Racial Equality in Hollywood: Among Film Directors

8 Jun

This is the beginning of our six week series on Racial Equality in Hollywood

By Guest Author- Littlebells

In Kathryn Stockett’s novel, The Help, (which will be released in theaters August 12th, 2011) Stockett writes the suffering and hardships of being a “negro” working for white families during the 1960s.[1] Their purpose is to start a movement getting people to see “it ain’t the color of wrapping that count, it’s what we is inside.[2]

In the heart of the south in the 1960s, segregation was in full force and powerful.  Blacks and whites were separated in schools, restaurants, parks, entertainment, hospitals, and libraries.  One could be fined, imprisoned, or both for printing, publishing or circulating printed or typewritten material promoting social equality, cohabitation of non-married interracial persons, or interracial marriage.[3] A group known as CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) led a group black and white men and women on Greyhound buses to travel the Deep South intending to test the Supreme Courts ruling on segregation.[4]  Through their efforts and joined forces with Martin Luther King, Jr., which included marches, sit-ins, and imprisonment, rules prohibiting segregation were overturned.

Civil Rights Influence on Hollywood

Three decades later, do we still look at the outside wrapping, or have we advanced to looking at the soul of a person?  How has Civil Rights affected the film industry and the voice of the black community?  Are there black directors that have had a great influence on society?  Do they feel they need to stay within the boundaries of African American story lines or do they feel free to direct movies of their own choosing?

That is not to say it cannot be done.  We know about directors Spike Lee and Tyler Perry (just to name a few) but there are other directors that seem to have made an impression on the Hollywood scene and even earned the right as “first in their class”: Gordon Parks, John Singleton, and F. Gary Gray and Lee Daniels.[5]

 Gordon Parks

Parks was stillborn in 1912, but a doctor quickly immersed him in ice-cold water shocking his heart into beating. He grew up in Fort Scott, Kansas, and the youngest of 15 children.  He took jobs as a piano player in a bordello, a busboy, a Civilian Conservation Corpsman, a porter, and a waiter.  He became a self-taught freelance photographer and became famous for his photography in Vogue and Life.  His autobiographical novel The Learning Tree won rave reviews.  In 1969 Parks became the first African-American to direct a film for a major studio, Warner Brothers.[6]  He paved the way for future Black filmmakers.

 John Singleton

John was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles in 1968.  He had a very difficult upbringing, and most of his work as director, producer, and screenwriter reflect these early years.  He studied screenwriting at USC and in 1991 Columbia Pictures picked up and produced his script, Boyz n the Hood.  He was the first African-American director to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Director.[7] Singleton is also known for Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and the upcoming Abduction.[8]

 F. Gary Gray

Like Singleton, Gray grew up in South Central and started making music videos.  His directorial debut was Friday, and in 1998 he moved onto blockbuster action movies. [9] Unlike his fellow film directors, he does not have a “first African-American” title under his belt. Yet.  However, he has made success for himself with mainstream Hollywood films such The Negotiator, The Italian Job, and Law Abiding Citizen.[10]

 Lee Daniels

Lee was born in Philadelphia in 1959.  He loved reading and wrote several of his own short stories and poetries.  He went to a small liberal arts school in Missouri but dropped out his junior year due to his frustration with academics.  With $7 in his pocket, he moved to Los Angeles.  It was while running a nursing business, he met a client, who happened to be a producer, which pushed him into pursuing his dream of theater and film. [11] Although not on the list of most influential Black directors, he has made his own mark in Hollywood. Daniels produced 2002’s smash, Monster’s Ball and in 2010 was the first African-American to earn a Best Picture Oscar nomination for the movie, Precious.[12]

Sadly, the Black film producing community in Hollywood is still very small according to a recent 2005 article in Ebony Magazine from The Root.com.  Trying to find a producer who wants to make your film is still extremely difficult.[13]

“The battle for equality is far from over what with ‘the ole Hollywood’ hanging on for dear life, reluctant to relinquish an inch of the turf that it felt White skin is entitled to.  In fact, to this day, there is not a person of color at any Hollywood studio who has the power to green light a movie.

On the other hand, scientific advances have opened up additional avenues of access to the public and the once-all-powerful “gatekeepers” are not so powerful anymore.  Plus, thanks to recent improvements in the field of digital technology, the actual cost of shooting a film has plummeted.”[14)

The Black community has come a long way since the Civil Rights movement.  Hopefully in time, they will be able to break down all the “barriers” and there will be a new age for Black Cinema.

