The thing about TV is you kind of have an endless canvas. You can always keep going.

I think we are aware that post-racialism isn't real, right? I mean, I hope so. I kind of joke that we're post-post-racial.

Any time a black person has the audacity to tell everybody else that they're also human beings, they are confronted with all kinds of malice and violence and ill will. It's been that way since black people were brought to this country.

The downside of doing a multi-protagonist movie is that you don't get to service each character as you would if they were the central protagonist of the movie.

I'm a lover of film and storytelling. I believe that I was put on earth to tell stories, and I'm not interested in telling the same stories over and over and over again.

Everyone is very aware that, not only do we have a race problem, but it's so pervasive that it affects national and global politics on a scale that I don't think a lot of people imagined.

'Color-blind' comes up - people say 'Oh, I'm color-blind and therefore can't be accused of racism,' but I think that if we are going to have an honest dialogue about racism, we have to admit that people of color are having a different experience.

It occurred to me that by naming the film itself 'Dear White People,' I could tap into the burgeoning meme culture as well as make a meta-commentary about the controversies within the film.

I remember the first time that I realized that being black meant that I wasn't allowed certain things. It was in the fourth grade, and it was who I thought was my best friend not inviting me to his birthday party because I would be the only black kid there. It was the first time I ever felt restricted, and it certainly wasn't the last time.

I'm not a big fan of shooting something that looks like it could belong in any movie. I'm not a fan of, okay, 'wide shot, wide shot, medium shot, close-up, close-up - we'll figure it out in post.' I hate that.

I want to make movies in every genre.

I think unless we have an honest conversation about race and identity in this country, we're never going to get anywhere.

There are a plethora of ways of being black, just like there's many ways to being white.

I tend to take on too many projects at the same time, but as I've always done, I will continue to shift my focus onto whatever feels most urgent in the moment.

I think we all have identity crises throughout our lives.

Here's the thing: I come from a filmmaking background, so this concept of sort of overseeing a television show but not directing was, in general, not weird, but I had to get used to what that felt like. My initial instinct was, 'I want to direct as much of this as possible.' But the logistics of making of TV, that's just not possible.

Everybody else was quoting 2Pac, and I was running around with Green Day in my Walkman. Racially speaking, I wasn't cool or appropriate for any group.

Self-doubt is a constant companion for a chubby, gay, black boy born in the South.

We like to think of the '60s as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X and a little bit of friction - no, there were all of these different groups. There was the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Black Panthers, Martin and Malcolm, but also the Whitney Youngs of the world, the Bayard Rustins of the world.

Daring to make films of any kind and thus invite the possibility of ridicule was an internal battle of mine for many years as I worked on the screenplay for what would become 'Dear White People' beginning at the end of George W. Bush's second term.

Racism is systemic: It's oppression that's built into the laws, legislation, into the way neighborhoods are policed, and into job opportunities and health care and education.

I remember distinctly not seeing myself. I didn't see myself in black culture, white culture, mass culture.

I thought I was depressed because I wasn't a writer/director. I moved into a space where I'm a writer/director, my movie is a hit at Sundance, I have a wonderful, loving boyfriend, and wow, I have financial stability. Why can't I get out of bed still?

If you examine any aspect of the human condition long enough, you really do have to start laughing at it. Because the business of being human is kind of ridiculous.

I want the Latino 'Do the Right Thing' to happen. I want filmmakers whose voices are not represented to get a shot.

I wanted to be a filmmaker since I was a kid. I always did things that took me a little closer to that.

The way Hollywood and TV is, black people don't have any choice but to see ourselves in white-dominated television shows and stories and movies.

I don't doubt that straight white men have identity issues and identity complexes and struggle with defining themselves.

One of the things that I love about Robert Altman's movies is that, really, a Robert Altman movie is just a bunch of short films about various people told at the same time.

Basically, the system works to my disadvantage for no other reason than that I am a person of color, and I am telling stories about people of color.

My thing is to try to tell the truth as honestly as possible. For me, the weight is, how can I tell the truth through fiction, the best that I can?

America is a different country, and it will forever be a different country after the election of Donald Trump.

When you're part of a society where you're constantly having to define your identity and sort of negotiate with what the mainstream culture thinks you are, you have less energy and time to figure out who you are when you go home at night.

I like the movies that embrace the complexity of the human condition.

Films with predominantly white casts can come in any form, tell any story, big or small. For black films, you have the light, fluffy rom-coms or 'Madea' movies, and then you have the black-torture awards movie.

Everyone at a performing arts schools is weird. The weirder you were, the better. If you weren't weird in some way, they'd look at you and be like, 'Who's that square?'

Part of my struggle with being gay was that a lot of my homophobia was internalized because of the cues that I was - received. I didn't see anybody like myself in the culture. RuPaul was the closest to a gay, out black man that I had growing up.

You know what, man, that's part and parcel of being a black person in this country: everything's harder. It just is.

Hip-hop isn't dead by any means, but it's not something I define my black identity with.

Hollywood is a world where the only thing that gets green-lit is something that made money the last year.

I love great prestige television, but because I make television, sometimes I don't want to, like, you know, fall into a very heavy cerebral drama.

Shonda Rhimes has figured it out, of getting multiracial casts on television and appealing to everybody.

To surrender your ego, you have to have one first.

I often have to play a role to get what I want in my life. At the same time, I can't do that without also nourishing who I really am and being aware of my true self and the ways in which I'm not bound by my race or sexual orientation or class or country or whatever.

I never liked 'Donnie Darko' quite as much as my film school peers.

Stories teach us empathy. They reveal to us ourselves in the skins of others.

Satire and comedy are really the only film mediums where you can get into ideas and have people leave the theater without being moralized.

I think I have a threshold for taking things too seriously.

We get caught in our little silos and end up working against ourselves. And I think social media culture really encourages that, because you're really just shouting into a void hoping someone picks up on what you're saying.