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Lena Dunham Addresses "Girls" Diversity Criticism & Why I Just Don't Care...

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
May 8, 2012 3:29 PM
140 Comments
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girls

"I wrote the first season primarily by myself, and I co-wrote a few episodes. But I am a half-Jew, half-WASP, and I wrote two Jews and two WASPs. Something I wanted to avoid was tokenism in casting. If I had one of the four girls, if, for example, she was African-American, I feel like — not that the experience of an African-American girl and a white girl are drastically different, but there has to be specificity to that experience [that] I wasn't able to speak to. I really wrote the show from a gut-level place, and each character was a piece of me or based on someone close to me. And only later did I realize that it was four white girls. As much as I can say it was an accident, it was only later as the criticism came out, I thought, 'I hear this and I want to respond to it.' And this is a hard issue to speak to because all I want to do is sound sensitive and not say anything that will horrify anyone or make them feel more isolated, but I did write something that was super-specific to my experience, and I always want to avoid rendering an experience I can't speak to accurately."

Lena Dunham's response to public outcry over the lack of diversity in her popular new HBO series Girls

I've received several emails from readers asking if we are going to address this Girls matter, and, for the most part, I've avoided any discussion about it, because, quite frankly, I just don't care! There - I said it. 

I'll make this short and sweet.

Not that I don't care about the lack of diversity in not just Dunham's series, but in television and film (especially at the studio level) in general; Of course we care, as readers of this site will know very well! However, I think it's silly to place that particular burden on a single show, and on one person's shoulders. 

It's not as if this is the first time we've seen network TV programs with all-white casts; it seems like every year, this comes up. I remember the uber-successful NBC sitcom Friends (which was also set in NYC) and the criticism it received for its lack of diversity in its casting. Eventually Gabrielle Union made history when her featured guest role as the love interest of characters played by both Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, marked the first time a black actor had been featured on the NYC-set sitcom. And that was over 10 years ago. 

Evidently little has changed, because we are STILL having these same discussions several years later, and I'm just sick and tired of it all!

I'm far less upset with the Lena Dunhams of the world, who are really writing from their own true-to-life experiences, no matter how shallow and insular we might think of them; really, is it that difficult to fathom 4 white girls living in Brooklyn, who have no black friends? It's not for me. I live in Brooklyn, and it's as segregated as any other multi-racial/ethnic community. Sure there are pockets here and there where you'll find a nice mix of skin-tones. But, we're nowhere as post-racial as some might think. And socio-economic class is also very much a consideration.

I should note that *we* (black people) certainly aren't the only *minority* group that's marginalized and under-represented. 

May I suggest that, Instead, whatever frustration you feel should be directed at yourselves, and each other, as well as those black men and women in the industry - especially those with power and influence to affect change.

The problem, as I see it, and as has long been the case, is one of variety - specifically, a lack of it, where black representation is concerned. We keep waiting, hoping, wishing that eventually the white executives who run the industry will suddenly have a change of perspective, and we become no longer invisible to them; but we're continuously disappointed. So we fight over the few crumbs that we get annually.

Instead we should invest all that energy into supporting those black filmmakers, content creators, movements, initiaitves, causes, organizations, etc, etc, etc. that we see some value in. Will doing that change the face of the industry overnight? No; but it's far more productive, as far I'm concerned, and will likely eventually lead to the kind of change we keep crying for.

Dunham said that the 'race" problem in Girls will be addressed in the next season, and the characters will be more diverse. Great! However, I'm not a fan of what she called classic network tokenism in casting; in essence, don't give us characters of color just to meet a quota, or as a knee-jerk reaction to the criticism. And then when she does include black characters who aren't written as we'd like them to be, we'll only just criticize further!

If anything, I think she should stop apologizing, and just follow Woody Allen's approach. The man has been criticized for years for just how insular the worlds he creates on film are; but that obviously hasn't affected his choices, and his success.

So I just can't get worked up over this single show and this single writer. And I actually think it's unfair.

I haven't watched a single episode of Girls, and I don't intend to. It's of no interest to me. I have so much else to keep up with. I hear it's a good show, well-written etc. But nothing about it attracts me. 

But it's certainly not the first, nor will it be the last high-(or low-) profile TV show that's absent of *color*. Little has changed in decades, and I don't expect much to change; but what we do have control over is how we respond to these things. And the same old response - getting upset about it, and voicing our frustrations - hasn't produced much in terms of results; because we are STILL having the same conversations, and vocalizing the same criticisms.

So it's time to sing a different tune altogether.

Maybe revisit Girlfriends on DVD, and push for a reboot of some kind.

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140 Comments

  • Serene | September 11, 2013 12:14 PMReply

    Girls is a funny well-written show and it's obvious that Dunham writes what she knows (however insular her little world is). As a fan of Dunham's Tiny Furniture, who was looking forward to the launch of Girls, I will say that I was disappointed when not even one POC was featured in the principal cast--or even as a recurring character. Dunham saying she was trying to avoid "tokenism" seems like a cop out. What's more likely is that she wrote these characters and assumed that no actor besides a white one could depict them. While close minded of her, Dunham's decisions are far from the biggest problem in Hollywood. She casted several of her close friends from college in the series and based all of the characters on real people. The main thing that's bothering so many people about the whitewashed ensemble of Girls is the fact that the series Girls is subversive in many ways. Women are depicted in a way that we almost never see... Anti-porn sex scenes, unsexualized nudity, female masturbation, women more worried about their careers and their art and each other than having a boyfriend, and women with a different body type than what we're used to seeing (and that doesn't define their character). These are all great strides for the white feminists. Lena Dunham has the gall to call Girls a feminist show, yet excludes people of color and the queer community. Hopefully this criticism will make Dunham understand that the media treats not only white women unfairly, but all women and many men.

  • Jeffery Bradley | July 7, 2012 10:21 PMReply

    Read "The Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television" by Gerry Mander. All questions will be answered. Also The Plug-In Drug: Television, Computers, and Family Life by Marie Winn

  • Jamie | July 5, 2012 8:59 AMReply

    Why can't a show about a clique of rich white girls exist? It exists every second in America in real life.

    The issue of diversity in Girls was a media-generated firestorm but black people took the ball and ran with it.

    I'm frankly bored of black people trying to insert themselves into every story that ever existed. It's a hipster show about an area that is clearly experiencing gentrification just like about 90% of inner city areas across the country.

    We need to get over ourselves. I don't hang out with girls like this and wouldn't WANT to find myself trapped at a dinner table with the spoiled sect to hold an hour long conversation. These are the kids a lot of black people watch on television shows and shake their heads about.

    I just wish people would stop making mini civil rights movements out of issues that don't deserve them.

    The token black girl will be introduced and audiences are going to hate her because she's the token black girl who is written poorly because the writers have no clue what to do with her.

  • yoy | May 18, 2012 7:31 PMReply

    Oh my gosh and then when the parts do come, its "what kinda black girl we gonna hire?"... uptown, downtown, hipster, dark, light... ho hum...
    I think if the shows well written people will show to watch anything. ie Cosby show. Someone mentioned The Wire, but I have to say, that show has a very griddy and narrow focus which could be why it was canceled. Not because of race.
    I just finished shooting a film with a beautiful female black lead and boy is it hard to sell. To the fests or to top tier distribs. I'm not saying its not because of my film. Maybe its just a piece of garbage ;) But I'm not saying its not either. The story has nothing to do with blackness and shes damned good in it. Perhaps if I had her less well spoken and battling an urban lifestyle the execs who think they know where black people fit in would have purchased it already.
    I'm not sure that producers realize what they're doing when creating all white casts. Or when Vanity Fair has a whole spread that doesn't highlight ONE black actress... (just wrote them a letter so don't look at the current issue as an example bcuz I think they heard me.) Peeps are just creating what they know.
    peace out ;)

  • Stefan | May 13, 2012 8:28 PMReply

    I agree....Who cares? There are really great writers of color out there who are making big moves....such as.....Issa Rae.....Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl has to be one of the most hilarious things I've seen on T.V

    But here's something I like to mention. The writer to this show is able to write about her life without any changes. Issa Rae talked of how when she had the opportunity to take this story to the T.V., producers were asking her to change certain colors within the character, in a sense making it not an Awkward Black Girl, but an Awkward Jewish Girl, White Girl or any Girl that isn't dark skinned.

