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Friday
Jan132012

Um So Why Am I Supposed to go See "Red Tails"? Are There Any Black Women in this Movie?

 I STILL haven't seen The Help and have no desire to see it. So the next movie Black folks just HAVE to see or they will NEVER make another Black movie EVER again is Red Tails. Red Tails is apparently being bank rolled by George Lucas to the tune of 68 million dollars give or take a million. It features an array of Black actors.

I haven't seen one freeze frame of a Black woman in any previews. If they are in the movie, its is a highly kept secret. The only woman that is mentioned as semi-main  character is Sofia... and she's Portuguese

I've asked the @Redtailsmovie Twitter account repeatedly with a simple question "Are there any Black women in this movie?" Apparently not. 

Anywhoo, just when I was feeling some kinda way about there being no Black actresses being featured in the movie, they release a super long trailer which has caused the $7 I might have spent on matinee firmly back into my wallet. 

RT Clip from Tambay Obenson on Vimeo.

 

Is it just me or is this DREADFUL? Just. Just. DREADFUL. I'd rather watch a documentary on the Tuskegee Airmen than listen to Terence Howard perform a 14 minute soliloquy. And NO, I don't care about WWI CGI-generated dog fights. Was Denzel Washington busy? 

Over at beyond Black and White there is a discussion about George Lucas dating the incomparable Melody Hobson.  

They link to an interview in USA Today where George Lucas discusses the intention behind making the movie:

"I have only one agenda, and that's for a lot of young people to see this movie," says Lucas, who adds that corporations already have signed on to sponsor screenings at schools. "I think kids who see this, be they black or white, will walk out thinking (the Airmen) were cool." USA Today

Yes! Yes! The Tuskegee Airmen WERE COOL! So why the heck does the movie appear to make them joyless?
Show of hands for those of you who had Grandfathers or Great Uncles who were combat veterans. When they DID talk about war , were you ever BORED?NO! So the fact that this 7 minute trailer nearly put me to sleep demonstrates that you have to WORK to make a war movie look like a snooze fest. 

 I'd rather sit through 14 minutes of Harriet Tubman giving a soliloquy than Terrance Howard. 

So the floor is open, give me a reason to go see this movie other than... if Black folks don't pack the theaters they ain't gone EVER make another movie featuring Black people ever again! Convince me!

Reader Comments (71)

It is a guy type movie in that it is a war movie with lots of shooting, explosions and great dog fighting scenes. But, one reason to support it maybe is because there probably won't be many dysfunctional black characters in this. It won't be a slap stick comedy with Black men dressed in dragged.

It has also been said by George Lucas that this movie is not about victims or victim hood, so in that way it is about over coming the odds and will be uplifting.

The reason I myself am dragging my whole family out to see it is simply . I graduated Tuskegee University, majored in Aerospace Engineering, learn to fly air planes right there and joined the Tuskegee airmen chapter of NAI.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertusk91

Of course there were Black woman that were very much a part of the Tuskegee airmen story and not just the many nurses that worked on the base.

"Mildred Hemmons Carter was largely celebrated as the first black female pilot in the state, and possibly the south."

Link:

http://tuskegee.wsfa.com/news/news/121119-first-female-graduate-tuskegee-civilian-pilot-program-dies-90

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertusk91

I didn't watch the trailer. I'm not the film's targeted audience, nor am I a Howard fan. My husband however, is a war movie Stan and he's all over this movie. He's been talking about it for months. My son likes them as well, he sat through The Bridge Over The River Kwai and nothing happens in that movie until the very end. I assume the excitement in this film is in the dogfights and such, at least that seems typical for the genre. As for black women, now you know if there are black women AND men in a movie that makes it a black movie and white folk won't see it. *shrug*

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoslynholcomb

My husband likes war movies. War movie for him, eye candy for me.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdonnadara

When I saw your post I didn't believe there were no black women, I mean whats a war movie without a love story thrown in?

I checked the IMDB page and I see two, one includes singer Jazmine Sullivan so I am assuming she is only a singer in some night club scene and the other is actress Edwina Findley so maybe there is a story there. That Sofia character got #4 billing on the IMDB page

I listed to George Lucas on Tom Joyner and of course Tom brought up Georges girlfriend, was that supposed to be some kind of selling point to black women with some he love the sistas crap, but we know the shuck and jive game Tom plays.

