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Actress Octavia Spencer Says Hollywood Is More Racist Than Home State of Alabama

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Actress Octavia Spencer, who has won an Oscar for “Best Supporting Actress” and has multiple other acting awards to her credit, opened up about her life in Hollywood compared to where she was born and grew up in the Deep South.

In a recent episode with podcaster Marc Maron, she confessed that when she moved to the film capital of the country, she discovered the people there were far more racist than in her home state of Alabama.

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“It’s a beautiful place and beautiful people. You know, I love being from there,” Spencer told the host.

Maron responded, “But it’s like, it’s heavy, man. Right?”

“I think everywhere is heavy. Every — everywhere has its history. You know what I mean? It’s — I think everywhere has problems, you know,” Spencer replied, adding that “southern history is intense.”

“But that’s why it’s on the brain,” Maron offered.

“Well, what’s beautiful for me is, that stuff preceded me. You know, I was a child of the seventies… You know, as you grow older and the things that you can remember. That wasn’t a part of my history. I learned about it. It’s not everything — anything that I experienced,” Spencer replied.

“Did it hang over the family in any way?” Maron asked.

“My mother definitely, you know, taught us about the world and the realities, the harsh realities of the world and history. But growing up in Alabama, I’m going to be honest, I felt more racism when I first moved here than I ever, ever had in Alabama,” the actress explained.

She went on to say that when she first went to the Los Angeles/Hollywood area, she envisioned, “California is gonna be this free and liberal thinking place.” However, she quickly found out differently, even going so far as to compare an early experience to the hit 1990 movie “Pretty Woman,” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

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“It is so funny. It’s right out of Pretty Woman,” she said, referencing a scene early in the movie where Roberts’ hooker character was followed in a swanky store on Rodeo Dr. by staffers who were suspicious of her.

“One of the first things that you do when you move to — or at least that I did. You want to go to those historical places? You want to go to Rodeo Drive. You wanna go to Hollywood Boulevard. You know, the wax museum, all of those landmark places,” Spencer said.

“I remember going into a shop and being followed, like, at first, I didn’t even — I was just like so excited, like just walking around, and then I realized that I was being followed,” she added.

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“But I guess it really is — there is a culture of profound racism in Los Angeles,” Maron admitted as well.

Spencer described the incident as a “glaringly obvious” episode of racism.

She isn’t the only one to criticize the left’s cultural traits. During his Friday HBO show, “Real Time” host Bill Maher blasted Democrats who have long controlled the public schools for the condition many of them are in today, as well as teachers who feel they are under siege from rowdy, uncontrollable students.

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“I thought a great subject to talk about would be schools, because they’re in the news a lot,” Maher began the panel discussion. “We live in a prison yard in this country, which is everything is tribal. And like anything that has to do with schools or education is something really the Democrats have to answer for because they control it. I mean, when you look at the Democratic Convention, it’s like three-quarters of them are teachers. My sister’s a teacher. I’m a big defender of teachers, but what’s going on in schools is outrageous, and somebody needs to answer for it.”

He went on to reference a recent incident where a six-year-old brought a gun to school and shot his teacher in Fairfax County, Va., with the school librarian telling news outlets it is “routine” for teachers to be assaulted.

“How did we completely lose control?” Maher asked. “How could any kid learn in this atmosphere when you can’t even survive? And these are all schools. This is not just inner-city schools. I hear this anecdotally from people. We’ve completely lost control of our schools.”

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