Film Courage: …Some people could have gotten mad and said “Well, then I’m out of here because you don’t appreciate me and you thought I was somebody else and I’m insulted.” But you obviously didn’t do that? And as they were following you around, again some people could have gotten mad said “These people were breathing down my neck and they won’t leave me alone,” but you kept going with it?
Bill Duke, actor, director, producer: I was one of the first black directors in TV and Hollywood. Before me it was Michael Schultz, I think Stan Lathan and Roy Campanella, Jr. What…to have that opportunity, I went through a lot.
I’ll give you an example of things…this is in my book…I was the first black director on Dallas, ever! I was so happy because it was a top hit show on TV. I’d done a good job on Knots Landing and other shows, Falcon Crest and other shows. And they said “Okay. Give it a shot.”
I come up to the gate at Warner Brothers studios, roll down the window, look at the security guard, before I could say a word the security guard says “Who are you delivering for?”
I said “No, no, no. I’m not delivering for anybody. I’m the first black director on Dallas and I’m here early because I want to be…” And he went like this [motioning for Bill to pull his car over to the side] “Pull over to the side.”
I’m always early, so I pull over to the side. So I’m supposed to be there at 9 o’clock. It’s 8:30, then 8:40, then 8:50.
I blow on my horn, I say [motions to ask what’s happening?].
He gets on the phone and calls up to the office, looked over at me, back on the phone, looked over at me. He puts down the phone and does this [motions for Bill to go through but doesn’t look at him].
That was my first day.
Film Courage: What year was this?
Bill Duke: Late seventies/early eighties?
Film Courage: In Los Angeles?
Bill Duke: Oh, yeah. I walked by the Teamsters one day, I was doing Falcon Crest, going to my motorhome, I had lunch in my hand. Walked by…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
About CREATED EQUAL Movie:
Thomas Reilly, a cocky, up-and-coming attorney, begrudgingly takes on a case for Sister Alejandra, who’s desperate to become a priest in the Catholic Church. Against his supervisor’s wishes, Tommy files suit against the Archdiocese of New Orleans for sex discrimination without justifiable cause.
Check out more about CREATED EQUAL here:
MORE VIDEOS WITH BILL DUKE
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