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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 6)

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  • Debbie Darden Fresno, CA

    Hi Tyler, First, let me say it is always a pleasure to say hello to you and I pray all is well with you. Today, I went to see Red Tails and what a beautiful movie. This movie had me in tears and laughter and a movie that can do that is the best movie. Hands off to Mr. George Lucas.....and the entire cast in this movie. These are the stories of our history that the elementary, middle-school and high schools do not teach to our children. They don't get the opportunity to learn about this history until they get to college and that is very sad. I also, saw the movie Joyful Noise after Red Tails with Queen Latifah and Ms. Dolly Parton and what a joy it was to watch those performers dance and sing the gospel.....that entire cast was Fantastic....LOL... Tyler, to all of you who continue producing movies that demonstrates our everyday lives and the positive change that can come with it when you feel as though you have nothing left....I say Thank you!!!!!! I love you!!!!! God Bless You!!!!!!

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  • Lisa Hedenstrom Senoia, GA

    We saw the movie "Red Tails" today. It was awesome. I do not think a movie should have an all one race cast unless the story warrants it. Diversity is the true key to moving ahead in the world to get us to the place we all want to be. Peace. (Mr. Perry- many of your films are filmed within a few miles of my house!) George Lucas made a great movie.

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  • Denise Davis Detroit, MI.

    Tyler, I am not surprised by your support and positive attitude towards this film! I am however thrilled in your consistent efforts and positive vibrations! As a future actress and film maker myself it is awesome to receive real notifications of what is going on with African American Films and the film industry in Hollywood. I appreciate your hands on approach through your message board. God has prepared you for a time such as this. You never cross waters alone! And if you do there is always care takers and others who crossed them before you, holding towels and waving prophetic banners, who are proud you made it! xoxo I love you immensely Tyler!

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  • diana fielder LaMarque,Texas

    Last night I went to my first Tyler play.Iam 60 yrs. old and it was wonderful. I am your biggest fan .Ihave all 24 of yourcds. the real ones and the first 80 session of house of pain cant find the last 20 session to make 100.Please send me a email so Ican go buy the last one.May GOD BLESS YOU and keep doing GOD'S work. Your fan Grandma Fielder

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  • B Las Vegas

    Don't think the problem was a black and white thing. Anyone who's track record includes The Phantom Menace and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal S**** should never be allowed to make a movie again.

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  • Kennedi North Alabama

    Tyler~ You Sir, are an amazing individual w/ talent to do just what God has called you to do!! Your messages are heard {LOUD / CLEAR}in your comedy.... So grateful for / so very proud to support you!!!!! God Bless!!! And may HE enlarge you territory, but the more... Love, a tremendous fan / Sis

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  • Rusty Nichols Richmond, VA

    Awesome story. You are an awesome human being Mr. Tyler Perry! My wife & I watch all of your movies. You stand for what could be so good in our lives today. Thank you

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  • Wanda Wheaton, IL

    Saw Red Tails yesterday. Thank you for opening my eyes to the plight of "Black Movies". This movie makes you feel alot of emotions. I enjoyed it and plan to see it again.

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  • katuhwa

    I was just on twitter to share a young writer and musician with you when I saw your message to read this post. I am blown away by your words and had no idea that "movies starring an all African American cast are on the verge of becoming extinct." So sad. What's more interesting is that this seems to be problematic internationally. I guess I always took for granted that overseas audiences were more sophisticated and would always support such endeavors. What an eye-opener. And yes I am going to pass this info on to everyone I know and that includes all ethnicities I know!

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  • fee fee dallas

    hi big country. i saw red tails tonight and it was awesome. i loved the movie from start to finish. this was another movie that i wish didn't end. i caught the late show. i saw 1 movies tonight. the other movie is called haywire. i was trying to see sherlock holmes or something but it was sold out so i watched haywire until red tails came on. haywire was a hot mess. i was confused the whole movie. i still don't know what the motive was. i do not recommend that movie for anybody. red tails was excellent! i loved the character LIGHTNING! the love story between him and the woman from italy was so touching. it amazes me that no matter what language you speak, LOVE says it all. they understood each other by listening to their heart. it was a great movie. i give it 2 thumbs up!!! ne-yo did an awesome job. i really hope that you will consider producing movies like that. you don't have to write all of the movies you produce. you can do it. think outside of the box big country. we know your life story and you tell it in so many different ways, but i think that you can produce all kinds of movies. you are a great movie producer. i think you are one of the best. i love you.

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  • Dotty Kennedy Lumpkin Ga.

    I really don't think it is a black white thing, the trouble is your movies are too good for Hollywood. I love your movies and race has nothing to do with it. The dreck Hollywood has been dishing out lately is just plain horrible and I am a theater person with a degree in theater. I do know the difference between a good play or movie and a bad one. There are movies with black actors like Eddie Murphy but most of the movies are just junk, nothing great. So if Holluywood rejects a movie, consider this,most of the movies they have been putting out like Harold and Kumar stink. They are filthy with very little value, and they expect us to buy that! If you've seen one you've seen them all. I look forward to your movies and movies that have substance. I would appreciate a mixed cast with diversity,I believe in movies that are"color blind". We are all in this world together and you have to make this work for every person you need to reach. I know you can be a pioneer in the industry, showing a balanced picture.

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  • Paulette Faulkner Washington, DC

    Mr. Perry the reason other races are so successful is because instead of Producers and Directors looking for the person trying to catch the one break they go after the well known actors. I have been reaching out to you for months and I have yet to even receive an acknowledgement notification stating that you're interested or not interested. My daughter gets more recognition from the white American Director's and Producer's than from her own people. Yes, she's only a year old but a very bright beautiful child nonetheless how about you reaching back to the people that reach out to you and see how things go. Just a thought.

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