Check the writing credits and you will know EXACTLY why there are no black women and it has nothing to do with John Ridley

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblkchik

I'm not a Terrance Howard fan but I still plan on going to see this movie. I like action flicks so I am looking forward to all of that. I will also take my son with me. I think it's important for black boys to see this film. My son is into Capt America and Batman. I can't wait for him to see a movie about some real life heroes that look like him.
I think you come down way too hard on everything. You are basing your opinion off of a trailer. You need to give this film a chance. This is why black people have such a hard time in Hollywood because there is no pleasing some of us. Some of us just complain about every single thing that comes out with nothing to base the complaints on.
I think Lucas' heart is in the right place. He's invested a lot of his money in the project.
I'm relieved to see a film about black men coming out of Hollywood that doesn't feature them in drag or acting like buffoons or thugs. Please give this film a chance before you start tearing it down.

Also I had the same opinion as you about The Help until I rented it and actually looked at it. It's a really good movie and Viola Davis did an excellent job. I hope all the grumbling doesn't hurt her Oscar chances.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I'll see it. I love war movies, heck I sat through "Pearl Harbor." If I did that, I can sit through this.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEva

As someone else mentioned, this is a reason to NOT support George Lucas' movie "Red Tails", about the Tuskegee Airmen :

"Every war movie *except* those with black soldiers show the soldiers fighting to come home to their women (of the same race). This is true for every white war movie from the black and white era, to “Saving Private Ryan” and right on down to “The Dirty Dozen.” When it comes to black soldiers, movie makers find ingenious ways of leaving black women out! This trend even touched “A Soldiers Story.”

And now black women, who are once again NOT shown as women worth fighting for, are supposed to bear the burden of supporting “Red Tails.” Otherwise, we risk seeming ungrateful to Hollywood, unsupportive of black male actors, close minded to interracial themes or just plain too ignorant to see period pieces or anything that doesn’t have Tyler Perry’s name on it. But they keep missing the point: Show us some love and we will do the same for you!"

Point well said! I will not be going to see a movie with a fictional WW thrown in to make BW and girls feel bad and again leave us out of the reality of our history.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

The only reason I think you might reconsider seeing this movie is taking a young person who may not be familar with the history of the Black WWII pilots. i.e. What black service members faced in the segragated military. However, I think that can still be done once the movie is released on DVD. I am a navy veteran and after watching the trailer was not intersted because I don't find Terrance Howard nor Cuba Gooding Jr. believable as men of valor. The navy has a term called being "salty" it means you have some grit to you. They didn't seem like the tough as nalis men (and these men were tough as nails) that really existed. I saw what seemed like a group of excited children ready to garner the approval of people who they will never convince they are as good as, and I for one don't think that was the ultimate goal of the orginal pilots. I worked for 2 black admirals and heard first hand accounts from a black Pearl Harbor survivor who told of his experience. He spoke of a time when blacks were only allowed to be stewards and cooks and infantry men, but they never internalized or served just for the validation from whites that they are "as good as". That's the vibe I get from this movie, that being validated as equal in the minds of whites was the ultimate goal of some of the pilots. Speaking with my father a Vietnam Vet drafted in 1968, Mr Gentry(Pearl Harbor Survivor) and the many other black men in the armed services I don't feel this movie represents what it meant to serve for them. I found it a bit pandering to some peoples unconcious beliefs that white validation is needed to constitute success.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim in VA

I saw a commercial for this movie and...meh. I'm not a fan of Terrence Howard, there's no Black women in the main cast, and the list of the other Black actors leaves a lot to be desired: Cuba Gooding Jr., Tristan Wilds, Ne-Yo(?!). Please.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCoCo

From what I understand, the Tuskegee airmen featured in this movie - in real life they were all married to black women. But the movie creator(s) saw it fit to erase every single one of these black wives, and only feature a white female love interest for one of the black male characters.
The movie also completely ignores the fact that there were black female pilots too.

It doesn't matter how 'positive' the movie is in other regards, this is plain disgusting and just shows the contempt that these movie makers have for black women. They expect us to automatically support with our dollars anything that degrades or just plain erases us from reality. It's a joke.

There are black men working in entertainment and sports today who, if they really wanted to have positive portrayals of black men on screen, could get together and finance positive movies. We shouldn't have to wait until a George Lucas and others bankroll a film, allows African American history to be distorted, and then try to guilt black people into supporting said lies and distortion for fear that more black movies won't be made.

