- “Malcolm & Marie” director Sam Levinson was against criticism for his portrayal of Black characters.
- However, Zendaya and John David Washington were co-producers as well as sponsors of the film.
- “John David, I, and Sam have this movie,” Zendaya told the New York Times.
- Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.
Zendaya said her “group was taken away” after the backlash made by her film “Malcolm and Marie” because a white director and writer told a story about two Black characters.
The film, which hit Netflix earlier this month, was written and directed by Sam Levinson (“Euphoria”) and features Zendaya and John David Washington as a grazing couple in Hollywood.
Despite much expectations, the film drew largely negative reviews with several critics and viewers accusing Levinson of using two Black characters to record his own personal complaint with Hollywood. However, in an interview with the New York Times, Zendaya, who is also a producer on the film, hit back claiming she had a strong influence on the film’s script direction.
“The interesting thing is, I think a little bit of our group was taken away. So it was just kind of Sam spouting things through without realizing that it’s not just actors who are but we are co – funders and producers with PGA tokens. You can’t get that if you don’t really do the job, “she said.
“I think it’s also a little mirror of Marie’s situation, right? It’s like Marie says the whole movie [Malcolm’s film] it is mine too. But in reality, in real life, we have the belief, this is us, and this film is by John David, I, and Sam, “she continued.
“It’s not like it belongs to someone else and I got thrown in. He wrote it for us too, and I think if you’re going to write something, you have to accept experiences about [Black] a character you are writing. I thought a lot of the conversations I had with Sam came through. ”
In a mixed study, Insider praised the achievements of Zendaya and John David Washington calling the film “professional” for both. But before the film was released, there was controversy over the cast of John David Washington as Zendaya’s love interest. There is a 12-year-old age gap between the two actors.
At the time, Zendaya dismissed the concerns about the age gap in an interview with People. She said: “People often forget – which is understandable because I’ve been playing 16 since I was 16, you know – [but] I have grown. I knew that as I grow and grow, there would be a time when I could play someone my own age. “