Monday, June 9, 2008

The 21st Century Bo Derek Or How Hollywood Continues To Eliminate Black Women From The Industry

Not that I had any interest in this particular story being made into a film, but it bothers the hell out of me that Hollywood would make this film and eliminate the black woman from the story. The independent film Stuck is based on the story of Chante Jawan Mallard, who struck a man with her car and when he became lodged in her windshield drove home, leaving the man to slowly die in her garage.

Now, I will give any and every filmmaker the right to use creative license when making a movie, but if the main character is going to have cornrows, speak with ghetto slang, and still have the black boyfriend, then why bother to change the racial identity? I could see the director saying "just play it real black." This is a white filmmaker's cutesy idea of what he thinks a "real" black woman is like, but if anybody raises a ruckus, then it's "just acting." I for one ain't fooled, this ain't cute and I absolutely, positively hate white women "playing" black.

Brothas better watch out because they are next for the treatment. Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. think this mess is cute too. They will be all over the airwaves telling everyone that this racist crap is "satire" and that they "understand" the struggle of black actors. Yeah right!


faith June 9, 2008 at 5:09 AM  

Can't we stage a protest or something? I mean this is ridiculous. I was hoping that it would just be a flop. Alisa Valdes Rodriguez is having problems getting the studios to greenlight a movie version of her first book about 4 Latinas in Boston. It was a best-seller and specifically has Latinas of all skin tones and they're not maids or nannies. I know it would make a great film and something of more substance than SATC. What I also found interesting is that the Latina actresses that she went the script to were advised by their agents to reject it as well because they don't want them playing their heritage. So Black women get erased, Latinas [obviously the lighter ones] have to play white and of course white actresses have to be size 00. Fun for all! You know there are tons of stories that would make the studios money that are still be rejected by the white men running the studios. It's time to change this.

Anonymous,  June 9, 2008 at 8:05 AM  

I really like your blog and I've been thinking about THIS for a long minute now....GOOD JOB!

I'm gonna add you to my blogroll...if you don't mind.

Anonymous,  June 9, 2008 at 8:10 AM  

I agree with ya SIS.
We see it all the time...Hustle and Flow, Black Snake Moan...not that WE should want to see black women depicted like that...but I really down wanna see white women AS black women depicted that either.

SheCodes June 9, 2008 at 8:31 AM  

My question is this: why is that NO TALENT, UNATTRACTIVE chick always getting these parts? Is her daddy high up in the business, or what?

She should never have made it to the big screen, and I keep looking around like I am in some alternate universe when I see her show up in a movie. Am I the only one who sees that this little girl has no business in the movies?

What gives?

Anonymiss June 9, 2008 at 8:57 AM  

Now why didn't they want a sista for that role? It's an indie flick so why not be as original as possible?

I won't be checking for this flick. It wouldn't make it on my Netflix queue.

Miss Issues June 9, 2008 at 9:12 AM  

This reminds me of the movie Honey. The part was originally written for Aaliyah, but after she died it went to Jessica Alba. It's amazing, because they kept her parents black in the movie. Their whole argument was no other black actress could bring in box office. Yet, the movie still flopped. Like Honey, there wasn't even an uproar in the black community about this. A lot of black actresses complained, but they were ignored, especially by black male actors. This comes down to what I have been saying all alone, no one is having our backs in Hollywood and our mainstream.
This why I am not a fan of Mekhi Phifer, he had the nerve to go on and on about how beautiful and talented Jessica Alba was in the movie. And we all know this girl can't act to save her life.

Professor Tracey June 9, 2008 at 9:57 AM  

@Faith -

I hear you!!!! I heard about that book from a close friend of hers. Latina actresses are facing the same issues as black actresses. It's a damn shame!

@Coolcrys -

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to add me. Look forward to more of your comments!

@Shecodes -

I don't know either girl! LOL!

@Anonymous -

Ya think? LOL!

@Miss Issues -

I can't stand Jessica Alba! She is always making "ethnic" films, but never wants to be identified as a woman of color. To hell with her. I also can't stand Mekhi Phifer, he is in every movie that needs a black man slobbering on a non-woman of color, but he owes his career to black women. Makes me ill! June 9, 2008 at 12:26 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tami June 9, 2008 at 1:36 PM  

Wait...WHAT?...You've got to be kidding me! Okay, I'd really like to say something of more substance, but I am honestly dumbstruck.

focusedpurpose June 9, 2008 at 4:02 PM  

hi all- some point black folks will need to stop supporting all that don't support us. especially black women.

i have stopped supporting a long list of black actors, directors, producers, etc. if you can't stand and say give a sister a shot, i can't buy the ticket. especially, when you are an established artist. if my support of you creates more luxury for your white, asian, hispanic, racial ambiguous woman and her family---you can't have it. period. if my support of you supports another all means.

denzel, taye, john singleton, mikhi, and the list goes on and is very long---i am serious. i invite other sisters to start wielding their purchasing power wisely. the complaining only gets you written off as jealous, insecure, hating, crazy, etc. but then again, i just had to bow out on a girl friend's birthday that wanted to go see sex in the city---on opening night no less---despite being invisible for the whole series run. am i the only one annoyed that the oscar winner in the cast was playing a subordinate role? no thank you; i will catch you for dinner and dancing, happy birthday!

we have more power than we claim. all of this mess is money motivated. we make less than others and continue to give what little we have to those that treat us with disrespect at best. we can each do our part to change things. it will take principles, unity, and sacrifice. there's a thought:-)

thanks for letting me share.


Miss Issues June 9, 2008 at 5:30 PM  

My friends laugh at me because I hate the movie Save the Last Dance. I kept saying why couldn't that girl be black. Why did the character have to be white? The script would've have the same effect if it was black bougie girl who is a ballerina. June 9, 2008 at 7:35 PM  

Hi there!

I agree that these decisions about WHO gets the lead role is based on WHO is perceived to be a box office draw....

The director has some influence in the decision of who will star in the film...but can NOT make the final casting decisions since HE IS a hired employee as well...

Few directors are serving as executive producers and directors of the films...

White studio heads have all sorts of mathematical formulas about the release date and the box office predictions of EVERY actor or actress ...they think those formulas matter deeply...and they believe these formulars are etched in stone...they use them to determine how much to invest in each film.

A film with black actors in lead roles tends to open in fewer theatres and have LESS marketing....Will and Denzel have been the only exception to that as far as I can see...

These studio heads think that if Robert Downey Jr. plays a black man in a film, they are assured of having the white moviegoer who loves RDJr ...

They think that if they put Shemar Moore in the lead role...their film will be categorized as "a black movie" and they will lose a large segment of their "cherished" white viewing audience....please...
{rolling eyes}


Tabatha Atwood June 9, 2008 at 9:39 PM  

on tv now, they are promoting the dvd - true story of the harvard students that won big in las vegas- but in reality they were Asian but they were played by white people. this also really made no sense. but was certainly very hurtful to a lot of people.

Afroamericawriter June 10, 2008 at 7:20 PM  

I'm getting tired of the white actor playing black. Nothing against Robert Downing Jr., who I think he's a sensational actor of his generation but come on! Give black a chance for crying out loud.

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