 

  Please join us for a discussion: Thursday  6/09/2011@7pE/12UTC

[2] Stockett, Kathryn. The Help. New York: Penguin Group. 2009. Page 349

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95 Responses to “Racial Equality in Hollywood: Among Film Directors”

  1. Parisienne June 8, 2011 at 9:56 AM #

    LittleBells,

    This article is very informative and well written. Great Job! Within your research for this article, did you find that any of the directors of the present took any lessons from the past or had any past directors as mentors? Do you think that segregation in a sense still exists today in films today and why? Also have you watched Tyler Perry’s biography on the Bio channel? Its well done and should definitely be checked out if you get the chance.

    • Littlebells June 8, 2011 at 10:49 AM #

      Thanks Paris! I had a great time doing the research. Big topic, but well worth it. Here are your answers in order:

      1) I didn’t find any information on these directors having any past directors as mentors, but I will search and see if I missed anything. From what I gathered, these men were always artistic in one form or another and took that to the big screen.

      2) I think it does in a sense. I believe Black actors have more success in Hollywood than directors and producers. We have managed to desegregate our actors and have many Black Oscar winners like Denzel, Halle, Jaime, Forest, and Sydney Poitier. There have been more actors and actresses (best and supporting) nominated than directors. The quote in the article was in Ebony Magazine, written in 2005. I think it is still very true today that there are more White producers and directors in mainstream Hollywood. I wish I could interview “the man” and get his reason for why things are the way they are.

      Oh, and I noticed as I looked at many Black directors cast lists, they do cast more Black actors than White. I’m in no way saying they are doing this on purpose, but that’s what drew me to F. Gary Gray. He has done so many mainstream, multi-racial films. Could it be story lines that determine who is cast? I don’t know. Again, I wish I could interview these men myself.

      3) No I have not! I will see if I can find and record it.

  2. Open Book June 8, 2011 at 1:24 PM #

    Great article LB!

    Color blind casting is something HW has attempted but the consumer has to allow it as well. I mean u are going to have some resistance from some groups but HW has taken some risk in the past. That’s why indie films are so great for people of color right now. Because it allows them to push beyond those stereotypes and move society forward. IMO!

  3. Four String June 8, 2011 at 2:54 PM #

    Wow. That’s so cool about Parks. I would have never known that. Cool factoid.

    • Littlebells June 8, 2011 at 4:01 PM #

      Woohoo!!! You got an Avatar!!!!

      Parks went on to do other great stuff too! Quite the man.

      • Four String June 8, 2011 at 8:34 PM #

        I have an avi (D’arcy from the Smashing Pumpkins) because WordPress let me sign in with my Twitter. 😀

        • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 7:44 PM #

          4 Strings-

          Love the AVI!

  4. Francesa June 8, 2011 at 10:11 PM #

    Very informative article. IMO black producers/directors/actors are few and far between. You seem to see the same actors over and over (Denzel, Jamie, Forest etc). Where are the new young black Hollywood? As for directors it seems if they don’t direct the stereotypical black movies they don’t get to direct. I am very excited for Abduction by John Singleton. The movie does not “fit” the norm. Tyler Perry has come into his own with respects to writing/directing/acting and finances his own movies, almost giving a one finger salute to the system. I have been a very fortunate young woman to have lived all over the world in a short period of time and I find the United States is slower in making changes with respects to racially equality in some areas, this being one of them. I ask is it the studios or the consumer? When they were talking of making the Akira movies the fanboys were freaking out because they were afraid they would “whitewash” it. Is it the same?

    I have recently discovered your board and find it very interesting. I am going to try to be in on the chat tomorrow. Will depend on my work. Alot of long days and short nights.

    • Littlebells June 8, 2011 at 11:16 PM #

      Hi again Francesca!!!! Thank you so much for your comments! *hugs*

      I agree with pretty much everything you said. haha! I do think however that of the 3 areas of HW filmmaking, actors have definitely made a bigger break in the “barrier”.

      I hope you can come tomorrow evening. I know everyone is very busy, but it’s always nice to have another voice. If you can’t but come back later and have any questions about what we have discussed, we always check in and answer.

      Have a great evening!

    • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 7:04 PM #

      Welcome Francesca,

      I hope u can join us tonight.

