Reagan Gomez On Black Hollywood’s Decline: ‘Bootleg ‘Avatar,’ Not Our Films’

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By: Vibe / May 25, 2010

Who hasn’t seen a Judd Apatow or Seth Rogen film? They are working the hell out of Hollywood. And who can be mad? What I respect the most about their whole team is that they hire unknown actors… and turn them into stars.

McLovin anyone?

They hire their friends, turn them into stars, and rehire them. Talk about keeping all of the money in the family. This is genius. This is power. This… DOES NOT HAPPEN IN BLACK HOLLYWOOD.

There’s enough blame to go around as to why Black Hollywood is hanging on by a thread.


#1 – Black Hollywood

When will we get tired of singing for our supper? If Drew Barrymore can hire Cameron Diaz, Demi Moore, and Ellen Page (one of my fav movies of 2009 was Whip It), and Adam Sandler can work with Chris Rock, Seth Rogen  …the list goes on; why can’t we pick up the phone, hire who we want, and make our own films without being told to? So yes WE, Black/Latino Hollywood are at fault.

 

#2 – Black/Latino People

Yes I said it. Here’s my reasoning. For every 20 black films presented to the studio only 1 will be greenlit (made). So, when a film with a cast of color comes to the theaters opening weekend is critical. A great opening weekend tells the studios that there is an audience who’s willing to pay money to see films like these. In turn, the studios are willing to make more of them. Tyler Perry anyone?

So, if a movie with a black cast comes out and the movie tanks, this tells the studio that the target audience (us) won’t even pay money to see their own movies. So why should we make more?  If we don’t show up, that means we won’t pay to see them and the studios will make no more of them.

Money is the name of the game. The only color that matters in Hollywood is green.

So if you want to see more films with actors and actresses of color, go out and support the films that are already out. Period.

 

#3 – The Studios

It’s not up to Hollywood to tell our stories. They make billions of dollars a year not telling our stories. Think they give a damn? No. Studios already think black and Latino films don’t sell overseas, so if those movies don’t even make a profit here with their target audience…get the point?

You ever heard the saying “You do better when you know better?’ Now you know better. So how do we change this? We all have to do our part. I just wrote and produced my first short, and God Willing, it will be turned into a full feature. So the first solution is more of us getting behind the camera creating more opportunities for us. The second solution is black and Latino Hollywood reaching out to each other and working with each other. The third solution is YOU GUYS supporting films of color opening weekend. Does that mean you may have to see some films you don’t like? Of course. But look at the big picture.

Again… Tyler Perry, anyone?

I hate to keep using his name but his films gross $50 million opening weekend. So, he makes more films. Say what you want about Tyler and his films, but the strategy works. Don’t like his films, or you want more variety, then help other films of color gross 50 million dollars opening weekend. Then watch the studios flood the theaters with more films. No excuses. 

Do Black and Latino actresses have it harder? Yes. It’s always been this way. But instead of complaining, we need to take control and fix it. There’s a movement going on in Black Hollywood. We know that we need to create our own projects. But we need your help and support. And by support, I mean your money at the theaters and buying DVDs. Fuck bootlegging! 

Money counts.  Only a handful of our films make it into the theaters in the first place, so every penny counts. Bootleg Avatar… not our films. It’s a common sense chain reaction. If you spend your money… they will come.

God Bless. Reagan Gomez

 

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