Biopics are always tricky, and fans are never in unison with who’s cast to play lead roles.
During a recent appearance on The Tamron Hall Show, Porter revealed that he’s in the early stages of writing the movie’s script with Dan McCabe, which will be produced by Allen Media Group Motion Pictures and based on David Leeming’s 1994 book James Baldwin: A Biography.
However, the news that he’d be portraying the role made it to social media, and users were vocal that Porter wasn’t the right casting decision and riddled off others that would be better suited.
Porter was quick to fire back at the critics while on Hall’s show, saying that their thoughts don’t factor into the decision and that his resume proves that he’ll be able to do this role justice.
“First and foremost, the internet has created a space where it’s made people think that their opinion matters at all — it doesn’t. I am 53 years old, and I’ve dedicated my life to my art and my craft. Question me at your own peril. It’s alright. Call it whatever you want, arrogant… whatever you want. I’ve worked hard for this,” he said. “And my mantra and I say it all the time, I do not now, nor will I ever, adjudicate my life or humanity in sound bites on social media. I’m going to focus on the work — that’s all I can do. People have been doubting me my whole life. This ain’t nothing new. None of it is new.”
Porter explained that he closely identifies with the role and Baldin himself because they’re both Black and queer, which should bring even more authenticity to the project.
“James Baldwin and his work and what he represented in the world, everything, he’s one of the first people who I saw who looked like me, who represented me in the fullness: Black, queer, and present,” Porter said. “I’m alive because I was able to see him in my early 20s…”
See Twitter’s reaction to Billy Porter being cast to play James Baldwin below.
Billy Porter Fires Back At Critics Questioning His Role As James Baldwin In Biopic was originally published on cassiuslife.com