We will see this week the opening of “Red Tails” all across the country, telling the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. Who would’ve thought the Tuskegee Airmen would’ve had to fight bigotry, fight racism to be able to show their skills? Yet, they now face the exact, same thing when it comes to just getting on the big screen. George Lucas had to deal with a Hollywood establishment that said, “We don’t know how to market this film.”
Eighty percent of White kids buy hip-hop. Top talk show host in America? Oprah Winfrey. Top entertainer in America? Beyoncé. There’s an African-American man in the White House. And you mean to tell me that Hollywood says, “We don’t know how to market a movie that has a lot of Black folks in it”?
I know we get so used to calling Hollywood “liberal” and talking about their causes and how they believe in equality, but the reality is this. Hollywood has bigots. Hollywood has folks who’re culturally insensitive. And what we’re doing is we’re allowing them to use an economic argument as an excuse for their bigotry. It makes no sense in the world for them to say you can’t market a film like “Red Tails.” Guess what? How many more Jennifer Anniston, sorry romantic comedy films can be put out? No one ever says those are “White films.” No one ever says that when you see Will Ferrell, that’s a “White film.” So, how is “Red Tails” a “Black film”?
It is a film about American heroes. It is a film about soldiers. And I will say, “Hollywood, maybe if you hire more Black people in positions of power who can actually green-light films, you might figure out how to actually market them.”
That’s my perspective. What’s yours?