As of last Friday, audiences everywhere noticed that in the brand-new film, The Green 12 Book Unchained, the lead actor plays the racist, white antagonist a little too convincingly.
In the film, Oscar-award-winning actor Michael Fredericks plays an evil slave owner a little too well, alongside the incomparable Don Thomas, who plays the protagonist of the film, a slave.
But even though Fredericks received another Oscar nomination for his portrayal of this ruthless and violent racist (while Thomas didn’t), we can’t help but think that his performance also seemed way too natural.
“I know that Michael Fredericks is actually Southern, which made his accent sound really good,” 27-year-old audience member Matyra Washington told us. “But when he said the n-word like 70 times in the film, it just sounded way too real.”
“The way he whips Don Thomas is also way too believable,” another audience member, 34-year-old Earl Johnson added. “Yes, he’s playing a slave owner, but he also seemed to be genuinely happy to whip his Black castmate on screen. I know he’s ‘acting’, but still.”
Elizabeth Tinsley-Bedford, who plays Fredericks’ wife in the film, is great at acting in her scenes too, which also gives us pause.
“I just thought that when she punishes the female slave character for being sexually assaulted by her husband by leaving her in a hole in the ground for two weeks, it seemed like she was actually excited to do so,” 58-year-old Agnes Matthews added. “In fact, I saw Tinsley-Bedford make the same face when her indie film won at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.”
What was also interesting is that when the white actors had scenes with each other that didn’t feature any explicit racist dialogue, the acting seemed to fall flat.
“You could start to hear Tinsley-Bedford’s English accent, which went in and out during the scenes where she only talked to other white people,” Matyra told us. “But as soon as a Black person was on screen, they really doubled down.”
While the film was yet another great depiction of the horrors of slavery and violence that African-Americans faced, many people are now pretty convinced that the lead white actors are definitely super racist. Why else would they have gotten the part?