Jaime Foxx was made to sing offstage in a college musical because he’s black

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Jamie Foxx is a talented actor, a funny guy and a successful game show host, but things haven’t always been easy for him, in fact, they’ve been pretty awful at times.

The 50-year-old star has launched a new web series, Off Script, produced by vodka purveyor Grey Goose. On the show, Jamie chats with Hollywood luminaries about their lives and careers. Some of his guests include Jeremy Renner, Benicio del Toro, Vince Vaughn and Denzel Washington. On Wednesday, the latest episode of the series was posted online, with Jamie interviewing comedienne Sarah Silverman.

Sarah wasn’t always a comic, she got her start in theater at 17. She recalled her first time on stage, in a local performance of Hair. She launched into an impromptu rendition of the song she sang, “Black Boys.” I’m thinking she should have stuck with musicals. Jamie, unfortunately didn’t have such good memories of his first stage experience.

After spending his childhood performing “church music,” playing piano and later singing in a band, he got a scholarship to U.S. International University in San Diego, where he studied classical music and composition. He recalled that, when casting a musical production, the school’s music department “came to me because they needed a tenor,” adding:

“They wouldn’t let me go on the stage but they would let me behind the curtain because there weren’t any African Americans in the production. So I was would sing in the back, and I would just sing the parts they needed me [for]….And that’s how I learned about musicals.”

[From Off Script/YouTube]

Upon hearing this, Sarah blurted out, “That’s insane!” She added, “You don’t know musicals and your experience with them was racist.” That’s a terrible story, it’s awful to think that was going on (and probably still is on some campuses). Fortunately for Jamie, while he was still in college, friends encouraged him to take part in an open mic night at a local comedy club, launching his stand up career.

Jamie isn’t only interviewing stars. He’s also hosting the second season of Beat Shazam (which I still refuse to watch because they didn’t cast me to be a contestant). Taking over DJ duties for this second season is Jamie’s beautiful daughter, Corinne. She is also set make her film debut in the upcoming All-Star Weekend — a movie that also happens to mark her father’s directorial debut. That’s a good dad right there. Jamie’s next big screen role is as Little John to Taron Egerton’s Robin Hood, which comes out in November. All I can say is I’m glad his early, terrible experience didn’t keep Jamie from the entertainment business.

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15 Responses to “Jaime Foxx was made to sing offstage in a college musical because he’s black”

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  1. Nicole says:

    “But I thought racism was over SOOOOO long ago?!” Says white people who want to ignore facts.
    Reality is there are millions of people with very real and recent memories just like this. Heck for research projects on civil rights I used to just pick the brains of my grandparents who were activists at the time. It’s not that long ago.
    This story is awful but I’m glad he’s talking about it. I always forget Jamie is classical trained

    • Alisha says:

      @Nicole you are SO right about this. People who are shocked about all of the things that are coming out recently, were not paying attention.

  2. Snowflake says:

    I think Jamie is handsome.

  3. ElleBee75 says:

    My favourite of these Grey Goose interviews is Chadwick Boseman, it’s the most relaxed I’ve ever seen him (and he’s an eye feast).

    Love Jaime also

  4. JustJen says:

    Mind. Blown. He’s a few years older than I am, so this happened to him while I was maybe a freshman in high school, and I knew there was prejudice and racism- I am just gobsmacked that people are fine with being so open about their hate. Yeah yeah, I know we have the king of the idiots in the oval office, still stuns me.

    • Anna says:

      Not surprising to anyone Black, that’s for sure. This is Amerikkka, always has been from its inception.

      • Lolololol says:

        Or anyone paying attention. Sarah is right: it’s insane! Yet it continues. Hopefully not for much longer. 🙁

  5. Deanne says:

    This is a horrible story. There’s a lot of casual racism and bigotry that’s ingrained in so many people and in society in general and it’s not recognized enough. How anyone could ever think that what they did to him was acceptable is beyond me.

  6. manda says:

    I very much enjoyed their conversation and will check out his other interviews, thanks for sharing this! I would never have known otherwise

    Does Jamie look thin to you guys? I feel like he looks a little thin. That story he told about the musical was awful

  7. Lynnie says:

    Stuff like what Jamie experience is still going on now. At my college’s college of theatre they are absolutely HORRIBLE to POC in the sense that none of them get casted for major roles in productions, several students were forced to drop out for the flimsiest of reasons, and often get little to no support when students take their concerns to the dean. And that’s just in the drama department. Multiply that by all the ways in which casual racism happens everywhere else, and I feel people would be absolutely shocked with all the bs that happens on a daily basis.

  8. Addison says:

    What a horrible school. I hope things have improved since then. Did they make a statement? This is such a WOW moment. Unbelievable. But sadly not.

  9. Marley31 says:

    I wish he stops putting his daughter in stuff. His daughter is very pretty and she seems like a sweet young lady but help hosting the game show he does she is not very good at it, she seems way out of her zone. I liked October the DJ better she seemed to hype up the audience. The shows actually for me lost something since she left so I don’t watch it anymore.