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The problem with all-star African American Casts...

Unfortunately, movies starring an all African American cast are on the verge of becoming extinct.  THAT’S RIGHT, EXTINCT! Ask any executive at a Hollywood Studio why, and most of them will tell you one of two things. The first thing they’ll say is that DVD sales have become very soft, so it’s hard for a movie with an all black cast to break-even.  Secondly they’ll say, most movies are now dependent on foreign sales to be successful and most "black" movies don’t sell well in foreign markets.  So what that means is you will begin to see less and less films that star an all black cast.   Isn’t that sad in a 2012 America? Somewhere along the way we still haven’t realized that we are more alike then not.

I must tell you that I have been very fortunate to work with a studio that sees the value in my type of storytelling and filmmaking. As well as having you, an audience of all races of people, who have stood by me arm and arm. It has helped me navigate through some pretty rough waters.

I thought that as black people in Hollywood, this is just our reality, but I quickly realized that this is not racism. What made me realize this is I had a conversation with Mr. Star Wars himself, George Lucas, and he was telling me that he was having the same problem with Red Tails. I was blown away!  Red Tails is an important story about, not just black history, but American history about the Tuskegee Airmen. It has an all-star African American cast, including Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard, which opens this Friday.  He went on to say that he brought the movie idea of Red Tails to several studios and no one wanted to make this film…. AND THIS IS GEORGE LUCAS!  Not to be deterred, he put up his own money, shot the movie then took it back to those same studios, and they wanted nothing to do with it. One of them even refused to see the film, citing the above mentioned problems.  So George decided to take a huge risk by entirely funding the movie and releasing it himself.  What a guy! For him to believe so strongly in this story is amazing.  I think we should pull together and get behind this movie. I really do! Not just African Americans, but all of us.  I have seen the movie and screened it here in Atlanta. I loved it and I think you will too.  The Tuskegee Airmen, who were at the screening, were so happy that somebody is telling a small part of their story.

It opens this Friday. Please take your kids, you will enjoy it and so will they. There is a lot of action and adventure and also a great history lesson to be learned.

George, I just want to say, thank you for having the courage to do this.

Comments (page 10)

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  • Tasha Ky

    How come when someone wants help you dont get it

    Reply
  • Edna Orlando, FL

    Hi Tyler, Thank you for letting us know this valuable information. I truly hope it does not detain you from continuing your pursuit as I thoroughly feel and believe your movies have placed not only value of relationships/for all!! Tyler, I hope you don't feel I'm being rude, but I feel necessary to say that I first saw the Tuskegee Airmen movie in 1995, directed by: Robert Markowitz. a few names Starring : Lawrence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alan Payne, Courtney B. Vance, Andre Braugher, Mekhi Phifer, the list goes on.. I was so so very glad I saw and thought was an amazing story and happy it was told! I really enjoyed the stats at end of film, they were inspiring and more importantly, an eye opener what they did and how they saved millions of lives as they gave there's!! I'm looking forward to the new movie Tuskegee Airmen. I think you are a terrific writer, and truly feel you are a wonderful person inside and out!! Good Luck with all your endeavors and blessing for you and your life!! Thank y0u for the opportunity to express and communicate with you!! Kind Regards,

    Reply
  • qetsiyah United States

    Hi Tyler, it is very true that even in 2012 things are still the way they be...however, not to be perturbed ..this world is in constant change and we all have to sway with it. Fear of change will make ppl band together ..know this..the monopoly in the world of film is changing..and those who would prefer to keep that door close, will implement ways to keep those who they think are not worthy out. So, what do you do with this? you do what you have to, to remain in the game..you employ them just enough to make it work..never forgetting that they would never do the same for you or us. The fear has always been that if the slave gets to much lead way he will become so smart and take over..never forget this..so with that in mind you smize and use the brain God gave you. Love you hon have a bless day..muah <3

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  • Gertie Robinson 2126 W. Roosevelt Rd. #215, Wheaton, Il. 60187

    Dear Tyler, It is a honor and pleasure to communicate with you. I am a 82 year old mother, grandmother and a great-grandmother. I truly admire you for giving the world the natural knowledge of witnessing God's miraculous gifts he has instilled in you. Your plays and shows are wonderful. You have been able to reveal to your audiences many struggles and dreams of all people. I worked for many years in social service and recognized that we have have similar upbringing in various cultural groups. Which has helped me to recognize we were all created equal and that God has placed various gifts in all of us. I was reading your email regarding the Tuskegee Airman. Man is so indifferent and is only interested in like kind. There has been many great Black Americans or African American who were very talent. The movie regarding the Airmen will be successful if the producers will place the movie in God's hand; they will be amazed when God takes over in his time. We must learn that we can do nothing without his help. In regards to Kim Kardashian, her life style and what she has done, or what she plans to do or how she thinks, that is between she and God. Tyler, you are the director and producer and if you want her in one of your productions fine. I know whatever you plan to do you have talked with God about it and whatever you do man will not always be pleased. Be always sure that you please God. I have been wanting to contact your foundation for help for and individual who is very concerned about the young people to day regarding their Educational and Community Needs of all people. The foundation's vision is to Educate and train children, youth, adolescents, young adults, adults and senior citizens. Marty's Educational Services goal is to make our world a better place to live, grow function, and develop a better society through positive, constructive education using a no "non sense " approach to learning. The problem that she having is getting funding. If there is any way that you could provide funding to her or direct her securing funding it would be greatly appreciated. In Esphesians4:29 - 5:2 it tells us to everything in love as Christ did. I am sure that is one example that you have applied to your life. Thank you the opportunity to communicate with you.

