Is there anything that Jamie Foxx can’t do? His established career across TV, movies and music has been incredibly successful with so much more on the way. Part of what I love so much about him is that Foxx is a great role model for always being true to yourself. Take it or leave it, he is who he is, and he’s proud and unapologetic. Foxx recently spoke of never having to apologize for being Black in Hollywood, and celebrated a Pixar milestone.
Being Black in the entertainment industry is no picnic, just ask Tyler Perry. Jamie Foxx’s Project Power co-star Andrene Ward-Hammond was once told to tame her hair to book a role. The Oscars are making diversity & inclusion changes, which Foxx has commented on, so it’s no secret that there’s work to do. But overall, it seems Foxx has had a positive experience in Hollywood when it comes to his Blackness. As he said in an interview with Variety:
In my career, I’ve never had to apologize for being Black. I was on ‘In Living Color’ — I had a Black boss [Keenan Ivory Wayans], Black writers, Black creators. Then with ‘The Jamie Foxx Show’ it was all Black. So, I’ve never had to worry about turning my Black up or turning my Black down. I’ve just been me and it is always worked out for me. When I do that, great things come out of it… For me to be able to say, and be proud to say, [I’m] the first African-American lead in Disney-Pixar, that’s amazing. That feels good.
Hearing that Jamie Foxx hasn’t had to apologize for being Black warms my heart. It’s the code-switching that gets to me, having to use your “White Voice” to get ahead, as outlined in Sorry to Bother You or change things about yourself to make others more comfortable… it’s exhausting. So for Foxx to essentially enter a room and say ‘Yep, I’m Black, here’s what that brings to the character’ with no one trying to change him - and continuing to make content that does so well in return - is refreshing and inspiring.
Voicing Joe in Soul, Jamie Foxx is the first Black Disney-Pixar lead. When I initially heard this, I was a little mad. Did I read that right? It took us until 2020 to get the first Black lead in a Pixar film? But also, I don’t care when it happened so much as I care that it happened, and it’s something to celebrate for sure. Beyond celebrating Black culture, Soul is a phenomenal film. It’s my favorite movie of 2020, and we here at CinemaBlend take our five-star ratings very seriously.
Jamie Foxx is one of the best in the business. While Hollywood continues to improve on diversifying, I’m excited to watch him keep being himself and enjoying well-deserved success. To see more of Foxx’s work after you watch Soul and cry, check out these streaming options. Let me know which is your favorite Jamie Foxx movie performance in the comments - mine is Walter McMillian in Just Mercy.