off the cuff

Why Blacks are Losing in Film and Television


So, I am currently hooked on a show called Breaking Bad.  Why? Because it’s brilliant! The writing is outstanding and the premise alone is enough to pique the interest of the average viewer.

For those who don’t know, the lead, played by Bryan Cranston, is a high school chemistry teacher with terminal cancer who decides to secure his family’s financial future by manufacturing high-quality illegal drugs  with one of his former students – Wild! Right?  But, it really got me thinking.  If these were Black characters, the writers, producers, actors, and their families would all presently be under fire.  The NAACP, Al Sharpton, Tyler Perry and a host of others would inundate the media with cries of outrage.  Yet, I haven’t heard one iota about the garbage that is Basketball Wives and all those other bootleg reality shows, that because of the subject matter or location, have mostly Black casts.

The truth is I rarely watch TV, and sadly when I do have a moment to tune in, there is very little quality programming to choose from. The only shows I consider watching are The Game [which is not getting much love from me since its move to BET], Real Housewives of Atlanta [slowly making its way out of my system], old Seinfeld episodes, Millionaire Matchmaker and now, Breaking Bad.  Sadly, only one of these – The Game – is a scripted Black show.

Problem #1:  Black people are so concerned with being portrayed in a bad light that they don’t want to push the envelope in terms of content.    I understand why, but honestly I’d rather a “scripted” show perpetuate negative stereotypes about Blacks rather than something loosely referred to as a “reality” show.  At least it might possibly be judged on its merits without people thinking that that is how Black people actually behave.

Problem #2:  Black television and film usually go to one of two extremes: too hood or too “good.”  I remember the ‘Boyz in the Hood’ era, when most Black movies (Juice, Menace to Society, etc.) were about ghetto life to which I could not relate.  I hated this era as much as I hate the current “feel-good” era we happen to be in now.  I don’t want to “feel-good” ALL the time. Sometimes, I want to watch something that elicits conversation, makes me think, or even makes me slightly uncomfortable.

Therefore, I write a second plea to the powers that be to:

1) Create more Black dramas

2) Be original and,

3) Stop trying to always teach a lesson.  I am NOT entertained!

I understand that since Black people have historically been portrayed negatively, now that we have the power and the capital to make our own films and create our television shows, we go to great lengths to prove that we are not that way, to our own detriment.

Unfortunately, The Game, which has now perished at the hands of BET, was the last “Great Black Hope” as far as TV shows are concerned, and I think it’s safe to say that a Black show equally as sinister and thought-provoking as Breaking Bad will never be.  We are type-casting ourselves – popular media is no longer the blame.  I don’t  want to see a tired version of The Cosby Show [Reed Between the Lines – which unimaginatively casts a Cosby Show cast member in the lead role], but I also don’t want to see Tiny & Toya.  On the ghettometer (pronounced get-ah-mit-er), can we meet somewhere in the middle?  Bring the DRAMA!

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Discussion

18 thoughts on “Why Blacks are Losing in Film and Television

  1. TT:

    First, this is an excellent article, the two problems you listed are spot on, and it reminds me of the following Viola Davis quote.

    “The thing about the African-American community compared with the white community is, we are more concerned with image and message than execution. I don’t play roles that are necessarily attractive or portray a positive image. They are well-rounded characters. When you squelch excellence to put out a message it’s like passing the baton and seeing it drop.”

