So Let’s Recap

Posted: December 6, 2008 in success

Most influential actor in Hollywood according to Forbes?

Denzel Washington

Top earning couple in Hollywood according to Forbes?

Sean Carter and Beyonce Knowles

Now this~

“Oprah Winfrey, chairman of Harpo, has been named the most powerful woman in entertainment on The Hollywood Reporter’s 17th annual Women in Entertainment: Power 100 special issue.”
(more…)

Like I said in this post, “E-mail this to all the folks who say Blacks are reduced to portraying stereotypes in Hollywood…
…and slap ‘em into the 21st century.”

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Comments
  1. avery says:

    yeah, but the “most influential” tag as described there relates more to how a hollywood figure relates to lay people, not necessarily his/her ability to get green lights for their projects. and hov and yonce, i don’t think, really further your argument because they’re not really “hollywood;” yonce, maybe…definitely not hov.

    i think i understand where you’re getting at, but your man for this argument would probably be tyler perry. his stuff ain’t artistic, but he puts Black actors (and presumably crews) to work. it’s still a tough row to hoe for Black folks foolin with major studios and whatnot. i don’t even watch tv, and i know that there aren’t that many Black folks on; most of the ones who are, i don’t wanna see

  2. DarkStar says:

    To piggyback on Avery, when solid Black actors say the same thing, then can it be easily dismissed? I think not.

  3. Duane says:

    Two things-

    There aren’t too many “solid Black actors” whose only option is to play stereotypes.

    For every Black actor who complains about not being able to get a certain part, there are about 100 white actors who are saying the same thing. Same thing applies behind the camera as well.

    Hollywood is a very, VERY tough place to get work, period. The accomplishments of the individuals mentioned above are way more valuable and effective in the industry that what you guys are willing to credit.

  4. DarkStar says:

    There aren’t too many “solid Black actors” whose only option is to play stereotypes.

    Tell that to them.

    The accomplishments of the individuals mentioned above are way more valuable and effective in the industry that what you guys are willing to credit.

    You assume to much about my comment.

    I don’t discount what Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey, or Tyler Perry has done and will continue to do. But I do know that at different times, the three mentioned have said they want to present more than the stereotypes. (Even if Perry does it while presenting the stereotypes as well).

  5. Duane says:

    Tell that to them.

    Don’t have to. Just turn on the television, go to your local theater or familiarize yourself with Blacks on the independent circuit (which btw has become the preferred route for many in the biz regardless of race). Or are we going ignore all of that and continue to refer to the days of Sanford and Son and Blaxploitation?

    You assume to much about my comment.

    Just responded as you wrote it.

    But I do know that at different times, the three mentioned have said they want to present more than the stereotypes.

    Oookay, so about those stereotype roles Will Smith has played….

    Zero!

    About Oprah inability to present more than stereotypes…

    She is a rainmaker in Hollywood where even folks all across the ethnic rainbow are vying for her ability to make them into the next overnight success.

    Tyler Perry has done quite well between his movies and television show without all the stereotypes. He has a huge Black fan base so what you may interpret as stereotype is a depiction that spot on for others.

  6. DarkStar says:

    Laugh…

    OK, but when all 3 have mentioned partly they are doing what they do now to counter the stereotypes, then the comment can’t be cavalierly dismissed, which is my only point.

  7. Nurse2be says:

    Denzel, Oprah, and Will could work in hundreds of positive, enriching, and enlightening films, give out millions in charity, spend countless hours speaking and mentoring and all of that is negated in a 4 minute rap video.

  8. Duane says:

    OK, but when all 3 have mentioned partly they are doing what they do now to counter the stereotypes, then the comment can’t be cavalierly dismissed.

    Again, what stereotypes are they countering? 90’s gangsta videos?

    There is no ying-yang circle to balance here. Just as you have roles out there that stereotype Black folks, the same can be applied to every other ethnic group out there. Yet for some reason we are the only ones who feel that there has to be an exact counter for every “bad” Black role out there. What sells is what sells–period. I don’t like it, but that’s the way it goes. Fortunately, as I eluded to earlier, if one were to take the time and check out the line up of most primetime programing, they will find plenty of Black folks who do not fall into the stereotypes we’re familiar with.

  9. Duane says:

    Nurse2be,

    Sorry, but holding Black folks on such a hopeless scale does more damage than any evil White Hollywood producer.

    Besides, this has more to do with convincing White folks that we are alright–which is in my estimation a much bigger problem. Most Black (and Whites) folks are fully aware that Flava Flav isn’t the sum-all of the Black race, yet some remain obsessed on making that same point over and over again. Hence all the rush to convince the world that Obama is the “right” description of Black folks. Nevermind the fact that we are just as diverse and any other race.

    Re: my last comment.