    My question is if Issa Rae had the opportunity to get on this world wide stage of being on HBO or just on T.V., would her voice and her ideas as with the people who she collaborates with be compromised or no?

  • Stefan | May 13, 2012 8:29 PM

    Not on T.V. I meant the internet....swarry.

  • scott | May 11, 2012 3:55 PMReply

    This show brings up some other critical issues in Hollywood. Long standing ones too. The fact that nepotism has a strong grip on the industry. All fo the female leads are daughters of famous and well-to-do people. This isn't a new trend, not at all. Some of my favorite actors in hollywood jumped over thousands of talented people because they were either the children of famous celebrities or the children of wealthy, well connected people. Paul Giamatti for example as well as Rooney Mara. However, it used to be that one or two well known actors were cast to carry a show with fans while lesser known and unconnected actors were brought in to fill out the cast. This show has now 4 relatively unknown actors as the leads who were still cast, not because of talent, but because they are part of the "lucky sperm club"

  • Myah | May 10, 2012 8:28 PMReply

    that wasn't gabrielle union on friends, it was aisha tyler

  • Tracie | September 14, 2013 6:37 PM

    Myah is right. It was Aisha Tyler.

  • anon | May 10, 2012 10:38 AMReply

    When I heard about this intitially I dismissed it and thought here we go again black people begging to be included in a system that doesnt WANT YOU and never has then I heard other people complaining and thought fair enoguh it doesnt have any diversity whatsoever in one of the most diverse cities in the WORLD! Frankly, if wp can complain about hunger games then blacks etc can complain about this! however, I do believe there is a more sinister reason for the exclusion and that is it is not only showing white privilige/supremacy but PROMOTING IT! If they had a black, latin, or asian girl in it what does that say about the white elite? and white privalige? It totally debunks the idea that white people are more superior and exposes the fact that not ALL blacks and minorities are POOR so in order to keep up the pretense to the massses that whites are on top and blacks at the bottom (notice how they show a homeless black man in first ep) NO mainstream tv programme can show black people or ANY minority on the same LEVEL as whites. Btw, the lady in question DOES have bw in her social cirlce but chose to NOT include them in the show.

    But yep agree with tambay bp need to stop gassing up wp heads begging to be included in their "exclusive" cirlces and start looking elsewhere. The first place i would sugest is NOLLYWOOD but I know most people arent intrested but ignore it at your peril thats all i'll say.

  • Rodney | May 11, 2012 12:36 AM

    "The first place i would sugest is NOLLYWOOD but I know most people arent intrested but ignore it at your peril thats all i'll say." - true that. Nollywood now has their own Netflix (http://irokotv.com/) and they used millions in US venture capital cash to launch it, no less...

  • Leon Breckenridge | May 10, 2012 3:14 AMReply

    I went to a diverse school and to this day I know nothing about other people of color outside of black. I kick with them, but I don't know their background like Filipinos. Just because black people are in your neighborhood doesn't mean you know their background. She knows the experience of white woman. It is a good show. People are complaining because it is a show that is good. But what about No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency? We didn't support that show on the SAME NETWORK and it was cancelled. What about Lincoln Heights? Daylight? Chicago Hope? Black people bitch a fit but never support a black show. But we want to be on a show like this? Where white women are getting fucked, masturbating, and talking about HPV. We complain about Precious when there is a few sex scenes. Either support or own shit or die.

  • Miles Ellison | May 11, 2012 8:27 PM

    This post sums up the entire issue. Though I would add a small correction. Black people support garbage black shows. They usually don't support good shows like the ones you listed.

  • From Tokyo | May 10, 2012 3:12 PM

    You said it right there.

  • Tennessee | May 10, 2012 2:12 PM

    No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency was beloved. Ratings were good. Unfortunately, Anthony Minghella died (RIP). That's what did it. Nothing to do with race.

  • AND LET THE CHURCH SAY... | May 10, 2012 5:11 AM

    olly-olly-ee, ally ally in free. Tell the truth and shame the devil!

  • Charles Judson | May 9, 2012 10:50 PMReply

    What Jug said.

  • WOW | May 9, 2012 11:09 PM

    Smart man. :-O

  • JMac | May 9, 2012 10:09 PMReply

    I shouldn't even step in here but I've got the time and there's so many responses :)! I admit I knew nothing about this show until some black folks (online) started saying it was racist for lack of diversity. Heck, that's why I refused to watch Seinfeld and Friends so many years ago - esp after I took a trip to the heart of NYC. And yet, I agree with Tambay. A little older and wiser maybe? More faith in the future of black media? I don't know. But I don't care as much as I used to. I never liked Sex in the City and didn't get why black women were so upset over it - like you would want to see 4 black whores hooking up with different men each episode. I haven't watched Girls and probably won't because it doesn't appeal to me and doesn't speak to my experience. Having said that, I understand Nadine's and Misha's points too ... rewind to the Hunger Games quotes fiasco. Despite my wanting to see myself on screen, the argument doesn't necessarily follow that I can't complain about diversity on other shows. It just depends on the sentiment behind that lack of diversity. If a show is well written (and appeals to the masses - difficult task I know), everybody will watch regardless of the race of the characters. How often do we get well written all black cast shows? Not that often. I don't believe the writer is racist, don't think the network is (anyone remember Grand Avenue?), but I do object to the notion that white people who won't or can't watch shows with more than two black (or anything other than white) casts are "normal." If there were well written black shows, damn straight I would watch but I wouldn't refuse to watch if the cast is 50/50. Maybe because that is reality for most blacks and other minorities in this country. Whites may be able to completely insulate themselves at home, work, school, shopping, etc.. but we can't. However with the overwhelming influence other cultures have had on whites for how many centuries the "I never had any black friends growing up so I don't care to see them on my tv at all" argument is pretty pathetic. They can jam to our music, take credit for our sports victories, laugh at our jokes, emulate our trends but being seen as human beings and not mere vessels of mindless entertainment is beyond their abilities? GTFOOH (my new catch phrase).

  • CareyCarey | May 11, 2012 2:48 AM

    Jmac, first things first. "If you only want to see yourself and your life on film and tv, what's the point in watching at all?" ~Jmac. Short answer: I can't speak for anyone except myself, so I don't know the motives nor desires of common moviegoers. Consequently, it would be awfully presumptuous of you or I to assign such (motives, rewards, curiosities, lusts, thirsts, etc,) to white folks in general (I don't know what propels people to watch movies and tv). However, although you say people in India can relate to any mainstream Hollywood movies, I do know white folks in the USA do not have to reach outside their shores to feel content and "exceptional". Case in point, how many white folks do you know who thirsts for films made in India, Japan, Africa and Germany ? Moving on -- I never said "they" can't relate, I believe I've implied that they don't choose to relate nor engage themselves in subjects and/or black films because they don't have to. We -- on the other hand -- are forced to seek "white" entertainment (i.e., movies, tv programs, sporting events, parks & recreation) because they control most of the media, not only here in the United State, but also in the major markets around the world. Now, there's a saying: "If a man controls your mind, he controls you". So I'm suggesting we've been brainwashed since slavery to believe "he's" doing "it" right so we should strive to be and act exactly like "him". The end result in many case are statements like this --> "If someone cannot relate to people outside their group at all, no matter the circumstance, I have to say it is abnormal and a bit scary...because every other racial/ethnic group regardless of locality seems to have this ability" . Listen, that statement is terribly flawed because I've been around the world and let me tell you, white americans are a hated group in many circles, and most cannot relate to their imperialistic ways, nor their penchant of racism toward people of color. I am sure you've heard of the term "Ugly Americans"? So JMac, in short, there's nothing new or "odd" nor "adnormal" about white folks who have -- from the beginning of time -- tried to control everything around them. And, there's really nothing new about them not relating to anything outside their world because they don't have to. They are experts at changing everything around them to fit their desires and needs, which includes black folk's minds. And they do a DAMN GOOD JOB!

