"Red Tails": Malik Russell's View


My friend Malik Russell has this to say about “Red Tails”:

I heard George Lucas say that he had to put up the money that the studio’s wouldn’t. Imagine that? George F’ing Lucas a god in Hollywood action genre and he couldn’t get Hollywood to back a Black film? I think its excellent and noble what Lucas has done. He stands alone among the Hollywood giants who talk equality but walk segregation in their industry.
I disagree though with Lucas attempt to say that this movie is about showing that Black films can make money. We know from Tyler Perry that Black films can make money. Its unfair to put all that pressure on one Black film to prove that our films can make money in the action genre. There are tons of historical busts action-themed films that did not make money and none of them ever deterred Hollywood from funding them or making more of them. Will Smith has proved that you can have Black leads in action films and if enough films are made there are going to be some successes and failures.
Is the prevailing belief, that if Red Tails doesn’t do blockbuster numbers, Hollywood—which didn’t fund this one—will justify why it doesn’t make any more?
No White-themed film has held the responsibility for an entire sub-genre on its shoulders and neither should Red Tails.
It should just be a film that we go out and enjoy, and then go to video and used to tell a story over the years.
Any genre in Hollywood can make money as long as its held by the same rules and not held under segregated-standards where as usual, Black people are expected to accept having to do more with less, just to prove they are equal.

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