TikToker Kyla Latrice, aka @kylalatrice, said The Color Purple’s “flopped” box office performance had nothing to do with star Taraji P. Henson discussing her issues with Hollywood during the film’s press tour.
In her Jan. 20 post, Kyla argued that Black viewers never wanted a remake of the 1985 classic first directed by Steven Spielberg. The opinionated TikToker claimed Black audiences were tired of seeing characters that looked like them in “trauma movies.”
Alice Walker’s 1982 novel and the original film included triggering themes of sexual violence, domestic abuse, sexism and Black enslavement. In the 2023 adaptation, Fantasia Barrino-Taylor played Celie, and Henson starred as Shug Avery. Kyla asserted that the film’s harrowing depiction of life for Celie didn’t register with Black viewers craving lighter entertainment.
“Taraji P. Henson said she feels like her comments made The Color Purple flop,” the Black TikToker claimed. “The reason why The Color Purple flopped is because nobody wanted a remake of The Color Purple. Nobody likes ‘trauma movies’ anymore, you understand what I’m saying? — US.”
“Y’all could have taken that money and done something else with it,” Kyla added. “The movie flopped ’cause nobody wanted to see it. We didn’t need a remake of The Color Purple. We didn’t want a remake of The Color Purple. Nobody asked for that.”
Kyla’s video has over 71,000 likes and has garnered more than 487,600 views and 7,200 comments. Many TikTok users agreed with her strong sentiments.
People expressed their exhaustion with Black-led films depicting traumatic experiences. Several online users noted that the choice to turn The Color Purple’s heavy plot into a musical for its 2023 adaptation was especially off-putting.
“Yesss… It’s like remaking Roots…”
“Exactly, and then a musical at that. Like the original was so traumatizing. Why would you add music to it? It never made sense.”
“I refuse to watch anymore trauma, even if it has a stellar cast.”
“Facts!! Didn’t learn from Black Panther. We want heroes, positivity and role models.”
The star-studded cast of 2023’s The Color Purple included Fantasia Barrino-Taylor, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Ciara, Halle Bailey, H.E.R., Deon Cole, Jon Baptiste and more.
The movie adaptation was directed by Blitz Bazawule and produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones.
The film made a record-breaking $18.5 million on Christmas Day when it hit U.S. theaters, according to Collider. The whopping box office bring-in reportedly made the film “the second biggest Christmas Day opening of all time.”
Forbes noted that the film’s numbers significantly dropped on its second and third days, grossing $7 million and $3.8 million, respectively.
The film made over $98.4 million worldwide by Jan. 10 but allegedly took up to $100 million to produce. That said, Collider noted that the film needed to generate around $200 million to “recoup its costs.”
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