Slaves v stars

Slaves v stars
ROLE: Forest Whitaker stars as a White House employee serving eight presidents in The Butler.

Slavery is a nightmare.

For most of us, it's impossible to even imagine what it's like to be owned, which is why we have Hollywood to imagine it for us.

From the wild potboiler Django Unchained to the sober- minded opus The Butler, Hollywood has tsked-tsked and tut-tutted at the horrors of slavery while raking in cash and kudos.

It's important to remember that slavery is THE WORST, but we should also keep in mind that the dudes playing slaves in these movies make more in a year than most earn in a lifetime.

JASON JOHNSON compares and contrasts the pampered millionaire thespians to the brutalised peons they play.

THE BUTLER (Showing Now)

The slave: Cecil Gaines

Born a slave, Gaines' mother was raped and his father murdered by a slave owner.

Despite these setbacks, he manages to improve his lot, eventually becoming a White House butler and serving eight presidents.

His somewhat rocky marriage to the homely Gloria (Oprah Winfrey, above, with Forest Whitaker) produces two sons - one goes to war in Vietnam, the other fights for black rights.

The actor: Forest Whitaker

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