    Regarding the pleas to the powers that be, the first one presents a significant problem unless the cast has intricate characters of another ethnicity. As of the latest demographics that we have on moviegoers, Blacks only make up 15% of the movie going audience in the US (another key factor is that Black films don’t secure nearly the number of overseas buyers as White films). Before anyone says it, I agree that the lack of Black films does have a little something to do with that. Also, someone reading your blog may say “but there are not many theatres in Black areas” and before they do so, I am well aware of that and agree with you as well (there are some valid reasons for this and I could explain in detail should the need to do so arise). Further, next to documentaries, dramas are probably the toughest genre to get financed (given that it is does not fit the thriller category as well). The King’s Speech is a great film and is probably in the top 3 over the past 10 years and it took them over 6 years to secure financing. As audiences become less and less film literate, and are more entertained with flash and not substance, the financial returns on dramas are shrinking unless you hit the nail directly on the head and award nominations follow. That being said, there is a way to increase the chances of a Black drama being made and it begins with strongly analyzing the dramas of the past that have had the most impact. This is not for the purpose of copying anyone but identifying all of the things that made each of these films stand out, seeing which elements apply to one’s original (Your #2 plea) screenplay idea, and being creative about incorporating them. At the end of all this, is the need for writers to develop amazing screenplays that tell a story is such a way that it jumps so far off the page that those who one wishes to have finance the project cannot refuse.

    I agree that a lesson doesn’t always need to be taught and am tired of hearing some Black people respond to the fact that a Black film was terrible (bad writing, bad acting, and/or bad directing) with “it had a good message”.

    As always, I have to express my appreciation for your writing and the fact that you are knowledgeable and paying attention.

    Mark

    Posted by Mark | February 25, 2012, 3:44 PM
    • @Mark – Love that Viola Davis quote and it’s so true and echoes my sentiments completely on this topic. Thanks for sharing.

      While, in the past, we did not always go out to the movies in droves to support Black films, Tyler Perry has created a brand that has drawn Blacks who normally don’t frequent the theaters (older Black women) out to consistently support his films. Also, Tyler Perry has attempted “the dram” several times. I enjoyed “Why Did I Get Married?” but still some element was missing. Maybe a combination of sub-par writing and acting…I can’t quite put my finger on it.

      Films like Ray, What’s Love Got To Do With It, and The Temptations were very well done, but I always think it’s because they were based on the life of others, which is not completely creative in that it’s a story which already exists, and simply relies on the actors in the film to make it great. This is not exactly what I have in mind.

      Posted by 30thoughts | February 28, 2012, 4:38 AM
      • TT:

        While I do not like Perry’s work at all, it is true that he has drawn Blacks out to the theatres. As it relates to “Why Did I Get Married” (the last one of his films I will ever watch), you are right about there being a combination of sub-par writing and acting (I think you were generous by using “sub-par”). As you know I think Perry’s films are terrible and I am not just going hard at him, Michael Bay’s films are actually worse. Take away the special effects and you would have about 15 minutes of story with more holes in it than Swiss Cheese.

        “Depth” may be the missing element which you couldn’t quite put your finger on. I only saw it once (thank God!) and please correct me if I am wrong but I believe there were nine important characters in there. There is no possible way to create depth with so many characters in a film unless some of those 9 important characters played a role in why the remaining characters are the way they are today (parents, etc). You could do so in a television or mini series but not in a two-hour film where the subject matter is only about their current circumstances. However, if their back story was the subject of the film and not their current circumstances, then it would be possible.

        It takes time and skill to create a back story for each character even if moviegoers will never see all of it in the film. A great example of this can be seen in Star Wars Episode 3. Now while I have not seen the other Star Wars films, they did an incredible job of explaining why Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. They did such a great job that some people may have left the theatre wondering if they would have become Darth Vader had they experienced the same set of circumstances (see Wikipedia in case you haven’t seen the film).

        Regarding the films based on the life of others, I also feel that it is a different thing all together. I believe that it helps the actors as well when their is video footage of the actual people or the person is still alive and they can learn from them directly.

        Mark

        Posted by Mark | February 29, 2012, 5:12 AM
  2. You can’t argue with success. Tyler Perry is successful he serves his followers in a manner in which they want to be served. He’s not for everyone.

    However a lot of other shows don’t reach that level of success. I agree with the fact that Black shows really do a lot more preaching than entertaining. No other culture does that. Instead of trying to preach they should just do a really good job entertaining make money and invest in the community if they really want to make a difference.

    Good post.