If you are going to make a movie - especially about such an important aspect of US history - then do it right.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNia

Ummmm after I read that lady Kola Boof's twitter page HELL NO! I won't be seeing that movie.

oh yeah and %&*^ U Aaron Mcgruder!

And George,what exactly happened for you to make us invisible?Did U shake hands with Aaron/Aryan nation?

Self first.Somebody wake me when someone does a film on how the civil rights movement really started before the march on Washington and MLK's long a%# speeches and consequential stardom.Wait is it consequential or sub sequential?Anyways....

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTruth P.

This question is open to everyone.

How Black women were American fighter pilots during WW2?

Answer: zero

So, it is no shock that Black women will have little on-screen presence in a movie like "Red Tails" that is focused mostly on aerial dogfights. Now, if the movie were focused on the wives and girlfriends of the Tuskegee Airmen, then the criticism of George Lucas would be warranted.

The only thing Lucas is guilty of is being historically accurate.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFred

And anyways who is really checking for Terrance Howard or Cuba Gooding Jr? This is some pure B.S. I just didnt want to see it because of that one guy yelling in the commercials, "take that Mr. Hitler". In my mind even someone as evil as Hitler, because he is ultimately a white man, has to be referred to as "mr" by the Blacks.

This would have been the perfect time to feature some hot to death Black actresses in roles with some range. And to the person who said this is a historical lesson or record if you will regarding the airmen, there is always PBS which has done a feature on the airmen http://www.pbs.org/redtailreborn/ and the old standby... BOOKS!

Supporting movies today is a A. a waste time to not see any positive reflections of yourself and B. to spend money to support somethng you dont really believe in just because everyone thinks you should. Only because you have the same complexion.

Redtails can go fly away, yo.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikey Tandino

I won't be seeing it and I would have preferred it as a documentary that documented all of it. To exclude the black women in their lives is a FAIL. Although I am not a war movie fan at all, I might have enjoyed seeing this movie if it wasn't like all the rest that try to eliminate the importance of black women in integral parts of history. My $10.50 will remain in my pocket.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrulyPC

I don't like war movies, so there is no reason to see this one. I generally prefer a documentary to a movie when watching any type of historical account. Seeing a movie based on historical accounts can pique my curiousity and spur me to research or learn about the event or people being portrayed. Since I already know about the Tuskegee airmen this movie is not on my list.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLMH

Ok Fred, if we are rocking that way, historically all of the Airmen had Black wives, so why oh why is a white women in the role as one of the airmen's girlfriends? Could that role not have been given to a Black woman? Im a little confused by your sudden obtuseness to the issue at hand.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikey Tandino

I found the comment interesting that in white war movies they come home to the white women in their lives, but in Red Tails that whole part of these pilots' lives is gone.

So, even forgetting about the fact that they saw fit not to recognize the work of any black women in the military (somehow, I wouldn't be surprised if that was true of war movies generally), that's an interesting divergence.

My first thought was, "Well, what a great way to make the Airmen seem 'other'." Sort of like Capt. America. They're great, but they don't really have lives.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterquixote

I've been torn about this. On one hand I do want to see the movie because I am very much interested in the story and the airmen themselves. I feel like not going to see the movie would mean making it difficult for future all/mostly Black movies to receive funding.

However, I'm frustrated by the fact that Baby Wipes and Cuba were cast--I dislike both men with a passion, especially the former. I'm even more frustrated by the fact that the only female shown in the trailer for this film is a white woman who is someone's love interest. I haven't seen the movie, so this woman could very well be the love interest of a White pilot. Or, since IR relationships existed even during WWII and there is a Tuskegee airmen currently married to a White woman, she could be the love interest of one of the Black airmen. But really? Why is she the only female shown in the trailer? Right now, I'm leaning on the side of not going.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYoal

Last year, a black woman, named Augusta Chiwy, had gotten knighted for her role in the WWII "Battle of the Bulge". She was a "band of brothers" by dragging the wounded off the battlefield under fire. This woman was a Belgian from the Congo, wearing a U.S. uniform. How many other black women have not yet gotten their due?

http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/local_guide/public_services/education/voices-of-the-bulge-martin-king-and-michael-collins-102611