  • Jmac | May 11, 2012 12:20 AM

    So the question is what does normal mean? My definition of normal lies heavily on what I see the majority do against the minority. If the sole reason a white person refuses to watch a show -ANY SHOW - is because more than one black character pops up (if it were an all black show I'd be a little more inclined to agree that isn't abnormal- of course there are exceptions), that does indicate a problem. I don't think anyone else in the US or in the world behaves strictly along those lines. I just don't get how, for example, people in India can totally relate to "Friends" [or insert any mainstream Hollywood film] and make it a hit despite the lack of color and slight cultural differences yet whites act as though any show [or movie] with more than one non-white person is completely unrelatable and not even worth the effort to see if it is something they might like. Despite a person's predilection to avoid certain subject matters or racial makeups of the actors, everyone puts aside those concerns every now and then if the show/movie/play/etc... is good enough. Recent black shows are not as good as their predecessors (neither are the recent white ones) but the fact they existed convinces many of us to give a show a try on the hopes it lives up to past expectations. If someone cannot relate to people outside their group at all, no matter the circumstance, I have to say it is abnormal and a bit scary...because every other racial/ethnic group regardless of locality seems to have this ability. You can't equate not going to an all white bar in the midwest [what sane black guy would?] with watching a show. The former could put yourself in harm's way. What harm would the latter do? Encourage slight weight gain and weak eyes? Maybe it's the potential to change stubbornly held perceptions about other races, gender, and people as a whole. The best thing about media is the ability to step outside the norm, see and experience different things you normally wouldn't in your real life, satisfy curiosities, without the risk of harm or actual engagement. If you only want to see yourself and your life on film and tv, what's the point in watching at all?

  • CareyCarey | May 9, 2012 11:04 PM

    OH dear Jmac, you said "I shouldn't even step in here". But.... my dear, you did *lol*. Now that you're here, i have a few problems with your comment here--->"I do object to the notion that white people who won't or can't watch shows with more than two black (or anything other than white) casts are "normal." If there were well written black shows, damn straight I would watch but I wouldn't refuse to watch if the cast is 50/50". First JMac, it's great that you agree racism is not the central issue. However, what were you implying with your "not normal" remark? But wait, before you address that, it seems as if you hedged your comment by saying "How often do we get well written all black cast shows? Not that often". Okay, so are white folks "not normal" if they've yet to see well written shows featuring a black cast? And therefore, find no pleasure in watching more of the same mess? I mean, how are you defining normal, because imo, it's absolute "normal" and justified to not watch a program that does not appeal to ones taste. Listen, I know it's a cliche but... "One man's garbage is another man's treasure" and visa versa... "One man's treasure is another man's garbage". That's a fact and absolutely normal human behavior. I know you feel me, but listen. I said this before. I am suggesting that white folks are not necessarily racist or bigots or abnormal if they do not desire watching black folks on their tv or in the movies. Am I wrong if I prefer mysteries over horror films? Are black women abnormal or narrowminded or racist if they do not enjoy the pairing of any race of women that does not match their own (as one commenter suggested). I believe there's nothing wrong with those who gravitate toward individuals who look like them, talk like them, and those who have shared the same struggles in life. It's just an innate human behavior to desire and long for the feeling of "belonging". You can't make a person love you and it has absolutely nothing to do with racist or abnormal human behavior. Hell, I don't go to any joints where white folks are drinking liquor because I know I am not going to like what might happen. I guess I'm not "normal"? :-(

  • Miles Ellison | May 9, 2012 8:11 PMReply

    His name is George Wallace. He was in one episode. All of this word blitz about the lack of diversity in Girls is moot. How many black people would have watched this show even if it was more diverse? The Wire was diverse. So is Treme. Both shows feature complex three dimensional black characters of all stripes. The Wire was almost canceled after 3 seasons because hardly anybody except critics was watching it. Even fewer people are watching Treme. What exactly are we talking about here?

  • Nia | May 9, 2012 8:53 PM

    There we go. I must admit I was one of the people who was disenchanted with the show because of the lack of diverse casting. It's grown on me a bit though. I don't think the casting choice needs to be a conscious decision because then it just comes off ingenuine now. I love the Wire and Treme, however, and I was shocked when I asked many black intellectuals, or people who are now complaining about Girls, if the watched and most had never even heard of it.

  • Jug | May 9, 2012 8:42 PM

    Whoops LOL

  • CreoleYaYa | May 9, 2012 7:41 PMReply

    Tambay, you couldn't have said it better. At this point, the studios and the powers that be either don't care and/or just don't have any friends of color. I had a discussion with my teen daughter awhile back about how TV/film portrays sex and dating and how every one usually follows the same formula - the nerds, the jocks, the popular girls and so on. Have you actually seen and/or met the people who write and produce? I have and unfortunately, many were more than likely the underdogs, which is why we see what we see. Same goes for race. Many of these people don't have friends of other races so it's not in their purview to write about it. It doesn't even cross their mind. I remember when Seinfeld, another NY based show, was criticized for lack of diversity and Jerry Seinfeld said that one of his best friend's was a black comedian (I can't remember his name) - well, if that's the case then why wasn't he on the show????

  • Laura | May 9, 2012 5:24 PMReply

    Let me put my two cents in this one. One of the thing that I find missing in this discussion about Lena Dunham is what have been said about her prior to "Girls." There has been a lot of buzz (or outcry ) over her film "Tiny Furniture" being selected for the Criterion Collections. The basic argument from (white male) filmmakers is that Lena comes from priviledge so she is able to make leaps and bounds in career at such a young age in which other filmmakers (not matter what race or gender) are not able to do. These (white male) filmmakers have to toil for years to make any kind of showing. This leads me to my view of Girls. According to Wikipedia she attend Saint Ann School in Brooklyn Heights (an exclusive neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.) I'm from Brooklyn and let me tell you that is a school in where the elite send their children. I've never watched the HBO show. But it seems like its a show about bunch of hipster girls used to "slumming" on their parent's dime (hipster kids are also know as "trust fund kids"-TFK). So I don't understand this call outcry (personally I think it's a PR stunt cause I'm around a whole lot of Black folks they talk about TV show and "Girls" ain't one of them) about her not having Black characters in the film. Well in Brooklyn Heights you see white babies with West Indian nannies (one of my closest friend is a Bajan nannie who work in Brooklyn Heights) And when those grown up kids go slumming in neighborhoods like Williamburg, Fort Greene, Bed Sty, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Carol Garden etc. they segregate themselves from the natives. These natives are white, Black, hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Asian. I think it would be disingenous for the show to have a Black female character lead. This show is made for the hipster (TFK) and hipster-want-to-be. Just my two cents.

