Bill Duke On The Cost People Pay For Success

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Bill Duke, actor/filmmaker/author: Well the system is set up for the youth and all the older ones who have survived, all the wisdom we have now is irrelevant. I just have to go ahead and say Good luck.

When I was a young man there was a saying I never forgot and it was When I was a young man, I thought my father to be a fool. Now that I am older, oh how wise he has become. Because when you’re young you think you know every damn thing until life smashes in the face, the truth of the indifference toward you and all those old people you think are two dumb to listen to, once you get a couple of scars you’ll see how stupid they really are, but you’ve got to be scarred first.

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Because us talking, you know They don’t know nothing…nah…nah…nah…yap…yap…yap. Your generation is in the past. But when you get crushed, and by crushed I don’t mean not being successful. Ask what the cost today of being successful is? It’s coming out. So you have success but you paid for it and so with that success comes shame because you wanted success more than your self-respect.

You notice all these people coming out now and saying This is the price I paid. I’ve been this miserable for all these years. But thank God I can say Me Too. They took something off me. Can you imagine being successful and knowing the price you paid and choking on it for the rest of your life.

Hey everybody I’m just fine. I’m great…I don’t care about what I had to do except when I sleep at night or can’t sleep at night. Yeah, right.

Bill Duke directing Lou Diamond Phillips in CREATED EQUAL

Film Courage: What about wanting notoriety?

Bill: Notoriety…these days there are people who will do anything for notoriety. Some of the things I see on the Internet I say Are they really doing this?

He just pointed out to me yesterday [points to a person off screen] a friend of his is an artist, has been accused of sexual harassment of three women. But he pointed out to me one of these women has a website. And she has hundreds of pictures of herself on the website, the most obscenely, provocatively, sexually, explicit pictures that you can imagine, the victim of the due (who is getting no due process by the way) because she said so he’s guilty.

Bill Duke: My 40-Year Career on Screen and behind the Camera by Bill Duke

A friend of mine worked at CBS for 15 years and a woman said that five years ago he looked at her in a suggestive manner that made her feel uncomfortable. They fired him on the spot (they didn’t want the publicity).

So…these day people do things…acts…this murderer was on and he put up a selfie talking about how he killed people and how he did it.

Then there are kids now taking drugs and doing other kinds of things online, bullying, saying how brave I am. Little girls going to school (12-year-olds) with guns in their backpack, people getting shot, being famous now has taken the place of being of any kind of self-worth. As long as you like me, I’m okay. I don’t have to like myself because you like me.

When you’re alone, doesn’t that bother you? I don’t understand how just having recognition or having people know who you are or having a million eyeballs, I guess that gives you identity these days. And that’s just the beginning of the next to generations.


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