Patrik-Ian Polk is the director of the new film Blackbird starring Mo'Nique and Isaiah Washington. We talked about the initial difficulty he faced in finding a black actor to play a gay character, and how Empire has initiated a new conversation in black America about homosexuality.
“There’ll be an article about a [black celebrity] coming out, and people go, Why do we need to know this? It’s the same kind of thing, that same old, outdated attitude of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’, keep it in the closet. And that’s the attitude that, quite literally, sometimes kills people. That’s why I think it’s important that we have a film like this and people see it because people think it’s out there, you think it’s everywhere, but people still respond that same way.”