Quincy Jones has seen it all.
The legendary musician/producer sat down for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter and talked about his experiences in Hollywood with racism and more.
“They didn’t use Black composers in films. They only used three-syllable Eastern European names, Bronislaw Kaper, Dimitri Tiomkin. It was very, very racist,” he recalled. “I remember I would be at Universal walking down the hall, and the guys would say, ‘Here comes a “shvartze” in Yiddish, and I know what that means. It’s like the N-word.”
Talking about the protests inspired by the murder of George Floyd last year, Jones said, “It’s been coming a long time, man. People have been turning their heads the other way but it’s all the same to me — misogyny, racism. You have to be taught how to hate somebody. It doesn’t come naturally, I don’t think. I don’t think so, unless you’ve been trained. I just think it’s such a bad habit. These racists, oh my God.”
The 88-year-old also looked back on his career, including working with Elvis Presley.
“I was writing for [orchestra leader] Tommy Dorsey, oh God, back then in the ’50s. And Elvis came in, and Tommy said, ‘I don’t want to play with him.’ He was a racist mother — I’m going to shut up now,” he revealed.