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKrisT

Yoal the woman is the love interest toward one of the black men pilots even though all the airman were married to black women. That what Kola Boof said on her facebook and Kola already seen the movie she is just trying to warn black women, who were happy for this movie, not to see it. This movie is is just another example of trying to erase black women from history. You can also check on IMDB page too and other than small cameo from Jasmine Sullivan and she is playing the singer not the love interest this film has no black woman love interest.
If I was a black women who cares about her image I would boycott this and advise other black women to do the same.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisha

Mikey Tandino

Ok Fred, if we are rocking that way, historically all of the Airmen had Black wives, so why oh why is a white women in the role as one of the airmen's girlfriends? Could that role not have been given to a Black woman?

I assume you're referring to this scene which appears at 1:37 in the trailer below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mklOM5HHDgA

Frankly, it's unclear if the picture of the White woman belongs to a Tuskegee Airman or a White bomber pilot.

We won't know either way until the movie comes out next week.

So, the scene people say proves how "anti-Black woman" Red Tails is could just as easily prove the opposite.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFred

@fFred: Are you daft? Didn't she just say that people have seen the early screenings of the movie and know for a fact that the love interest is a WW? Come on, quit pretending to be as dumb as most of your comments are. I don't know who or what "Kola Boof" is, but I'm not going by Boof. I read a BM's review of it, and he mentions the IR portion of the movie. It's not about being anti-IR, which I am definitely not. Its about always having it shoved in our faces, and changing history to teach young people to hate BW. And have them not know our history. If you can't figure that out, then you really are an** idiot **

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

This movie was suppose to a set of 3 films, this is actually the middle. The first part would had felt with the airmen at home during training with plenty of black nurses as possible lead characters. The 3rd part would deal with the airmen once they got back from battle. Which would have a lot possible lead roles for the wives the came home to.

If there is further movies which I doubt will happen unless this movie makes tons of money. Then there will be more than enough potential for black female characters.

Of course I would love to see a movie on Bessie Coleman as well!!!

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertusk91

@tusk91

Thanks for telling everyone about Mildred Carter. Her life would make a cool movie.

The next step is for a filmmaker to have a true passion for Carter's story and then use his or her talents to create her biopic no matter the obstacles.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFred

@AJ

Lisha's post was not visible on WAOD when I responded to Mikey's comment. If her post was visible, then I would not have said anything.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFred

rosylnholcomb wrote:

As for black women, now you know if there are black women AND men in a movie that makes it a black movie and white folk won't see it. *shrug*

@Roslyn

You're closer to the truth than you know.

Earlier this week, talk show host Jon Stewart asked George Lucas why he had to personally fund "Red Tails" instead of a studio doing it Here was Lucas's response:

“It's because it's an all black movie. There's no major white roles in it at all. It’s one of the first all black action pictures ever made...

It’s a reasonably expensive movie. Normally black movies, say Tyler Perry movies or something, you know, they’re very low-budget, and, even they won’t release his movies. It goes to the lower, not major distributors. And they do well, but they do a certain amount of money, and they know what that is, and this costs more than those movies make. And they don’t believe there’s any foreign market for it. That’s 60 percent of their profit.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/01/11/george-lucas-hollywood-wouldnt-fund-his-film-about-tuskegee-airmen-du

Naturally, Lucas' comments has cause ripples on the Net:

http://www.google.com/search?q=mrctv+george+lucas+red+tails&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&ie=&oe=#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:en-us%3AIE-Address&source=hp&q=george+lucas+red+tails+hollywood+racism&pbx=1&oq=george+lucas+red+tails+hollywood+racism&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=309832l310793l1l311260l7l6l0l0l0l0l374l2099l3-6l6l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=79a914ef1cf0f6d4&biw=1024&bih=566

Well, this is a twist on the discussion.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFred

@Fred

Progress for a tiny group of Black people does not mean progress for us all. Stop letting fear of White racism make you delusional.

There is NOTHING Black people will every be able to do to get the big studios to consistently crank out movies with Black folks in the lead or in non traditional roles. We could do AVATAR numbers and we'd still be back at square one the next day.

So I'm not interested in the White racism of Hollywood red herring. If Hollywood is so racist, then why on earth would Black people place their images and artistic destiny in the hands of such people.

Instead of begging and pleading with Hollywood to present our images, Black people need to stop prostrating themselves on the ground and build their own theatrical distribution models.

