Featured, Pop Culture, Race & Politics

The Black Movie Solidarity Struggle

“Pizza is a lot like sex. When it’s good, it’s really good. When it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.”

I discussed this quote with one of the homies, recently. We both agreed that it’s bullshit logic. If I’m not mistaken, the point of the pizza and sex is pleasure. It’s expected to be pleasurable. So, if it’s less than so, you’re going to be even MORE pissed that it wasn’t. But, let me download my digressing app.

The point of this quote is basically, “Well, it’s better than none at all.” And therein lies my point that I’m swear I’m getting to riiiiiight about… now.

You know what also receives that “it’s better than nothing” sentiment? Black films*. It was a super hot topic during the rise of Tyler Perry’s stardom and the nationwide release of Dear White People has spawned that sentiment once again. And it is something I’ve always wanted to wax-on-wax-off philosophical about. In fact, a conversation with a group of very smart people evolved into another private conversation with a very smart person and, wallah magic, here I am.

A common theme shared amongst the thoughts of Dear White People was about what it represented. It represented a chance to see a film with a diverse group of Black characters that tackled race head-on in a racially-heated society. It represented a rare chance to see a widely-distributed film written and directed by a Black person that doesn’t have “Tyler” or “Perry” in their name. It represented… Black. It was expected to be everything in a community that is used to little or nothing. Basically, Dear White People is the movie version of Barack Obama.

With that pressure comes the defense of, “I’m just glad to see a Black film like this out there.” And it’s a valid defense. I understand the defense. Hell, I feel that defense. I am also thrilled to see an experimental Black film created by and starring Black faces receive this much recognition and part of me wants to desperately cling onto that and tuck it away into a super safe space, like the Disney vault.

HOWEVER.

I don’t believe this sentiment means that Black films should be exempt from critique. I also don’t think that by doing so, it means you don’t appreciate Black films, by default. I get the hesitation, I do. When we live in a world where we don’t often see a diverse group of Black films unless it’s suddenly on trend to do so, it’s easy to feel guilt when you don’t have 100% glowing things to say about a type of film you had to wait years to see and may have to wait years afterward to see again.

My issue with that is that I actually think this hesitation does a disservice to Black films. I make a point to critique a film from my Black brethren/sistren the way I would any other film. How do we expect our films to be part of the mainstream world if we don’t hold them to the same standard? When people see “White” films and critique them, this doesn’t reflect on the entire group of White filmmakers in Hollywood. Hell, even if Martin Scorsese makes a less-than-stellar or poorly-received film, he’s still Martin fucking Scorsese. And he doesn’t have to compete with Steven Spielberg for a viable spot in Hollywood. That’s the meat of the issue, in my opinion. We’re so afraid to hold onto our tiny spot in Hollywood that we take what we can get. Which, is actually pretty condescending to the Black filmmakers and us, as an audience.

So, despite my conflicting feelings about it, I ultimately refuse to show love to my fellow Black creatives by coddling them just because they have exposure, but by holding them to the very high standards I believe they are capable of reaching. Of fucking surpassing.

Because, guess what, Dear Black People? We’re dope like that.

*I do want to note that I’m only using this term to define films that are created by Black folks and predominantly star Black folks. I still am bout that “films are fucking films and Black films can be universal, too” life, mmkay #punkin?

Tonja Stidhum

Tonja Renée Stidhum is a screenwriter/director with cheeks you want to pinch... but don't (unless she wants you to). She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre.

  • snatched the words right off my dome. this applies to TV shows for me, too. The only I don’t feel pressure to support for Black folk is music. Because no one needs to give Chief Keef any country.

    • Neptunes presents The Clones

      Hating on Chi town’s sons ey lol

      • it’s an IDGAF kinda day…

        • Neptunes presents The Clones

          Happy birthday by the way.I shows you love

          • Val

            *notes Sahel referring to himself in the third person*

            • Neptunes presents The Clones

              * Notes Val making unnecessary notes *

              • Val

                I’m just watching the watcher.

                • Neptunes presents The Clones

                  Who can track you down if the need arises. So do you think it’s wise to watch the watcher

                  • Val

                    The people must always watch the watchers.

                    • Neptunes presents The Clones

                      Are you admitting to being a voyeur

                    • Val

                      There you go. Bye, Sahel.

      • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

        I speak on behalf of the entire city of the Chi and agree Chief Keef shouldn’t get any country. Not even a ward.

        • Neptunes presents The Clones

          So you would pick Shmurda over Keef ??

