George Lucas Sorry for "White Slavers" Remark About Disney

George Lucas with JJ Abrams at the 'Force Awakens' premiere.
Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

The filmmaker says he "misspoke" in an interview with Charlie Rose.

Star Wars creator George Lucas apologized on Thursday for comments he made during a recent interview with Charlie Rose in which he referred to the Walt Disney Company as "white slavers." 

Lucas made the comment while talking about the Star Wars franchise, which he created and breathed life into many decades ago, but ultimately sold to Disney in 2012 for $4 billion. 

While talking to Rose about how much he loved the films he created and four of which he directed — even calling them his "kids" — Lucas said he "sold them to the white slavers that take these things, and ... ." He did not finish his thought, but rather laughed before Rose moved on to another question.

Lucas has since "clarified" that remark. 

"I misspoke and used a very inappropriate analogy, and for that I apologize," the 71-year-old filmmaker said in a statement. "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."

During that same interview with Rose, Lucas also somewhat criticized the route Disney went with the latest Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, its first undertaking since purchasing the franchise. 

"They wanted to do a retro movie. I don't like that. Every movie, I worked very hard to make them different," Lucas told Rose. "I made them completely different — different planets, different spaceships to make it new."

On Thursday, Lucas seemed to address that statement as well. 

"Disney is doing an incredible job of taking care of and expanding the franchise," Lucas said in the statement. "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 in film, television and the parks." 

The latest installment has been a massive success and will likely become the highest-grossing film of all time.

Lucas acknowledged what a powerhouse Disney created. 

"Most of all I’m blown away with the record-breaking blockbuster success of the new movie and am very proud of [director] J.J. [Abrams] and [producer] Kathy [Kennedy]," he said in closing.

Lucas' full statement and the original interview with Rose are below.

I want to clarify my interview on the Charlie Rose Show. It was for the Kennedy Center Honors and conducted prior to the premiere of the film. I misspoke and used a very inappropriate analogy and for that I apologize. 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. Disney is doing an incredible job of taking care of and expanding the franchise. 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 in film, television and the parks. Most of all I’m blown away with the record-breaking blockbuster success of the new movie and am very proud of JJ and Kathy.

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