Technologically, making movies is as easy as its ever been. Making money off of your movies is a whole other question.

So I really don't care that George Lucas spent his Star Wars pocket change on this movie. Good for him. It has NOTHING to do with me!

I'm sick and tired of Black people being treated like second class moviegoing citizens. No other group gets marketed to this way. NONE. i went to see Puss in Boots (yes, I like 3D animation) I noticed that my usually all-White movie theater audience has an unusually high number of hispanic families. It didn't dawn on me until I went to the car that they had shown up because of Antonio Banderas and Selma Hyack. i totally missed that small portions of the movie were in Spanish. You don't have to badger and demean an "ethnic" audience to get us to go see a movie.

Stop insulting my intelligence as a moviegoer.

January 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

i have to push back on the assertion that the reason you saw so many latino families was because of antonio banderas and salma hayek. he has been part of the franchise since the sequel and ms. hayek is a new addition. these are extremely popular and lucrative films that many people enjoyed.

as for how latinos are courted so to speak by hollywood, we do not fare any better ( i am black and puerto rican). it is very rare that you see a latino/latina who does not conform to a white idea of what a latino/latina should look like. even on media that is targeted towards us, you rarely see a black latna, which is strange given that one of the largest if not the largest population is in fact in south america and the carribean. and if by chance black latinos/latinas are highlighted they are generally a stereotype. it certainly does not stop with blacks and latinas. very rarely does hollywood ever portray people of color as fully realized, nuanced and complex persons.

we do need to support independent filmmakers of color as they really have been on the front lines telling our stories with a sense of tenderness that is often not seen. "I will follow" from last year was a wonderful example. this year dee rees has put our the amazing "pariah". if you are looking for something to support, i would suggest "pariah" if it is in your area.

January 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrlb08863

As a black woman I'm probably going to see it. I'm a little bothered by the fact that the romantic lead is a white woman. But who knows. Maybe one of the airman did have an affair with a white woman but didn't marry her because it was taboo. Who knows. Besides maybe this part of the movies lasts less than 2 minutes. I'm not going to dismiss an important and NEGLECTED part of history because they chose to focus on the professional lives of black men and not get into their personal lives. Honestly, women, EVEN WHITE WOMEN, their roles in mainstream movies are never fleshed out anyway. So, I'm thankful that George Lucas didn't prop up black women in this movie as the typical supportive girlfriend, wife, or jezabel girlfriend.

I will agree with you Gina, black folks, MORE IMPORTANTLY Black women need to create our OWN movies and stop complaining that white men who OWN hollywood and a few token black men who make moves degrading black women will ever change. At the end of the day, people do what they know, what they are comfortable in.

This is a stretch for George Lucas. He's most definitely out of his comfort zone and I think what he's done and is trying to do, is commendable. 68 million dollars of HIS money is a lot. I don't care how you cut it. Yes, I will see this movie!

January 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMiss thang

"there were black female pilots too"

And that could have been added to the story to make the movie even better.As much as the Tuskegee Airmen faced racism, despite all their hard work,imagine what the black woman pilot had to go through.I think a good addition to the movie, that I know won't be in there, would have been to see the Tuskegee airmen dealing with the racism they faced, all the while having 1 black woman pilot in their midst and allowing the audience to see how she likely had to deal with racism from outsiders and sexism from men within her race.A great ending would be, in spite of their differences,male/female black/white,they gain a respect for each other and band together to defeat the bad guys #just saying.

Anyway I STILL won't be seeing the film.

January 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTruth P.

" Honestly, women, EVEN WHITE WOMEN, their roles in mainstream movies are never fleshed out anyway. "

Oh boy. Here we go. The minute we start talking about Black women and the long history of discrimination we've had in this country, and by the media, here comes somebody with the "oh the poor white womens" spiel.

Give it a break. Your statement proves you're a brainwashed drone. White women have 500 years of great press, and many have happily done everything in their power to make sure Black women had no press, or bad press. Their roles are VERY fleshed out, and quite diverse. Kill it with the "poor white womens".

And even if one of the Airmen was overseas in a relationship with some white woman, why is that their love story gets told to the tune of $68 million dollars, Lucas-style technology, high-def, and blockbuster distribution, while Black woman/Black man or Black woman/other man love stories either are not made, or are only made on the cheapest budgets with the lowest distribution?

