Business mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs appears on Variety’s latest cover, in which he touches on a wide range of topics, including his thoughts on the massive success of Black Panther, which he refers to a “cruel experiment.”
“Black Panther was a cruel experiment because we live in 2018,” Diddy said, “and it’s the first time that the film industry gave us a fair playing field on a worldwide blockbuster, and the hundreds of millions it takes to make it.”
Combs doesn’t view Black Panther as an outright game-changer. He told Variety that all industries suffer from allowing black men and women hold top-level positions.
“For all the billions of dollars that these black executives have been able to make them, [there’s still hesitation] to put them in the top-level positions,” Diddy said of industries at large. “They’ll go and they’ll recruit cats from overseas. It makes sense to give [executives of color] a chance and embrace the evolution, instead of it being that we can only make it to president, senior VP. … There’s no black CEO of a major record company. That’s just as bad as the fact that there are no [black] majority owners in the NFL. That’s what really motivates me.”
Diddy pointed out that when black creators are given the proper resources in any industry, they always “over-deliver.”
“You can’t do anything without that money, without resources,” Diddy told Variety. “But when we do get the resources, we over-deliver. When Adidas invests in Kanye and it’s done properly, you have the right results. When Live Nation invests in artists and puts them in arenas the same way U2 would be, you have the right results. ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Black-ish,’ fashion; it’s all about access. If you’re blocked out of the resources, you can’t compete. And that’s my whole thing — to be able to come and compete.”
Black Panther is currently the highest grossing superhero film in the U.S. with $699 million. The film is expected to be a rare Oscar contender for the superhero genre early next year.
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