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The problem with all-star African American Casts...

Unfortunately, movies starring an all African American cast are on the verge of becoming extinct.  THAT’S RIGHT, EXTINCT! Ask any executive at a Hollywood Studio why, and most of them will tell you one of two things. The first thing they’ll say is that DVD sales have become very soft, so it’s hard for a movie with an all black cast to break-even.  Secondly they’ll say, most movies are now dependent on foreign sales to be successful and most "black" movies don’t sell well in foreign markets.  So what that means is you will begin to see less and less films that star an all black cast.   Isn’t that sad in a 2012 America? Somewhere along the way we still haven’t realized that we are more alike then not.

I must tell you that I have been very fortunate to work with a studio that sees the value in my type of storytelling and filmmaking. As well as having you, an audience of all races of people, who have stood by me arm and arm. It has helped me navigate through some pretty rough waters.

I thought that as black people in Hollywood, this is just our reality, but I quickly realized that this is not racism. What made me realize this is I had a conversation with Mr. Star Wars himself, George Lucas, and he was telling me that he was having the same problem with Red Tails. I was blown away!  Red Tails is an important story about, not just black history, but American history about the Tuskegee Airmen. It has an all-star African American cast, including Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard, which opens this Friday.  He went on to say that he brought the movie idea of Red Tails to several studios and no one wanted to make this film…. AND THIS IS GEORGE LUCAS!  Not to be deterred, he put up his own money, shot the movie then took it back to those same studios, and they wanted nothing to do with it. One of them even refused to see the film, citing the above mentioned problems.  So George decided to take a huge risk by entirely funding the movie and releasing it himself.  What a guy! For him to believe so strongly in this story is amazing.  I think we should pull together and get behind this movie. I really do! Not just African Americans, but all of us.  I have seen the movie and screened it here in Atlanta. I loved it and I think you will too.  The Tuskegee Airmen, who were at the screening, were so happy that somebody is telling a small part of their story.

It opens this Friday. Please take your kids, you will enjoy it and so will they. There is a lot of action and adventure and also a great history lesson to be learned.

George, I just want to say, thank you for having the courage to do this.

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  • D*** Hinds California

    Wrong Director, and Definitely Wrong Perspective and Treatment, of those BRAVE, DEDICATED, GIFTED AMERICAN TRAINED FIGHTER PILOTS...They were ALL HEROES for their Feats and Accomplishments of their War Time Experiences...Unfortunately, the Story Still has Yet to be told Properly, in all it's Glory and HEROISM!!!!! As an aside: After Katzenberg called to say his weekend read of my "Airmen"story blew him away, I told then Disney Chief Katzenberg exactly how it was to be "Treated and Handled" with lots of "Hero Music" to punctuate the "Skill and Emotions" that drove these Brave American Heroes...

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  • James Memphis

    Hmmm, I guess most of these reviews were written before anyone saw the film. I don't know if the script was bad because they were trying to write for black characters, but we really have to stop feeling obligated to support substandard stuff that's given to us. I always thought that the HBO version was okay, but would really like to see a big budget version, but now I have to say that the HBO version at least gave the subject some reverence. I've read about the Airmen, and they didn't appear to be cardboard cut-outs as in this picture.

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  • Jimmy McDonald 4400 N. locust St. N. Little Rock Ark. 72116

    I would like to take my hat off to Mr. George Lucas. I to have had to fight just to keep my head up, I can do amazing thing with broken and cut pieces of Glass and Mirror, I can make A Glass portrait of whatever or whoever I chose ,check out my web page at(www.mirrordesignart.com) All I need is A chance

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  • kim phoenix,az

    good evening Mr. Tyler I have a family story that need to be told because I have family members that have done me so wrong in my life and only by the grace of god almighty. I still standing. Mr.Perry if only you could help me share my story I want to expose them for the people that they are not only that it would help me heal they never said not once that they were sorry for what they done to me.

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  • priscilla chapman san diego

    my dearest mr perry, just know one thing, you are the greatest. i have your movies yes i do and i love them all, you bring so so much into our lives, its great everytime you make another movie millions of people want it first, be proud of what you do cause you do it well, i see all kinds of movies yes i do, but when you make another movie i drop everything, i may be old but i love video games a senior i am but i love games, i know one day you will come out with agreat great video game with madea, well i am one who loves you and you got to remember, black is black so please stand back cause i'll be back, love you and i love what your doing, keep up your great work your one in a million, god bless

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  • Grace N Mercy Mission ne

