Mariah Carey at the Waldorf Astoria on Monday in New York (Photo: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)Mariah Carey wasn't about to close her eyes to the past when discussing racism and the making of "Lee Daniels' The Butler" during a press conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Monday, also attended by Oprah Winfrey and the much of the film's ensemble cast. Carey recalled she was riding on a Long Island school bus when a student spit on her when she was a child because of the color of her skin. And the foul memory came flooding back while she was making "The Butler."
In the movie, Carey plays the mother of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), a character based on the White House Butler Eugene Allen, who served presidents for 34 years and retired in 1986. In the early scene of the sweeping period drama about America's tumultuous racial past as seen through the butler's eyes, a dissolute plantation owner's son rapes Mariah's Georgia sharecropper. Immediately afterwards, the rapist shoots her husband dead in front of their son, Cecil, who has goaded his father to protest the violence against his mother.
As traumatic as Mariah's scene and its aftermath is, what apparently disturbed the singer/actress most was the recreation of the Woolworth's Lunch Counter sit-in located in North Carolina in 1960. In that emotional moment in the struggle for racial equality, a white woman spits on a black college student (Yaya Alafia) simply forRead More »from Mariah Carey Recalls Scarring Spit Attack Evoked by 'Butler' Scene