A black actor from the controversial trailer for the independent film Loqueesha has spoken out after the film was immediately panned for making a mockery of black women.
In case you missed it, the trailer for the film was released over the weekend and features a white man who pretends to be a black woman for a podcast so he can pay tuition for his son’s private school. The white guy in the film is played by real-life white man Jeremy Saville who wrote and directed the film.
The trailer also features Mara Hall, who is the image behind the character Saville plays. Other people of color in the film include Tiara Parker and Dwayne Perkins. Saville plays up very dated stereotypes about black women including being loud and “telling it like it is.” Perkins’ character is a friend to Saville who tells him he’s doing “theater” by mocking black women.
After the trailer was ripped apart of social media for being increasingly tone-deaf, Perkins took to Instagram to defend his choice to appear in the movie. He also made it clear he had no intentions of making fun of black women.
“If anyone is offended, I’m very sorry. I wasn’t trying to make anything that’s a mockery and in fact, I don’t think the trailer does the movie any justice,” he explained Monday (May 13). “I think myself and the other black people who worked it thought we were making a mockery. I think we and at least for myself are well versed in our plight and our history and all of that. This is a comedy about a guy who does the wrong thing for the right reasons and the movie really gets into all of it more than the trailer does. If you don’t plan to see the movie, I respect that but I think you have to withhold judgment until you see the movie, but again making a mockery wasn’t my attention.”
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I’ll have a more in depth statement on my next “off the top podcast” coming out later this week.
In addition to the backlash, details surrounding the film have also been questioned. The Detriot News reports the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, the California film fest whose “official selection” stamp appears at the outset of the trailer, denied ever screening the film on its platform.
“In regards to the trailer for the film Loqueesha, this film was never selected, screened, or given an award at our festival,” they tweeted. “The SLO Film Fest laurels were taken without permission and we are currently working to have them removed.”
In regards to the trailer for the film "Loqueesha", this film was never selected, screened, or given an award at our festival. The SLO Film Fest laurels were taken without permission and we are currently working to have them removed.
— San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (@SloFilmFest) May 12, 2019
The IMDB Trivia page has also raised eyebrows for its jokes about the movie.
The IMDb trivia on this page is hilarious, even if the best stuff gets deleted.
But #Loqueesha’s trailer contains a half-truth in it. Guess when they mentioned they were selected for a film festival, they forgot to say they were pulled from it.
Oopsie! ¯_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/3htAoZYicD
— AZ's former Irishbear (@irishbearaz) May 12, 2019
Perhaps this film doesn’t even exist. If it does, it just proves more films for and by women of color are less desired than films that make a mockery of them.