WeHo’s Tom Demille Sides with Virginia Governor Because He’s Done Blackface Too

The photo of two men, one dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan and another wearing blackface, in the 1984 medical school yearbook of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has sparked a controversy that may force him to resign.

Tom Demille in blackface

People across the political spectrum have asked Northam to step down as governor, citing the racism of the photos, one of which Northam said depicted him, only to later say it wasn’t him.

However, Tom Demille, who is running in his fifth race for West Hollywood City Council, has said he supports Northam and sent WEHOville a photo of himself in black face.

“Pic of me in black face in movie ‘Panther’,  Mario van Peebles’ film where he painted a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) member rather than hire a black artist like himself,” Demille said in a text message that accompanied the photo.

“Let’s all take the morale (sic) high ground as our Democratic leaders in our country are trying to lynch Virginia Gov. Rush to judgement. Time to rush to each other’s side and love one another no matter how many old pictures and old behavior that America has. We always learn from our mistakes.”

Demille, 63, is an actor who for five years appeared on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” as a Klingon named Argon, as a Cardassian and any number of assorted other aliens the show needed.  Demille also is a painter.  Among his claims to fame was having been the lover for three years of former  U.S. Rep. Barney Frank. Demille said he first met the Massachusetts Congressman while working as a driver for a limo service. 

Demille is one of 11 candidates for three seats on the West Hollywood City Council.  The election is on March 5.


13 Comments
  1. A white man wearing blackface and another wearing clan robes, in some sort of social setting, would seem to be a different issue than an African American director utilizing blackface on a white actor. I would argue that both are wrong, but for differing reasons. I would also focus my disapproval more towards the director’s choice in the second scenario.

  2. wow….gtfooh….vote republican….the party that was actually FORMED to abolish slavery ….calpers dept in california is the biggest unsecured debt in the world. Google what the the dems did to this state. real talk yo

  3. The double standards. Oh , and you approve of late term abortions and post birth abortions too, aka, infanticide. The law in NY is very vague and essentially allows a mother to direct a doctor to initiate an abortion even after birth. I have no respect for this madness anymore

  4. This would be a chance for a profound conversation about how people change and whether punishing someone for being the kind of person they aren’t anymore is an enlightened thing to do. I remember when Karla Faye Tucker was executed in Texas decades after a brutal murder when she had become the enlighted angel of the prison. She arguably was not the same person who committed the crime. How about that?

    1. I’m fine with her being executed. It’s all well and good that she found god in prison, but she stilled killed somebody and took away someone’s loved one. If we let all prisoners that find god get their sentence changed we might as well build a monastery at the jail. I would find god too if I was on death row.

  5. NO !i was put into this position by director Mario van people’s .at the time I remember how they did not have a black artist like himself to play this role.what role,I was in the background.regardless it was wrong for him to make me do this.as an actor my job was to listen to the director.Ive chosen this time to talk about race,because anytime we can have discussions about it ,it makes us a better country.making a rush to judgement,is NOT the way to go.As you have seen in the last week.A MOB MENTALITY. The very thing that we don’t want our leaders to do.
    After the last debate many black lives matter complained that we did not talk about.ED BUCK.I will just say this,I was the only representative in our community to attend VICTIM TIMOTHY MICHAEL DEANS LIFE CELEBRATION.

    1. If you didn’t want to be in blackface, you could’ve said no and left. I doubt Van Peebles held a gun to your head and forced you to. I’ve been an extra myself and I was never forced to do something I didn’t want to. I, in fact, left a set that switched my part from a campaign intern to a Mexican stereotype. And, yes, I still got work afterwards on SAMANTHA WHO? and JERICHO.

    2. I have a role coming in my next movie where I will need you to walk of the edge of a 50 story building. Let me know when you are ready to shoot. Get out of here with this “they forced me to do blackface” bullcrap. I’m sure the guards at auschwitz had a the same story about their involvement with the holocaust “I was just following orders”.

    1. Of course it is. Apparently You didn’t get my point. I am especially sensitive to racism. I was raised in Detroit where 80% of the population was black and so too were most of my friends growing up. I served alongside men and women of color in the Army. But pushing your values on others, trying to shame them and pre judging them is as bad as racism.

  6. “Time to rush to each other’s side and love one another no matter how many old pictures and old behavior that America has…” TM

    Does that include porn or just racially offensive conduct?

    I agree with you that what a person does in his private life or past professional life (and has not harmed anyone) is not a reflection of how he/she conducts himself socially and professionally. If a critic of such a person cannot separate the two, then they are very closed-minded and incapable of rational discussion.

Leave a Comment

No profanity, and please focus on the issue rather than attacking other commenters. All comments are moderated and must be focused on the issue, not other commenters.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.