According to Hollywood legend, the Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker tried unsuccessfully for years to make a film about Fred Hampton’s life. The fact that Judas and the Black Messiah now exists, made by a major studio (Warner Bros) – and that the film, and especially Stanfield and Kaluuya, should figure prominently in the awards season – suggests that some progress has been made in the film business.
“Hollywood has no choice but to change, as the society changes that we live in and people change,” Stanfield says. “I think Hollywood is more of a reflection of society than we sometimes give credit for. It’s not really its own entity in a way. It’s more what we make it be and allow it to be. Hollywood is a business and by and large it goes where the money goes.”