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Jamie Foxx's Introduction To Musicals Was Being Told He Couldn't Be In One Because He Was Black

Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Actor Jamie Foxx opened up to Sarah Silverman in a new episode of Off Script, in which Foxx describes how his first experience with musicals was rooted in racism.


Foxx, who studied classical music and composition at United States International University, recalled to Silverman that during a production of a musical while he was in college, he wasn't permitted to sing on stage. Instead, he was sequestered to the curtained wings, because the cast was all-white. He did not, however, mention the name of the production.

They came to me because they needed a tenor," Foxx said. "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," he added.

"That's insane!" exclaimed Silverman, who started her career performing in musicals. "You don't know musicals and your experience with them was racist."

Foxx's musical prowess was featured in the movie, Ray, in which he portrayed blind legendary musician Ray Charles, and for which he won an Oscar. In his youth, Foxx wasn't into musicals all that much. He began playing piano at the age of five, and worked as a part-time pianist and choir director at Terrell's New Hope Baptist Church in Texas.

Off Script is produced by Grey Goose and hosted by Foxx. In it, he interviews A-list Hollywood celebrities about how their careers got started and how they evolved to where they are today. New episodes air on Wednesdays at www.greygooseoffscript.com.


Science Photo Library / Getty Images @Niamhpemx / Twitter

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