All Articles Tagged "Black Hollywood"
Despite the numerous successful black films as of late, it is still hard for black productions to get greenlit in Hollywood, Taye Diggs said in a recent interview with the Associated Press.
According to The Best Man Holiday star, major film studios hold black film projects to an unfair set of standards. Diggs charges that studios will not proceed with black-oriented film productions unless box office numbers are favorable for other similar productions. Other films are not held up to this standard, and it’s particularly unfair to tie one black film to another when they aren’t similar.
Take Diggs’ track record, for example. Guardian Liberty Voice notes the actor was in the 1999 hit The Best Man and the 2013 sequel, The Best Man Holiday, which made about $70 million at the box office and should’ve made the decision to run with another Best Man movie an easy one. This was not the case. Instead of looking at box-office results from the second installment, film studios are comparing it to films in theaters now that are totally unrelated, such as Think Like A Man Too, before agreeing to make a third Best Man installment. The only connection between films like Think Like A Man Too and the Best Man films is that they star black actors.
Diggs, who is now starring in the new TNT series Murder In The First (he talked about that show with Hoda and Kathie Lee on Monday), says that film studios find black films too risky, even though they have proven success.
Logically, black films should be judged on their own, individual merit. But they have also shown they are revenue generating. There were 48 “black films” released theatrically in 2013 (48 out of 669 total films), according to calculations by Indie Wire. The top grossing black film domestically was Lee Daniels’ The Butler at $116 million. In fact, it was the only black film to gross over $100 million last year. “And total box office (domestic) for all 48 black films is around $670 million, or about 6.2 percent of the total 2013 box office for all films ($10.8 billion),” reports Indie Wire.
When Tanya Kersey, the founder of the Hollywood Black Film Festival, posted this on her Facebook page, I was shocked:
“Unfortunately, due to lack of financial sponsorship support, there will not be a 2014 Hollywood Black Film Festival. A full statement is forthcoming in a day or so.”
The HBFF has given opportunity to filmmakers of color seeking to show their work, giving rise to other black film festivals around the nation. Nicknamed “The Black Sundance,” the HBFF debuted in 1998. Each October the four-day celebration of black cinema has attracted the likes of legendary actor Sidney Poitier, Forest Whitaker, director John Singleton, filmmaker Spike Lee, Cedric The Entertainer, Sanaa Lathan, Loretta Devine, among countless others. So to hear that in a year when black is the new green in Hollywood, with the monetary and critical successes of such films such as 12 Years A Slave, to learn that the HBFF could not get financial support, I was dumbfounded. This should be the year when sponsors are pouring in. But Kersey says it is just the opposite.
“HBFF has suffered from lack of mainstream industry support since Day 1,” Kersey added in another FB post. “It is through sheer will, passion, determination, commitment and untold sacrifice that HBFF has been around as long as it has… The studios and networks should support us as they do the other big film festivals. I don’t know about you but I consider HBFF a big and important film festival and I think we are worthy of the same level of support. We’ve screened over 1,000 films from 25 countries!”
Needless to say, Black Hollywood has responded and a “Save HBFF” campaign has sprouted up.
Kersey tells MadameNoire via FB message that she is gladdened by the outpouring of instantaneous grassroots efforts by HBFF fans. “It wasn’t until I announced the cancellation of HBFF 2014 that I really understand the full impact the festival has had on so many lives and careers,” she wrote. “I’ve received hundreds of texts and emails of support with people asking what they can do to help save HBFF. It’s been an emotionally overwhelming show of love and support that has really touched the hearts of the entire HBFF team. As a result, we are spearheading a ‘Save HBFF’ campaign. More details will be forthcoming days.”
We will keep you updated on the “Save HBFF” campaign. We know that it will include a crowdfunding push.
Angela Bassett, Malcolm X
Right before her astonishing work in What’s Love Got to Do with It, Angela Bassett played another famous, real-life woman — Betty Shabazz. Although, Denzel Washington led this amazing biopic, Bassett deserved a Best Supporting Actress nod as well. Tell me you weren’t moved by the final scene where Betty is holding her dying husband? But she was passed over until the following for playing Tina Turner, which she lost to Holly Hunter’s silent performance in The Piano.
Recently we saw how Bethenny Frankel tried to get the best of Omarosa Manigault on her talk show. After losing a $10,000 bet to Manigault when some rude comments on The View were brought to light, they engaged in a quick word exchange where Omarosa had to defend her brand.
Now if you haven’t seen this clip yet you have to be living under a social media rock, but in short Omarosa in her own brassy way explained why the black tax is in full effect in Hollywood. “It’s different for you and I,” she explained on the show. “I am an African American woman. You get to walk around and be mediocre and you still get rewarded with things. We have to be exceptional to get anything in this business.” I’m sure many black women, even outside of Hollywood would agree with this sentiment, but Bethenny’s predominantly white audience found the comments to be in bad taste.
Whether right or wrong, there may be something we can learn from Omarosa regarding building a brand. On the show she made the comment, “I think it’s important to understand you don’t stay on for a decade in reality TV without being smart and creating a brand…” and I could not agree more.
While I was attending Howard University’s MBA program back in 2010, the university decided to bring Omarosa in as an adjunct faculty member. Many students felt that this could be damaging to Howard’s brand, since Omarosa was known for her shady ways and being a self-proclaimed b***h, according to her book The B***h Switch.
I — and many students — decided to make our trepidation know to the faculty, but the university’s administration had its own motives and decided to move forward with the class. In the end I decided that I wanted to see for myself what Omarosa was all about and enrolled in her Global, Corporate and Personal Brand Management course.
