No Room for CP Time!

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The Academy Awards in early 2016 was ripped a new one for how white it was. The only person of color who was up for any awards (that I know of) was the Hispanic director, Alejandro Inarritu, of The Revenant. The following months from 2016 to 2017 was like Hollywood heard us and the options of quality movies and their resulting nominations and wins for black films (Hidden Figures, Fences, Moonlight, Loving) during the Oscars let us know that we were heard. This is fantastic.

I’m a part of the Romance Novel community, specifically the Interracial Romance community, celebrating Black women finding love in all shades. We talk all the time about wanting to see more examples in the media (film and television) of Black women finding love. A lot of us African American female authors dream of having our books turned into movies or TV shows. Now, I know that this community is a small corner of the world, my world. But I’m assuming that there are a lot of Black women who agree with us. If the success of Scandal and How to get Away with Murder is any indication. So I’m also sure that a lot of the lack of support for certain things is common throughout the community as well.

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post reviewing, well more like gushing over the movie Everything, Everything. And if you think I raved here, I really displayed my obsession on Facebook. I literally saw the movie FOUR times! One, because I loved it just that much. Two, because I noticed the lack of support people were giving it in my corner of the world. I even checked how it did at the box office the first weekend and it landed in the 4th or 5th spot, which was pretty good for such a small film up against Guardians of the Galaxy and other blockbusters. But it still wasn’t good enough. Because I know that the Black dollar is a force to be reckoned with. Everyone on social media was like, “Yeah, it looks good. I’ll have to go see it soon.” And that turned into nothing. Then during a conversation, yesterday in a Facebook group dedicated to authors who write Interracial romance with a focus on Black heroines specifically and their fans, someone brought up the movie and everyone was like “Oh yeah, I need to go see that.” WHAT?!?! It’s been over a month since the movie came out and more than likely gone from most theaters and you waited until the 11th hour to go see it? Movies featuring Black girls and women falling in love and being loved and adored doesn’t have any room for CP time (Color people time, for those who don’t know. Meaning always late). When they are offered, we are obligated to see it immediately and give it ALL the love we can. Hollywood needs to know that these stories can make money and that there is interest there. And for the very women who want their stories of Black women love to be turned into movies, their lack of support for this amazing film was disappointing.

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And that goes for The Bachelorette too. People have been complaining for decades to have a Bachelor or Bachelorette of color. They finally get one and I hear people complaining about how it’s being done. Seriously?!?! Who the f*ck cares?! Are we not paying attention to the fact that a Black woman…a DARK-skinned Black woman is surrounded by gorgeous men of all races and being adored and loved on??? That sh*t is beautiful and something I’ve been waiting for for years. Screw the details. It’s a reality show and they want ratings. So they’re going to do things that are a bit shady. The goal is to show the powers that be in the media that Black women finding love is marketable and damn well deserving.

So please, when you see something featuring Black folks that you know you’d more than likely enjoy (I don’t expect anyone to support something they’d normally dislike) WATCH it! Go out in full force and support it. They need to know that we aren’t all talk and no action.

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Movie Remakes: Hollywood’s Way of Saying ‘We’ve Run Out of Stories About White People’

So I read an article today about how it is projected that Ben-Hur is going to be a huge box office bomb this coming weekend. The article also went into detail about why it’s going to bomb. You know, the regular old ‘people are tired of remakes’ argument. But there was one other important reason why remakes are tanking.

I heard somewhere, and I wish I could remember where, but that the reason Hollywood keeps making remakes is because they’ve run out of stories about white people. I thought about that statement for a while. And you know what? It is absolutely freakin’ true!

Drama, action, thriller, horror, romance, RomCom, sci-fi, etc. You name it, it’s been done. Then redone. And then redone again. Hollywood keeps regurgitating the same tired and trite stories. With actors that all look the same. And just to silence the masses of bored minorities, they throw in Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, Viola Davis, The Rock, John Leguizamo and that other Hispanic dude that they use when they need one, Michael Pena. That little splash of color ain’t cutting it Hollywood.

That Fast and Furious franchise isn’t doing as well as it is because it has the best storylines and acting to ever grace an action movie. No, it’s doing well because of the diverse cast. People tend to gravitate towards movies that have faces that kind of resemble theirs. Look how good The Perfect Guy did last summer. It was led by an almost all Black cast, but it wasn’t advertised as a “Black  movie,” it was advertised just like Sleeping with the Enemy was advertised. As just a good old-fashioned thriller. And why do you think TV is doing so well? Network, cable, and streaming channels are doing extremely well because of the all-inclusive shows they’re cranking out. Scandal, The Walking Dead, Orange is the New Black, Empire

This is not a fluke Hollywood. People want to see true inclusion and one black, brown, tan or yellow face every now and again, right before you kill us off, is not enough. (See; almost all horror movies and Sleepy Hollow TV series)

The amount of stories out there about Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, Middle Easterners, LGBTQ is an untapped gold mine. And there are hundreds, if not thousands of writers out there with phenomenal stories. Straight white people aren’t the only people who fall in love or deserve to fall in love. I’m the first person to say I love Nicholas Sparks books and movies. The Notebook was fire!!! But Nicholas Sparks isn’t the only author cranking out great romance novels that deserve their moment in the sun and on the silver screen.

And when I say all-inclusive, I don’t mean zero white people. That’s not the real world. All-inclusive literally means EVERYONE. Hell, the stories I write and would love to see on the big or small screen are interracial with mainly black women and white men. But it’s not gonna kill ya if the main female protagonist in a RomCom is black and curvy with a slender white sidekick. I, personally think it would be a breath of fresh air.

So stop being lazy Hollywood. Stop being afraid. You’re already losing cash on huge box office flops that are played out storylines. Why not take a chance on something new. If it tanks, at least you can tank with integrity and a pair of big hairy balls of steel.