          • Epsilonicus

            Shmurda

            • Neptunes presents The Clones

              Really,is Keef that bad

          • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

            Nawl, in fact, to be real… I wouldn’t be surprised if they collab’d and made a song. LOL

            • SororSalsa

              They’d have to do it in the Chi….cuz I don’t think Chief Keef if going to set foot anywhere near NJ at this point.

  • I think we should take ourselves less seriously, especially in terms of the media.

    We know that Tyler Perry makes his money by appealing to church going black folks. We know that Mona Scott makes her money by appealing to the streets. We know Shonda Rhimes makes her money by appealing to educated and middle class women, with emphasis on black women who fit that demographic. We know that Dear White People, appeals to the hipster-ish black folks, which was blatant in it’s advertising.

    Criticism isn’t really that important, as much as having something to sell and distribute that you can actually criticize. Criticism is not a creative process. We actually do have a market that appeals to us to a particular extent, but we often get so caught up because we want to combat white media institutions like Hollywood as a collective unit, that we don’t appreciate what we have and how it already appeals to us.

    • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

      I appreciate what we have. We have a lot of ish that is under the radar right now, that deserves to be ON the radar. The main purpose of media is to broadcast it. So, yes, i do want our ish to be on the same level as any other film.
      But, I also appreciate us enough to hold us to higher standards than “oh well at least we got ish out there.” Pshaw. We’re better than that. Anything else is condescending.

      • Val

        “But, I also appreciate us enough to hold us to higher standards than “oh
        well at least we got ish out there.” Pshaw. We’re better than that.
        Anything else is condescending.”

        I agree.

      • I’m not so sure though.

        This is coming from a Nigerian American by the way. Most people I know from Nigeria and India, do not look at their films as being representative of their culture: not every Nigerian woman is a gold digger and Nigerian man looking for a new wife , and not every Indian man can dance, sing and fight kung-fu all at the same time.

        Personally, I find a lot of the movies to be relatively bad and sometimes even a poor representation of who we are, however, they entertain us and most of us have a good time watching, and by finding a formula that works beyond their borders, they’ve managed to get international appeal, which has led to better production and opportunities for more creativity and integrity in the movie business in the aforementioned countries.

        The trashy stuff like Tyler Perry that isn’t necessarily artistic but appeals to the desires of the common folks, are what brings in the capital to produce the movies that the critics tend to love, but most people aren’t going to see. It’s one of those things that you have to give and take. There’s a reason why artist tend not to make good business men or women.

  • Andre

    I remember I was SOOOOO hyped to see Red Tails. “All black cast…gotta see it.” Then I walked out so disappointed because it was soooo bad.

    The issue is that “white movies” aren’t seen as “white movies”…they’re just movies. Hundreds of movies come out every year, while only a handful are really successful and most are just average. But “black films” are always “black films” and are judged in that vein. Hence Best Man Holiday…a movie about some people just living their lives and going through their daily struggles, is classified as “race-themed”.

  • When I found out about Red Tails is was as geeked. (As I geeked as I get anyway.) Her was a movie about WWII, airplanes, blacks in WWII flying said airplanes all the while live and in color. Then me and Miss Moneypenny’s foxy a** saw that ish.

    It was terribly acted but with a bad script and it did not live up to what I was hoping for. I ripped Red Tails for everything I could think of and as bad as it was *looks at NeYo* I’m glad it came out. I’m guessing this is the way folks who saw Dear White folks and didn’t like it felt. It’s a necessary bump in the road for on-screen diversity and story telling.

    I compare it one of my professors Doctor Powers- I would write a paper and whether it was an A or C it would be covered with comments written in red ink. Those comments make you better if you listen.

    • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

      Ya know, I have yet to see Red Tails because of the mass disappointment it received. I’m still gonna see it out of curiosity sake. But, I’m putting it off like a mug. :-/

      • It’s always on FX. The script was SOOOO bad. Bad in the manner that it treated the audience like idiots and didn’t let them do any of the work. The characters dialogue would go “Those pilots are colored!” as if the viewer couldn’t tell that by the aw on the white characters faces. It was a glorified Disney movie of the week. #nattyganjourneybish

        • Galen

          What was good was the documentary Lucas produced in conjunction to the movie. It came out on the History Channel at the same time period. If they (producers, writers, directors) had followed along the doc, they would have had some Band of Brothers quality piece. It’s good enough to have me pause on buying the blu-ray…and the movie was bad enough to make me keep saying NO.