Please. Mainstream media in 2012 is shaping up to be a major marketing campaign to our community to say two main things:

non-Black women = love and respect, Black women = rape, jump-off, easy lay, total disrespect. White women, good for love, Black women, only good to "get your rocks". Sad but true, and heavily believed among Black men.

Watch how the Black men react to this! And continue to lord their disdain in our faces, and use this to justify their continual abandonment of Black families and Black women in droves.

And I agree that we need to make our own media, but film technology of this calibre and distribution range is still not available to most Black female filmmakers because of the prohibitive costs. Yes, Ava Duverney is a shining example of how to get it done and make/distribute a movie, but her movies are no technological wonders - they are almost like filming a stage play because they tend to be shot in one location (like a house in "I will follow"), with no expense available for various locations, unique settings, global distribution, heavy graphics, effects, CGI, etc. Those are the budget busters that most Black women cannot afford.

So thus the dependence of some filmmakers on Hollywood, and whatever their agenda is at a particular time.

January 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

I see that some want to put emphasis on the fact that George Lucas spent an estimated 68 million dollars of his own money to make this movie in the hope of getting black people in the seats . So what. I am tired of people using the fact that when someone (especially white people) spend their own money that that somehow solidifies the notion that they are doing something for altruistic purposes especially for we poor black folks. It had very little impact on his billionaire pocket.

He did this movie hoping to make money off of it. And he did it by using the same contrived tactics that Hollywood always employs when it comes to making movies with predominately or all black casts. They make and market these movies to white people in a racist way (to put them in the seats) by demeaning the worth of black people and black people's stories in the process. So I care nothing about making the Hollywood system any more money when they continue to assault and insult my intelligence.

January 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrulyPC

Truth P.'s movie concept: now, that's one I'd pay good money to see.

January 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterquixote

Gina wrote:

Instead of begging and pleading with Hollywood to present our images, Black people need to stop prostrating themselves on the ground and build their own theatrical distribution models.

No argument there as I have said in previous posts. I will go into this further in this post

I'm sick and tired of Black people being treated like second class moviegoing citizens. No other group gets marketed to this way. NONE.

It's not just Black people that Hollywood has offended lately as shown by a couple of examples:

* Christians - Hollywood is a notoriously hostile to the religious, especially Christians. So, it was not too shocking that Hollywood would not fund a little film called "Passion of the Christ" pitched by major star Mel Gibson. Instead of griping how narrow-minded Hollywood was, Gibson used his own money to fund the film, which became a major blockbuster:

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=passionofthechrist.htm

Gibson was clearly just the beginning of a movement since now Christian-owned studios creating films outside Hollywood is now longer unusual. Perhaps best known of these is the church-founded Sherwood Pictures, which produced hits like "Fireproof" and "Courageous":

http://sherwoodpictures.com/

*US Military - Hollywood since the 1960s has been anti-war, but lately they've also have portrayed U.S.soldiers (White, Black, male, female, etc.) as soulless monsters who rape and pillage the defenseless. Instead of whining, filmmakers at Relativity Media decided to tell the accurate story about our men and women in uniform. The studio will release the modern day war film "Act of Valor" next month:

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/hollywoodland/2012/01/09/act-of-valor-production-needs-your-help-to-thank-the-troops/

This is just the tip of the iceberg of people who have turned their anger at Hollywood into viable alternatives to mainstream films.

So, my question is "What's up with Black people?" Sure, there are plenty of Blacks including those on WAOD who say they will produce Black films outside of Hollywood control. However, with rare exceptions like Tyler Perry, Black critics of Hollywood are unwilling to put their MONEY where they mouths are.

Again, I ask "What's up with Black people?"

My mother had the best response: "The easiest thing to do is complain."

January 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFred

The Airmen wives:

http://www.tuskegeeairmenwives.com/

January 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

You know what would be great? If everyone who has a complaint actually watches the movie first. We don't do enough to support each other to tell our own stories and then complain when Hollywood tells them for us.

And you need to do research first. This is actually the second film of a three-part trilogy. The first deals with the soldiers at home and the third deals with how poorly they are treated when they come home. Being that this part is actually in the war, they'd be no historically accurate way to have a plethora of Black women in it as the military was still heavily segregated by race AND gender. White women serving in the U.S. military in the 1940s was rare; Black women, forget about it.

