In Hollywood, An Urban Legend Worth A Fact-Check
(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.