Recently, a video featuring a very effeminate Black man putting on a complete performance for a local news crew has not only swept the internet, but has become the most watched YouTube video in a matter of days.
While eventually people of all races were linking the video, sadly it was Black cyberspace that steadily helped pushed this video via our own blogs and websites to national prominence.
The narrative out there tells us that Hollywood is fully of racists who enjoy nothing more than making a buck off of Black foolishness. But after a while, one has to stop and ask “Who is supplying them with this foolishness in the first place?” Well, look no further than the internet.
While the author of this piece states that Hollywood execs aren’t exactly trolling around YouTube to find talent, he later admits that online popularity is what grabs the attention talent scouts in the industry.
There is one person I know of on YouTube who started out simply giving her reviews on makeup tips for Black women. No big deal, right? But eventually her view count blew up and pretty soon she was getting offers from major cosmetic brands to come to New York and demo their products via her YouTube channel. Very low budget operation, but thousands of people tune in to her channel each week to hear what she has to say.
To Hollywood and to any big industry in general, avenues like YouTube and Facebook are great ways to find out what really grabs the attention of consumers. This very moving video below made its rounds through cyberspace recently.
Current view count: 91,221 + 1,544 (reposted video)= 92,765
The video that I referred to earlier–current view count: 3,954,049 views (and that is just on the main video. There are dozens of reposted videos that have generated thousands a views on their own).
So let me ask you. If you are a talent scout and are trying to make big money, which video are you going to check out first?
Sites like worldstarhiphop (which features videos that in many cases would be banned from Youtube due to graphic content), Bossip.com, Mediatakeout.com and others are also great sources of inspiration of Hollywood producers looking to make a buck. Why? Because these are just some of the most trafficked websites in Black cyberspace. They are watering holes showing the entire world what the Black community really likes.
Changing the way Blacks are portrayed in media does not start with stocking a news room full of Black folks placing more Blacks in the director’s chair. It begins with how we portray ourselves and with every click tell the world “We like what we see”.