Erika Alexander Explains Why White Executives Only Cast Black Actors in Stereotypical Roles
Why are white executives afraid to create non-stereotypical roles for Black people?
I think you fear what you don’t know, what you don’t understand. I think that African Americans have always been the “dark other”. I think it scares people.
I don’t try to just say it’s racism; which, by the way, at its very root, it is racist. But I don’t think these people realize that they are being racist. I think it’s ingrained within their subconscious mind. It’s also a set of practices and structure that are inherent to the Hollywood system.
They’ll say, “Oh yes, we’d love to hire him. He was fantastic. He was a great read, and he did a great job on the audition.”
The young man could be Black.
But they say, “Well, because he’s Black, he won’t sell in Europe. We can’t put him on the poster. That’ll turn people away.”
So they make it a money thing.
That, just saying that out loud, is racist. That you’re not going to choose the best person for that role or somebody who you think would be great in it and establish a new pattern because you think it won’t sell overseas. That’s not only racist, it’s a lie.
Black people helped create the foundations of American culture. Rock N’ Roll. Hip Hop. Blues. Jazz. All of that. And to be denied [and told] that our image won’t sell is in fact wrong.
We rule music. We rule in athleticism, in terms of our image. Most of the people who play the big sports, from like Tiger Woods to Serena Williams, they are Black. They haven’t stopped the audiences from coming.
So if you say that about the image, the moving image, that that person will not be able to satisfy the market, you are basically trading on racist undertones and notions, and that needs to be examined with them. How do you get that message to them? Very difficult, because people shut down when you start talking about things like that.
How should Black films be marketed in the 21st century?
Well, I don’t think they should be marketed as Black films. I think they should be marketed as films.
We didn’t like it in “Living Single” when we were on Fox and we were marketed as a Black show. That means they would only market us to Black communities.
Atlanta. New York. Detroit. Houston.
We’d go across the country and there were all sorts of people watching our shows.
We are at a time where they - the industry - have successfully almost segregated television. That did not happen until after, I’d say, almost after the “Living Single” years, where we were still on Fox and you could find a so called Black cast show sitting right next to Ally McBeal.
Now, in order to see those same casts, you go to Black networks, with the exception of Kerry Washington, God bless her, and Meagan Good, who got the opportunity to headline a show, [it is rare that you see] a show [where] the Black person or the person of color - let’s leave it open like that - is the 3rd or 4th lead. That’s a problem.
As long as they can say there are Black shows, they can put them in a Black context and they can discriminate and marginalize the show and its importance. Would you have called The Cosby Show a Black show or did you just call it a great show? And there’s a huge difference. Did you call “In Living Color” a Black show? No. It had largely Black cast, but there was Jim Carrey sitting right next to them.
So, I don’t think it empowers anybody to call shows Black or white.
Our first look at Billie in Penny Dreadful!!!
Greatest Anime Openings → Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Two-Mix - “Rhythm Emotion”
Just killing time until Saturday night!
RIP Shirley Temple ( April 23, 1928 – February 10, 2014)
I realize this isn’t from 1984, but wanted to post it today:
An April 1986 interview between Scott Simon and Shirley Temple Black.
Months and months and months ago we asked you to send in fan signs we would use to create a giant collage for the Doctor Who Tumblr office. We unexpectedly received over 3500 images, so we decided that instead of creating a collage we’d make a neat image mosaic of the TARDIS!
You can download the full version of the image here (Right click > Save As to choose where you’d like to save it to, FYI it’s a 20MB file) and zoom in to see if you can find your contribution.
Thanks to everyone for participating, look at the cool thing you’ve made!
UPDATE: Due to a programming error the mosaic was previously missing a lot of submissions, and many of the ones included were repeated a number of times. We’ve updated the file to include the correct number and apologize for this mistake. Enjoy!