4 Reasons Hollywood’s Cleopatra Isn’t Black (Pg. 5)


1. No Black Actress Can Currently Open a Big Budget Film Alone

It hasn’t been fully proven that they can’t, because most of them have never been given the opportunity to do so, all except for one actress—Halle Berry. Despite her status as a Hollywood power player, brand and only black Academy Award winning Best Actress in history for 2001’s Monster’s Ball, Berry still hasn’t proven her ‘above the title A-list status’ at the box office. (Meaning: Like Will Smith or Denzel Washington she cannot open a big budget movie at number 1 based on her name alone regardless of the film’s genre.) Berry’s shortcut to creating an action hero franchise and instantly joining that big box office boys club—2004’s Catwoman— was a failure. And despite the dearth of talented black actresses working today in movies, television and in theater there are none whose careers match or parallel Berry in her unique and very exclusive status. Also currently, there is no other actress other than Berry that studios would consider a big enough draw or bank on to open a movie with a multimillion dollar budget (again, see Catwoman scenario above). Because at the end of the day, the real Cleopatra story has nothing to do with whether she’s black or white— it’s all about green. Three out of the four reasons listed here involved money, and Cleopatra will have to make a whole lot a of it and earn the huge financial returns— not only to warrant the costs of its multimillion dollar budget, but to show a profit and be crowned a royal bonafide hit in theaters as well.