As we continue to rally around Black-owned businesses, it can be easy to forget that many Black media platforms are in-fact Black-owned businesses. And as Black actors and creatives continue to speak out regarding how they are snubbed and devalued by some white production companies, it’s time that we take a closer look at how we contribute to this cycle as consumers.
Launched in 2014, UMC is an online streaming platform that owns and produces movies and television shows by black creatives for black audiences.
“UMC has a large catalog of African American films, written, directed, and created by people of color,” actress Monica Calhoun told MadameNoire.
The Best Man actress, who is currently starring in her third project to be featured on the platform, Everything But a Man, said she’s “honored that the film has been added to the queue. Everything but a man is funny and lighthearted and serious.”
While the film is rooted in the all-too-familiar “strong independent Black woman who can’t find a good man” narrative, it’s well-made and highly entertaining. Everything But a Man may or may not change your outlook on life or love. You may strongly disagree with some of the perspectives and even find yourself shouting at your television from time to time, but you will be thoroughly entertained from the first 30 seconds to the last. And at the end of the day, isn’t that the point? That interesting Black stories are told from many different perspectives?
“Everything But a Man is about an attorney. She’s an independent strong woman who seems to have it all. Her choices in relationships are sort of her weaker side. In this film, she learns to discover herself and the choices that she’s made. She learns about judging a book by its cover and she learns what sisterhood means,” said Calhoun of the film. “Vanessa is nothing like Mia Morgan in The Best Man. She’s nothing like Nina Thomas in No Regrets. She’s nothing like Diary of a Single Mom’s Ocean Jackson. Vanessa is a single woman who seemingly has it all. She has a private law practice, defending clients who can’t pay for high-priced attorneys. This character is not Ebony from The Players Club, although there are some similarities in terms of her choices, making not-so-good choices. What makes them completely different is that they have completely different lifestyles and backgrounds.”
And speaking of Black stories, I had to ask Monica about her opinion on whispers of a Best Man III and a potential Best Man television series. As you may recall, back in May, Calhoun’s co-star Taye Diggs hinted that the cult-classic could be making its way to the small screen.
“With the characters that everybody has known and come to love and the actors, I think it would be very interesting. There are so many different ways that you can go with doing a television show with The Best Man,” said Calhoun. “It really depends on the time period. There’s a lot of room for the writers and the actors to play. It just really depends on where it would start in a television format. And when I say start, does it start before we met them? When they first entered college. Does it start after college when they all sort of got married and ended their college careers? It depends on where it is. The actors and the characters have their own backstory on who each and every character is. There’s a wealth of space to play around. Do I see a third one? Of course, but that really depends on the writers, the actors, and the producing entity that pieced the film together in the first place. It was successful the first and the second time so I don’t see why there would be an issue with a third.”
As we know, Calhoun’s character Mia Morgan passed away at the end of The Best Man Holiday, but the actress hinted that with the right writing team in place, we may not have seen the last of Mia.
Would you be interested in seeing a Best Man TV series?