      • kidvideo

        I kinda felt like a sellout for not seeing it opening weekend…
        At least im in good company.

    • KKay

      Yeah, I heard some really bad things about Red Tails. I may have to add it to my Sunday Suckfest schedule.

      • kidvideo

        Some great/terrible movies air on Sunday afternoons…
        Like a Chuck Norris double feature.

    • Berook (ThatDamnAfrican)

      It was god awful. And I wanted to love it, but it was sooooooo bad. Everything except the aerial fights.

  • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

    By the way! Berook (“That Damn African” for the VSB comment section heads) reviewed “Dear White People” on this week’s episode of our podcast, Cinema Bun. Get your life! Thank you in advance: http://cinemabunpodcast.com/2014/10/29/ep-18-dear-white-people/

    • Loved the “Fury” episode. I was talking to my PC when y’all were discussing various parts.

      • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

        Thanks for listening!!

    • #nopromo Lol

      Ima see it this weekend then listen cuz I’m tired of y’all sending me to my room while grown folks do spoiler talk

  • Val

    A lot of people make excuses for Tyler Perry by saying he hires Black actors. And because of that we should support his films. I call bs on that. We show what kind of films, music, books, TV shows we want to have more of by whether we consume them or not. If we support garbage simply because it means Black actors are working then all we’re going to get is more Tyler Perry films.

    • Neptunes presents The Clones

      Problem with this entire set up is funding,it is really holding people back. And no studio seems to be interested in doing black story lines

      • Val

        They will but they’ll only finance TP type films because they know they’ll at least get their money back and are likely to make a profit, Which of course means less money for different types of films with Black casts or that tell stories pertaining to us.

        • Neptunes presents The Clones

          Thus begs the question,why did Red Tails fail

          • Val

            Because it was a bad film. So I hear..

            • Neptunes presents The Clones

              I suppose. But the question is,can black people actually go out and watch a film made by blacks for blacks or will we keep expecting others to accept us first.

              • Val

                Red Tails wasn’t made by a Black person. And, yes, of course. If the film is good we’ll go see it. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘expecting others to accept us first’ in this context.

                • Neptunes presents The Clones

                  How we define our films or music to be a success is what am saying

                • Galen

                  Actually, Red Tails was directed for the most part by Anthony Hemingway (George Lucas probably came in to play w/ the specials effects area). And it was written by Aaron McGruder and John Ridley, which makes me wish he had grabbed someone’s memoir. The writing was gawd-awful. To say that it wasn’t made by a Black person is to reduce making a movie down to the producer(s) who, I’ll grant, two of the three weren’t Black.

                  • lovelygamour

                    I think it boiled down to poor casting.

                    • Galen

                      I agree acting was bad too.But it wasn’t just the casting.

                • pls

                  i side eye any black person that actually believed the creators of that movie were more concerned with telling “our” story than they were with making their money back for those horrible special effects.

                  the media knows how to get blacks in their feelings and they did the damn thing with the promo for that movie.

          • It was a horrid and disneyfied turd. Spectacular visuals though.

          • lovelygamour

            Red tails failed because of casting choices. I actually went to see it at the show. If the actors dont like being black can they really expect black support. If thats the case then they must acutally deliver entertainment instead of expecting blind support.

        • Tyler Perry owns his own studio and finances himself. Him and Oprah are the only two Black owners of studios I believe.

          • Val

            Are you sure? I know that until recently he had an agreement with Lionsgate.

    • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

      EXACTLY. It’s a shame that Black actors have to complete for the same tired roles. And even those are very few. It’s a shame we have to settle, period. That’s the issue.
      Also, I see folks giving him props for hiring Black staff and whatnot and I’mma let them finish, but Tyler has had controversy surrounding him firing union writers for years. He refuses to hire union writers so he doesn’t have to pay them the union minimum. But, I’m sleep.

      • Val

        Yeah, he’s shady as heck on many different levels. But, lots of people respect his hustle so.

        • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

          Hell, even EYE do. I don’t even knock it. He took something from nothing and made it a bunch. I don’t think me also acknowledging he ain’t some Black movie savior or knowing he’s not without fault means I’m “hating”… but for some reason, folks work better with extremes. SMH

    • Meridian

      Black people spend way too much time hating Tyler Perry when they could be contributing to things they find worth supporting. When I don’t like something I just don’t go to the movies and I don’t bother addressing it in depth. I take that energy and put it towards something I believe in. I don’t bother knocking over someone else’s blocks just because I don’t like it.

