clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chadwick Boseman’s agent said he turned down slave roles to avoid “perpetuating” stereotypes

Boseman’s agent said that he only wanted to portray “men of strength and of character.”

Chadwick Boseman Invision/AP

Chadwick Boseman’s team is opening up about how the late actor’s morals played a major part in the roles he chose to take on. The Black Panther star’s longtime agent Michael Greene spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about how the actor always chose roles that would improve humanity, especially the Black community.

“Chad always made sure of the integrity, the ethics, the morals. I’ve represented a lot of clients, and started a lot of clients. His commitment and loyalty was amazing. It’s not typical in Hollywood,” he said.

Greene said the two spent a lot of time discussing whether or not the prospective roles would be valuable to the Black community.

“The amount of time that we strategized over whether he should do a role for the betterment of humanity — it was always about utilizing his platform,” Greene added. “‘How can I give back? How will this be valuable to the Black community, and the community at large?’ He was always, ‘What will I be able to tell through this role?’ That’s how we chose almost all his roles. Somebody once said, ‘He’s playing a lot of biopic people.’ We said, ‘It didn’t hurt Leonardo DiCaprio.’”

Greene then recalled a time when Boseman was fired from his first television show after he declined to play the son of a single mother who was a crackhead.

“He stopped doing his first TV show, ‘All My Children,’ which Michael B. Jordan took over,” the agent continued. “After Chad’s first script, they literally said, ‘Oh, here’s your next script, and your mother’s a crackhead and your father left.’ And he goes, ‘I’m not playing those images,’ and he went into the writers room, and they fired him.”

Greene then said that Boseman and Tessa Thompson turned down a role where they were slated to portray slaves. “I remember him and Tessa were offered a movie, it was about two slaves, and he was like, ‘I do not want to perpetuate slavery.’ It was like, ‘We’re not going to keep perpetuating the stereotypes,’ and that’s why he wanted to show men of strength and of character.”

“It was always about bringing light,” he concluded. “That’s why we never did really dark movies or movies that were just people shooting everybody and perpetuating darkness. He accomplished so much, and all while he was fighting the darkness, literally. Until the last couple of days of his life, he was fighting it.”

Sign up for the newsletter Join the revolution.

Get REVOLT updates weekly so you don’t miss a thing.