‘Black Movies May Alienate Others:’ Shemar Moore On How All-Black Casts Can Be Bad For Movie Marketing

August 7, 2013  |  

Source: ShemarMoore.com

Shemar Moore recently reached his fundraising goal for his upcoming film project, The Bounce Back, which is somewhat of romantic dramady about finding love. He recently sat down to chat with Shadow and Act about the project, color casting and why all-black casts can sometimes be a detrimental marketing decision. Check out some highlights below.

On reaching his fundraising goal:

“Yeah, it’s pretty cool. This whole process has been new to me, so I didn’t really know if we had a shot or how it worked. I’m not one to ask for money so that was a little foreign to me. But then I started to understand the concept, that this is the way Hollywood is now progressing, and I could control of my own content and create stories that I want to tell. It’s kind of fun not to be a puppet anymore, where you take the strings off and you’re not saying someone else’s words. I can come up with the projects that Hollywood might not necessarily be making.”

On the plot:

“Sex sells, drama sells, love stories sell. We never get enough of falling in love and believing in love. I did a movie called Diary of a Mad Black Woman which was about finding true love. So yeah it’s going to be similar, but not exactly the same. It’s more of a dramedy. This guy writes a book because he lost the love of his life in a car accident, so there’s going to be an element of drama and heartache. But then it’s about trying to find love and giving women the rules and tips to outthink a man and keep a man”

On casting a Latina actress as his love interest:

“Nadine Velazquez is just very talented and she showed support. She was a friend of a friend who said, “I like this story, I’d love to be a part of it.” She did me a favor and we were able to shoot a little teaser. It’s not to say that my love interest couldn’t be black. We haven’t shot the movie yet. I just know that Nadine is very passionate about it and I would love to have her in the movie. But I think love is blind. I’m half black, half white. So are we going to be mad at my mother and father for being together? I wouldn’t have life without it.”

On being pegged as a “black actor:”

“I don’t see myself as a “black actor,” I’m just Shemar Moore the actor.  I’m very proud to be black but I’m just as much black as I am white. But I want tell stories that everybody can relate to, so I don’t care who’s opposite me. If Halle Berry or Jada Pinkett Smith called and said, “I want to do a movie with you,” I’d be right there because I believe in their talent.”

On why a diverse cast is a wise marketing decision:

“If every character in the movie is black, it’s going to be looked at as a black movie and that might alienate other people from going to see it. But we’re very sensitive to representing all demographics and it’s going to be a very mixed cast. Whoever fits the bill and can bring the noise.”


Would you agree? Do all-black casts promote the alienation of potential viewers from other races?

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  • Gia

    I agree that an all black cast would be labeled as a black movie to non-black people, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have his love interest be black and other characters could be of a different race. If his love interest is anything but black, then that will alienate the black women from wanting to go see it. I know you can’t please everybody, but even though he is mixed he is still looked upon as black to other non black people regardless, so why not please the black audience a little more. Also, white or Latina men may not want to go see it just because its a black guy dating a white or Latina woman. He needs to identify his target audience and cast accordingly.

    • Ethan Erickson

      shemar moore has earned the right to try something new.
      grow up, all of you.

  • anonymouse

    oh really?? he wasn’t talking that, ‘i’m biracial’ stuff when he was building his career off of the backs of Black women during his ‘y&r’ days. Now that he’s gotten syndication ,he’s ‘just as much black as he is white’…..okey dokey.

    • Ethan Erickson

      that is some old fashioned mess you are talking.

      • anonymouse

        and how is that?? he can identify himself as whatever, but I’m just pointing out that he wasn’t repping his ‘bi-racialness’ AT ALL when he was trying to get where he thought he needed to be.

  • Well that’s interesting, because no one seemed to have a problem when all-white cast movies were alienating basically everyone else. Why is it such a problem when Black filmmakers create movies that appeal to those whom Hollywood systematically ignores? And why does the responsibility to be diverse always fall on our shoulders, but not those of white Hollywood? Shemar Moore may not see himself as a Black actor, but the casting agencies sure do. And as much as he won’t admit it, he still isn’t what one would call a “mainstream” actor.

    • Ethan Erickson


      • Ethan Erickson

        you guys are all doomsaying haters.

