A few weeks ago I threw my support behind the movie Red Tails. I take it back.
I’ve never been one who’s afraid to admit when I’m wrong. It doesn’t happen often ;) .... but when it does I step up.
Reading about the classic story blatant Hollywood racism in the case of Red Tails really annoyed the crap out of me.
But I didn’t have the full story about the movie before supporting it.
For one, this movie does not have one black female part in the whole thing. Not a flashback nor a photo keepsake. One of my commenters mentioned it first. Additionally, I read that Jasmine Sullivan (a black girl who rocks) was cut out of the movie before it was released.
Secondly, for some reason the black male writers and directors felt it necessary to throw a fictional side-story in the movie where one of the pilots falls in love with a white Italian female. By many accounts of actual Tuskegee airmen, this type of thing was DEFINITELY not common. At least not common enough to show up in the first feature film documenting their lives.
So after plenty of reflection I had to sit back and say to myself, is there more to this story than what George Lucas spread to the media to promote his film and try to make his money back?
Is it possible that Hollywood financiers decided not to throw their money behind this film because it had an all-black MALE cast with a random interracial storyline that didn’t make much sense?
Who Are They Selling This To?
By far, black women are the main consumers in the black community. The latest stat was that blacks make over $1 trillion in purchases each year and that of that trillion, black women control 85% of all buying power in the black community.
Maybe, just maybe those Hollywood big wigs saw the writing on the wall. They saw that a movie containing all black male characters, particularly ultra-sketchy types like Terrance Howard, zero black females and a random foreign white woman (especially considering that racially charged time period), does not have much of a market in 2012.
Just who is going to the movies to support black films? Who do you think was the largest group supporting this movie in particular?
Yes, it is a major slap in the face to make a film devoid of black female characters and then expect black female dollars to support it.
So I absolutely must join the other smart black female voices out there who basically said "no thanks" to supporting this movie in particular going forward. I apologize for supporting something without getting the whole story.
By not supporting Red Tails, it doesn’t mean that black women don’t support the real Tuskegee airmen. It just means we don’t support the bamboozlement of black women.
If you want to take a dive into the black experience to make a difference in the future Mr. Lucas, just be sure you don’t neglect the 50% of the black community that makes 85 % of the purchases.