(CNN)A wave of critical and word-of-mouth praise has helped Jordan Peele's "Get Out" become the first stealth hit of 2017. But Samuel L. Jackson has turned up the heat on a long-simmering debate by pointing out what he thinks is a key oversight: that a film about the American black experience stars an actor that doesn't have any first-hand knowledge of the American black experience. The star of "Get Out" is British.
Samuel L. Jackson revives debate on British black actors in American roles
During an interview with New York radio station Hot 97.1 earlier this week, Jackson criticized the casting of actor Daniel Kaluuya, who plays an African American photographer in the horror movie, mixed with biting social commentary. Allison Williams plays the character's love interest.
"I tend to wonder what that movie would have been with an American brother who really feels that," he said. "Daniel grew up in a country where they've been interracial dating for 100 years. What would a brother from America have made of that role? Some things are universal but [not everything is]."
Jackson has since softened his comments, telling the Associated Press he did not mean to "slam" the film but rather point out "how Hollywood works in an interesting sort of way sometimes."