Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Mahogany”

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You’re Dismissed

Many of you know that Berry Gordy directed the film. But that wasn’t always the original plan.  Tony Richardson was the original director. In fact, they had already started shooting. But according to an interview Gordy gave to Jet Magazine,  Robinson was dismissed after a random spectator in Chicago noticed that the dialogue that the actors were delivering wasn’t indicative of proper “Black English.” He called out, “People don’t talk like that in the ghetto.” Since Motown produced the film, Gordy was on set and heard his comment. He decided to make some changes. Starting with the top. He fired the director and took on the project himself to make it more realistic.

Gordy told Jet, “I could better relate to these Black brothers and sisters (than could the white directors) because they talked and acted like I did when I lived in the Detroit ghetto.”

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