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Billy Dee Williams has come out in support of performers wearing ‘blackface’, as he believes actors should be able to perform in blackface.

In a podcast, the Star Wars actor recalled watching Laurence Olivier in 1965’s Othello, where Olivier wore blackface to portray the title role. “When he did Othello, I fell out laughing. He stuck his a** out and walked around because Black people are supposed to have big a***s. I thought it was hysterical. I loved it,” Williams said.
The podcast host asked, “Today, they would never let you do that,” to which Williams replied, “Why not? You should do it. If you’re an actor, you should do anything you want to do.”

The host then pointed out that Williams, 87, “actually lived in a period where you couldn’t play the parts you should’ve played.”

Williams said, “The point is that you don’t go through life feeling like, I’m a victim. I refuse to go through life saying to the world, ‘I’m pissed off.’ I’m not gonna be pissed off 24 hours a day.”

The actor is known for his role as Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars universe, as well as the films Brian’s Song (1971), Lady Sings the Blues (1972), and Mahogany (1975).

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