Harry Belafonte says Hollywood has yet to explore the breadth of black experience and that the industry will "never ever yield to the needs of people of colour".
The 84-year-old entertainer made the remarks at a presentation on artists and activism during the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People's (NAACP) 102nd annual convention in Los Angeles.
Louis Gossett Jr, Tatyana Ali, Hill Harper and members of the Black Stuntmen's Association appeared alongside Belafonte.
He urged the NAACP to form a group of artists and thinkers to inspire the kind of "radical thought" necessary for change.
Belafonte also called on black actors and filmmakers to "come together and create some institutional base that's ours", including studios and distribution channels.