With Omarosa as my “professor,” I got a chance to get to know her professionally and personally, and took a look behind the scenes at her brand management. And she was nothing like what I saw on television. It was almost like Omarosa the professor wouldn’t even sit with someone like Omarosa from The Apprentice. She was kind, articulate, patient, and, surprisingly, appeared to be very genuine. She opened up her Rolodex and had some pretty impressive people (no celebrities though) as guest speakers in our weekly classes.
Over the years it has been a challenge seeing how she is portrayed on television and how it directly conflicts with the person I came to enjoy throughout our four-month weekly night class. When I think of that person and the one on television, I’m not sure which is the real Omarosa. But what I do know is each character is deliberate.
Maybe the nice sweet side she shared as a professor is not what would have made for good ratings on The Apprentice and the backstabbing heffa we loved to hate on the reality show would not have made the positive impression on Howard’s faculty that secured her teaching position and gained the respect of her students. Now I have never read her book, and since it has some of the lowest reviews on Amazon I’m sure a lot of you haven’t either. But she definitely knows when to turn it on and off and it has been to the benefit of her career.
Omarosa is right: There are so many reality TV stars that have a moment in the spotlight and suddenly fall into the entertainment abyss, never to be heard from again. But to be a reality star that has actually managed to stay relevant for over 10 years displays smarts and effective brand management. Our brand should not be a mistake or something we stumble upon, whether at work, school, in our writing, on TV or in our relationships. We should be aware of what we want our brand to be and each day work to accentuate those impressions.
Although Omarosa’s brand class wasn’t the most educational. But my lesson wasn’t in the coursework. Rather, it was seeing how she effectively controlled her brand.
Producer Will Packer continues to be a driving force in Hollywood.
Yesterday, it was announced that Packer landed a three-year deal with Universal Pictures. In the new partnership, Packer will develop new projects for the company under his own banner Will Packer Productions. Their first collaboration, Ride Along starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, will roll into theaters on January 17, 2014.
Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langely said, “Will is driven by boundless energy that drives his relationships and permeates his films. We’ve cherished our experiences working with him on Ride Along and cannot wait to collaborate with him on more films in the years to come.”
Packer took to his Twitter account to share his gratitude. “I’m grateful and humbled by all the love I’m receiving today,” he tweeted. “We’ve got a lot more to accomplish but it feels good! Thank you!”
This is big and we congratulate Will Packer on such a huge achievement. You can check out the rest over on ESSENCE.com, including what next for the producer.
If Black Hollywood were high school, these 14 ladies would be the mean girls. They’re the ones who throw shade, talk isht about others, and pop off with the drama at the drop of a hat. Some of these ladies have freely admitted to having a mean streak, while others just display all the signs. Click through to see which ice queens made the list.
While accepting the Essence Fierce and Fearless award earlier this year, Gabby openly admitted to being a mean girl in the past, saying “I lived for the negativity inflicted upon my sister actresses or anyone who I felt whose shine diminished my own. I took joy in people’s pain and I tap-danced on their misery.” Ouch.
On Oprah’s “Next Chapter” special on Black Actresses in Hollywood, Viola Davis said it best when she shared, “We’re in crisis mode as black actresses.” Beautiful, black and talented actresses play our favorite characters on the big screen, with the ability to make us laugh, cry or high-five our sisters in solidarity (think Angela Bassett torching her cheating husband’s things on Waiting To Exhale). Unfortunately, despite the success, fame, and riches, black actresses still face a shortage of opportunities and limited types of roles in Hollywood. If you factor in the competitive nature of this career, it’s amazing we can even say there are thriving black actresses in Hollywood. But when it comes to these women that’s the case. And what’s even more remarkable about these ladies is that they’ve been excelling in the industry for decades. Check out the list.
Viola Davis On Competition In Black Hollywood: ‘If You Throw A Piece Of Cheese In A Room Full Of Rats They’re Going To Claw At Each Other’
It feels as if we’ve been waiting a long time for this kind of discussion to happen on the OWN Network and now, it’s finally here. On Sunday night at 9 pm Oprah will be sitting with Alfre Woodard, Gabrielle Union, Philicia Rashad, and Viola Davis to discuss the internal and external struggles of being Black, female, and an actress.
This conversation proves to be very open and honest as one clip shows Union stating, “I was a mean girl from about 8 years old.” But Viola Davis takes the rawness one step further, discussing the lack of diverse roles for Black women as opposed to the laundry list of options available for Caucasian actresses. She argues the competition is only natural when there are a limited number of roles for African American women.
Check out a sneak peek of Viola’s comments about the rift between black women in Hollywood. What do you think about her suggestion that it’s natural and we are actually in crisis mode in Hollywood?
We all know there’s Hollywood and then there’s black Hollywood. African American stars don’t get the same notoriety as their white counterparts despite their good looks, amazing acting chops and undeniable star power. Sad,right? From heartthrobs to veterans, these 15 thespians deserve the awards and accolades more than any other. Check out this list of black actors and actresses that should be leading in Hollywood.
Nia Long is beautiful. She is also the girl next door with a great deal of sass and sophistication. She lit our fire playing Nina in “Love Jones” and Bird in “Soul Food.” She’s been acting for quite some time and her staying power is phenomenal. Hollywood should take a deeper look.
Tags:Alfre Woodard, Angela Bassett, Back to Black, black actors, black actresses, Black Hollywood, Golden Brooks, Golden Tichina Arnold, Hollywood, Jill Marie Jones, larenz tate, leading african american actors, lela rochon, Maia Campell, Mekhi Phifer, michael beach, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Omar Epps, Persia WhiteGirlfriends, Raven SymoneKhalil Kain, Tatyana Ali, tracee ellis ross
As Hollywood has changed, so have some of our favorite stars. People we used to see all the time sort of disappear on us and we never hear about them again. That’s just the way it seems to go for many stars but we just wanted to take a minute to shout out some of the actors we miss!