    It was a reminder reading tyler message on African American cast being on the verge of (EXTINCT). My God, My God...is this not 2012? Tyler stated: dvd sales have become very soft, and black movies don't sell well in foreign markets. Why is this? Black People have been watching not only ALL MOVIES...since they were able to watch tv....try not having a choice! I want to ''ENCOURAGE'' everyone to remember what or if there's a who and what ever reason this is happening....don't be alarm....God said in his word....Have Faith...Faith without works is dead....he also said in II CHRONICLES 7:14 what we as HIS people need to do. Vengenance are HIS. Remember in HIS WORDS, HE SPEAKS of KNOWING ALL THINGS MEN AND WOMEN, BOY OR GIRL on this earth. The 'BOOK OF LIFE' has everything everything in it that ALL HUMANS have and have not done. EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS! God tells us to ''FAST AND PRAY'', fasting breaks yokes....keep the FAITH...MIRACLES STILL HAPPENS! I want to thank, MR. TYLER PERRY being able to work with a STUDIO that see the (VALUE) in MR. TYler type of STORIES & FILMMAKING ....as well as his audience of not only Black Americans, but Whites, Latinos, Asians, all People. We are extremely thankful and proud of GEORGE LUCAS for haveing the heart with disbursement of his own funds and produce this movie....(RED TAILS) which features ''TUSKEGEE AIRMEN'' a group of american history BLACK FORGOTTON TUSKEGEE AIRMEN. We are thankful for the ''brothers'' who played in the movie...(EXCELLENT JOB). To the remaining TUSKEGEE AIRMEN....know that God is the Author and Finisher of our Faith....It's better late than never....We love you and those lthat have passed on to their families, i believe they are watching and smiling, not hating no one that they weren't able to be here in the flesh, but the flesh is not important, the SPIRIT is. Thank you, Tyler for relaying such a powerful , informative message to EVERYONE regarding the TUSKEGEE AIRMEN! Please my brothers and sisters, stay prayerful, believe in HIS Word, read the Bible, Fast and Pray, Watch.....reachout and TOUCH SOMEBODYS HANDS MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE IF YOU CAN. (IF WE WOULD WORK TOGETHER ....IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE OUTCOME OF THINGS. BUT, DO THESE THINGS IN RIGHTEOUSNESS.....don't be racist ourselves, i realize it gets hard time after time, but Jesus is coming back for MEN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS! JESUS was spit on, pierced in the side, crown of thrones on his head, thrown in jail, beaten, hands and feets nailed to the CROSS...he had the POWER to stop it before it even got started....but because of HIS LOVE, GRACE, MERCY AND FAVOR for mankind....HE SHED HIS BLOOD FOR ALL OF US! IF HE, JESUS went through all that for US...can we surely go through trials and tribulations of the world for him. Your REAPING will not be in vain. Love IN JESUS NAME. THANK YOU, Mr. Tyler Perry! GOD BLESS..........WE LOVE LOVE YOU ALWAYS.

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  • Joni Littleton, NC

    I love your movies and I love movies with all black casts! One thing about it...movies with all white casts are still in full bloom! OR...the black person (notice this is singular) is so insignificant that you don't even realize they're there. Do your thing Tyler...I love it.

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  • Teresa Haven Baltzegar Pelinski Lexington, South Carolina

    Mr. Perry, You are doing God's work in all your messages and do not worry about what others say. Keep up the great job. I'm white and love all your shows. Teresa

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  • florence barnes louisiana

    Tyler,keep up the good work.What people don't realize is that you put your all in every movie/play that you've put out.As to what you said to Spikless lee(lol),better you to tell him than me.Tyler just a few words of encourage to let you know that you're doing a great job.I recently lost my mom ,June9,2011.It is really hard only GOD can help me.Pray for me because I had to put everything on hold.I'm just trying to get my 14yr. old acting career going because I've invested too much.This is not a charity message. I wanted you to know that you are doing a superb job.Pray for me Tyler,my mom was my best friend .I never thought my mom would be gone @65yrs. old.My heart goes out to you on your loss also and I know she's proud of you.

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  • LornaBlackman london England

    The play was written, produced and directed by Ms. Lorna Blackman, the Managing Director of the Big People’s Theatre Company which runs courses in central and north London. “Every year our plays attract a high percentage of wannabe actors from the Black community. This year Big Peoples Theatre is truly blessed with some of the most gifted and talented actors who have decided to come on board and commit to this production.” Ms. Blackman said that all the actors made sacrifices such as travelling sometimes from Birmingham, Southampton, changing their jobs and having to re-arrange their domestic commitments in order to prepare the play. “I am so proud of all of them. My dream and my belief for 2012 is that the play will take off and can be seen on TV where the real Black British experience can be seen by all,” Ms. Blackman said. She confirmed that no funding was raised for this production and thanked ACLC, BB Promotions, and Big Peoples Theatre. GOOD BLACK MEN & GOOD BLACK WOMEN 29th February 2012 Westminster Kingsway college Kings Cross Centre in the Theatre 7.30pm to 9:30pm 18th March 2012 Wes tindian Cultural Centre, 9 Clarendon Road, London N8 7.30 pm to 9.30pm plus refreshments and presentation till 10.30pm

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  • Natharan Proby Memphis, Tennessee

    Mr. Perry: Thank you...,"" for relevance when writing a movie or sitcom showing black people in real life situations. The protocol of these movies and sitcoms range from for real to too real in the black community as well as other ethnic groups. The problem that Hollywood see is the irrelevance of some of these reality shows. Females fighting but not in the ring with an opponent worthy of ring prescence. The downside to what is it that we as black people want to spend our money to watch and who else would be interested outside of our race. The portrayal of older women verse younger women without respect for elders and an elders sense of immorality does not interest anyone other than negative amusement. It is time for positive change.

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  • Keith Brady chicago

    You don't have to look far for real heroes. Just open up your bible and it is full of heroes. Us brotherhood of African American writers need to tell these stories about how Jehovah used them to deliver the His Word (Jesus) in the volume of the books. My oldest brother and I wrote an produced a great story on the book of Judges that show cased Samson with his dreads, Deborah that tough motherly leadership figure and five other Judges. This is written, by two blackmen and we had to cast it with a multi-cultural cast. They were the only ones willing to do the parts for the play and they did not even attend church, but they learned about the love of Jehovah. We must write as African American people. We must write as African American people. Write the vision, though it tarry wait on it, it shall accomplish..... thank you for your research tyler, thank you for your research it inspires me even the more.

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