars’ Actor Billy Dee Williams Says Actors Should Be Able To Wear Blackface

Billy Dee Williams participates in the global press conference for "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" at the Pasadena Convention Center on December 04, 2019 in Pasadena, California.
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

“Star Wars” actor Billy Dee Williams said he sees no reason why actors can’t wear blackface and said they should be able to do “anything” they thought was necessary for any given role.

During the 87-year-old actor’s recent appearance on the “Club Random with Bill Maher” podcast, the two were discussing how times have changed after Williams praised Laurence Olivier’s performance in the 1965 movie “Othello” — in which the star wore blackface, the Hollywood Reporter reported.

“When he did ‘Othello,’ I fell out laughing,” Williams said. “He stuck his a** out and walked around … because Black people are supposed to have big a**es. I thought it was hysterical. I loved it.”

Maher replied, “I agree. But today, they would never let you do that.”

Williams asked, “Why?” and Maher replied, “Blackface?”

“Why not? You should do it,” Williams added. “If you’re an actor, you should do anything you want to do.”

When the host pointed out that the actor lived during a period of history where “you couldn’t play the part you should’ve played,” Williams told him he didn’t want to live his life like a “victim.”

“But the point is, you don’t go through life feeling like, ‘I’m a victim,’” the actor explained. “I refuse to go through life saying to the world, ‘I’m pissed off.’ I’m not gonna be pissed off 24 hours a day.”

Williams famously played Lando Calrissian in the sequel to the original “Star Wars” movie “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980. He reprised his role for the 1983 “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” and once again when he played the leader in the third and final part of the trilogy series in Episode IX “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” in 2019.

The topic of blackface in Hollywood was discussed recently when Daily Wire host Andrew Klavan pointed out Hollywood’s “wokeness” and its hypocrisy regarding racism during his appearance on “The Megyn Kelly Show” podcast.

They talked about the recent star-studded Academy Awards ceremony which was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, a late-night host and comedian who has previously worn blackface.

Kelly also noted that comedian Billy Crystal had appeared “on the Oscars in blackface” and the Academy had celebrated “Tropic Thunder” — in which Robert Downey Jr. wore blackface.

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Actor Joins Bill Maher In Scathing Assessment Of ‘Fragile’ Kids Today: ‘House Plants’


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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Why Not?’: ‘Star Wars’ Actor Billy Dee Williams Says Actors Should Be Able To Wear Blackface