If we—the audiences who want to see black actresses on screen but are troubled by the premise of The Help and the politics of Hollywood Blockbuster films and Mainstream Bestselling novels which still, in 2011 not 1963 or some other painful past, exclude black screenwriters, directors, actresses, and novelists from the kind of support and marketing that made The Help a juggernaut—if we don’t go to The Help—why the Hollywood machine won’t risk featuring black ladies again, probably for a long time. The systemic repercussions will be our fault, not the writer’s fault. I keep hearing this. If the film fails, if execs don’t greenlight films featuring black ladies after a disappointing showing for The Help, it’ll be because we—the skeptics—didn’t give this movie a chance.
The logic of this is brutal. We are blamed for systemic problems, but those capitalizing on them are just doing…well, good art. Who can blame them for that?
It’s a never-ending cycle of excuses: “We gave you crap. now…why won’t you eat it?”
If someone says some assbackwards shit like this in my face, it’s on. Really?
I’ve heard this about everything from martin Lawrence’s fat suit movies to whatever awful thing Tyler Perry has put out in his violent grandma drag. If the only thing Hollywood is willing to greenlight is demeaning or negative portrayals of black women, what does that tell you about the message Hollywood is committed to sending to viewers including black women? They’re going to sell racist stereotypes whether we go or not.