22 March 2006

Demand more from Hollywood...

I was asked the other day if I had seen "Hustle and Flow."
I said, "Yeah."

They replied, "I get tired of seeing blacks in the same old roles - pimps, drug dealers, thugs..."

I absolutely agreed. The only reason I saw 'Hustle and Flow' was because I'm a big Terrence Howard fan. I've seen him always in the shadows and always playing the supporting roles - 'Dead Presidents' , 'The Best Man', 'Ray', 'Crash' and 'Biker Boyz.' (Thank God that he died in the first 10 seconds of Biker Boyz - this was a truly horrible movie!) I wanted to see Terrence Howard in a leading role and I wanted to see how he could handle it. If anybody else was in that role, 'Hustle and Flow" wouldn't have even showed up on my radar.

I too, am disappointed at the role offered to 90% of blacks in Hollywood. The roles and themes of most blacks and most black movies are so unoriginal and unbeneficial to our race - that they border on being criminal.

The shameful repetitiveness includes:
  • BLACK WOMEN - There are only few roles for black women in movies either prostitutes or crackheads, or fat and loud church going characters. I hate the fact that once the need for a black woman over the age of 40 comes up, she has to weigh over 250 pounds to get on camera!
  • COOKOUTS - If black folks aren't shooting, pimping, rapping, dancing, playing basketball or slinging dope - they are at a COOKOUT. My god - can't we play lawyers and doctors and politicians and teachers and activists and scientists in movies? Why is the only alternative to violence the same repetitive hot dogs and baked beans at fat grandma's house?
  • FAMILY REUNIONS - see 'cookouts' above.
  • SAVE US MASSA' - The common theme of the hapless blacks that aren't strong enough, or smart enough or skilled enough to pull themselves up out of the dire straights that life has put them into. Therefore, the great White Knight rides in to teach the poor downtrodden black folks to shuck and jive or sing or dance or play basketball good enough to get out of their dismal surroundings.
  • VIOLENT DRUG DEALING - The only way out 'of the hood' for most young black men is to master the game of the dope hustle. You watch your friends get shot and killed, you make deals with the Columbians or the Italians and hope you don't get double-crossed, you kill somebody and then discover you have a taste for it and then you 'Get Rich or Die Trying." Lame, lame, lame...

Now, if you've ever read my blog before - you know I don't mind putting in disclaimers - so here is my disclaimer for the day. Not all movies with blacks fit into the niches I outlined above, but I will absolutely say that 85% to 90% do. And, considering the small numbers of blacks in Hollywood, we have to demand more from our presentation on the big screen. We have to stop supporting the movies that focus on black drug dealers and black on black crime. We have to stop telling Hollywood - "Thank you for setting my people back 100 years. May I have another, please?"

And now, with the movie 'ATL' coming out this week, featuring Big Boi from the music group Outkast as, what else - a drug dealer - and pitched to critics as a 'coming of age' film. I see that we are headed into yet another movie season of black degradation on the silver screen.


1 comment:

kk said...

the Hollywood stereotypes are not limited to African-Americans. When was the last time you saw a Chinese that is not a kung-fu master, or a Asian woman that is not a sex object for the while man?

There are intellgent movies being made, in remote outposts in Iran, South Korea and parts of eastern Europe, but rarely in Hollywood.