Lucas apologises for ‘white slavers’ comment

LOS ANGELES: American film-maker George Lucas has apologised for criticising Disney’s handling of Star Wars and saying he had sold his characters to “white slavers” in a recent interview with Charlie Rose.

In a statement issued on December 31, 2015, Lucas says he misspoke and used a “very inappropriate analogy”. It was not clear what the Star Wars creator meant by the “white slavers” comment, and Rose did not ask a follow-up question on his PBS show that aired on December 24, 2015. The charged words nonetheless sparked ire when the interview

was posted online on December 29, 2015.

“I rarely go out with statements to clarify my feelings but I feel it is important to make it clear that I am thrilled that Disney has the franchise and is moving it in such exciting directions,” said Lucas in his statement.

He sold his company, Lucasfilm, to the Walt Disney Co in 2012 for $4.06 billion, and the studio charged ahead in developing Star Wars: The Force Awakens with director JJ Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Disney has laid plans for two more Star Wars films and three anthology films set in the Star Wars universe over the next few years.

The interview was conducted prior to the premiere of the film last December, where Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger thanked Lucas, who was in attendance, for his “sheer genius” in creating Star Wars.

“I have been working with Disney for 40 years and chose them as the custodians of Star Wars because of my great respect for the company and Bob Iger’s leadership,” said Lucas in his statement. “Disney is doing an incredible job of taking care of and expanding the franchise.” — AP