Anthony Mackie has come under fire recently for his comments about race, but a little heat isn't making the actor back away from his sentiments. We sat down with the Black or White star for a candid discussion about racial profiling and the perception of Black men in society.
"Perception is reality," Mackie states unequivocally, adding that he cautions his own sons about the image they present to the world. "If you look like a criminal, you're going to be perceived as a criminal."
Still, the actor is optimistic about the future of race relations in America, which is the central theme of Black or White. "I think we've forgotten the importance of the future," he says. "You and I are already jaded, messed up and broken. But our kids aren't."
Mackie's co-star Octavia Spencer agrees with his upbeat assessment of the future. "I never consider myself an optimist. I'm a realist. And I don't think the country is as divided as is presented," she says.
Check out our interview with Anthony Mackie below, and click here to hear Oscar winners Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner talk about the whitewashed Academy Award nominations, using the N-word and more.
Black or White is in theaters now.
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(Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for "Black Or White")