Perry was at a speaking panel during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) where is on hand to promote his new upcoming love story, The Jazzman’s Blues airing on Netflix next week, September 23rd. During the talk, Perry mentioned that he feels grateful to be creative in a time when more Black focused storytelling is finally getting its airtime. “Let me be very careful on how I say this, be diplomatic. I’m extremely excited for what’s happened with diversity and the choices and opportunities that we’re seeing for black people for the first time, it is amazing.” He was mindful to mention the lack thereof training opportunities and spaces to learn, “But I worry because there is such a push for diversity and push for hiring people of color that I found situations that there are people being pushed into seats they’re not ready for.”
He went on to say, “If we didn’t get qualifications, the teaching or the education to get there, then how are we given the seats so quickly? It’s my hope that in all of this change and this push for there to be more inclusion, we’re also providing time and training to make sure we can do a great job”
Perry touched on the importance of the current political climate and the relevance of culture shown throughout art forms and it’s significance. He thinks more producers should be telling historical referenced stories like his latest, The Jazzman’s Blues, takes place during the 1940s where colored families struggled to find their place in a whitewashed society. In films like, Harriet, The Butler, and Remember the Titans, we have an opportunity to keep American history alive through the lens of different types of characters, some villains and some heroes. Perry continued, “So political officials banning books from libraries, wanting to reimagine, not wanting white kids, black kids to learn the history of what black people endured in America, wanting to water it down, wanting to homogenize it. This is shocking to me because what I know for sure is that if you do not learn your history, you’re destined to repeat it.” He said for his latest work, “I thought the timing was right because even if it’s a fictional story, if it sparks curiosity and people want to go and research and look back at some of the things that happened to us as people, our love affairs, and the things we had to do to be okay in the world, then that is a lot of what the movie is about.”
Watch The Jazzman’s Blues, coming to Netflix on September 23rd.