On Sunday night Michael K. Williams picked up a Critics Choice Award for his role in HBO series Lovecraft Country, and he took that opportunity to talk about the need to open up more Black stories.
Speaking in the virtual press room backstage, Williams said he hoped the show would inspire young people especially. “What I mostly hope is that youth, particularly youth from my community who watch this, get a sense of the legacy which we come from,” he said. “The greatness and all the obstacles that we’ve overcome to be alive today. People fought and died and gave their last just so we could be and live and walk, and have the experience to be and live, and there’s a greatness that comes along with that.”
Williams added that the show serves as an example of the state of our society. “It’s my hope that people will see how we got to this place of disarray. This didn’t happen overnight, this didn’t happen with one administration. This was brewing for a very long time… Lovecraft Country, in my opinion, gives us a blueprint to how things got so divided to who we are today. Hopefully we can go back and fix some things to make a better future.”
The series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett), and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance), as they road trip across 1950s America in search of Atticus’ missing father Montrose, played by Williams. The search mission turns into a fight for survival amid both the racist horror of white America and the monstrous creatures in the sci-fi story.
In terms of the lack of Black stories within the sci-fi/ horror genre, Williams said, “In these genres, all too often, everyone looks the same in these types of storytelling.” He expressed appreciation for the show’s creator Misha Green, HBO and Bad Robot and MonkeyPaw Productions, in pushing this forward, saying the fact that they “all got together and decided to tell this genre through the Black experience, I think is brilliant, and I’m hoping that it will expand more minds, and open more people up to this type of storytelling. It’s not just being about the horror genre, it’s about what it is to be Black in America being the real horror.”
The show is executive produced by Green, Get Out’s Jordan Peele, J.J. Abrams, and Bad Robot’s Ben Stephenson.
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