Producer John Singleton has hit out at criticism new black movie HUSTLE + FLOW was written and directed by a white man, CRAIG BREWER - insisting they are missing the point of what is a 'black movie'.

The film, which stars Terence Howard as a pimp who tries to make it as a rapper, has earned vast critical acclaim since its release in the US last month (JUL05) - but Brewer's participation has raised eyebrows in the black community.

But Singleton says, "That guy's got so much soul. More soul than a lot of brothers out here.

"What is a black film? Is an Eddie Murphy film a black film. People all over the planet are fascinated with black culture. Black culture is pop culture."

And he is pleased he surprised some of his own critics: "People think I'm some militant guy, and my first protege wears a cowboy hat. I want to produce his first redneck movie."