Snoop Dogg calls for Roots boycott in Instagram video
Though HISTORY’s Roots revival is an addition to the industry’s diversifying slate of TV programming, Snoop Dogg took to social media Monday to voice his concerns over artists dipping into the past to reframe historical struggles of race — particularly slavery in America — for contemporary audiences.
Appearing in a NSFW Instagram video, the rapper took aim at Roots as well as movies like 12 Years a Slave and TV series like WGN America’s Underground, saying America needs to focus on present struggles facing black people in the country.
“How the f— they gonna put Roots on on Memorial Day? They gonna just keep beating that s— in our heads of how they did us, huh?” he said. “I don’t understand America. They just want to keep showing the abuse that we took hundreds and hundreds of years ago. But, guess what? We taking the same abuse [now]. Think about that part.”
The 44-year-old rapper then called on the community to make art that reflects the current state of culture instead of continuously revisiting the past.
“When ya’ll gonna make one f—ing series about the success that black folks is having? The only success we have is Roots and 12 Years a Slave and s— like that, huh? F— ya’ll. I ain’t watchin that s—,” he said. “F— them television shows. Let’s create our own s— based on today, how we live, and how we inspire people today. Black is what’s real. F— that old s—.”
Roots — a four-part, eight-hour remake event — is airing nearly 40 years after the original miniseries premiered on ABC in 1977. The original program, based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel of the same name, starred LeVar Burton as a young Kunta Kinte, an African teenager who’s captured and sold into slavery.
The 1977 edition, which won nine Emmys, also starred John Amos, Cicely Tyson, and Louis Gossett Jr. The 2016 version features performances by Malachi Kirby, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Anika Noni Rose, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anna Paquin, and T.I.
Part one of the Roots remake premieres Monday at 9 p.m. ET on HISTORY.