    Posted by jthebandit | March 3, 2012, 5:21 AM
    • I’m not sure if your comment was directed at me but “worldly success” is easy. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to do well but in doing so, I have left more money than I’ve made on the table because I will not cut corners. I will not take advantage of what people don’t know just because it puts more money in my pocket but I am a man of principle above all else and will never sacrifice my beliefs for worldly success. When it comes to film, a great example of someone who takes their time to make quality films is Christopher Nolan. They spend years working on the script. He could put out two movies per year if he wanted to but they take the art of film making seriously. Of course they could cut corners and simply entertain people but they have principles and it shows in the final product. It is astonishing just how much time and money he and his sound engineers put into ensuring that the sound is flawless (I am speaking from first hand knowledge).

      Again, IF your statement was directed at me, the same argument could be said for McDonald’s and many others. They (McDonald’s) turn out a terrible product (generating revenues in the thousands of billions annually) that people purchase because they like the taste and completely ignore how poor the quality is (not to mention that it is not real food). That may be success to most but not to me.

      Please note that I have no desire to change how you see things related to what success is. We don’t do business together so it doesn’t matter that we have different viewpoints. While I disagree with you, I respect your thoughts and opinions.

      I depart with this. There’s a quote from the great movie Citizen Kane which is quite fitting.

      “There’s no trick to making a lot of money… if all you want to do is make a lot of money.”

      Mark

      Posted by Mark | March 3, 2012, 5:23 PM
      • @Mark – The McDonald’s argument is valid, but it sounds like, again, you are saying that attempting to teach or make a product for the greater good should be the ultimate goal in business, but that is not the case. McDonald’s makes a great product in terms of it being delicious and affordable. I wouldn’t say that McDonald’s is not successful just because what they make is ultimately bad for people to eat. We could make that argument about just about any product on the market. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but the whole premise of the article is that I wish Black entertainers would not be so concerned with the “greater good” and simply make a film that is entertaining, but does not always teach a lesson, make someone feel good or portray everyone, especially Black people, in a positive light. This is, in fact, the problem. No one’s saying Tyler Perry is phenomenal, but he is successful.

        @jthebandit – I agree. Tyler Perry is successful because he gives “his” audience what they want, and they keep coming back for more. Sure, everyone isn’t going to like it, but those that do, make him successful. I also agree that if we are concerned about the greater good, then we should invest money that we make from these projects into the community, not sacrifice artistic integrity just to teach the community the difference between right and wrong, good or bad.

        Posted by 30thoughts | March 4, 2012, 3:44 AM
  3. @TT – I am not saying that the greater good should always be the case in business but good should permeate all that you do and I will explain. All companies should conduct themselves in a manner that is socially responsible. That does not mean that one has to focus their efforts on making the world a better place, however, that includes not doing harm to it. There is nothing great about McDonald’s. The only reason people think it tastes so good is because they have become accustomed to eating fake, and heavily processed foods. If a person eats properly for 2 months, they will eat McDonald’s and will probably vomit, not to mention, be able to feel the negative effect it has on your body. McDonald’s does not have to concentrate their efforts toward saving the world but when they knowingly serve a product which they know is doing irreparable harm to people’s bodies, they are not successful in my eyes. I disagree ‘that anyone could make that argument about just about any product on the market’. There are plenty of lesser known companies that do not cut corners because of the damage it does to people and society as a whole but they do not have the funds to promote themselves like a McDonald’s. Of course fake food which is killing people is affordable and there are many reasons why (which I will refrain from listing because this is not the subject matter of the article).

    I agree that focusing on the greater good isn’t always necessary in film, however, taking advantage of people’s ignorance is not success to me either. Very few people are actually film literate which is why there has been such a drastic decrease in the quality of films being made (they figure “why even try”). There’s a nonchalance toward substance and a love affair with simply being entertained no matter how low the quality. The majority of people making films (TP is by no means the only one) know this and don’t even bother trying. Regarding Christopher Nolan, his movies are not going to make the world a better place but he works hard to put a great product out although he could do a fraction of the work and make even more money.

