Are Burton’s comments really that dumb? The short answer: yes. The long answer? Well, see for yourself.
From an interview with Bustle:
“Nowadays, people are talking about it more,” he says regarding film diversity. But “things either call for things, or they don’t. I remember back when I was a child watching The Brady Bunch and they started to get all politically correct. Like, OK, let’s have an Asian child and a black. I used to get more offended by that than just... I grew up watching blaxploitation movies, right? And I said, that’s great. I didn’t go like, OK, there should be more white people in these movies.”
Sigh. Look, nothing in Miss Peregrine’s—or most of Burton’s other movies—demands the characters all be white. But that was kind of the whole deal for blaxploitation movies of the ‘70s—the ‘70s! 40 years ago!—which existed because of a lack of representation elsewhere. It’s not the same. It’s not close to the same.
Although to be fair “I didn’t demand more representation of white people in blaxploitation movies” is one of the more... unexpected defenses of racism in Hollywood. That weird Tim Burton, always thinking outside the box!