    • Barbara

      Here’s the thing though, if you actually look at “white movies” in today’s times, you’d really have to sit through quite a few before you find one that truly is all white. Whether entirely accurate or not, the average “white” movie today depicts white characters friends, coworkers, neighbors– even family members– of other races. All-white movies are very much a thing of the past, and while the majority of the characters may be white (hey, let’s face it, the overwhelming majority of Americans are still white), there are many characters of color. In fact, for a graduate course a couple years ago I researched just how fairly different races/ethnicities are represented in modern cinema. Contrary to popular belief, it turned out that while leading roles are still overwhelmingly white (and white men at that– women as a whole are actually very underrepresented as not just leading characters, but even general speaking characters), the percentage of characters of different races actually correlates much more closely to reality than people think. While there is certainly room for improvement, the point is that modern “white movies” were found to actually be leading the forefront in film diversity.

      Now, the real reason that a lot of people feel alienated by “black movies” is because they just aren’t that diverse, whether we choose to see this as ironic or not. Furthermore, a lot of them still play to stereotypes that people of other races/ethnicities are uncomfortable with (have you ever sat through a Tyler Perry movie with a white person? They don’t know when/if they should laugh, and it’s not because they’re racist– it’s because they fear being seen as racist). After all, white people in particular have been told for years now that associating these stereotypes with black people isn’t okay and that diversity is a good thing that is encouraged, and yet now we’re supposed to get mad when they won’t go spend money on a movie with little diversity that perpetuates these stereotypes? Come on, that’s not fair to them, and we’re not being fair to ourselves if we delude ourselves into thinking otherwise.

  • Candacey Doris

    I think that the best actor/actress should get the part in each movie. Unless the backstory specifically requires a certain race talent should win out. And let’s face it, Hollywood puts people in when the race doesn’t make sense anyway. Keanu Reeves in that samurai movie, for example. I hope Shemar Moore doesn’t get wrapped up in quotas for his movie. Just hire the people who can actually act and we’ll support it!

    • I know you’re banging that hammer and everything but I wanted to point out that like Shemar, Keanu reeves is biracial. His dad was Asian. Everything else you said is spot on though…

      • Candacey Doris

        Then I’ll go with him as Buddha and for a more recent example, Johnny Depp as Tonto.

        • Johnny Depp has Creek and Cherokee Indian roots. Who do you want to play Tonto? Wes Studi?

          • Candacey Doris

            When it came to his possible native american roots he said he thought that he was partially native American roots. Maybe. And I would have been satisfied with an actual native american/inuit person. They’re still here you know.

          • ShinjisSecret

            No one sees Johnny Depp as Native American, they see him as white. I don’t understand why Depp couldn’t play the Lone Ranger and use his star power to get an actual Native American actor to play Tonto. I don’t think too many people under the age of 60 cared about that movie anyway.

            • Ethan Erickson

              i have seen johnny depp as native american since the 80s. the info was out there and he looks it. we knew about keanu too. i am mixed and there success emboldened me,

        • Johnny Depp has Creek and Cherokee Indian roots. Who do you want to play Tonto? Wes Studi?

  • Welp hate to break it to him but he’s a black actor in the eyes of Hollywood. If he’s getting cast it isn’t going to be as a “multi-ethnic” male lead. Its going to say “black” and that’s who’s going to primarily support this movie. Black women in particular. I don’t know who Shemar thinks he’s fooling.

    • Ethan Erickson

      you are living in the past.

  • Rese

    I do not feel the need to pigeon hole and determine what race someone considers themselves. Half black/Half white is exactly that. With that said I agree wholeheartedly with “OSHH” Why do we as black people have to worry about being inclusive when there are many movies made without us and we still support it.

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  • sasha

    Not even true. White people loved fresh prince, sister sister, and any number of all or mostly black shows in the 90s. Studios put a sock in that because they were too popular maybe. Smh, that’s what happens when companies are run by oldsters who fear change

    • Treacle234

      The Cobsy Show & Steve Urkel as well

  • OSHH

    Do white film makers care if other races feel alienated by all white casts???
    I think not, if the story you are telling consists basically of one race why compromise your vision for the sake of marketing??? That is not authentic and an intelligent audience can peep the token folk because they really have rhyme nor reason for being in the project other than being the token.

