- The Washington Times - Friday, November 18, 2016

South Africans were looking forward to seeing whether actor Samuel L. Jackson would turn up after Republican Donald Trump’s presidential win, but it looks like he’s staying put.

Several South Africa news websites broke the news to readers this week after the star of movies like “The Hateful Eight” and “Pulp Fiction” informed Trump supporters needling him on social media that he wasn’t serious.

“Sit down‚ we might have some bad news for you,” said the Herald Live in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. “It seems that veteran U.S. actor Samuel L. Jackson is in no hurry to leave America … even for South Africa.”

Unlike other celebrities who have since reneged on their leaving-the-country pledges, however, Mr. Jackson has a legitimate excuse: He made his comment about moving to South Africa during a sketch in December on ABC-TV’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” in which he played the voice of the “hateful eight ball.”

Asked during the skit to predict if Mr. Trump would be the next president, Mr. Jackson replied, “If that mother——— becomes president, I’m moving my black a— to South Africa.”

Reminded of his comment by persistent social-media followers, Mr. Jackson said on Twitter, “When you learn the difference between My Actual Opinion & A Kimmel Skit … Maybe we can talk.”

Later, an exasperated Jackson told Splash News TV, “Look, everybody keeps saying I said I was leaving.”

“I was doing a Jimmy Kimmel skit. I was portraying a Magic Eight Ball. You remember that? Did you see that? So why does everybody think that’s my personal opinion?” Mr. Jackson said in a video posted Thursday on YouTube.

So far none of the two dozen celebrities vowing to leave the country in the event of a Trump presidency have followed through, at least not publicly.

Those begging off include comedians Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer, singer Miley Cyrus and the star of HBO-TV’s “Girls,” Lena Dunham.

So far, no public word from celebrities such as Cher, Whoopi Goldberg and Barbra Streisand.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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