SALT LAKE CITY — Jonathan King, a producer behind the best-picture winning film “The Green Book,” defended the storytelling in the film by saying it was targeted at an older white audience, according to Yahoo.
King, who was speaking on a panel about diversity during the Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills on April 29, said the film was meant to teach audiences to be less racist.
“If you believe that older white people don’t need to be told to be less racist anymore because that’s an issue from the past, look around,” King said. “Because they do.”
The AV Club wrote that King also noted making films for older white audiences can help remind them about “basic morality.”
“Green Book” was directed by Peter Farrelly and follows African-American Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a classical pianist, as he’s driven through the segregated South by Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortenson), a white man.
The film drew criticism after winning this year’s Best Picture Academy Award earlier this year for allegedly relying on stereotypes and placing the focus on a white protagonist. The film beat out Spike Lee’s “BlacKKKlansman” and Marvel’s “Black Panther,” both of which featured black actors.5 comments on this story
“It’s once again a depiction of a white man’s version of a black man’s life,” said Carol Shirley Kimble, the real-life Don Shirley’s niece, according to Insider.
Nick Vallelonga, the son of Tony Vallelonga, also expressed regret that Don Shirley’s family wasn’t consulted on the film, but later defended the movie from accusations of racism.
"Some of the attacks are unwarranted and untrue. But we believed in the movie the whole time," Vallelonga said, according to theAssociated Press. "If it wasn't true in our hearts, I don't think it would resonate with people. It would come out false."