      • Val

        It’s not a matter of knocking someone else’s blocks. It’s a matter of supporting what we want to see more of. And despite there being a considerable amount of criticism of Perry his films still garner enough support for studios to consider him a safe bet rather than branching out into other genres of Black films. Which stifles the variety of films available for us to support.

        • I agree with this, but the particular segment of the black population Tyler Perry’s movies are made for (people my momma’s age), want more TP stuff. The black folks starving for content are the black folk’s of the VSB demographic….

        • Meridian

          “It’s a matter of supporting what we want to see more of.”

          That’s exactly my point. It’s as simple as collectively identifying something we want to see more of, and supporting it. That means acknowledging and flushing out what we like about something or what we want to see more of.

          It’s like with Red Tails. Everyone knows it was a crappy movie but you can still take what you liked about it, what was in it that you want to see more of, and create a new project that is abundant on such things/ contributes its own things. Why do we need to excessively say it sucked in order for growth to happen?

      • January Jones

        “I don’t bother knocking over someone else’s blocks just because I don’t like it.”

        Amen and amen!! Not necessary to hate.

    • January Jones

      Supporting garbage? WOW! Opportunities to keep actors gainfully employed, producing films and plays that any age group can view, are just a couple of things that lean towards commendable rather than garbage. You stated “a lot of people are making excuses because he hires black”, maybe a lot of people can appreciate him doing something white America won’t do. Because of THIS, YES we should support his films and whatever work he produces. Apparently he’s doing something right, he’s certainly benefited financially, reputationally, etc.
      We are all entitled to our opinions and preference. An affinity is just that, and because it’s not yours does not qualify as an excuse nor garbage.
      Oprah is not exactly my favorite, but I appreciate her giving him a lift, doing what white America will not do, giving back from the strides she’s made that have yielded epic success. Applause applause should be in order.

    • Paradigm

      I’m not a Tyler Perry fan and I get what you’re saying all the way… I’ll stop short of callin’ his work garbage (one person’s junk is another person’s treasure) but I get what you’re saying

  • Meridian

    “I am also thrilled to see an experimental Black film created by and starring Black faces receive this much recognition and part of me wants to desperately cling onto that and tuck it away into a super safe space, like the Disney vault.”

    My thing about black people is that we’re sooo comfortable destroying things and tearing them down. Whether something is good or not doesn’t even matter because in and of ourselves we’ll find something about it to hate and rag on. It’s just what we do. That’s just how we are. When something like this comes along it isn’t the fact that people have critiques or desires for more, it’s that we’re so used to washing everything in negativity that we don’t even comprehend or appreciate what something is in the bigger picture. We all know what the climate is in society for such films and such subject matter. We know existing in that reality is point A. What we put out there as creatives are a bunch of steps until we get to Z, and Z is our ideal climate in society for black made projects and subject matter specific to us. It doesn’t take tearing everything down in starting at A to get to Z. It doesn’t take nitpicking every project every step of the way. It doesn’t take rushing to expound on how flawed something is nor should that even be where most of energy is spent.

    We are more than capable of grasping something, comprehending something, seeing what they were going for/trying to do with it, and building upon it from there. Improving on what was already done until we get to a point where we feel like we’re putting out quality, well rounded, diverse projects. I don’t understand what people don’t get about that. If someone takes the time to put their all into something than you can take the time to understand what they did and build upon it. It’s more productive. It gets us further.

    • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

      I totes get what you’re saying. And it’s totes true. To be fair, though, films in and of themselves are nitpicked. Alll the time. So, my point is our films shouldn’t be kept safe from that as if we’re fragile. We’re not.
      Well, we kinda are. And by “we”, I mean creatives. Tee hee.

      • Meridian

        That’s true. I think I’m just more sensitive about it when it comes to black projects because I know how hard it is to even get something put together let alone cleared for release. I try to be cognizant that I’m dealing with someone’s hard work and heart and soul, and that’s whether I like it or not. I think it’s dope to have input on things though, especially if it means it’s better next time around.

        • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

          Trust, I know it too. And I can get sensitive about it as well. But, by that SAME token, I also don’t want someone to support something I worked hard to create… just because I’m Black. I want my work to speak for itself.
          And I believe someone can be cognizant of how much work it takes… and still not particularly care for it. That’s not a requirement by default. Even bad movies technically take months or years to make. ;)

    • KKay

      “My thing about black people is that we’re sooo comfortable destroying things and tearing them down. Whether something is good or not doesn’t even matter because in and of ourselves we’ll find something about it to hate and rag on.”