  • RZ | December 3, 2012 10:14 AM

    Laura,

    I get it that you may not be familiar with "hipster Brooklyn". To inform you, Williamsburg due to its proximity to Lower Manhattan became the landing bed of an influx of artists who were being forced out of neighborhoods such as the LES and East Village due to rising rents in the early 1990s. That is where the gentrification started. Amongst these artists were people of varying races and backgrounds who built a community based on this. Unfortunately, in a mass consumer based American society, the idea of "hipster" a word historically used since the beat generation to demean artist types has been transformed into "trust fund kid" (always white, always privileged) What made communities like Greenpoint, Williamsburg and now the slowly changing Bushwick into what it is becoming are the artists communities and their culture of makeshift galleries, artist loft spaces, indie music etc...This culture has now appealed to a great many people who can simply be classified as scensters who see this as a hip rebellious outpost for their drunken lifestyles and superficial desires for "bohemia". This is where Lena Dunham and her crew enter.

    I am a black female artist who lives in Greenpoint. The artist space I work out of in Bushwick has people of all backgrounds including racial and economic classes. People like Lena Dunham (and her character Hannah) and her social circle that I meet daily have little to no interest in socializing or even acknowledging the presence of the non-white people in their daily lives. There are times when I attend the same kind of factory loft parties where it is clear that I am an outsider. My boyfriend (who is white) has a few friends who treat me secondary many of them are from places like PA, Wisconsin, Oregon etc and have little to no experience with non-white people. They are unfortunately bringing those behaviors with them to the city.

    I would love to write a show about my bohemian and artistic North Brooklyn. It would be way more exciting than HBO's Girls but it would never get picked up by any cable network and quite frankly, I would not want it to.

  • Jug | May 9, 2012 6:43 PM

    Right. Not that I know anything about that area or that school, but I do know about folks getting "legacied" on in to the club. You have actors here who look at Brian Williams daughter, Allison, who got her very first audition for this & got hired straight outta Yale. Coincidence? Or writers out here struggling for years upon years and then to have a guy who went to Brown call a Brown Alum, who is am ICM agent, and the guy gets not only signed straight away to ICM & 360 but sells a pitch to Warner Bros. It's the way this game happens, who you know & who they know. The talent..meh...everybody has talent LOL It's ironic tho that you have white male filmmakers bitchin' when many of them have been spoon fed their entire career while many artists who are anything else under the sun never get shown the door much less thrown out it LOL Everybody is a victim I swear....

  • Bondgirl | May 9, 2012 4:25 PMReply

    Why even bother having a black girl on this show so stupid ass folks can nitpick her hairstyle choice, and discuss how unrealistic it is for her to be a rich socialite like they do Scandal? Black people, I wish I knew how to quit you.

  • CareyCarey | May 9, 2012 7:54 PM

    **Drum roll**... THERE IT IS! Black folks - Black Folks - Black Folks, you gotta love'em but sometimes "I wish I knew how to quit you". Thanks again Bondgirl -- you've brought it home.

  • Bondgirl | May 9, 2012 4:25 PMReply

    Why even bother having a black girl on this show so stupid ass folks can nitpick her hairstyle choice, and discuss how unrealistic it is for her to be a rich socialite like they do Scandal? Black people, I wish I knew how to quit you.

  • MrBOBB | May 14, 2012 10:50 AM

    Ha! Right on point.

  • CareyCarey | May 11, 2012 8:30 PM

    My long friend Cherish, although you advised me to "stop it" -- and I laughed with you -- I had to come back. I was serious in my praise of Ali because his "voice" is in a minority around discussion boards. I've been paying attention to his thinking pattern and I believe the young man is a very critical thinker who's not easily lead astray. So it's no surprise to me that he came back in an "unapologetic" fashion to set this record straight. And to be honest (you know -- friend to friend honest) I believe you're still swimmming around the "essence" of BondGirl's comment and Ali's subsequent concerns with your reply(s). As Nadine once said: "The devil's in the details"and it appears you're feigning innocence.

  • Cherish | May 11, 2012 3:34 PM

    Ali, I acknowledge that you didn't mention discussions on what it means to be Black, but usually that is what the "nitpicking" alludes too. I don't believe hair should be any different than any other topic, and talking about this or any other uncomfortable topic means that people are nitpicking or being hateful, though sometimes some people do veer off course and go that route. But those topics should be discussed, IMO, not be restricted. It's all about representation, and has been proven over and over again, what we see on TV impacts how people are judged and how we are seen in real life.

  • Ali | May 11, 2012 3:09 PM

    Uh, Cherish, in some way I think a lot of those topics are nitpicking too. I don't engage in them because a lot of them I don't find worthy of my time and I find them extremely counter-productive and draining. This is where I stand on the issue. I completely get what Bondgirl was saying and you don't agree with it. Actually, it seemed like you didn't even understand it but now that I came in with my own take, you tried to spin it. Nope, not playing that. It's just plain silly to try to prove a person wrong for their own opinion. And I never actually said what you quoted...

  • Cherish | May 11, 2012 2:57 PM

    Carey, stop it. Ali, that is the world we live in. Half the discussions on this site are spent on how Black people are represented in the media and its impact on the real world. Why should discussions on hair be considered "nitpicking" yet we hold countless discussions on Dark skin vs. Light skin, Black American vs. Black British actors, Black American vs. Latina vs. Black Latina, Bougie vs. Ghetto vs Urban, Brothas dressing up like women and its impact on the image of Black women - all of that but critiquing hairstyles means we are "nitpicking on what it means to be Black?" LOL REALLY? Seems to me, defining what it is "Black" on television is a very major topic and concern on this site.

  • CareyCarey | May 11, 2012 1:33 PM

    Ali, your wisdom and insight is to be admired. They're wise beyound your age. There's definitely a difference between a "critique" and vengeful rhetoric. Yep, you deal with facts and I like that in you.

  • Ali | May 11, 2012 1:16 PM

    I will say, Cherish, that you make a good point but there is a difference between adoring and/or hating certain hairstyles and nitpicking on if a black woman is natural or not. And, then, it becomes a situation of how natural she is. What does her hair REALLY says about her inner character? What messages do wigs and weaves send to the young black girls? Could she really have that position in society with THAT kind of hair? Blah blah blah. If she wears a weave, she's talked about. If she's natural, people have something to say. Sometimes, it's harder for a black woman to just be. That goes way behind just not liking the actual style she chooses.

  • Cherish | May 11, 2012 12:43 PM

    Sure, because White people NEVER critique or look at things soooooo superficial as hairstyles on their television stars. Sure wasn't white girls who went ballistic over Jennifer Anniston's haircut on FRIENDS, making her infamous overnight. And of course it wasn't White viewers responsible for the ratings PLUNGE of a popular young adult drama because its main star decided to cut off her long curly hair. Oh No. Geez, yall some sensitive negroes.

  • Zeus | May 9, 2012 4:53 PM

    Good Lord you are telling the truth!