    • Ce1999

      Yes! Thank you!

    • Guest

      No they don’t. They just make movies. We’re the only race that feels the need to compromise ourselves to appeal to he masses.

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    Ninja you’re black. I agree with you, you’re just as much black as you are white, but at the end of the day when white people see you, they don’t see you as one of them. they see you as one of us. And unfortunately, because of your appearance, as shallow as it is, you will always be labeled just black. Other than that, you comments were dead on. . . .

    • Chas

      As a mixed person I hate hate hate when people say that. I’ve never expected white people to see me as “one of them” but to be decared black because I dont look white has always been insulting to me. Im proud of my black background but being mixed is a part of what makes me…me and i’m proud of that.

      • SexNdaCity

        I totally agree with you Chas. I’m not mixed, but I’ve always believed that those who are mixed have every right to define how they see themselves and to proudly claim both or all backgrounds they have. I’ve always hated when people tell those mixed with black that they should only see themselves as black. It doesn’t matter how whites see a person. That’s like allowing them to dictate who that person is. All that matters is how that individual person views themselves.

      • Ms_Sunshine9898

        Then you are sadly out of touch. No one disputes the way he is or how he sees himself. But regardless of what he is, we are talking about how he will be seen in the entertainment industry. Let me clarify my previous response. For the purpose of filming and casting, he is black, irregardless of how he identifies himself. That’s a fact that unfortunately for your feelings is a way of life. . .

        • anonymouse

          they just don’t seem to understand the difference between race and ethnicity. As far as race goes, they’re Black….whatever ethnicity their White parent is…..they can celebrate that, too.

        • Ethan Erickson

          ms sunshine, mr. moore is trying to do it a new way.
          give him some credit. maybe he knows something you don’t!

          • Ms_Sunshine9898

            oh really? please explain . . .

      • dantae

        White people don’t see you as one of them because you look either mixed or black. You only get the benefits of being white if you look white. Why be proud of being half white when whites will never accept you?

        • ccarter

          What do you mean by “never accept you”? Do you think their white parent doesn’t accept them? Do you think their white side of the family doesn’t accept them? Do you think when they went to school that their white schoolmates didn’t accept them? To sit here and think that being black, white, or any combination of races makes you part of some kind of “club” is plain ignorance. It’s not a secret that people will categorize other people based solely on how they look, but even still, that doesn’t stop most people from accepting who that person is. I’m positive that in Shamar’s case, his white parent, family and friends accept him for WHO he is, not WHAT he is.

        • Ethan Erickson

          dante, it’s not up to you.

    • Mr Good Taste

      Ms. Sunshine9898, apparently Shemar knows something it would behoove u to learn: how YOU view YOURSELF takes precedence over how OTHERS view u. The SOONER u LIVE that, the HAPPIER u’ll be.

      • Ms_Sunshine9898

        Guy, I can scream all day I’m a man with two balls short of a full nutsack. That might be how I identify myself, but as for casting directors and the rest of the world, they still see a woman. Please refer to my previous comment for the purpose of casting and entertainment he will be viewed as a black man. I doubt there are very many white people that know he is biracial. He might as well say he’s Obama twin brother, it wouldn’t make a different to the mainstream (read white people) movie goers. He is what there eyes tell them he is. . .

        • Mr Good Taste

          No, he is what HE tells himself he is.

          • Guest

            He can proclaim to tell himself he’s whatever he wants to be, but I don’t think he should use this as an excuse to place a non-black female as his co-star. Why doesn’t he just be honest and say he doesn’t want a black actress for his movie. His “baby girls” are predominately white and/or Hispanic women. That’s his target audience, not black women, which is why he’s proclaiming himself to be half black and white now. There are LOTS of biracial actors in Hollywood, but he’s the only one that consistently says in EVERY interview that he’s half black and half white. Who is he trying to appeal to by making this claim? Not black women.

          • Ms_Sunshine9898

            Yeah, comprehension and common sense links aren’t clicking for you . .

          • Ms_Sunshine9898

            Yeah, comprehension and common sense links aren’t clicking for you . .