All Articles Tagged "racism in hollywood"
Boy, Bye! Director Antoine Fuqua Doesn’t Think Hollywood Is Racist, Says Some Are Just ‘Unqualified To Do The Work’
It feels as if it is every other day that a Black Hollywood actor comes forward telling horrible tales of racist encounters they’ve experienced while working in the industry. Olympus Has Fallen director Antoine Fuqua, however, seems to think that unfair treatment experienced by Black actors is less about color and more about being “unqualified.” He also implies that people who perceive Hollywood as racist are “ignorant” to the culture, and had no qualms about expressing this to The Voice while on a press tour in the U.K.
“I wouldn’t use the term racist, as much as I would say the playing field is not even in Hollywood. But ultimately, you have to put in the work [...] It’s very easy to cry racism when you’re not qualified to do the work or your work isn’t transcending to where you want it to be.
Hollywood is a business and you have to look at it that way [...] I do see other things – like people who don’t understand or are ignorant to our culture. But I wouldn’t call them racist. If anything, it’s our job to expand their minds to our experience
There are no African Americans that run major studios and most of the executives at the top level are not African American. So when the people in those jobs are developing stories, nine times out of 10, their stories won’t be about African Americans – they’ll be about people who look like themselves. To say that those people are racist is not necessarily the case.
99.9 per cent of the people that have given me my opportunities in this business were not African American [...] Denzel [Washington] gave me a great opportunity when we did “Training Day” together, and I also became friends with Mr. Sidney Poitier, who has given me great counsel and advice. But in terms of people in the studio system, most of the people who have given me my jobs were not African American. So I can’t sit back and say Hollywood is racist.”
by Charing Ball
Even before the film The Help opened, folks were already predicting that it would be nominated for an Academy Award. The public hadn’t seen it and didn’t know whether the film, plot or acting was any good. But the running joke for weeks prior to its opening was that the Academy Awards loves seeing Black characters playing maids, drug dealers, pimps and other lowly characters.
That’s why for many, the several nominations the film received including Best Picture, Best Actress (Viola Davis) and two Best Supporting Actress nods for Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain comes as little surprise. It’s been about 73 years since Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Gone With The Wind in which she too played a maid. And after all this time, it certainly seems that our best work in Hollywood always comes by way of cleaning up the mess of white folks.
Nevertheless, we will all be cheering on both Viola Davis, who is not a stranger to Hollywood, and Octavia Spencer, who seems to be on a fairytale ride, for bringing depth and grace to their roles. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that their success with this film is a bit bittersweet. As Kola Boof, feminist and Egyptian-Sudanese-American novelist, noted in a tweet, “I Really *HATE**that Viola Davis will have to sit in the OSCAR audience with the term “The Help” written across her chest all night.” Word.
At first, I was reluctant to go and see The Help because, like Red Tails, I objected to the questionable marketing strategy of the film, which felt it necessary to use images of black domestics to hawk Emeril Lagasse stainless steel cookware. And where have I seen that before? Oh Aunt Jemima and her famous pancakes. But I digress.
After months of folks giving me the same old justification of “that’s true but you should really see it first,” I conceded and sat down to watch the film. Certainly it was quite entertaining watching Minnie hand deliver a special pie to her evil, former boss. However, I was still less fulfilled emotionally with the conclusion of the film. While Skeeter, the aspiring journalist and white protagonist in the story, gets to go on to New York after “heroically” telling the tale of her Black domestics (which was more about shaming her former friends), the domestics themselves, whose stories were exploited for the benefit of the aspiring journalist, are again left to clean up the mess left behind by Ms. Skeeter. I mean, who exactly is this satisfying to?
(NPR) — A shockingly low number of African-Americans thrive in the movie business. Here’s one statistic: Of the 150 highest-grossing films last year, nine of them had black directors. Or try this statistic: Last summer there were two Hollywood movies with a black male star topping the marquee. They were The Karate Kid, played by 12-year-old Jaden Smith, and Lottery Ticket, starring former kid rapper Bow Wow. This wasn’t news to me, but this year, I tried breaking into the business anyway. I’ve co-produced a true-story short movie about a pitcher who threw a no-hitter while tripping on acid. The thing’s gone viral; and it’s something very cool, according to both the Internet and the film-festival circuit. So I’ve begun peddling it around Hollywood. Feedback has boiled down to: Kid, don’t bet on it. The hitch, I’m told, is my protagonist. A black guy. A character who’s not, you know, less. He’s enough for a one-sheet, at least.