  • Jug | May 9, 2012 4:38 PM

    LMBAO

  • Jug | May 9, 2012 2:27 PMReply

    *Sigh* I was keeping out of a number of these frays cuz I've had other things to deal with, like my career LOL But let's be honest. Anyone who says the show is racist has an agenda. Period. The show is not racist. Just like a show with all Black characters is not racist. The decisions that become racist, as Tambay alluded to, are that there aren't enough depictions of various experiences across the board. Hence the article I posted below. That woman is right, TV itself is racist-and sexist/misogynist. The decisions execs make based on numbers, statistics, focus groups, blah blah blah are all based of off the people tho. So isn't it really about us, the audience, too? They are AFRAID to have minority anything in large numbers leading the cast of a series because they believe (tired song & dance) that there won't be ENOUGH of a return on investment-but how many of the comments on this board (in their limited scope) seem to prove them right. "I don't watch it because there's no Black people in it" & what not. Isn't that the same thing white people are saying about OUR shows or at least what the execs believe? But let's talk turkey for a second. HBO is premium cable & doesn't have to worry about advertisers, but the shows still cost MONEY. And honestly, the shows on HBO are more lavish and expensive than any other network (ROME, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, GAME OF THRONES), not to mention the star fucking that goes on (Nolte, Hoffman, Mann, Danson, Byrne, Simon)-you still gotta pay for that. HBO owns & produces all of their shows outright, unlike Showtime who shoulders SOME of the burden but production companies like Warner Horizons & Lionsgate TV are the productions companies feting the bill. So, let me put it to you like this-If it was your $3-5 Mil per episode you were laying down, wouldn't you want to know it was worth it? And that people would watch? I get the anger about some types of shows not getting a shot (DA BRICKS being of prime example tho I don't know if it was Quality or not) and shows that a reeeally specific clique loved and got a lil' run on HBO-HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA, BORED TO DEATH. Critical darlings that did get chopped second & third seasons in respectively. Why? Because it is TOO EXPENSIVE to have shows on where even a smaller percentage of the already small subset of TV watchers watch. Not every show, in fact very few, are gonna have TRUE BLOOD numbers. HOMELAND is a HIT for Showtime & barely manages 1.7 Mil viewers. Seriously?! GIRLS however, premiered to 872,000 but ballooned to 3.8 Mil thanks to DVR. That's why it got a second season. And it's that sort of "promise" that many of these execs aren't sold on when it comes to minority stuff. Let's be real, if the show was about an Indian family, or a Spanish or Mexican family, how many of US would watch it? If we're gonna have agendas, then let's be honest about them & not act like somebody is always doing us a super disservice when they're doing the same thing we'd do ourselves. All of this is a moot point tho, because as we've said before, you can be a Black, Asian, Indian, creative all you want to, but unless there are more minorities as showrunners & button pushers at the networks/studios, you are at the merciless whim of someone who probably "can't/won't/doesn't care to" understand your writing & show viewpoint. They go by the numbers and what's "trending" on twitter.

  • Jug | May 11, 2012 8:19 PM

    And on being done with the topic, Misha, you & I agree LOL

  • Jug | May 11, 2012 8:11 PM

    Oh Didn't know that LOL Yeah, that is a bit much, that kind of media blitz. But Misha, in regards to those "extras" we've all experienced them. Lived them. But I'm like this-in a singular story-they fit when they fit. Project to project. Character to Character. Not ALL characters, Not ALL projects. And even within those projects, not ALL the time. I think about it all the time & think "Hmm, in that chase scene why don't they use Rock music? Or in that Fight sequence, why not Classical or some kind of Folk music? What about Japanese Folk? Or how about silence-just the sound of breathing...What would that do to the scene, how would it enhance it?" But you can't, because as soon as you do, it's not "Black" anymore. I just read the blog post about THE GANGSTER SQUAD and many people over there won't see it because Anthony is a "token" in the movie. That Anthony "brought it on himself because he only works with White actors." "I wish they would just leave the 1 or 2 token Black folks out of their movies. Just leave us alone. Revert back to old hollywood who didn't put Black folks in movies." That last one was part of a larger idea about boycotting, but it was so ridiculous I just had to list it LOL Before people say "oh, that's just a few people"..is it? Why is that the films that seem to be a smash are the ones that contain ALL of the things I referenced & the ones that seem to leave them out barely get distribution and when they do, they're not watched. Someone talked about No 1.LADIES DETECTIVE'S AGENCY. Died a harsh death. I wonder how popular it was in Black households? Look, white films are starting to go that route-I was shocked as shit when THE HANGOVER was ALL Hip-Hop in the beginning, same with KNOCKED UP. They used music that fit the story & the characters and was not limited to "Oh, this is a 'white movie' lemme use Maroon 5 or Cold Play." There's nothing wrong with showing characters who do all sorts of craziness, now. Drama is not about the day nothing happened. But still, not every character is Loud. Not every character is hood. Not every character or story is about "the struggle". Not every Black person uses slang or listens to hip-hop. Not every character is stepped in the Church. But when they do & it fits, it's great! I LOVE PLAYER'S CLUB...LOVE FRIDAY. But JANKY PROMOTERS...FIRST SUNDAY?! After seeing ARE WE THERE YET? I know Cube can flip that shit & do something different. But he's selling a BRAND and a BRAND has it's definitions & THAT is what bugs me. We need more FILMS vs BRANDS. If all of Scorcese's films, LAST TEMPTATION, THE AVIATOR, HUGO, KING OF COMEDY-if everyone in one of his films all sounded like GOODFELLAS, CASINO or MEAN STREETS I'd say A) he's a hack director & B)wow, I guess everybody is Italian & that's who "they" do. But his Brand is "filmmaker", not "Italian" Filmmaker-tho he does New York Italian better than anyone alive LOL Hughes Bros-they make MENACE but then do FROM HELL. Then they come back & do the AMERICAN PIMP Doc and then exec produce USA's TOUCHING EVIL with Bruce Willis. NONE of those projects are exactly the same, much less carrying ALL the same creative parts-but they're all decidedly Hughes Bros-not "Black" projects. Are they no longer "Black" directors? Why can't that be the same for films with "Black" casts? For me, that's sad, because it is limiting & a self-fulfilling prophecy-there's more to Life, more to Art to experience than just what "Black People Do", even to Ourselves.

  • Nadine | May 11, 2012 8:08 PM

    ...I'm all behind.

  • misha | May 11, 2012 7:21 PM

    "'But I still believe OVERALL the movie was a normal film that happened to have Black Actors in it. Period." >>>> Ok Jug, I've got some issues with this statement but I'm damn near tired of this topic so I'm not even going there! LOL Carey, Is that really you talkin 'bout riding with Misha? Nu-uh! I think Carey's been hacked! ;)

  • misha | May 11, 2012 7:12 PM

    If a movie or TV show doesn't have certain tried & true archetypal (much less stereotypical) African-American tropes, like the slang, is it no longer Black? Is it pandering to "whites"?>>> Nope. But that isn't what I was referring to when I said "pandering to whites." I'm talking about black folk going the extra mile to convince white folk that such and such isn't "just black or not black at all." It happened with some of the cast of TLAM. A few of them were all on twitter and tv proclaiming that this isn't a "black movie." And of course I rolled my eyes for reasons already mentioned. Alas, it may not have been a "black movie" but I found it corny as hell, whatever kind of movie it was striving to be! LOL And I'm sorry but why is it that black folk are being "extra" for adding certain slang, music, etc into their work? Could it just be that they're writing what they know (however limited it may be), just as Ms. Dunham herself has said? Either way, it's not something I have a problem with because black folk (or other POC) shouldn't feel the need to exclude certain aspects of black culture from their work, lest they be accused of making a "black movie"...which apparently is now a horrible thing. I am of the belief that one including cultural aspects in their work doesn't preclude an "ousider" from being able to identfy with said work because ultimately, we're all telling stories about love, loss, life, etc. And who among us haven't experienced such things?

  • Jug | May 11, 2012 12:44 PM

    And after reading what I wrote, I'm a lil embarrassed. Yeah, Gabriel & Jerry were getting high & Megan had those "Man" convos with LaLa. My bad LOL But I still believe OVERALL the movie was a normal film that happened to have Black Actors in it. Period.

