So apparently there were a lot of people that were upset with USATODAY, because of a tweet referencing The Best Man Holiday as a “race-themed” film. While the description that USATODAY chose to use in describing “non-mainstream” movies as race-themed might be a little shortsightedness and even a little lazy.
Truth be told, I don’t see what all the hubbub was about. To me the tweet wasn’t racist but more of a backhanded compliment. Instead of saying The Best Man Holiday almost beat Thor 2 at the box office last weekend, USATODAY felt compelled to make note of its majority black cast and the rise of other non-mainstream films.
Rather than call The Best Man Holiday what it is, a romantic comedy USATODAY continued the tradition of labeling any movie with a majority nonwhite cast as the JV team to mainstream Hollywood’s Varsity team. Simply put, USATODAY like Hollywood and other mainstream outlets considers movies like The Best Man Holiday, Love Jones and Brown Sugar as “Black” movies, instead of movies.
For years, Black films have been in a cinematic fight, trying their hardest to be taken serious by the mainstream. Black films aren’t films, they’re Black films. And there’s a magical formula that Black filmmakers haven’t figured out yet. Just like for years the NFL thought that Black quarterbacks were inferior and incapable of leading their respective ball clubs, it seems that Hollywood thinks Black Films and directors aren’t on the same level as mainstream films, thus the extra label.
Now with the exception of Black Nationalism films like Carmen Jones and A Raisin in the Sun as well films like Shaft and Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song that echoed the revolutionary sentiments of the 1970s, there really isn’t much difference between “Black” and “White” films. Sure we may relate to movies like I’m Gonna Git You Sucka more than American Pie, but at least we recognize that they are both comedies while being able to laugh at both.
Now tell me mainstream Hollywood can’t do the same. The majority of the population has no problem in rooting for black athletes, so why can’t they support black films? Hollywood, tries as they might would have you believe that “mainstream” audiences just can’t relate to black films, which is a bunch of bullshit, besides my point about supporting Black athletes kinds of debunks that lie.
Sure, there are inside jokes and certain topics of a Black film that everyone can’t relate to. But the same thing could be said about every other film. And even if I can’t relate to White Collar, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying it. It’s not like our movies are foreign films, where we are speaking a different languages. The same things that go on in mainstream films, happen in Black films, I mean a romantic comedy is a romantic comedy, no matter the color of the actors, right? And isn’t an action film whether the lead is Jason Statham or Terry Crews still an action film? So I don’t know why Hollywood insists on the “were separate but equal” mindset.
So why don’t “mainstream audiences” patronize “Black Films”? Is it because of laziness? Or is it by choice? Do you think there is a difference between “Black films” and mainstream films?
Talk to me, I’ll talk back.