Please go see Red Tails this weekend. It’s opening January 20th. So either the 20th, 21st or 22nd is fine. Any time after that and it really won’t matter.
But what is this exactly? A “film recommendation” would be me saying “hey, here’s a cool movie, go check it out.” But that’s not what’s going on here? Well I’m asking you to go see a movie, good or bad, to help with the box office performance. So why is this important exactly? Well, African Americans-black people-do NOT have a great deal of power in the Hollywood film and tv community. And projects that feature black people don’t have an easy time getting made. ESPECIALLY if there isn’t a white person who’s the “real” star of the movie.
Well, George Lucas went on the Daily Show recently and said some stuff that shocked the audience about this situation. The Daily Show audience went deadly silent as he laid all this out. Not only couldn’t HE, a super famous power player in Hollywood, not get this movie made for 23 years-and ended up having to pay for himself. But even after all that, NONE of the studios would distribute it. Even in the wake of Tyler Perry; they still told him that his move cost more to MAKE than a Tyler Perry movie MAKES at the box office. You might want to re-read that. But bottom line; no distribution. That’s how we stand in Hollywood. In 2012. Here’s the clip from the show.
(I’m just sticking all this space in here so the widget over there —> wont block the video)
I myself was a struggling actor from about 1988 to 2003 when I finally had to take a “break” and joined the Navy Reserves for the war. The economics of black people in film and TV is much nastier than you think. Like, you PROBABLY think you see a lot of people on TV and the moves-but in reality, you don’t. What you do mostly see is people from other industries like music, sports and comedy who have been ALLOWED to be in the movies. And that give you the ILLUSION that there are a lot of black people making it. It’s not a lot. Trust me. I was there for 25 years. Those people were already famous. And that is why they’re invited into the film and TV.
And we’re not even talking about “working actors,” the people playing small roles or supporting cast. If you think about it the number of famous actors (people actually trained to act and who didn’t come from another entertainment field) working today is really only about 25 people; and I’m being generous. Try it yourself-count who you know and see how many you can think of that didn’t come from music like will smith, comedy like Eddie Murphy or sports, like The Rock.
And even stars STILL have to get paired up with a white person. Check out this new Queen Latifa movie. What the hell is she doing with Dolly Parton?! That doesn’t even make any sense. And I love Dolly. It’s about Gospel music, so it was originally probably about black people, but to get the movie MADE they had to put in a white star. In fact, Eddie Murphy was on Jimmy Kimmel a couple of months ago talking about that comedy he made with Ben Stiller. ORIGINALLY it was gonna be Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Eddie, etc. But with all black stars it couldn’t get made. But put in Stiller and Matthew Broderick and you have a completely forgettable but MADE movie.
So I’m not here telling you to make up some giant signs and go picketing outside some place. All I’m asking is that if you can-go see the movie between Jan 20-22. Opening box weekend is the ONLY language they speak. And Hollywood makes is decisions about FUTURE projects based on BOW (box office weekend). So speak to them. No fire hoses, no arrest, no German Sheppards biting you in the ass-just go see a movie. That’s civil rights activism in 2012. Pretty civil right?
And speaking of pretty…get down George!