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  • jerome york pa

    If it is a good story i don't career what color the actors are . i guess this why mr LUCAS put this movie on the market! thank you

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  • Ron Jones Houston, Tx

    As long as black writers, actors, director, producer etc. keep waiting on HOLLYWOOD to make them relevant nothing will change. Make your own dayum movies! What black Hollywood doesn't want to admit is that it's really more about being famous and getting rich then it is about the craft or passion that claim they have. Hollywood doesn't have to make any movies with "US" in them if they don't want to! Thats a fact. They DON'T owe it to us. Make your own movies!

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  • Unidimples New York

    Its sad to say, but Im not surprised. Has anyone realized that when it comes to all the shows we may watch on tv , there is always one black male or female amongst an all white cast. Thanks to affirmative action! Im not prejudice, but I dont think we will ever be equal. This is just the way of the world we live in and Im not letting anything or anyone hold me back! Im sill going to strive to get what I want and Im entitled to have and live well! We mustn't give up!

    Reply
  • Veronica E. Hill Dallas, Texas

    The Market Is Being Navigated And Thank God For All Of Us Tyler Perry! God Is So Good And He Is Leading All Of Us In Our Role! We Are Really In This Together And God Bless All Of You! Write To Me! Veronica E. Hill! 1-18-2012!

    Reply
  • JazzyV Monterey

    About Red Tails and the lack of support for producing the film, this is an old familar story Tyler. I know that you know this but there have been periods that I call "blackouts" when roles for African American actors are few and far in between. George must know better too. Like "Roots", it might have been better to s*** it in as a made for TV movie to get a captive audience and the broader viewership it deserves. On that note, I haven't seen any promotion of the movie on television in my area. On the other hand, I have seen the "SMASH" tv movie commercial so many times I could perform it by now. My question for you is, what really has to change for movies such as this to be produced and accepted on their own merit as a great story, with incredible actors and for the historical sigificance? Truth is, we just have not progressed as much as some would like us to believe. The gatekeepers are still at it. Convenient excuses are: it won't sell or appeal to foreign audiences. Absolutelt not true. Where is the proof? I plan to see the movie on Friday at Ray Taliaferro's recommendation so word is getting around. Thank you for keeping us informed.

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  • duchess

    My Dear Tyler, I am sorry to say I believe you are right, it doesn't make sense to me. It actually makes me very sad, to think we might never have another voice like Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones or Dennis Haysbert? No I don't think so, this makes me sad too. Some of my favorite actors and writers are and were, indeed black, and yes, my darling man you are in that magnificent crowd. I remember when I was in school, many years ago, I turned 50 in October. For the my first and second grades my school our school was integrated, we had 1 black child in our school, a boy named James. We were the only friends each other had in school, you see I was different too, I'm was a white girl and had a shock of red hair, I know it really isn't the same but I was treated exactly the same as James, as an outsider so we banded together and became thick as thieves. My dad called us the odd couple as he would walk us to school, us holding hands and skipping all the way. As a child I didn't understand why there were no other kids like James in the school, and believe me I asked, my parents explained it but I was what they used to refer to a fresh, I told them that was stupid, cause then I'd have more friends, we were friends until his family moved to another state when we were in the 5th grade. It really was difficult to explain to a 7 year old who's favorite person in the whole world was black, my babysitter. We had a favorite thing, Dark Shadows. I loved her like grandma. When I was 8 she went with us on our trip back east we took her to her home in Alabama, us kids couldn't understand why she didn't come home with us until 3 months later when she stopped talking to us on the phone, our parents told us she had passed away. They couldn't bring themselves to tell us she was sick, we had just lost our great grandfather 6 months before our beloved Carrie passed. When I grew up my mom and I went to see Glory, I was distraught and sobbed, in the theater, why wasn't this taught, an entire pieces of history wasn't taught to us, the same goes for Tuskegee Airmen these men did exactly as all of our men did, with the same honor, they did the job given them during extreme times and they did it well. And it should have made us just as proud and all of our men, it makes me proud. It was men like these valiant aviators and my husbands grandfather who was wounded at the Battle of The Bulge who made this country, a country made of rich and strong fabric, woven and forged in battle and the blood spilled, that same blood runs in all of our veins. There is no difference, if a man is brave and true to what he believes is right. Evil comes in many different colors. In my minds eye there is no color, only what's in the heart and the soul. I adore you and your words, I believe you are one of our most prolific, eloquent and elegant writers, ever.

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  • Angelface gratitude south Africa

    I also don't think when they say foreign countries they reffering to Africa cuz all your movies are so popular here in south Africa and its hard to get them unless we download them. Sad thing about downloading it is that other people turn to make copies and sell them which is not good. Please make a plan to have them sent here and get to our cinema in time.

    Reply
  • Jackson Mugo Nairobi Kenya

    It is sad that by know, films should certainly be about the story. I guess Africa is not part of The 'Foreign Market'. Of late , when I go to the video store and ask for a black movie, I hardly get any. I can only imagine what the excecutive would say if you asked them to finance a movie with an all African Cast. But despite all all of these, I beleive there is enough market for good movies - period.

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