    Regarding success, it boils down to the fact that I do not see success the same as either yourself or the majority of people in society. As far as I am concerned, success is much deeper than merely seizing an opportunity.

    I believe that wanting ‘Black entertainers to make films which are more entertaining, but does not always teach a lesson’ while at the same time stating that people who go against that mold are successful works against that ever taking place. Why would someone, a hedge fund, etc put their millions on the line to make a Black film that differs from films that the majority of Black people call a success? I’m Black and if I was in the business of personally funding films, I wouldn’t put my money up to do it as much as I would like to see such a film because I do not believe that enough people are “awake” to feel comfortable taking such a risk. What incentive is there to go against the status quo if the person is only in it for the money?

    Mark

    Posted by Mark | March 4, 2012, 5:23 PM
    • Mark,

      When I said you could say that about almost any product on the market, I was serious. You probably should not use food as an example when we’re talking about film. But, what about ice cream? Is that “good” for you? Most of the foods in a grocery store are processed foods that wouldn’t be healthy for anyone to ingest for 2 months. Also, if McDonald’s was selling “fake” food, they would no longer be in business. True, they supplement real meat with meat substitutes, but it is not “fake food.” Hot dogs, donuts, frozen foods (extremely high in preservatives, some higher than a whole meal at McDonald’s), I could name just about anything besides produce that is not “good” for us, and maybe not even produce if it’s not organic because they are often riddled with pesticides. But, people sell it and we eat it. Cigarettes, alcohol, and non-food items could be thrown in there too. I understand your “socially responsible” argument, but I don’t think films need to be socially responsible. Films, much like books, are an artistic expression. Why should I have to be socially responsible about creating fiction? My imagination should not only be restricted to producing writings, literature or films that are socially responsible.

      Also, we shouldn’t get into the definition of success because that’s not the point of the article, and everyone has a different definition of success, but I’m sure the way in which @jthebandit used it referred to Tyler Perry having obtained a fan base and the fact that he has raked in enough dough to purchase his own network, and so on.

      If anything, I want Blacks to make more quality films like a Christopher Nolan. That’s what the whole article is about. I don’t think we disagree there. I simply used Tyler Perry as an example of someone who, like you said, is making films that lack depth, but obviously have some entertainment value. So, Christopher Nolan isn’t being socially responsible, he’s just makes entertaining, artistic, quality films.

      Lastly, I highly doubt that “the majority of Black people” think Tyler Perry’s movies are successful in the sense that they are well done films. I think you are equating success to mean quality here and that’s not what anyone is saying. It is apparent that Perry’s films are sub par. He has not won any mainstream awards for his efforts, so I would venture to say that his peers and the general population think his films suck. But, they are more than welcome not to watch or support his films just like I don’t support the “Jackass” franchises. However, a lot of people do.

      As far as incentives are concerned, someone has to break the cycle. Lee Daniels makes extraordinary, interesting films. After seeing the success of Precious, I’m sure there is incentive to invest in other films he may direct/produce. But, he can’t be the only one.

      Posted by 30thoughts | March 4, 2012, 10:52 PM
      • TT:
        I’m almost certain you know the answer to the question of whether or not ice cream is “good” for you. I was not stating that for every type of food, there are companies that produce things that are “good” for you. I don’t shop in the traditional grocery stores for that very reason and everything that I buy is organic (including meat whenever I do purchase it).

        In the case of McDonald’s, if you take a second look at the content of their ingredients you will see that their meat (if you can call it that) consists of much more than meat substitutes. For example, there are two flammable chemicals in their McNuggets which are used in our gasoline. These chemicals are banned from use in McDonald’s in every other country in which they exist except for in the U.S. This is just one example of how they go way beyond “meat” substitutes. Anyway, I digress.

