Responding to Hollywood director John Singleton’s recent Hollywood Reporter article, which asked, “Can a White Director Make a Great Black Movie?”, R. J. Moeller of Acculturated writes, “Dear Hollywood, It’s Time to Stop Obsessing About Race:”
Not everything Singleton writes is loathsome, and much of his wordy THR piece contains valid and interesting points. But it is the tone of his column that bothers me. It is his overall point – those rich people controlling Hollywood don’t want authentically black movies, so they won’t let black people direct more projects – that warrants a rebuttal.
Hollywood, we are told, is the most progressively liberal place on planet earth. Very few conservatives, Republicans, or knuckle-dragging hayseed Christians from the Bible Belt are in charge in Tinsel Town. Who are these nefarious forces keeping John Singleton and his friends from producing quality entertainment and art? Hollywood can’t simply be listening to Red State, fly-over Americans on this because Hollywood doesn’t listen to Red State, fly-over America on anything anymore. Those days are gone. We, according to Angry Black Director Spike Lee, live in a “post-Barack” era, do we not?
To follow-up on what I wrote last month when Lee Daniels, the director of the eponymously titled Lee Daniels’ The Butler was making similar charges against those who control Hollywood’s purse strings:
But if The Butler’s director wants to insist to the world that the town that went all-in to elect Barack Obama, and made superstars of Will Smith, Bill Cosby, Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, Sidney Poitier, Halle Berry and other black actors and actresses is a hot bed of racism, as veteran screenwriter William Goldman once wrote, have fun storming the castle.
Or as Roger L. Simon writes today in his PJM column, “The race card is a perfect example of this division and why this movement should be extinguished. Anybody who plays the race card in our country today is less than pond scum. It has become the 21st century equivalent of accusing someone of witchcraft in seventeenth century Salem. Anyone who uses the race card should be considered a pariah automatically. It’s almost always projection.”
Though upon further consideration, perhaps Daniels has a point. Until Hollywood solves not just its inherent racism, but stops giving a pass to Communism, totalitarianism, anti-Republicanism, domestic violence, and its hatred of its domestic audience (aka, oikophobia), then I’m prepared to boycott its product as it rolls off the assembly line. I think I’ll start with The Butler…
But this does indicate one drawback to the left controlling Hollywood: Whether it’s those working within the industry, or leftwing media critics at newspapers and showbiz-themed Websites, when the left accuses the film industry of racism, they’re accusing themselves. Once again, have fun storming the castle.
Related: “To paraphrase Mel Brooks: Tragedy is when a woman or person of color feels disrespected or bullied. Comedy is when a white man falls into an open sewer and dies.”