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

Justin Simien

Justin Simien

Profession: Film Director
Nationality: American

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The further away you get from being a straight white man, the less freedoms you have to figure out who you are and negotiate what you mean to society.

Balance, I think, and self-care is something I want people to really take to heart.

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.

In the press, there's this desire for the black audience to be this monolithic thing that always responds to the same stars. That's a really reductive way of looking at the black audience.

I find myself listening to Blood Orange and Janelle Monae and artists like that.

I loved Lena Dunham's 'Girls.'

If you walk out of a movie that's meant to be about race in our country, and you're feeling good and happy, then that movie didn't tell you all of the truth. It's too big of an issue, and it's too complicated for you to feel good. It's something you should feel like you need to talk about.

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.

I have different privileges because I am a man, and I have to acknowledge that and realize that another person of color who is also a woman is having a different experience than I am.

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 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.

It is a fine line between making fun of the right thing and making fun of the wrong thing. And the language oftentimes is the same.

Usually, with 'Star Trek,' you always trust the captain. The captains are always going to pull us through; the captain's always going to win.

There is a difference between being offended and being prejudiced and even being bigoted against. There's a difference between that and racism.