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Lee Daniels Doesn't Believe He Needs To Be Grateful For A Seat At The Table

"I built this fucking table," said the Empire creator on AM to DM.

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Empire and Star creator Lee Daniels, who became one of the few black television creators to have two shows air back-to-back on network TV Wednesday, is not new to making history or headlines.

Empire and Star premiered their fourth and second seasons respectively Wednesday on FOX.
Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Empire and Star premiered their fourth and second seasons respectively Wednesday on FOX.

The critically acclaimed writer, producer, and director doesn't hold his tongue about social justice issues, and his appearance on BuzzFeed's Twitter morning show, AM to DM, on Thursday was no different.

Also, please take a moment to appreciate this look.
BuzzFeed News

Also, please take a moment to appreciate this look.

During the interview, Daniels stood firm in his decision to #TakeAKnee on Sunday in solidarity with the many NFL players who having been doing the same during the national anthem to protest police brutality.

@leedanielsent / Twitter / Via Twitter: @leedanielsent

Colin Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, started this protest last year by kneeling during the national anthem during his games.

Many conservatives, including President Trump, have been chastising the protest and referring to the act as unpatriotic. Former congressman Joe Walsh even called legendary musician Stevie Wonder "another ungrateful black multi millionaire" when the latter took a knee over the weekend.

Stevie Wonder takes a knee for the Anthem during a concert. Another ungrateful black multi millionaire. https://t.co/bpvuGJXLd7

@WalshFreedom / Twitter / Via Twitter: @WalshFreedom

AM to DM host Saeed Jones asked Daniels if he's ever received any similar pushback about needing to be grateful for having "a seat at the table." Daniels quickly dismissed the notion.

BuzzFeed News

"No baby, I built the fucking table. I'm not grateful to be at this table; I built this bitch. Are you crazy?" Lee said while laughing.

The Oscar-nominated director went on to say that he's always been a believer in creating his own destiny versus waiting for someone to give him an opportunity.

"At the very beginning of my career I decided I was responsible for my own destiny. When I was in talent management there were no roles for black talent, so I said, 'Fuck that, I'm creating Monster's Ball.' And history was made. No one's going to tell me I'm grateful for being anywhere, because I'm creating my own destiny," he said.
Lucy Nicholson / AFP / Getty Images

"At the very beginning of my career I decided I was responsible for my own destiny. When I was in talent management there were no roles for black talent, so I said, 'Fuck that, I'm creating Monster's Ball.' And history was made. No one's going to tell me I'm grateful for being anywhere, because I'm creating my own destiny," he said.

You can watch AM to DM's full interview with Daniels here.

video-player.buzzfeed.com
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