David O. Russell Issues Pathetic Apology For Comparing Jennifer Lawrence’s Career To Slavery

AFI FEST 2013 Presented By Audi Special Tribute: An Evening With David O. Russell - Reception

If you’d convinced yourself that nobody with a brain and a conscience would compare arbitrary crap to slavery in 2014, we regret to inform you that insensitive morons still walk freely among us. Sometimes they even win prestigious awards!

David O. Russell, the writer/director behind the Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook and the recent Golden Globes champion, American Hustle, made a major mistake this week. At Friday’s Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts Awards, Russell spoke about the challenge of working around Jennifer Lawrence‘s tight schedule to film American Hustle at the same time that she was working on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. According to Russell,

I’ll tell you about that girl. Talk about 12 Years a Slave! That’s what the franchise is. I’m going to get in so much trouble for saying it but being in The Hunger Games, they just keep her on a hamster wheel. And then she comes and takes vacation– because she wants to do original roles– spends her vacation on American Hustle.

JFC, man. Let’s go through that statement piece by piece. First of all, there’s only one thing that you can appropriately compare to American slavery: other forms of slavery. That’s not up for debate. Ever. Second of all, if you’re smart enough to realize you’re going to “get in so much trouble” for saying something, have the decency to not say it. Third of all, we’re willing to accept that Jennifer probably deals with a lot of pressure and stress filming multiple movies at the same time, but not only does she choose to do that, but she gets paid millions upon millions of dollars for it. That’s literally the furthest away you can possibly get from slavery.

Russell issued an apology today, telling the MailOnline, “Clearly, I used a stupid analogy in a poor attempt at humor. I realized it the minute I said it and I am truly sorry.”

Yeah, I’m not sure that’s good enough. Something as offensive as his original statement goes far beyond being “stupid.” It’s straight-up ignorant and majorly disrespectful. And if you regret something immediately after saying it, don’t wait to apologize until after the whole internet hates you. Nice work, DOR.

Via Us Weekly / Photo: Getty

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    • Kaitlin Reilly

      I think this was insensitive but the only reason he’s getting a ton of flack for it is because he’s a famous director — we use “slavery” as analogy all of the time and don’t really think about how ridiculous and offensive it is. How many people say “Oh, my job isn’t paying me enough, my boss is basically a slave driver?” I think if we’re calling out Russell we should probably realize it’s a major part of the way we speak, and then we should change how we speak.

      • Anne Marie Hawkins

        Wait, you DON’T call people out when they say crap like that?

      • Kaitlin Reilly

        People I’m actively engaged in conversation with, sure. But what about all the stuff we see in TV or movies?

      • Anne Marie Hawkins

        I mean it’s not like we can do much about a finished piece of media other than critique it after the fact, but hopefully by calling out people like DOR we can make sure that they, as people, think twice before putting these sorts of comments into media they later produce.

    • Lindsey Conklin

      I like to convince myself that, but need to stop because I’m constantly being disappointed. so not okay.

    • Kelli

      Sounds to me like he’s jealous that Jennifer doesn’t have more time to work with him.