A Reporter’s Innocent Mistake or Racial Negligence?

Posted by Heather Kilby

Photo courtesy of lynn-a.blogspot.com

 Everyone knows how outspoken Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson has been throughout his career. Well, just a few days ago during an interview with KTLA news anchor Sam Rubin, Jackson spoke up again, and kept going, in response to Rubin “mistaking” him for actor Laurence Fishburne. Jackson was actually being interviewed to promote his new movie “Robocop” but it turned into a slightly heated and uncomfortable discussion after Rubin asked him about his ‘super bowl commercial.’  According to the CBS article, Jackson instantly responded “what commercial?” Open mouth, insert foot moment; a reporter’s worst nightmare. Apparently Jackson was not in a super bowl commercial but Fishburne was featured in a Kia commercial and that is where the awkwardness of the interview began. During the interview Jackson jumped to the conclusion that Rubin confused the two men because of their race and his stereotypical way of thinking, and in my opinion he should have.

I watched the video several times and have read the backlash on both sides. I truly believe it was the fault of the reporter. He was clearly negligent and appears to have some racial ignorance. I am not condoning the necessity to “pull the race card”, however, in this case I think Jackson had it right. This reporter should have known the difference between the two men and maybe should have researched his subject a bit better. I mean come on, the two look and sound nothing alike.

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