  10. Nurse2be says:

    Unfortunately, many white people judge ALL black people by their “lowest common denominator”, which is unfair. Are white people judged in the same fashion? Not at all.

    In the 80’s and early 90’s tv shows and movies, many of the black actors portrayed drug dealers and gang members. This was also the time that rap artists began to become a little more hard-core and mainstream. White people, many who had never even talked with a black person, watched Boys in the Hood and heard NWA and got a bit freaked out.

    I was raised in a small, all-white town. I graduated, moved away and traveled quite a bit, and have a very diverse group of friends (my husband is black, my best friend Korean, etc.). When I brought my husband back to my childhood home, a lot of my old friends and neighbors had no idea what they’d encounter. They have told me since then that they expected to see a baggy-pants-wearing, slang-talking, gang-bangin’ guy. Why? That is mostly what they had seen on the TV. This was about 10 years ago, and I know things have changed since then but it takes time to alter people’s perceptions. Many white people who do not interact with black people fall back on their ‘pre-programming’. So when they see the rap video, their old tapes replay (all drug dealers are bad and black, all gang members are bad and black, all rap artists want to kill cops). This kind of explains my comment…..

    I do, however, think many white people are slowly understanding that black people are incredibly diverse and that they have both good and bad members, the same as any other ethnic group. Now my friends are slobbering all over themselves to prove that they are not racist and love the fact that they can claim “I have a black friend!” When my husband comes to town you’d think HE was Denzel. All the liberal guilt comes crashing down on us and he is fawned over. I’ll consider it great progress when they treat him just like they treat me.

    PS–I LOVE messing with white people’s perceptions. I’ll meet someone new and tell them all about my chess-playing, skateboarding children who love archery, basketball, hip-hop music, reading, snowboarding, and rock music. When said white person sees that my children are half black you can almost see their mental re-shifting process.

  11. Nurse2be says:

    OK…I know I went on a tangent. I am procrastinating studying for my Anatomy quiz………….

  12. Peg says:

    Maybe Nurse2be needs some new friends!

    Fortunately, pretty much all of my friends are aware that black folks really can be professors, lawyers, doctors, fund managers, professional bridge players and engineers. They are not expecting them to be chewing on fried chicken and watermelon, with pants half-falling off their rear ends.

    Thank goodness I am part of the international bridge community. We have competitors who are virtually from every nation, every race, every religion …. and these ugly stereotypes fall by the wayside.

  13. Nurse2be says:

    So instead of educating my high school friends and introducing them to my my family and friends I should just cast them aside because they are stereotyping racists? Things will never change with that mentality. Education and exposure are the key to eradicating stereotypes. Compassion and understanding are important, too.

    What I was trying to do is give you a glimpse into a small town in America (10 years ago) and why some people feel the way they do today. Do I agree with their mindsets? No. Hell, I don’t even live there anymore…I go back for a few weeks in the summer, Christmas and Thanksgiving so see the folks.

    I was trying to convey the difference between then (10 years ago) and now. My friends are kind, generous and smart….they are just not exposed to anyone of another race (from a very small, secluded farming community). Therefore, they fell back on images that they saw on TV. Do they do that today? Not nearly as much….. because the images are not what they were.

  14. “Unfortunately, many white people judge ALL black people by their “lowest common denominator”, which is unfair. Are white people judged in the same fashion? Not at all. ”

    I disagree.

    Nurse2be (congrats on that BTW) you say that education and exposure are important, which I couldn’t agree with more. But on one hand you say that you wish that the folks back home would treat your husband just like they treat you, but where it seems that they are trying you are criticizing as them fawning. What happened to education and exposure (and patience)? They’ve known you all your life, and you them. This is where understanding comes in; not just them understanding and learning, but you too.

  15. Nurse2be says:

    Richard,

    Thank you. You are absolutely correct. I suppose I should be grateful that they are embracing him and doing their best to get to know him. I guess my patience and compassion could use some work. 🙂

    I guess it’s frustrating because this is even an issue at all. But it is life, I suppose.

  16. One day hopefully it won’t be an issue!

  17. The EL says:

    Ok I’m joining this conversation late and I am a bit confused here.

    Is your point that the results of these accomplishments menas that Blacks are no longer limited to portraying these roles, or…?

    I personally think that we should shift our focus to other areas that might reflect a real shift:

    1) Academy Award for Best Original screenplay (the one I want to win)
    I am not even sure how many African Americans have been nominated but I am sure that none have ever won.

    2) Major Network Programming Director- Does the name Les Moonves ring a bell? He has the Power to put shows on CBS.

    Changing the images is certainly important and we have certainly seen a shift in stereotypical images in media but in reality its a drop in the bucket . I have a dream that one day we be able to have failures and successes, black themed high brow dramas , black boring ass date night movies, black chick flicks, and my favorite Black horror movies! and no one will even notice.

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