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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 5)

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  • kent eastpointe

    Very good movie,Told it like it was. Hollywood should open there eyes. keep it coming. Tyler you got my vote.

    Reply
  • Tina Phillips Atlanta GA

    Mr. Perry, I would like to ask can you help Texana Hollis, she is the 101 year old Detroit woman evicted from her home. I can not imagine what this poor woman is going through. I wish I had the resources to help her myself, but I am willing to do whatever I can. I would like to start a fund raiser, anything to help her. Can you imagine the wisdom and the stories this woman could share with us all!! It is such a disgrace to live your whole life in a place that you call home and to lose it all at this point in her life. She should be living peacefully in her home not stressed out worrying about a roof over her head. One of her kind neighbors put her up in a room in her house, but I would like to see her back in her own home. Her house is in need of repairs before HUD will let her move back in. Thank you Mr. Perry for your time, may God continue to bless you and your family, respectfully, Tina Phillips, RN

    Reply
  • Samantha South Africa Cape Town

    Hi Tyle Thank you for the inspire story on how to be successful so far I finally got my You Tube Video Up of My Single Replay written by myself and produce by a great producer Ashley Valentine.When you have time please have a look at it here is the link Samantha Meloady- Replay Check this out Peeps

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  • Herndon Davis

    Great film! I also encourage others to look up the director, a brother by the name of Anthony Hemingway. This films has opened the doors for a lot of black folks in Hollywood. Watch my coverage of the film and of Anthony Hemingway, George Lucas and others here:

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  • LatronMarcell Sinking Spring, Pa

    Old problem, right? What's the solution? T. Perry, I know you have what it takes to make a difference... along with the infamous O.

    Reply
  • Chuck CALIFORNIA

    Poor Hollywood, they wouldn't know a good thing if it bit them in the you know what! All they make these days are sequels & remakes. Don't play it safe, NO RISK NO REWARD!!!

    Reply
  • Dotty Kennedy Lumpkin Ga.

    As far as the movie not being supported by Hollywood goes, they are becoming extinct, producing movies with no substance and no redeeming qualities. I believe the independant film makers have it all over Hollywood for producing great movies on low budget. The Sundance Film Festival has the right idea supporting independents and giving them a showcase. It is too bad we can't do the same here in Georgia,especially with theater and films. Hmm an idea in the making..

    Reply
  • Dotty Kennedy Lumpkin Ga.

    I would like you to come to Lumpkin, Georgia and speak at some of the churches here to the young people here about your road to success. Also I think our town would be perfect for your movies. it has a variety of locations from the 18 hundreds to the early 20s architecture that would make excellent back drop for movies. a few movies have actually been made here and the community has been very supportive. I hope you will consider it. I wouldn't mind hosting you and your crew to a fine dinner. either.

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  • Harry@ HG-NETWORK Dunwoody

    I believe that in order for an all black cast to gain that cross-over appeal into the foreign markets the story has to be something that they can relate to. There are HOST of strong black actors who can be as diverse with different roles just as well as anyone. I think the problem stems from the MIND SET of the Hollywood film studio executives who act like they just finished watching "Birth of a Nation" and think thats the way we are today. What they fail to see is that we, like all creation on earth, has evolved. You have to get them to RESET THEIR MIDN SET. I would love to see shows like House of Pain grow over there. Maybe the trick is to perform live over there in those foreign markets via theater.

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  • Harry @ HG-NETWORK Dunwoody

    Tyler, I saw RED TAILS and to me it was amazing. I liked how the director focused the story on how the pilots had such a BIG task to convince the US ARMY that they were more than competent to fight for their country. And it wasn't until the white soldiers saw us in action, that we gained their respect. The High School I went to in Queens, NY was named after Capt. August Martin who was a Tuskeegee Airman. Unfortunately he moved on (passed away) from a plane crash on 7/01/68.

    Reply
  • Vicki St. Louis

    My son & I saw Red Tails yesterday afternoon. I started the cheering as I just loved this movie! My father was a WWII Navy vet, so I make it a point to try & see every WWII movie just to honor his memory. This is a movie that should be seen by every American!!! Thank You George Lucas!

    Reply
  • Tyrrell Baker Silverdale, Wa

    This is how you fix that problem, you Lucas, Spielberg, and Oparh team up together and create a Mega studio, making movies with all one ethnic cast ( japanese, black, filipino, native american and chinese) cover all the ethnicities. Spielberg had that problem with Color Purple, Nominated for 11 academy awards and didn't win One. Who won Out of Africa. Please

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