        First, I couldn’t care less about what TP or anyone else for that matter is able to purchase with their money. That means absolutely nothing to me. Second, for the person to say that I cannot argue with success is to assume that I see success in the same manner in which he does. Again, IF that comment was directed towards me, I felt compelled to answer the bell and inform that individual that we do not see success in the same light so one should speak for themselves in that regard because as far as I am concerned, I have a very valid argument against what is considered to be “success” by the masses.

        I agree that we don’t disagree regarding the need for more quality Black films. It is certainly something that I feel strongly about and it does not sit well with me that (as you said in your article) there are not more Black films that forego the “message” and rather focus on telling a great story. I wouldn’t say that either one of us can know whether or not Christopher Nolan is being socially responsible unless he is asked why he doesn’t cut corners. If he were to say that he always desires to give people their money’s worth (in addition to his personal driving forces), I would say that he is being socially responsible because most people work hard for their money and deserve a genuine best effort be given toward making the best film possible given that ticket prices are the same regardless of whether or not the film is great or terrible. It is not like buying a car where you get what you pay for (I am by no means stating that this is always the case be it good or bad).

        I understand what you are saying and can now see that no one here is equating success to mean quality, but as I far I am concerned, I cannot separate the two. It is just one of the foundational principles that shape my mode of operation.

        I see your point about Lee Daniels but if you’re talking about financing and distribution coming by way of the traditional Hollywood film making machine, they will look at “Precious” as more of a fluke unless more Black filmmakers take the same approach as Lee Daniels. When it boils down to it, Hollywood (on the large scale) is really run by approximately 75 people and they do things by “the book” (similar to the approach most screenwriters take to writing). They will not see Precious as something that can be replicated for financial gains over and over again. Further, while the film did well, it did not make enough money for the studios and normal film financing hedge funds. They look to make profits of a minimum $100 million in the US alone or it is not worth it for them.

        That being said, I believe in exploring possible solutions. What would help overcome the hurdles set up by this close-knit “Hollywood” system would be a financing arm set up by people passionate about making quality Black films even if there is no particular message at all behind the film other than great storytelling. I believe the financing arm would also need to possess the financial means to self-distribute these films. This is possible but it would take between $350-$500 million to do this right when factoring in the costs of both distributing (which is the most costly aspect of the process) and producing the films. The next key piece of the puzzle would be Black people going to see these movies in droves.

        Posted by Mark | March 5, 2012, 2:49 PM
      • Again, that’s why I feel an argument about food and social responsibility does not belong here. And, maybe that’s the problem – Black people thinking or feeling as though they have to be socially responsible when it comes to the arts. I wouldn’t view any filmmaker as being socially responsible simply because they make quality films. That’s just possessing a good work ethic.

        I am not talking about financing and distribution, only content, and the fact that Lee Daniels typically does drama. I don’t want another Precious per se, just dramas that don’t have the same predictable storylines. That’s all I’m saying. Besides, independent films are often the ones that take home awards because they are focused on quality rather than how much money the film will ultimately rake in. So, the inability to secure financing doesn’t appear to be the problem with why Black films aren’t being made. There are enough Black people in Hollywood with enough money to finance films with their own money. For example, Oprah financing “The Great Debaters,” which was a great film, but again was based on a true story.

        How will we know what Black people are willing to support unless we make the films? Also, I think that’s part of the problem, trying to make films that Black people will go see. We should not only be targeting Black audiences. These “quality films” should be appealing to ALL audiences just as films and television shows with all, or predominantly white casts, such as Breaking Bad, appeal to ALL audiences.

        Posted by 30thoughts | March 5, 2012, 10:11 PM
  4. The reason social responsibility became a part of the argument is because the individual brought success into the argument which had nothing to do with your original article. Maybe you should advise your readers to stick to the subject when they reply to another person’s comment.