  5. Littlebells June 8, 2011 at 11:58 PM #

    I wanted to comment that I only concentrated on one group. I realize there are many other directors of different nationalities (Asian, Indian, Hispanic/Latino) but the article would be never ending. I think anyo f these groups could be interchangeable within the article.

    *I have a hard time being consistent with PC terms. If I have offended anyone using the term “Black”, that was not my intention. The different websites and magazines I looked at used this term, so I just stayed with their format.*

  6. comic relief June 9, 2011 at 4:29 PM #

    Don’t ask me how but I have seen the “Italian Job” at least 4 times. I thought “Law Abiding Citizen” was fantastic also. I did not it but I may be a closet F.Gary Grey fan.

    LB thanks for the informative and well-written article.

    • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 6:56 PM #

      You are very welcome. I was surprised to see all the films Gray had done, and very impressed. My husband loves The Italian Job!

      • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 7:01 PM #

        Obviously, great minds think alike.

        • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:13 PM #

          haha! Of course he can never remember the title and has to describe it to people as, “you know the film where they are racing in the little cars in a tunnel and helicopter is chasing them!”

          • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 7:31 PM #

            LOL. As we all know some great minds struggle to communicate because great names are difficult to express.

            (Sorry Mr. Bells; that’s all I got)

  7. Open Book June 9, 2011 at 7:02 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

    Welcome new and returning visitors to our discussion tonight. Please feel free to join in when u like.

    • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:06 PM #

      HI OB! 🙂

      (Hey, before I get back on topic, I think I am going to try and see Super 8 tomorrow!)

      • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 7:19 PM #

        Hi LB!

        U will have to come back and give us your review on Super 8.

    • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 7:07 PM #

      Hi Open Book.

  8. Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:05 PM #

    Francesca got me thinking, and I stumbled upon the following website:

    http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/03/where_are_hollywoods_young_bla.html

    Take a look at the comments as well.

    • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:14 PM #

      Ok, I have to admit I love Donald Glover too. 🙂 (Sorry, I am lost in the abyss of the comments section)

    • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 7:15 PM #

      Thanks for the article.

      I think there are quite a few young African American actors. Other than Anthony Mackie, there’s Columbus Short, Idris Elba (whose incidentally British), and more. The sad thing is few show up in as many movies as I would like to see them in.

      • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 7:16 PM #

        LB,

        I think most casual watchers, think of the directors you brought up at first. Directors who are very theatrical or sometimes controversial types like Spike Lee and Tyler Perry. Why do you think this is?

        • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

          Honestly, the first directors I thought of were Lee and Perry. I honestly didn’t know about the others until researching. Honestly, I think most people are like myself.

          And here’s something that’ might be considered depressing, I’m used to hearing about Black directors based on the type of movie they are directing which usually has a particular stereotype. When I saw what Gray had directed, I said, “No way! That’s awesome!”

          I also think Lee and Perry are also well known because usually when they have a movie coming out, their name is linked into the voice over.

          • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 7:36 PM #

            I never thought about that; you do have a lot more name recognition when you hear the names more often.

            Aren’t directors as a breed seem to be far less known than their actor collaborators.

            Do you belive Directors ultimately seek to be as well known as actors/

            • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:46 PM #

              Yes, directors are far less known. The only time I honestly hear about them is 1) if I am already a fan and follow their work and 2) watch the GG’s or Oscars. I think that’s the norm.

              I would like to think they would like to be as well known. I mean if you are putting out some wonderful material, why shouldn’t you be as popular. It is THEIR vision that has allowed the actors to become famous. Plus more and more of your work gets made.

              There are many well known directors whose names a lot of people know. Ever since Batman The Dark Knight came out I’ve become a huge Nolan fan. I think if Perry can throw his name out their with his films, why not anyone else! 🙂

      • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:18 PM #

        What do you think of their arguments between not writing material for young black actors vs. who is going to make money at the box office?

        • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 7:24 PM #

          I think HW is slow to take risk on things consumers don’t demand more of. IMO!

  9. Open Book June 9, 2011 at 7:17 PM #

    Francesca-

    I completely agree with u that the US is slow to change. IMO I think it’s the consumer not HW. HW likes the color green. So if something makes money u can guarantee there will be twenty things like it. I’m afraid of Akira TBH! I think it will be horrible if they don’t go with an Asian actor. I hear the reason they are considering an alternative because there are no big blockbuster A-list Asian actors. Personally, I don’t think that excuse fly’s because look at Chris Hemsworth who played THOR?

    • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:19 PM #

      OB,

      I was searching for leading Asian actors in HW and it was pretty nil. Very sad and depressing.

      • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 7:29 PM #

        Yeah! It’s sad but nothing will ever change if consumers don’t demand it.

        LB! What do u think of Antoine Fuqua? He’s done some mainstream films.

        http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0298807/

        • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:35 PM #

          Oh, he was a contender on my list!!!! Training Day and Shooter were the only ones I have seen and I had no idea he had directed those! My husband and I have seen Shooter a handful of times.

          Do you think these directors who have made it into mainstream are directing films they WANT or they get asked or both? I don’t know how it works in Hollywood.

          • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 7:39 PM #

            I guess Mr. Bells is an action buff.

            • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:40 PM #

              Oh yeah! Loves Helicopters, guns, and all weapons and because he trains with them, he hates, HATES when the actors are holding things wrong. haha!

              • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 7:43 PM #

                LB

                LOL!! Your Hubby has to join us sometime. Is he a big movie buff like u?

                • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:56 PM #

                  No, but when he likes a movie he liiiiiiiiikes a movie and won’t stop talking about it!

              • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 7:43 PM #

                Don’t mean to go off topic but….

                Please, what’s the worst film he’s slaughtered because of poor weapon holding?

                • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 7:45 PM #

                  Good Q CR!

                  • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 7:46 PM #

                    Thanks, OB. Couldn’t resist.

                • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:47 PM #

                  Let me think about it! I will get back to you….:)

                • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:56 PM #

                  Oh my gosh, list a few films an maybe it will job my memory.

                  • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 8:22 PM #

                    This list comes from a site called “ranker.com.” I believe they all have police in them (yet I am not sure). They are out of the order they were originally printed in. This is the best list I can give because I’m not as much as a police movie enthusiast or critic, I thought your hubby Mr. Bells was…

                    http://www.ranker.com/list/all-police-movies-or-list-of-police-movies/all-genre-movies-lists

                    1. 16 Blocks
                    2. 48 hours
                    3. A Perfect World
                    4. Along Came a Spider
                    5. American Gangster
                    6. Assault on Precinct 13
                    7. Bad Boys
                    8. Bad Lieutenant
                    9. Blue Streak
                    10. Bullitt
                    11. Dark Blue
                    12. Demolition Man
                    13. Hot Fuzz
                    14. Die Hard
                    15. Dirty Harry
                    16. Donnie Brasco
                    17. Dragnet
                    18. Bullet Proof
                    19. Eastern Promises
                    20. Face Off

                    • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 8:43 PM #

                      Great site!

          • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

            That’s a good Q- I think these directors are being very savvy. They go out of their way to not draw attention to themselves so audiences don’t know they are Black. I think this and there willingness to go outside the box like Fuqua, who directed a bunch of commercials before films to demonstrate he could appeal to a diverse group of people.

            • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:01 PM #

              I think it’s great that they have had so much success.

              • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 8:07 PM #

                LB!

                I’m for color blind casting wherever there is an opportunity for it. I think Biopics and historical films like say Roots are off limits. But Superhero films, or things based on fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary action etc… are good for color blind casting.

                • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:11 PM #

                  Me too, as long as they can act and act well! 🙂

                  However, I still see some superheroes (SM, Batman, etc…)staying true to orginal.

                  • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 8:30 PM #

                    ITA! LB!!!

  10. Open Book June 9, 2011 at 7:40 PM #

    So here’s the thing in talking about taking risk. I’m sure u heard some White extremist protested over the director of THOR Kenneth Branaugh selecting British actor Idris Elba to star in the movie? Here is an article about it. What do u think about that? I think KB was not hung up on any of the American racial crap and did not allow them to influence his decision.

    http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=21140

    • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 7:52 PM #

      Thanks OB, I read about that while researching. Now this is just my humble, honest opinion, but I think people need to get a grip. Seriously. Kudos to Branaugh. Unless their is a specific race, I don’t see the problem either.

      Now I wouldn’t say, “Oh go make WFE with a half Asian cast.” No, that wouldn’t work because the book was very specific with characters and it wouldn’t have been realistic to the time and place. I don’t know much about Akira, but from the things I have read and heard about possibly casting white people, I can understand the uproar.

      • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 8:01 PM #

        LB!

        Have u seen the X-Men yet?

        • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:05 PM #

          No,the budget got pretty tight the last few weeks. We’re talking a notch above searching through couches and car seats for spare change. 🙂

          • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 8:22 PM #

            Well it was a good film with great performances by McAvoy & Michael Fassbender who I’m a big fan of also. If u get a chance check him out in Jane Eyre I’m sure it will be out on Netflix soon. Anyway, my big pet peeve with the X-Men is how quickly they got rid of the only black male character Darwin played by actor Edi Gathegi in the film. Also, they had the only black female character Angel working as a stripper. Come on? That is so pathetic. They could have really done better than that. Also, there was a Spanish actor Alex Gonzalez who played Riptide he never had any lines. SMH!!

            • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:27 PM #

              And that is why it is so hard to have an up and coming black actor actress! Why kill them off or give them a sleazy character! *coughstereotypescough*

              (Why have we never had a Black or Asian Bachelor????)

        • Parisienne June 9, 2011 at 8:15 PM #

          Hi Everyone!

          I’ve seen X-Men! It was really good although I have problems with the storyline as usual.

          • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:16 PM #

            HI Paris!!!! 🙂

            • Parisienne June 9, 2011 at 8:16 PM #

              Hi LittleBells!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 8:31 PM #

                Hi Paris,

                Let’s control off-topic slipage yet what were the problems?

                Before the movie you claimed fantasy and actual history weren’t easily complimentary. Did you change your mind or were your feelings confirmed?

          • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 8:27 PM #

            Hi Paris-

            LOL! What problems did u have with the storyline? I have a list of things I found annoying. Mainly all directed toward costume and continuity. LOL!!

    • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 8:01 PM #

      I hope this isn’t going too far off topic but frequently there’s a politician quality to many actors and directors because they frequently have to please so many people. In KB’s case he seemed strong enough to move beyond tradition and attempt to be courageous.

      Elba seems irreplaceable in the role of Heimdall.

      • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 8:02 PM #

        ITA!

      • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:05 PM #

        Very well said.

  11. Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:09 PM #

    In one of the 23434343 articles I read (LOL!), the author was discussing how Asian directors get boxed into their stereotypical movies that they are “good” at–karate, kung fu, and thriller. I know Ang Lee has been successful with mainstream movies (Hello! Crouching Tiger to Brokeback??), but I think there is some truth to what the article said. And that includes all races of directors.

  12. Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:15 PM #

    What about Latino/Latina film directors? Do you think they fair better, worst or the same as Asian and Black filmmakers? And also, what about the role of “producer”?

    • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 8:43 PM #

      When I think of directors like Guillermo del Toro, Pedro Almodovar and Robert Rodriguez, I notice some may do specific Latino subject matter. I think I have noticed Rodriquez doing the most. But some, speaking of Guillermo del Toro barely do that.

      This is a hard question I will pay closer attention in the future.

      Paying attention to the work of producers can be very hard.

      • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:46 PM #

        I need to pay better attention as well.

  13. Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:20 PM #

    CR–this is for you:

    I can’t think of a film specifically, but anytime someone is holding a gun and their finger is on the trigger and they aren’t actively shooting someone–major fail on research. All law enforcement and military are trained to keep their trigger finger aligned parallel with the gun just above the trigger. The reason is if your trigger finger is sitting on said trigger and you get startled, that’s when the accidental shootings occur. NEVER PUT YOUR FINGER ON THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU ARE ACTIVELY FIRING!

    As far as explosives, if you are within 50 feet of range and you aren’t injured in any way or dead, that’s baloney!

    🙂

    • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 8:26 PM #

      Thanks LB,

      I always wondered about the finger on the trigger issue, it’s so easy to accidentally pull even when you are playing video games.

      I think I’m satisfied.

      Thanks so much.

      • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

        haha no problem! Watch out now–you’re eyes are going to be glued on anyone holding a gun and you’ll probably be telling them “You’re doing it wrong!!” LOL!

        • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 8:33 PM #

          Unfortunately, you are completely right.

  14. Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:34 PM #

    Before I forget, I just wanted to make mention that without Civil Rights, these men (and women) would not have been able to give us the films they have. As I was reading through the different states and their “Jim Crow Laws”, I was blown away. You couldn’t even share a TEXTBOOK!

