DEAR MINORITY COMIC BOOK AND SCI-FI FANS...
I was not going to write this. I really was not. But after watching the goings-on over the past few months, I feel the need to write and weigh in on the problem that I see.
What am I talking about?
• What went down at the Oscars.
• A nearly all white cast in the Gods of Egypt movie.
• Scarlett Johansson getting the role of Major in the Ghost in the Shell movie.
• And the latest slap in the face …Katherine Matilda "Tilda" Swinton getting the role as “The Ancient One” in the Dr. Strange movie.
Basically what is now called the white washing of Hollywood.
Now before I begin, let me just say that I’m not going to rant …I hate ranting. Ranting has never solved anything in my opinion, and is basically another form of hearing yourself drone on and on no matter the outlet you use, and eventually people get tired and tune you out, which is what basically has been happening, and why change is either slow or none existent.
Secondly, what I am about to say is not for Caucasian people. My fellow Caucasian people (I am black by the way), feel free to read and comment as you like, but know that what I am about to say is not directed toward you, or has to do with you, because you are not the real problem or the solution to what is going on, and I will explain what I mean shortly.
What I have to say goes out to my fellow Black (ninety percent of this statement does), Asian, and Latin people. So please listen closely.
If you are really sick and tired of what is going on in Hollywood there’s a pretty simple solution to put an end it.
Are you ready for it?
Here it is …
STOP BUYING THEIR @&%#!!
Stop going to their movies; stop buying their merchandise, stop paying to go to their events.
Just stop, wait, and watch as their sales fall instead.
And as they drop, which they will, you will see them take you the consumer more seriously, and give you what you want to see.
But until that day, all of your outcries, all of your complaining which you take to the airwaves, all of your posts, all of your podcasts, all of your tweets, will fall on deaf ears because the studio heads are too high up to hear you as they stand on the mound of your hard earned cash laughing at you, because they know that you’re still going to bitch and moan while you hand them over your money.
Laws like sitting in the back of the bus, or getting up when a white person asks for your seat did not end because of just “We shall overcome” songs. It ended when black people told the bus owners to go screw themselves, and decided not to spend a dime on their buses, and found other modes of transportation to get about.
And when the bus owners started to realize after a couple of months of decreased income that their main patrons were not white people, and that they were losing money every time they kept that stupid law in effect, they realized they needed to give into change if they wanted to stay in business.
That’s why I said earlier white people are not the problem, or the solution…
Scarlett Johansson is not the problem for accepting the role of Major Kusanagi, the woman’s got to work and she’s got to eat like the rest of us, and neither is Katherine Swinton for taking the role of the “Ancient One”.
We as minority people are the problem, and the solution, because we do not realize the real power we have, and that is the almighty dollar.
Yeah, Marvel “listened” to what the fans said, and gave a polite statement about why they chose to cast a white woman as “The Ancient One”, which is a half-assed argument because they could have very well given the role to an Asian woman.
In the end, it will change nothing.
People are going to be up in arms about the role of Major Kusanagi going to Scarlett Johansson, but at the end of the day…it’s not going to change anything.
Because majority of you people, I’m talking about my fellow minorities, are still going to pay for your ticket (probably in advance) just to see what it is all about, and the movie heads know this.
And afterwards you’ll log onto you devices and give it a bad rating on “Rotten Tomatoes” out of spite, but at the end of the day Lion’s Gate, Warner Brothers, FOX, Marvel and DC Studies and whoever else does not care what you have to say as long as they make their money back to make the movies they put out, and turn over a profit.
This all brings me back to that scene in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” where the three old black men on the block are complaining about the Asian grocery store in their neighborhood. And then Robin Harris as Sweet Dick Willie cursed the other two out asking them if either of them were going to open up their own convenient store. When neither of them answered, he got up and headed over to the Asian convenient store to buy a beer.
In the universe that story played out in, nothing changed, and those three old men are still sitting in their chairs bitching and moaning, while the Asian convenience store owner is counting the cash they come into his store and spend.
Instead of jumping behind Jada Pinkett Smith who took to Twitter in defense of her husband not being nominated for an Oscar, why not ask her how come her, her husband, and countless other black actors and directors are not banding together to produce our own superhero and action adventure roles.
What makes them any different from the slew of white actors like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Kevin Smith, Kristen Wiig, or Lena Dunham, who went out, wrote, directed, and produced their own movies?
Ask Spike Lee why his production company “40 Acres and a Mule” are still cracking out ridiculous movies like “Chi-Raq”, instead of films that really matter and inspire.
Ask Ice Cube, why is Cube Vision putting out ANOTHER Barbershop movie. Is that the movie we really need to see, or do our kids need to see heroes in their own color fighting for truth and justice so that they can aspire to be better people the same way white superheroes help instill that type of moral in white children.
Why didn't any of them come up with a movie like "Gods of Egypt" before Lion's Gate did?
Ask production companies like “CodeBlack Entertainment”, “Open Rivers Pictures”, “Harpo Productions”, “Tyler Perry Studios”, and “Micheaux Book and Film Company” how come they do not back the sea of talented minority authors and comic book creators that are out there with stories to be told, instead of putting out the same three comedies movies, two relationship movies, and one historical movie expecting to be nominated for an Oscar every year.
Maybe it’s me…
Maybe it’s because my parents taught me about my self-worth growing up, and about money, power, and respect (not the Hip Hop version).
Maybe it’s because I proved to myself by writing my own novels, and watching my fan base grow that there is an audience comprised of all races and nationalities that are open to seeing strong black characters and superheroes, with their own origin stories, who do not need to be sidekicks, or take the mantle of another white superhero.
Maybe it’s because I know the power of choice.
I chose not to buy the Hot Toys version of Black Panther, because I am offended they did not include a mask-less head of Chadwick Aaron Boseman like they do their other Marvel characters.
I chose not to go see the Dr. Strange movie, because I find it offensive that they gave the role of the Ancient One to a white person, instead of an Asian person.
And I will chose not to go see the Ghost in the Shell movie, because as much as I love Scarlett Johansson, Major Kusanagi is Japanese, and should be played by a Japanese woman.
So for that, the studio heads will not be getting my money. A miniscule dip in their profit margin that they will never feel, but it’s still my choice.
Now imagine if everyone who felt the same way I felt …did the same damn thing.
So the next question should not be what Hollywood is going do, but what are YOU going to do after you finish reading this post.
What are you going to chose to do?