    I can assure you that money does still play a part in the why Black films aren’t being made. If you notice that the independent films feature actors and actresses that have international appeal. The producers operate under the assumption that even if they do not make a killing in the US, the accolades will help increase the price paid by foreign film distributors. You will see evidence of this very fact if you attend the American Film Market in October and November of this year in Santa Monica. You mentioned Oprah financing “The Great Debaters” but how many Black films has she produced since then?

    I agree that there’s no way of knowing what Black people are willing to support unless we make the films, however, the statistics do not support regularly (2-3 annually) producing Black films as a viable business model. The individuals will have to be driven by passion or a personal relationship with filmmakers and be willing to lose money. When it comes to using private money to finance films, most investors expect to lose money but will disregard that if their passionate about the story, have a personal relationship with those making the film, or want to open a door for a family member. I do not believe that any show with a predominantly White cast can be used as a parallel with a film or show with a predominantly Black cast. People regardless of race, watch films and shows that are predominantly White but will not do so when the show consists of mostly people of another race. A great example of this is how the Black couple in the film “Couple’s Retreat” were removed from all of the film’s posters in Europe because they knew less people would go see the film if they knew Black people were in it.

    Posted by Mark | March 6, 2012, 1:59 AM
    • Mark,

      Again, the way in which he used the term “success” was not to suggest quality, or to define the subjective meaning of success to others. The term was used loosely to refer to his ability to generate a following and bring in money in the process. I don’t want to get stuck on that because that is not what the article was about, success.

      Of course, money plays a part, but independent films often require less money to make, so that’s why I mentioned them. The mere definition of an independent film is simply, “a film produced mostly, or completely outside of the major film studio system,” so why would it matter whether they have international appeal or not? Independent films can be made by Blacks who have the money and the willingness to invest in them. I used Oprah as an example that financing can be secured by individual investors, not to say that she’s some sort of martyr because she produced a good Black film.

      I believe predominantly or wholly Black casts could make for a great show or film that is viewed by people of diverse backgrounds. We just can’t keep throwing actors, rappers, and singers on the screen just because they look good, and we need more intricate plots and storylines. Another person who produces his own films is Chris Rock. I actually thought, “I Think I Love My Wife,” had mainstream appeal, but maybe if it were a bigger actor other than Chris Rock playing the lead, it would have been more successful at the box office, but I thought it was well done. I think the lead actors must have mainstream appeal also. For instance, if Oprah played in any film, it would do well simply because she’s in it. Also, Halle Berry isn’t that great of an actress, but she also has crossover appeal.

      You said you are looking for solutions, but you haven’t mentioned any, except that Black people need to support Black films, which I think they already do (or else TP wouldn’t be making a killing right now), and the ones that I’ve mentioned, you seem to feel “won’t do.”

      Posted by 30thoughts | March 6, 2012, 3:20 AM
      • I did mention a solution, which is the creation of a financing arm for the production and distribution of films. I am aware that you were speaking of production in particular, however, if a production company puts out funds to produce a film but cannot get distribution they will be stuck. For the sake of this illustration, let’s assume they plan to produce 2-3 quality Black films per year. Using the budget of “Precious” as an example ($10 million), if the production company has to sit on the product while producing more films they will not be around long. A film financing attorney that I know was hired by a production company full-time approximately 7 years ago. This company’s investors put in $400 million and they were out of business 3.5 years later. They focused on producing films regularly rather than allocating some of the funds toward self-distribution and got stuck with the product. My point is that the company focusing on the production of Black films must be able to self-distribute the films in the event that no else (MGM in the case of “Precious) will distribute the film. The reason that I brought up the international distribution is because most domestic distributors will not pick up the tab unless international distribution is secured as well. Precious did pretty good internationally as a result of the accolades that accompanied the film (just over $16 million) but such a company cannot bank on this happening on a regular basis because “The Great Debaters” made $35,149 internationally even with Denzel as the lead.

        Another perk of such a structure would be that this would result in more production funding coming in because one of the big discouraging factors for investors is the fact that although they put their money in first, he who distributes the film is first in line to be paid. I have one more answer which I cannot mention because it is something that we are currently working on but I believe it could be a great thing when all of the logistics are worked out.

