Precious director: Homophobia is ‘rampant’ among African-Americans

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The director of Oscar-winning film Precious has attacked homophobia running “rampant” in the black community.

Lee Daniels made the claims while promoting his new TV show Empire – which features a storyline involving a black father who rejects his gay son.

The showrunner – who is gay – told reporters at the Television Critics Association: “What we’re trying to do is to give people the opportunity to see that what they’re doing is painful.

“When I did ‘Precious’ I had to do research on AIDS in the 1980s, so I went to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis Center in New York City, and I expected to see gay men, and there were nothing but African American women and babies with HIV. And that blew me away.

“Homophobia is rampant in the African American community, and men are on the DL.

“They don’t come out, because your priest says, your pastor says, mama says, your next-door neighbour says, your homie says, your brother says, your boss says [it’s wrong].

“And they are killing African American women. They are killing our women. So I wanted to blow the lid off more on homophobia in my community.”

Terrence Howard, who plays family patriarch Lucious Lyon in Empire, added: “I’m glad that I can show the African-American community that this is what you’re doing to your son, this is what you’re doing to your nephew, this is what you’re doing to the kid down the street.”

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