  • Jug | May 11, 2012 12:40 PM

    Misha, maybe you misunderstood me. I'm not talking about pandering to whites. I'm not talking about the things that make us Black or people of the Diaspora. I'm not talking about educating white people on anything. Quite the contrary. This isn't about them. It's about OUR product. What I AM talking about, is this need to add EXTRA character behavior, dialect, settings, music etc to prove to all that this a "Black" production. Watch some of the filmed stage plays that are now SO popular with Black audiences, you will see. It's like I said about COSBY, a great many Black people who were "irritated" by this "portrayal" of the Black family. Why is that? People hated Bryant Gumble because he "talked white" when in actuality that dude did more for Blacks in entertainment & Journalism than a lil' bit. People don't know that, but they should. His job was about DICTION, so he took it upon himself to have the best fucking diction of anyone-Black or White. But all we got on the outside was Precise Speech & Lack of Slang. We all see how that went down, huh? It's because I think often times we've bought the "it's a Black thing, You wouldn't understand" hype. If a movie or TV show doesn't have certain tried & true archetypal (much less stereotypical) African-American tropes, like the slang, is it no longer Black? Is it pandering to "whites"? One of them being the masculinity of the Black Man. In THINK LIKE A MAN, Romany Malco would NEVER have been the player. NEVER. Why? Because his features are..soft. He's not a soft man at all, but he ain't Jim Brown. He ain't Denzel. He ain't Michael Ealy or Morris Chestnut. He and Mike Ealy were actually cast AGAINST type. And they both rocked it. Why? Because those characters matched with their essence as people, are more than some "set in stone" idea of what Black Manhood is. And we're all the better for having seen it & taken it on board-even if we don't know it. In the same movie, aside from the use of the word Nigga & the music choices (well maybe old boys mom sleepin with the Pastor), what in that movie said "THIS IS A BLACK MOVIE Y'ALL, IT'S US!!"? I'm really asking that question. Because as far as I can tell it..uhhh...just had a Black cast. Period. Nobody was adding extra colloquialisms, whether regional or national. Nobody was spending time doing five minute handshakes. Nobody was spending five minutes talking about how fine somebody was. Nobody was having a ridiculously dull conversation about how Men are dogs. Nobody shot anyone or even TALKED about shooting anyone. There was no drug use. There was no reference to anyone's weaves. You see where I'm going with this? John Leguizamo has a great joke line in FREAK where he says “I went to a play A Chorus Line. And I heard the name Moralez on stage. And there was this Latin person there. And she ain’t have a gun in her hand or a hyperdemic needle. She wasn’t a hooker or a maid….so it was kinda hard to tell if she was Latin.” To this DAY that speaks to me. Our humanity, not just as Black people but as People, is more than the tics we throw on it. Now, you may say "Jug, you're full of it because those are stereotypes". I know that. But for some crraaazy reason, it has become a benchmark for Black cinema & especially Black TV, at least in America & that which gets the widest distribution (a conversation for another day). And in reality, a good many of those things I've enjoyed myself, both as a viewer and in real life LOL But it's NOT the WHOLE of being Black in America, much less the world. And it's not my being EACH & EVERY day. So why must it be in each & every movie or TV show? Sometimes, often times, people of color just get up, go to work, deal with a shitty boss, get a promotion, feel good about themselves, come home & kiss their wife (or man) & play with their kids. What about those daily rituals is so astronomically different than anyone else on the planet? But it seems that we have to spend EXTRA time saying HOW DIFFERENT our life is? In terms of actual projects, I loved EVE'S BAYOU & TALK TO ME. As crazy as those characters were, they were Black but they were germane to the story being told, so they fit. Not a representation of a newly minted genre "Urban (Black)" film as a whole. And that bugs me-the idea that in order to fit a "niche" you have to have "those things". Bullshit. I put it like this. Our President...has a pimp walk. I LOVE it. That is Barack Obama walks, funny..like A LOT of TALL MEN-BLACK OR WHITE. But I also know that he doesn't put that on to show people how "Black" he is. A big old performance from MARINE ONE to THE BEAST. Like KRS-ONE said "I don't walk this way to portray/or reinforce/stereotypes of the day" But to each their own, do what you gotta do to make a Buck. I guess....

  • CareyCarey | May 11, 2012 12:28 PM

    Misha, forget everything I've said about you in the past because now I'm riding with you girl. I mean, you couldn't have said it better --> "I have better question for you. Why is it our burden as black folk to educate whites... to get them to see that they can actually enjoy a tv show or movie with characters/actors who don't look like them? Why is it our responsiblility to get on tv, the radio, a blog and proclaim that xyz isn't "just black?" HELLO... NOW YOU'RE TALKIN' Miss Misha. Why do we even care about what they think, who they love or what they do? In the end shouldn't we live by the words of the Isley Brothers --> "It's yo thang do what you wanna do, I can't tell you, who to give yo love to"

  • misha | May 11, 2012 12:02 PM

    "As to "pandering to whites" why is it pandering when wanting to focus on the truth of the human experience vs. the extraneous isms that separate us?" >>>> I have better question for you. Why is it our burden as black folk to educate whites... to get them to see that they can actually enjoy a tv show or movie with characters/actors who don't look like them? Why is it our responsiblility to get on tv, the radio, a blog and proclaim that xyz isn't "just black?" Forget about the troubling stigma implied in said statement, co-signing such narrow-minded nonsense essentially affirms white privilege and I'll never be ok with that.

  • Jug | May 10, 2012 4:46 PM

    Nadine...WHAT. THE. F*!&?!? LMBAO It's like she was mauled & eaten by Lil' Kim :-O Serious question no argument, do you think folks would look at it as she A) got the role with her talent & changed their minds (the fact she got in to read is a testament to her reps) B) they needed an "ethnic" character (Slater wasn't enough) or C) all of the above?

  • Nadine | May 10, 2012 4:21 PM

    ...I'm in near tears... somebody please save Lark Voorhies. http://omg.yahoo.com/yo-show/saved-by-the-bell-s-lisa-turtle-today-29246511.html - I thought it apropos that this video pop up today on Yahoo! about VOORHIES whom we know was not who the producers had in mind for "Lisa Turtle" (tie in with GIRLS as what is possible, not that I care) which led me back to S&A for a minute (I'll have to catch up on what you all are writing below later tonight), but LAWDY!!! Something happened to my girl... such a shame! Somebody save her! I'm shocked!

  • CareyCarey | May 10, 2012 3:40 PM

    s'il vous plaît pardonnez-moi, has anyone seen Misha? I thought I heard her blowing bubbles :-0. Hey Nadine, I think it would be wise of me to defer my opinion (on the "race card/cry racism" "white priviledge" and who's soothing whom to Jug's superior knowledge because he says it and writes it much better than I. If I had his hand I'd through mine away, so check this --> "I'm not (and Carey is not) saying there is no racism or that racism doesn't factor into decisions. That's just stupid talk LOL What I'm saying and Carey is saying is by calling everything racist , you devalue the argument of racism existing at all. You make yourself A) a Victim & B) open to the same sort of criticism, justified or not!" . Now Nadine, don't get me wrong, in another debate on the other tangential issues you've raised, you're in there, but again, it's becoming glarringly obvious that your argument has never been my argument. However, on the issue of what I prefer to read and watch (black films or white films, black authors or white authors) I believe you may be referring to a statement I made concerning the movie Shame. I believe I said (or what I meant to convey) was I get no pleasure from watching flat ass white chicks and naked ass white men. If I had to chose between a white skin flick or a black one -- I'm riding with black. Now, as a whole, I have to say I receive more pleasure from watching "white" films than black ones. But let me qualify that statement before I'm run out of S&A. It goes without question that there are more "white" movies than there are black ones. Therefore it's easy to surmise that since the inception of the movie business there has been more wonderful white actors than black ones. The sheer number of white films will support that statements. Consequently, since watching movies has been one of the pleasures I enjoyed with my wife of 35 years ( going to film festival and erry'thang) I still maintain a diet of at least 60 movies a month. Now, although I watch practically every genre of films - and receive pleasure from each -- I can be a very critical movie watcher, to a point that I piss myself off. You know, I can't enjoy the damn movie because I'm noticing small nick-nacky "errors" or tecnical flaws or I am questioning the actor()s "abilities". Anyway, going back to my statement that I enjoy watching "white" films more than black films, I am basically saying there's simply more white films to chose from that hit my pleasure zone. And, to be brutally honest, there has been arguably 50 times more great/good/qualified white actors than people of color. And, I believe it goes without question that the huge diverse subject matter in white films rides roughshod over that of black films. To reiterate, although I believe I've watched more black films than the average moviegoer (much more) and immensely enjoyed the experiences (several times over in many cases), if I could somehow total up the "good" stack of black films and black actors against the "good" stack of white films with white actors -- that I've seen, sheer numbers would have white films winning by a looooong mile. However, on the book tip, I seldom read white literature, fiction that is. There's just too many fantastic black authors that I can relate to, for me to have to venture in the white guy or white woman's direction. Btw, you mentioned movie suggestions? I am always open for suggestions. Oh, if you happen to see Misha, tell her I'll meet her down by the sandbox.

