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The Bombshell Quincy Jones Interview: Talks Clintons, Trump, Oprah, Racism and More

Quincy Jones Interview
By Canadian Film Centre from Toronto, Canada (Quincy Jones and the Slaight Family Music Lab) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Quincy Jones interview: “We’re the worst we’ve ever been, but that’s why we’re seeing people try and fix it.”

Music industry legend Quincy Jones recently sat for an interview with Vulture, the culture and entertainment site from New York magazine. The Grammy-award winning record producer, conductor and composer touched off a firestorm in pop culture last week with his revelations.

Proclaiming “All I’ve ever done is tell the truth,” the 84-year old Jones unleashed several bombshells regarding the many public figures he’s met in his storied life—ranging from politics to entertainment. “I’ve got nothing to be scared of, man.”

When asked about his friends, former president Bill Clinton and Hillary, and why people dislike them—Quincy replied: “when you keep secrets, they backfire.”

Jones divulged that he socialized with president Donald Trump in the past, long before his presidency. He remarked that Trump was a “crazy motherf–r” with limited mental abilities—“a megalomaniac, narcissistic. I can’t stand him.” Jones also added that he dated Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, briefly—twelve years ago.

Weighing in on the current buzz surrounding the possibility of Oprah running for president, Jones flatly said he didn’t think she should run. “She doesn’t have the chops for it,” he explained. “If you haven’t been governor of a state or the CEO of a company or a military general, you don’t know how to lead people.”

Asked about the general state of the country, considering Jones’s many affiliations with humanitarian causes, he offered a grim assessment:

“We’re the worst we’ve ever been, but that’s why we’re seeing people try and fix it. Feminism: Women are saying they’re not going to take it anymore. Racism: People are fighting it. God is pushing the bad in our face to make people fight back.”

Regarding the current climate of women speaking up against harassment, particularly in the entertainment field he’s long been part of, Jones stated: “Women had to put up with fucked-up shit. Women and brothers — we’re both dealing with the glass ceiling.”

When asked if he “could snap your fingers and fix one problem in the country, what would it be?”, Jones promptly offered: “Racism. I’ve been watching it a long time — the ’30s to now. We’ve come a long way but we’ve got a long way to go. The South has always been fucked up, but you know where you stand. The racism in the North is disguised. You never know where you stand. That’s why what’s happening now is good, because people are saying they are racists who didn’t used to say it. Now we know.”

Asked to speculate on the state of racism in the entertainment industry in particular, Jones quipped that “it’s still fucked up. 1964, when I was in Vegas, there were places I wasn’t supposed to go because I was black, but Frank [Sinatra] fixed that for me. It takes individual efforts like that to change things. It takes white people to say to other white people, ‘Do you really want to live as a racist? Is that really what you believe?’ But every place is different. When I go to Dublin, Bono makes me stay at his castle because Ireland is so racist.”

Among the most shocking and attention-grabbing topics in the interview was Jones’s admission that late Hollywood legend Marlon Brando had sexual affairs with James Baldwin, comedian Richard Pryor, and musician Marvin Gaye. This was subsequently confirmed by Pryor’s ex-wife, but refuted by their daughter as well.

The interview immediately spurred a response on social media, and articles speculating on the subjects Jones touched on. Interviewer David Marchese claimed the published version we saw was merely a “PG-13 version” of the full conversation they had.

With a career spanning over six decades in the music and entertainment industry, Jones is still working passionately. Future projects include an upcoming Netflix documentary and a CBS special hosted by Oprah Winfrey.

 

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