      I don’t agree with this statement. IMHO, we support waaay too much ish just cuz the people making said media are black.

      I don’t see anything wrong with constructive criticism. Constructive criticism. I don’t think I’ll ever improve as a writer (fiction) if I don’t have someone looking it over and telling me why what I’m writing may or may not suck. It doesn’t matter if I’ve poured my heart into it. If someone can’t understand the motivation of one of my characters or why I had them behave a certain way, then I may not be doing something right. Maybe my world building is awesome, but my dialogue is stunted and hokey, well I’d probably like to know that to.

      • Meridian

        “I don’t agree with this statement. IMHO, we support waaay too much ish just cuz the people making said media are black.”

        I don’t think this is true. That might be because I don’t personally bother to support something I don’t like or don’t believe in. Other black people may feel a sense of obligation to but I also take my time sifting before I bother to support something. That process doesn’t involve me spending inordinate amounts of time hating the things I don’t support. I know I don’t like it. I know I don’t believe in it, so I just pass on it and put energy into what I do like.

        I don’t have a problem with constructive criticism. You’re right about all that. Black people as a whole aren’t constructive though. The things we say are meant to be humorous, malicious, and hurtful. Undermining and humiliating other people is its own form of entertainment for us. We’re so used to doing it that I don’t even give people country to imply they’re being constructive nor do I immediately assume the intent of aggressive negativity is meant to better someone or something.

      • cancergirl08

        “I don’t think I’ll ever improve as a writer (fiction) if I don’t have someone looking it over and telling me why what I’m writing may or may not suck.”

        This is completely off the main topic but I write fiction too :) I’m curious. Do you have a professional editor or agent review your work for character/plot development and grammatical editing or just distribute among peers? I self-edit, distribute portions of manuscript to peers but next year, I will need to hire an editor. Sorry for digressing…..I’m just passionate about fiction writing :)

        • KKay

          I don’t have a professional editor or an agent. I’m still at the very beginning. When you say peers, do you mean fellow writers? If so that is a great thing.
          Many writers I’ve listened to on the topic say to join a writers group. If you can find writers that write in your genre that’s even better.
          One writer, who was at a con (which is a fantastic way to meet other writers), self publishes. She has beta readers that review her work and editors. As a reader of self published works, I would highly recommend getting an editor if you decide to go the self-publishing route.
          Happy writing!! :)

  • I imagine Ava DuVernay’s upcoming film Selma will be far more insightful insofar as discussing race than Dear White People.

    • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

      We shall see. It’s a movie I’m super looking forward to.

    • kidvideo

      I auditioned to be an extra in Selma(i was born in Selma)…never got a callback.

      I think it was cause im liteskinned.

      • blogdiz

        I find that hard to believe in a movie where Coretta Scott King is being played by a half white actress

  • Berook (ThatDamnAfrican)

    I share you views, Tonj (I just made that nickname up. I don’t like it, but it’s too late to change it so it’s staying.) The instinct to praise or at least take it easy on Black films is sometimes there because of a need to protect them. We can be insecure in how “our” films are received. Like a parent who never admits that their child is a problem, no matter how much evidence is presented. I’ve done that a few times (Red Tails was the worst example. I apologize for ever having defended that movie.)

    At the same time, I wonder if people have experienced the opposite: being overly critical of a Black movie because of a desire for it to be “perfect”. Basically, respectability politics for movies. This can also come from a place of insecurity over how our films are received. We don’t get many films that explore different aspects of our life and culture, so when we get one, it can be met with a lot of expectations to satisfy. It becomes more than just a vision from the director and instead is tasked with representing everything about black people and black life all at once in a graceful way. Exaggeration aside, I think some people find themselves at this end of the spectrum as well.

    • Meridian

      Protective over the sacred black crafts and projects? o/

      I have a hard time finding legitimate fault with anything/anyone already so marginalized and loaded with such false instances of being flawed. That’s what kills me about it. Everyone already makes up so much bad stuff about us that I won’t even bother to hear anything legitimate.

      • Berook (ThatDamnAfrican)

        It’s definitely true that we need to encourage those projects that give voices to our own and other marginalized groups. That kind of support can help propel the amount of opportunities that black films and black filmmakers get. And it’s very easy to become protective of our projects because we want them to be successful. I find myself protective of President Obama because there are plenty of people out here already wildin no matter what he does. But I don’t agree with everything he does and sometimes I need to criticize him. Otherwise, my rhetoric would be as blind as theirs, but on the other side of the spectrum.

