'The Butler' Director: America 'More Racist' Since Obama Became President; 'People Are Angry...Showing Their True Colors'

Lee Daniels, director and producer of the new film "The Butler," lashed out on Monday's Piers Morgan Live at Americans who are "angry that [Obama] is president" and who are "showing their true colors."

Host Piers Morgan teed him up, asking if "America is a more or less racist country since Barack Obama became president?" Daniels responded that "sadly I think so." Actor Lenny Kravitz had a more positive analysis but supported Daniels' assertion about many Americans.

"Wow, that's a powerful question," Daniels reacted to Morgan's inquiry. "I think that people are angry that he [Obama] is president, and I think that they're showing their true colors." He expounded on the shooting of Trayvon Martin as an example of growing racism.

"I think that, you know, when Danny Strong wrote those words, 'Any black man can be killed by any white man and get away with it,' Trayvon Martin had not happened."

Actor Lenny Kravitz said "Has the world gotten better? In general, yes." He added that "it's still there, there are people – when you move forward, there are always going to be people that don't want to go that way, they don't want to buy into that. They want to hold onto their traditions and their beliefs and the way they were raised. And therefore you have a lot of people that are fighting back and showing their true colors, as Lee said."

[H/T Mediaite]

Below is a transcript of a segment that aired on Piers Morgan Live on August 19 at 9:43 p.m. EDT:

[9:43]

PIERS MORGAN: Lee, do you think that America is a more or less racist country since Barack Obama became president?

LEE DANIELS, director, producer, "The Butler": Wow, that's a powerful question. I think that people are angry that he's president, and I think that they're showing their true colors. And I think that – I think that, you know, when Danny Strong wrote those words, "Any black man can be killed by any white man and get away with it," Trayvon Martin had not happened. I end the movie with hope, you know. He's walking down and Obama's giving that famous speech, you know? And then I come out of my edit room and Trayvon Martin has happened. So yeah, I think so – sadly I think so.

MORGAN: Let me turn to you Lenny, on this. You've – I think I've talked to you about this before, but this film has brought into sharp focus, as has Oprah's revelations about the racism she suffered. Have you yourself suffered that kind of racism?

LENNY KRAVITZ, actor, "Lee Daniels' The Butler": Yes. I mean, as a child, in growing up, going to school, you always bump into that kind of thing by certain individuals. Has the world gotten better? In general, yes. The young generation, they don't even go for this, this business when people just don't even understand it in the new generation. But it's still there, there are people – when you move forward, there are always going to be people that don't want to go that way, they don't want to buy into that. They want to hold onto their traditions and their beliefs and the way they were raised. And therefore you have a lot of people that are fighting back and showing their true colors, as Lee said. But in general, things are getting better with each generation.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014