        I absolutely agree that the films need more mainstream actors. It is going to take some great material to get such actors to regularly take on such films because the film would have to possess the substance to be seen as an excellent film with Black people in order to keep the actors from being type-cast like one would if the film was merely seen as a “Black film”.

        This is a little out of order but in the case of Oprah and “The Great Debaters”, the film only made $15 million profit. For the sake of illustration, let’s say the profits are taxed at 40%. That leaves $9 million to be paid out between the distributor and Oprah. That’s little incentive to continue playing such a game for people working with billions of dollars.

        Posted by Mark | March 6, 2012, 6:12 AM
      • TT:

        One more thing, I never said that I feel your solution won’t do. While I think you are on to something, their are a few more hurdles that need to be addressed as well.

        Posted by Mark | March 6, 2012, 6:16 AM
  5. “We are type-casting ourselves – popular media is no longer the blame.” I agree with this as I feel (not all but some if not most) Black actresses/actor’s/directors/producers/screenwriters etc.(and hardcore activists) feel like they have something to prove. They feel as though- if they are NOT being portrayed in ONLY the most positive of lights that it’s not okay. But then they complain that there are not enough roles available for ‘black actors’ in Hollywood. Well sweeties… what role would you LIKE to play? What roles are ‘good enough for you’?

    Yes “The Cosby Show” broke the norm in that a black family was portrayed as having a father who was a doctor and a mother a lawyer… But give it up! That’s not the norm in ANY household black, white whatever. We have far more pressing issues to focus on other then not wanting to play a certain part because (Insert whatever issues you have here). I didn’t hear ANYONE complaining when shows like “Martin” (Where no one knew what Tommy did and Cole still ‘lived with his mama’) “Living Single” (Regine and her obsession with wigs and shopping) “Girlfriends” (Did Lynn EVER find a real job?)- was able to come through and allow us to make fun of ourselves better then anyone can. (Those are just some examples but you get the point!) We were happy to just have shows period… now it’s not good enough.

    Yes there are many of us who are Lawyers, Doctors, Cops (not crooked), Nuns, Political figures (again not crooked), Teachers, Nurses- the list goes on. Just as there are those of us who are in fact dealers, users, teenage mothers, dead beats, so hard I can make a baby cry types. Just like with EVERY race/ethnicity.

    Let’s back down on some of this entitlement and push to get more roles in GENERAL and prove how talented we are period instead of focusing on ONLY ‘choosing’ roles that we FEEL we deserve, whether or not we have credentials.

    Posted by lolosofocused | April 16, 2012, 10:12 PM
    • APPLAUSE! You pretty much summed it up! You also bring up a good point about all the other Black shows that were largely successful, like Martin, Living Single and Girlfriends. They displayed a wide variety of characters in poor and prominent positions in life without anyone crying foul. I LOVED Martin because it was hilarious, but also because it showed a different relationship dynamic (a couple “shacking up”) that really didn’t strike a chord with because at the end of the day, Martin and Gina were in love. It also gave a more realistic example of a regular Joe in a regular relationship, who wasn’t afraid to show love for his girl. I miss that show. That’s was one of my faves.

      Posted by 30thoughts | April 16, 2012, 10:34 PM
  6. I totally think that Blacks should have as many films as white. Beside Tyler Perry & Steve Harvey, blacks really don’t get to be in no movies like white. I’m black by the way, & I’m NOT racist! I just think blacks should be talked about, Hollywood’s best movie just like whites.

    Posted by Capice | June 3, 2012, 5:56 AM
  7. That why I watch web series online, good writing, good direction and interesting characters

    Posted by Tashema | April 4, 2013, 11:13 PM

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Today, 30 thought:

Basketball is like that fine chick that's exciting but she's ALWAYS around. You get bored quickly. Football is that chick that gives you just enough, but keeps you wanting more...

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