        When it comes to black projects, support the good and be protective, but don’t shy away from criticizing the bad either.

    • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

      LOL, my mama’s ex (and someone who was like a father to me) also calls me that! And yeah, I think a lot of people find themselves on either extreme. Which… kinda frustrates me, equally. We’re meant to be every dayum thing except… ourselves.

    • Epsilonicus

      ” Basically, respectability politics for movies.”

      Dang. Dope. +trillion

    • Khalil Jannah

      I think the high (sometimes unreasonable)expectations that we have for black films comes more from how the film is first presented to us and less from just being a “black movie” that we want or need to be perfect. For example Dear white people sold itself as a modern day school daze/do the right thing, a movie that would set straight alot of misconceptions and stereotypes about AA culture, as well as thoroughly entertain us all. Hell they promoted the film for damn near a whole year. So when I walked into the theater with my wife I expected nothing short of a masterpiece but what I got IMHO felt more like a black movie directed by Judd Apatow. Seriously, I felt like Seth Rogan would show up any minute. Redtails was the same way, George Lucas even had the nerve to say how important the movie was and that if it didn’t do well Hollywood would never put that much money behind a black movie again…he was probably right. But the movie was presented as an important piece of art so I expected just that but I was once again let down. On the flip side a movie like “The night catches us” that deals with racial themes but doesn’t use it as a crutch, doesn’t try to make itself out to be more important and smarter than it really is and doesn’t try to be an all encompassing black film, can manage to be a great, good or mediocre without consequence because it was never hyped up or sold as a great black film. It just was.
      TLD; R The Hollywood hype machine and a lack of mainstream black movies tends to ruin our theater going experience. .

  • Lisa Harris

    Is it me or do we lower/manage our expectations when a film, business, school, company is black?

    Tyler Perry is a hack. He does not screen his films for critics and he doesn’t have to because so many people see everything he does. And he’s terrible. but so many of us run to the theater to support his crap and we say – well, it’s funny, well, we should support a black man, blah, blah, fukken BLAH!

    I worked for the National Council of Negro Women in the early 90s. I was really excited to see Dorothy Height at work every day. It was a thrill. Every morning she would call me in her office to water her plants and she would tell me stories. I cherish that. BUT – every two weeks at least one paycheck bounced. Twice the phones were cut off because the bill wasn’t paid. Any other company, I would have been out the door. But with THIS organization, it was harder to leave. SMH!

    I want a film to be good. And I am elated when a black film is good. But I’m not giving a pass to bad movies. Not anymore. First of all, do we still need all black cast movies? I think what Shonda Rhimes is doing on television is fantastic. And the best part? She’s good. She’s really good. I love watching Shondaland shows. Not just because she’s black but because she’s black AND brilliant. And she doesn’t need to rely on an all black cast in order to put black people in the spotlight.

    As an audience and as consumers, we should have high expectations of our own. Letting each other slide on everything does not help us succeed.

    • kirk

      I think the Shonda land shows are played out. This person is cheating on this other person. Who cares. But television is where it is now. And why is that? Television is the go to thing, so we should all abandon film and go to television? Look up Olivia Cole and see what she had to say about ‘Lucy.’ And I agree! Kerry and Viola can be a lead on the small screen, but keep yo black ass off those motion pictures cause we aint ready for that shit yet.

      So who do we have? Steve Mcqueen, well kind of because he’s from England. And see ‘Shame’ that was gritty, raw, and great. Spike hasn’t made anything relevant in years. Tyler is a buffoon. Then we get the feel good romantic comedy all black cast once in a while. Who else is there? Where is our black Wes Anderson, who can write and direct various stories? The studios wanted Channing Tatum for the cop role in ‘Beyond the Lights’ in 2014. So WTF? What did yall expect with Dear White People? School Daze?

      And for the hundredth time Tyler was great in ‘Gone Girl’ because it was directed by Mister I use 40 takes David Fincher. Mr Perry who is used to only using one (Wendy Covey said so in a interview). And I guess Denzel was filming the Equalizer when David called. And yes Selma looks good but maybe one day we can get out of the sixties and fifties with butlers, maids, and civil rights and write about current issues and themes eh? Anyways I like the direction your heading at Ms. Harris.

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