    Despite how much harder it is to make it as a Black actor/producer/director, I hope these young people continue to work hard and bring their visions to the screen.

    • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 8:42 PM #

      Well said LB!

      I have a Q-

      In your research did u find many black female film directors? I know u could not include everything u found but I was just curious as to the ratio of female vs. male film directors.

      • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 8:50 PM #

        I knew Cadillac records had a Black female director..her name was Darnell Martin. Really great movie about the blues, and the best acting performance by Beyonce I’ve ever seen.

      • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:51 PM #

        I was waiting for someone to ask! Yes, there are Black female directors, but not nearly as many as men and not nearly as well known. The only one I actually know is Gina Prince-Blythewood who directed The Secret Life of Bees. I think BFD have an even harder time than their male counter-parts

        • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 8:53 PM #

          So true! Thanks for the info LB!

  15. Open Book June 9, 2011 at 8:49 PM #

    Everyone-

    We have ten more minutes to the discussion. U are welcome to stay and continue asking Q. But if u have any more Q for LB please state them now.

    • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 8:54 PM #

      I’ve never seen or heard Paris this quiet before. It’s so mysterious.

      • Parisienne June 9, 2011 at 8:59 PM #

        Hi CR!

        I apologize I had to slip away for a bit. 🙂

        • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 9:06 PM #

          S’all right. Maybe you’ll answer later…

  16. Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 8:54 PM #

    CR–thanks for that great site, btw!

    • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 8:56 PM #

      Anytime,

      You know I have your back.

  17. Open Book June 9, 2011 at 8:54 PM #

    LB!

    What did u learn the most from writing this article?

    • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 8:57 PM #

      P.S. What inspired u to write about this particular topic?

      • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 9:02 PM #

        Watching Freedom Riders on Oprah and then on PBS.It got me thinking about all the individuals who have made a difference in our society that would have never had the chance had their been no fight for equality. I was very moved by that notion.

    • comic relief June 9, 2011 at 9:04 PM #

      Thanks for the really great article LB. It’s good to hear Hollywood is putting more emphasis on this kind of diversity than anyone would necessarily know.

      See everyone later.

  18. Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 9:00 PM #

    Great question, OB.

    I learned that despite our society appearing to be non-racist, there is still a stigma if you aren’t White. I’m not speaking for all, and it is only my opinion, but there isn’t quite the racial equality I would like to see. I don’t want Asian, Latino, or Black filmmakers being stuck in a stereotype. EVERYONE has something to contribute.

    Thank you again for the opportunity!

    • Open Book June 9, 2011 at 9:03 PM #

      Thank u LB!

      It was a fantastic article and discussion. We are so lucky to have u as a contributor to LIH.

      • Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 9:05 PM #

        🙂

  19. Littlebells June 9, 2011 at 9:06 PM #

    Good night all and thanks for such great conversation! My brain feels fed.:)

  20. Open Book June 9, 2011 at 9:07 PM #

    Everyone-

    Goodnight and thank u for joining us tonight. If u would like to leave a Q or comment after please feel free. We check and try to answer your Q the day after the live discussions as well.

    Take Care!

  21. Francesa June 10, 2011 at 2:16 PM #

    I really wanted to be online with you last night, but work always seems to trump pleasure:( Alot of really good comments and thoughts to ponder. I have been thinking after reading the posts, that actors have come farther along than directors & producers, but again I would like to see more new blood. We are seeing a influx of british and austrailian actors in movies. I do believe it all boils down to the almighty dollar for studios. The public (I hate to say) are just not yet willing to let themselves to entertained by a person of color, outside the stereotypical roles. Controversial directors such as Spike Lee have like Tyler Perry funded alot of his own movies. This is were black producers and directors could help each other out. This would hold true for any non-caucasian race one would guess. Both directors though do not film or associate much with “Studio Hollywood” per se. Perry out of Altanta and Lee out of New York. Does that hold true for other directors as well??

    Will go over more comments later, am very tired and need some shut eye. Hopefully next Tuesday!

    • Littlebells June 10, 2011 at 4:37 PM #

      Hi Francesca!

      You are very right about Lee and Perry producing and funding their own films. It seems to be they are having just as hard a time as the rest trying to get their films out. I will write more later too. 🙂

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