The Eldrick Woods Relationship Blog: Interracial Love At The Movies

On Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to attend the star-studded premier of Our Family Wedding, the latest movie to milk the wedding film genre for all it’s worth. I’d tell you about it, but this the Internet. We have trailers for that.

Okay, got it? Good.

The movie was cool; a perfect date flick if ever one existed. But I wasn’t watching the film to score some points with some lucky lady. I actually was going for an education of sorts. That’s right, even at a romantic comedy directed by the same man who directed the cult-classic Brown Sugar (Rick Famuyiwa), I still wore my 2004, “I went to an HBCU and I can overanalyze anything with black people in it” hat. 

But there was no education in the film, and honestly, I don’t put that on the director, nor do I put it on the cast. If anything, all the people in Our Family Wedding had great chemistry and looked like they actually enjoyed making it. The movie is a romantic-comedy, period. It is not meant to be a romantic comedy focusing on race and class in a post-racial America. No sub-text here. Just jokes.

The question is now, where do we go from here?

In Our Family Wedding, America Ferrera’s fictional Mexican-American family makes innuendos that they are none too pleased with their daughter marrying a black man (played by Lance Gross). It’s evident in the trailer I posted above that this is not going to be a movie solely about two young people rushing into marriage. It’s going to be about two families from two different worlds getting along like Rodney King once wanted us to. But in the romantic-comedy genre, only so much can be done through the guise of humor. Yes a lot of truth is said in jest, but how much of it is taken seriously?

As I’ve said before on this blog, this whole post-racial world we’re living in starts to fall apart as we go deeper and deeper into a person’s personal life. Just because folks from different cultures who don’t know each other can co-exist peacefully on a sidewalk or in a public place like the movie theater doesn’t mean they’re all open-minded about who they invite in their bedroom or into their families. Race and dating, sex, or marriage is a tricky thing, much trickier than race and work or school.

I know I have experienced how tricky it is first hand. As someone who comes from a family who has been mixing races, cultures, and bloodlines since my Puerto Rican grandfather and Japanese grandmother met back in pre-Civil Rights America, I know times haven’t changed much. Sure it may not be illegal anymore for people to marry or date outside their race, but it damn sure is still an issue in some places of America. As recently as 2003, when I attended Howard University (my father’s alma mater), I had a classmate ask me, “If your Dad went to Howard, why isn’t your Mom black?” And don’t even get me started on the underlying anger some people felt when they noticed how even in the mist of Tiger Woods’ adulterous behavior, he was still sticking to the white women; as though that was an actual issue!

Our Family Wedding didn’t teach me a lesson, as badly as I wanted it to. It just made me laugh, which is exactly what it was supposed to do. I just hope it does well at the box office because even I know if it doesn’t do well, all the suits at Fox Searchlight (the studio that made the film) are going to think no one wants to see a movie about inter-ethnic marriages and relationships — not even a funny one — and that couldn’t be further from the truth. —Jozen Cummings

Jozen Cummings is the Special Projects Editor of VIBE.com and hosts his own blog, Until I Get Married.


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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”


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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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