I get that this film would do a lot more for Black people's historical image if there were more Black women in the film but can we at least support this one enough so that maybe we can have more films like these CAN get made in the future. Tyler Perry, Oprah and Spike Lee shouldn't be our only avenues for Black films in 2012.

Peace.

January 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick

Up front, the minute I saw that white woman's picture in the trailer, I BOYCOTTED this movie. I have nothing against IR dating (I've mainly dated IR myself), but to have some spanish chick in the trailer was the bridge to far for me to cross. I was going to see it EVEN THOUGH it looked dreadful and without any plot except for "look at some second rate black actors". I was going to go see it EVEN THOUGH I felt that it was an inferior product. And then the screen flashed to a white woman for the care of international audiences.

What a slap to the face. All of this for international audiences? Or let's be real, white women and minority men audiences. To put it out there that even in the face of racisim and segregation, and before the Civil Rights movement, black men were on the front lines in America... FOR WHITE WOMEN???? WHERE can I buy what Aaron McGruder was smoking? No seriously, who is his main man? In this economy, I'm going to give up $10.50 to watch black men go to war to protect a white woman? In the 40's??? Before rap/rape music came out? BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Hold up. LOL!!!! Had to get that last chuckle out.

Hey George, I'm gonna go watch Haywire, maybe twice. Once for the awesomeness that it looks like it might be with FassyB in the picture, and once more since FassyB is in the picture.

January 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDailyLattes

I saw a commercial for this George Lucas interview/ Red Tails special on OWN. It looks like Lucas' black girlfriend Melody will be on the special. So it definitely looks like they are pulling the look George dates sistas card for marketing. Melody is in finance, what does she have to do w/ the movie? I have never seen Steven Spielberg or Spike Lee use their wives to market a movie.
So there, this is why black women should see the movie, George is down with the swirl.

Why is everyone keep repeating that story of Hollywood discrimination regarding black movies? Black directors and actors have been saying that for years, so since George Lucas repeats it, its gospel now?

And how did the man who created Jar Jar Binks now for racial equity in Hollywood?

PS- I do wanna see the movie on the strength of the story but the marketing is basically trying to guilt black folks into seeing a movie. Even the indie Pariah isn't doing that and if you ask me that movie's success would be more important for black cinema because it showcases the diversity of our experiences.

January 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblkchik

I will not be seeing this movie.

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

My thoughts are that this movie will make just shy of 100 million in the US but, will manage to make well over 200 million total gross with the international sales.

Just as "The Princess and the Frog" manage to Gross: $267,045,765 (Worldwide).

If that works out to be the case then I would bet anything that the prequel and sequel to Redtails will feature Black female actresses in lead roles. One thing George Lucas does is make course corrections when needed to his franchises i.e. the Star Wars movies..

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertusk91

@tusk91: "If that works out to be the case then I would bet anything that the prequel and sequel to Redtails will feature Black female actresses in lead roles. "

I wouldn't bet on that. When has Hollywood listened to Black people, especially Black women on preferences? More importantly we're talking about real history here, and you're comparing it to a "course correction" similar to Star Wars. A movie series, by the way, that had zero-to-no Black women (although at least they had two Black men - Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian and Samuel Jackson as a Jedi knight - mind you no Black women.

And again, the women in Star wars that the heroes fought for, and with, were...wait for it - white. Just like the male heroes. So even though dating IR, Lucas still believes that white women are the only ones worth props on the big screen, and that white men are the only ones who deserve to be shown with them. That's called disrespect. Think about it - look at how many white men date/marry Asian women, but rarely do we see Asian women in movies (unless heavily stereotyped). Disrespect.

Nuff said, aint. gonna. see. it.

I absolutely love the Tuskegee Airmen, but sorry brothers, I'm not going to help Hollywood make millions pushing outright lies and anti-Black woman propaganda to Black youth. It's bad enough out here already for Black women and girl-children.

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

@AJ

You very well could be right but, I will hope that if the other movies are made that there is a course correction that feature the Black woman in these airmen's lives...

In the George Lucas produced documentary "Double Victory" narrated by Cuba Gooding Jr., Mildred Hemmons Carter pilot and wife of Tuskegee Airman Herbert E. Carter was featured a great deal. In that documentary she talked about receiving letters from her husband and not being able to wait until she got home to read them because she was at work. So she had her mother read them to her and said that she could feel her mother blushing over the phone at some of the things he wrote to her. She said she knew her mother was embarrassed to read these letters to her but, that she just couldn't wait until she got home. It literally brought tears to my eyes when she told this story.