  • Jug | May 10, 2012 3:39 PM

    Nadine-I see you've made your voice heard on the comments section for the S&A GANGSTER SQUAD post-about Anthony Mackie against the ridiculousness. Proof positive about what I'm saying here.....Okay NOW I'm done LOL

  • Jug | May 10, 2012 2:29 PM

    And before anybody says it "No, I'm not indoctrinated into Hollywood" & all that crap. I just am a little older & a little bit more understanding of Life in general & what PEOPLE can & will do...

  • Jug | May 10, 2012 2:21 PM

    The funny thing is Misha, I agree with everything you said. The difference, is I've gotten to a point where I can see past things "having to be Black." & seeing the boogeyman around every corner. I think you can too, but many cannot. Just like many white people can't see past everything being "White" because for them they are the standard by which all others are based. It's living in a vacuum, in an echo chamber. When Malcolm X started seeing more people believing in Islam who were not Black, he had an ephiphany. Humanity is Humanity, it is not White, Black or the otherwise. There are some who get it & there are many who do not. I no longer blanketly just say, "white people do this""black people do that" and after almost a decade in Hollywood, I REALLY don't make those wide sweeping statements-at least based on race anyway. It is Too. Simplistic. My point is that when these racial situations come up, people often get into that mode reactionism and not seeing things for what they are. If we're debating that the bullshit excuse, however real to them, of "I don't relate to Blacks, minorities because I was never exposed" is true-I'm with you. I don't excuse it, but I DO understand it & deal accordingly. As to "pandering to whites" why is it pandering when wanting to focus on the truth of the human experience vs. the extraneous isms that separate us? It's the same issue folks on S&A go over time & time again. My fiance is Episcopalian. Her church has a high percentage of Blacks-mainly Africans. Are they no longer Black because they don't worship like the stereotypical Black Baptist or A.M.E.? That is my point. You can still get humanity, with Black people in reference, without resorting to extra "stuff" to tell you "these people are Black". Sometimes it's necessary and sometimes it's not. I work with a Jewish cat. If we were making a movie about him, would he have to wear glasses, have a big nose, wear all black & walk everywhere on Saturday to know he's "Jewish"? I used those ridiculous stereotypes, tho often times true, to point out that you don't have to have it to get at the heart of a person-of a people. SEINFELD-for the longest time I never knew ALL the characters were Jewish. Just thought it was George & Jerry. Jerry, well because he's Jerry Seinfeld & George because of his parents. But they're all Jewish. Didn't know that for a while. Do I need to watch a Black show with all the heaping helping of "Black Gravy" on it to know they're Black? We all love THE COSBY show, but you had a decidedly vocal group of people who felt it was "Whites in Blackface." C'mon son! That kidn of thinking, those exaggerations & special tics often get in the way of the Humanity of the character & the connection with them, the truth of the story the same way nudity gets in the way of the point of a scene. After a while it's "Ooo boy, look at that ass" or "Yo, why's his pimp so hard?!?" I totally agree with White privilege. The interview Tambay just posted with Nonso touches on that when he mentions his white counterparts getting along quicker than him, but with the same skill set & same reviews of their work-but yet he wants to work with Spielberg & Cameron & is inspired by Akira Kurosawa. He gets the ugliness of the world but he also gets the humanity of others as well as their artistry. I get that too. Sometimes those issues are murky & we're not sure if it's offensive or not. And sometimes a chick just writes a corny show about her friends. For whatever we want to say, Tyler Perry saying Madea is an amalgamation of the women in his life, that could damn well be true. We ALL know women like that, I know do (my aunt in her day was bananas). But it has become a trope of not just Black comedy, but a painful stigma of the representation of Black Women, the masculinazation of them. I get that. And I agree-to a point. I can also look at Tyler Perry and go "that dude ain't for me & that guy is not making fun of women." Some choose not to see it like that. Some choose to see hatred and pain in what he has done & they'll go down swinging trying to erase it from the scene. But would we feel the same way if more women dressed as men? I don't know, but at least there'd be more breadth to those creative examples and hopefully, it'd reveal a whole helluva lot about being a woman-or being a man. That's all I'm sayin'. I've given this Lena Dunham chick & her show waaaay more space in my head than necessary. LOL

  • misha | May 10, 2012 1:42 PM

    Carey, go have a whole stadium full of seats. Please and thanks! Nadine, how did I do? ;)

  • misha | May 10, 2012 1:37 PM

    Jug, damn...you want me to read all of that?! LOL Ok, I'mma try to break it down point by point. :) 1. It is true that people gravitate to others who are more like them. However, that doesn't explain why it so damn hard for black writers/producers/actors to get projects greenlit when they get in the room with these white execs and especially when it has been proven many times over that black movie/tv shows can sell. Haven't we been told that the most important color in Hollywood is Green? Ha. What a joke. 2. Pointing out that a show lacks diversity isn't tantamout to saying that the show itself or the people behind it are racist. A situation can be racial WITHOUT being racist. I haven't heard anyone say Dunham is a racist for not having any girls of color on her show. But anytime race is mentioned, some folk go on the defensive with this silly " playing race card," I'm not a racist" nonsense. 3. Some white folk may have watched the shows you mentioned but is there any doubt that those shows wouldn't have been as successful if there weren't popular with blacks? 4. Would I stop watching "white shows" if I had a choice? NO! The show I watch, I watch first and foremost because I like them, not because I have no other choice. But here's the main point, we (black folk) may give a show a chance because there aren't really any alternatives but once we get into it, we see the universal themes, the emotions that make us all human. Hence, why most of us continue to watch despite the lack of diversty. However, because white folk have the luxury of choice, many of them will go on believing that they can't possibly relate to any of the characters on a "black show." THAT'S the the difference. THAT'S white privilege in effect. 5. I HATE when one proclaims that someone/thing is "not just black." Excuse me, but what's wrong with being "just black?" Why is white approval so damn important to so many black folk? Has it not been proven that projects can be successful despite being "just black?" Moreoever, has it not been proven that the majority of whites aren't gonna accept your black ass, regardless? LOL So really, it's a pathetically futile exercise in pandering to whiteness.

  • Jug | May 10, 2012 12:52 PM

    Oh I meant to say Clint's movie FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS & that it trotted the 4 guys around as a "sham", not a "shame". My typing has been poo lately.

  • Jug | May 10, 2012 12:48 PM

    POSTSCRIPT-I think we also forget that Hollywood, like Government, is not some monolithic "THING" but it is People. With all their virtues & faults. Gotta sort through all of that AND our own bs biases to see things clearly. Tough thing to do indeed.

