BySophie Atkinson, writer at
Sophie Atkinson

President Barack Obama confessed that he 'teared up' while watching Lee Daniels' The Butler, a film about a black butler in the White House. Obama was speaking in an interview broadcast with radio talk show host Tom Joyner and co-host Sybil Wilkes at the White House.

"I teared up thinking about not just the butlers who worked here in the White House, but an entire generation of people who were talented and skilled. But because of Jim Crow and because of discrimination, there was only so far they could go," the president told radio host Tom Joyner. "And yet with dignity and tenacity, they got up and worked every single day and put up with a whole lot of mess because they hoped for something better for their kids."

Obama was a big fan of the acting talent on show:

"I thought Forest Whitaker was wonderful," Obama said. "And Oprah, my girl, she can act. She's just a wonderful actress, so I'm glad they did it."

Obama also found time to talk about his own relationship with some of the African-American butlers currently at the White House:

"When Michelle and the girls and I first arrived, they could not have been kinder to us and warmer to us," Obama said. "And part of it, I suppose, is they look at Malia and Sasha and they say, 'This looks like my grandbaby,' or 'This looks like my daughter.' I think for them to have a sense that we've come that far was a powerful moment for them, and certainly a powerful moment for us. We love them to death. They look after us just wonderfully."


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