Actor Michael B. Jordan told his agents that he will not audition for roles which are written for African-Americans.
“Right around the time ‘Fruitvale Station’ went down, I told my agents I didn’t want to go out for any roles written for African-Americans. I didn’t want it. I wanted only white men. That’s it. That’s all I want to do,” Jordan told variety.com.
“Me playing that role is going to make it what it is. I don’t want any pre-bias on the character…Writers write what they know, what they think encounters with us would be, and that’s slight bias,” he added.
One example Jordan brought up in which he benefitted for going for white roles is “Chronicle”, directed by Josh Trank.
The actor explained the character in the script was a white teenager named Steve Krasinsky. Jordan auditioned for the part and impressed Trank and company so much that they cast him and changed the character’s name to Steve Montgomery.
“I wanted to go out for these roles because it was just playing people. It didn’t have to be like, ‘You are playing the black guy in this’. And everybody would be going out for the same role.
“Every young black actor from ages 17 to 40 going out for the same role. How do you reverse engineer that problem of pitted competition with each other and give more opportunities to eat and be successful,” said Jordan.
Jordan said his team gave him no pushback and encouraged him to go for any role he wanted.
“Nobody stopped me. Everybody believed in me as much as I believed in myself. That was really important for that happening. I got no pushback whatsoever. Everybody pushed for it,” he said.