There was another story an airmen told of the night he was to leave to go over seas to war. He said he had no wife and no girlfriend but, there was a dance for all of the airmen that he attended. He asked a nurse if she could spend a little time with him for the evening before he left. She did and they spent the night dancing and talking and by the end of the evening she told him she could spend a lifetime with him. He asked her to write him and from what I gathered the spent the war corresponding back and forth with each other.

I admit although this is a War movie taking place during there North African and Italy campaign where there may not have been any Black woman. I can not argue that stories like the ones above that George Lucas featured in his documentary should have in some way played a part in this movie.

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertusk91

You're brainwashed. I doubt many people saw the documentary of which you speak. But millions will see the fiction in the movie Red Tails. Why not showcase the love between those Black men and women oiinstead of hiding it in a not-widely seen documentary? And again, the argument of interracial relations happening during war times is irrelevant here because I'm sure just as many and more IR happened with white soldiers. But guess what? Those are rarely-if-ever put front and center, if they even get shown at all, in hero movies with majority white casts. On the other hand, it's a constant practice to show IR between Black men and non-Blacks in Black hero films, even if the relationship was minor. It's shameful and vil, sorry. That's how I feel about it.

I think it's time Black women take off the blinders and recognize that we have enemies not only outside of the Black community, but deeply entrenched within. In the words of someone else, "it's not paranoia when someone is actually after you".

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

Any one of the BLACK leading male actors could have requested or demanded a Black woman companion, but they didn't, Why? Our so-called Black men throwing us under the bus again or as usual.

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJodee

@tusk I'm sorry, but course correction mi Black arse! George Lucas says he worked on this movie for 20 YEARS. Both of the screen writers are BLACK MEN. The director is a Black man. There are about 15 Black actors in this movie. You mean to tell me NONE of these men noticed that they didn't have wives, mothers or sisters? It was not an accident or an oversight that Black women were excised from this movie, this was intentional. There is always a angle in war movies that involves women. Whether its The patriot or Saving Private Ryan, the women these men leave back home have a presence in the movie. You're being INTENTIONALLY obtuse to not acknowledge this. The lack of Black women was an INTENTIONAL decision.

January 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

Well, that may have been the case to purposely not include any black woman as romantic interest in the movie. I was only speaking to some of the real life airmen and there own personal stories..

I myself have gotten to know not a casual few but, a great many of these airmen and I know what there story being told means to them, imperfections and all. Even

For that reason I guess I may be dropped in the category of throwing black woman under the bus for being at the movie opening weekend....

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertusk91

Edwina Findley is a friend of mine. She's a black woman and in the movie, but I don't know in what capacity. I'll contact her and try to get the 4-1-1. She is an intelligent, amazingly loving person. The choices for roles that she has had in the past have been pretty stereotypical, but I'll keep my hopes up.

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShecodes

Actress Stacie Davis who is also Black is also credited in the movie. Not sure with out haven seen the movie how big a role these 2 woman have in the movie...

The one common theme is that they like many of the other actors in this film are from the series "The Wire"....

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertusk91

You know what would be great? If everyone who has a complaint actually watches the movie first.

Funny how this little detail gets lost in this discussion.

We don't do enough to support each other to tell our own stories and then complain when Hollywood tells them for us.

Yeah, I wonder how many of those complaining about Red Tails actually saw Spike Lee's WW2 flick, "Miracle at St. Anna."

I get that this film would do a lot more for Black people's historical image if there were more Black women in the film but can we at least support this one enough so that maybe we can have more films like these CAN get made in the future. Tyler Perry, Oprah and Spike Lee shouldn't be our only avenues for Black films in 2012.

Exactly.

It shouldn't just be Oprah and Tyler Perry creating films outside Hollywood. There should be a LEGION of Black filmmakers doing this, which would result in a wider range of Black images on film.

But the first step for a Black filmmaker is to actually take a risk on creating a movie outside Hollywood instead of continuing to complain about the game being rigged. If Christians and military vets can create films outside Hollywood (see my previous post), why can't Black non-Christian civilians do the same?

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFred

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