  • Jug | May 10, 2012 12:46 PM

    Nadine, my bad. I shouldn't have used quotes as if it was an actual phrase from below. It was meant as a theme that is pervasive when it comes to this sort of situation. Carey is right with what I'm getting at. I'm not saying there is no racism or that racism doesn't factor into decisions. That's just stupid talk LOL What I'm saying is by calling everything racist, you devalue the argument of racism existing at all. You make yourself A) a Victim & B) open to the same sort of criticism, justified or not. I sometimes speak from my experience but I try not to say my experience is the experience of everyone. So below, I'm sure that there are people who went to schools like Lena's, or didn't. Watched shows like Lena's or don't. It doesn't make them less/more valid but it ultimately is not evidence that THIS instance of a damn tv show, is racist. It's ultimately defeating the argument, basically saying "well, that's not true because I didn't live that." That sort of thinking is childish & arrogant, the "I'm always right" mentality. Again, total bullshit because it's the argument used against us when we want to portray OUR viewpoints & aesthetics in all it's various forms. I agree that much of TV is highly discriminatory but come on yo, white people DO NOT corner the market on that. All the time in Black shows that many of us like to watch (LOVE THAT GIRL, THE GAME, SINGLE LADIES, GIRLFRIENDS, etc) we pick a certain group-often another minority we feel superior to-and we put them as the boob or object of derision. Latinos & Asians who speak nary a bit of English, Flaming Gay folks-especially Gay folks. Do we not? We take the formula of time-tested comedy (straight man, funny girl, oddball) and we plug in those characters we know will get a laugh. Shit rolls downhill. MARTIN was a hit in Black households using the very same tactics, they just substituted a Darkskin woman & a cross-dressing man for another ethnicity. What I'm saying is two fold, White People do not corner the market on racism/discrimination & some things just aren't racist even though we desperately want them to be. Take Spike's argument about FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS. I partially agree with "He didn't have any Black soldiers in the story", he didn't. But he wasn't telling THE definitive story of Iwo Jima, like it was some History channel special. He told A story of Iwo Jima, focusing primarily on the 4 white guys who were paraded around America as a shame to drum up support for the war. With MIRACLE, did Spike set out to tell the story of Asian or Latino soldiers who fought in WWII? Or Women? No, he did not. Does that make his movie racist? Discriminatory? Or is it the movie he chose to make to focus on certain aspects of an event & illuminate them? That's why there needs to be a breadth of stories so ONE does not become ALL & it's why I agree with Tambay above, saying it's unfair to say this chick is racist, because she chose to tell her story. She didn't tell the story of New York/Brooklyn as a whole. If she said "I'm telling the story of Brooklyn from 1900-2000" and there were no Black people at all, I'd be like GTFOH. In the end, many stories come down to our druthers & if we want something & don't see it, we feel violated & cheated instead of thinking clearly & assessing, "Is it what it is compared to what I expected? Is this thing for me? Is it truly racist & vile?" AKIRA casting all white guys instead of Asian actors, THAT is racist. Mickey Rooney, in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, is racist. ALL IN THE FAMILY making a point about bigots through Archie Bunker, is not racist (tho Archie is a bigot & a racist). But by that same token, was George Jefferson a racist? How many times did he call Tom a honkey & slam the door in Dudley's face? Too many too count. Oh, & I'd say FRIENDS copied LIVING SINGLE, both in tone & structure. The male characters were integral to the story. SEX & THE CITY & GIRLFRIENDS are more akin to each other in tone & structure. The men didn't matter so much as it was about the women navigating life via their own skill sets. I'm kinda over this anyway, cuz I don't like GIRLS at all LOL

  • nadine | May 10, 2012 9:43 AM

    My quote, "It's like some sub-conscious need to defend the very bitchy Lena Dunham. I mean she has been an asshole in her responses and please don't tell me that there was no other way.... "Precious"... my ass. How very "dominantly" privileged of her."... I meant to assign to Arfin not Dunham. Outey...

  • Nadine | May 10, 2012 9:30 AM

    CORRECTION: "(which hadn't even occurred to me since I'm used to *NOT* identifying with characters here in the U.S. based on race)"... I'm outey...

  • Nadine | May 10, 2012 9:24 AM

    CAREY - I'll be quick... 1) The quote you addressed in your first line was not a quote I was assigning to you specifically (or at least verbatim). I actually made a point of saying that quote, as far as I could find, could be not assigned to ANYONE on this page, BUT that the only time I'd heard anything similar to that sentiment was from a number of our conversations on books written by non-Blacks and non-Black films (you stated that you were not going to watch a film because it was not a Black film and that was basically your philosophy). I was even going to come up with a list of movies that you'd have to check out that you might not have seen if you truly subscribed to that philosophy. You and I then went back and forth. IF I must, I will go find the conversation (that I'd lost actually which is why I didn't continue), and get citations if you require (but not today); 2) ...the fact that you have subscribed to this notion of a "race card" is problematic. CAREY, my love, Puh-LEASE don't. What say you about most White Americans dismissal of truth in this race-based society?... is there a b!tchy/snarky idiom for them? "Race card" is a phrase used to humiliate and dismiss a specific people who are subject to very real discrimination and inequalities on which the dominant culture has thrived upon for so many years. "They" are clear when discrimination is valid and when it is not which is why we often delude ourselves into thinking that we, as Black people, are crying wolf because the dominant White American society picks and chooses what gets reported and more often than not, they choose the least valid complaints to make fools out of the sub-population OR we are SO hyper-sensitive to the needs of the dominant White American society that we AMPLIFY and CHASTISE the few Black complaints that ARE blown out of proportion in an attempt to soothe the dominant society while generalizing the thoughts and beliefs of the sub-population. There are so many stories we do not hear about that they keep to themselves so as not to "stoke the flames" of clear inequities; 3) As I stated in my comment, I'm not seeing an overwhelming presence of posts that are decrying Dunham's casting ON THIS PAGE. I see a lot of "I don't care's" and those who are getting deeper into the issue seem to be responding more to comments on this page and not to Dunham. I specifically stated that I did not, and WE ALL SHOULD NOT, fall victim to this PASSING OF THE BUCK/BLAME/SCAPEGOATING placed on the backs of BLACK PEOPLE, per usual, because WHITE insiders navigating their way through the industry are pissed at Dunham's meteoric, yet greatly aided, rise; 4) I would want to address the last part of your statement, but I don't know which part of it is the quote and which part of it is your take on the quote... sorry. BTW - @JUG... I'm not ashamed to admit that I LOVED Sex & the City (even though I swear Bushnell got some inspiration from Living Single... check the dates and compare the characters... it's actually ridiculous; maxine/miranda, regine/samantha, synclaire/charlotte, khadijah/carrie - compare careers and dispositions, LS - 1993-1998/SC, column started in 1994 and show started in 1998...I've always wanted to put that out there on the Internet...completely circumstantial). The women were all very familiar to me despite their Whiteness (there are other ways to identify with people - region, gender, career, the list goes on... it's really not that big of a deal). I just don't identify with GIRLS on a multitude of levels not "race" (which hadn't even occurred to me since I'm used to identifying with characters here in the U.S. based on race). I'm a girl... I like looking at pretty things be they specific traits in people, clothing, etc... and I like smart and funny things... Dunham fits none of this criteria therefore I'm not interested in the show. I'm not her audience anyway. No biggie.

  • CareyCarey | May 10, 2012 8:23 AM

    First Nadine, I don't believe I've ever said "I don't watch it because there's no Black people in it". Maybe I am misinterpreting your words? Moving on, I don't see this debate as defending Lena Dunham. I believe it's more about those of use who are simply tired of the race card swipe... if you know what I mean? I know that's were Jug is coming from because we've talked about it. I mean, how can we (black folks) be taken seriously if everytime something does not "go out way" we cry racism? That's my problem with posts of this nature and the resulting comments. Listen, one commenter ever suggested that it was odd that white people (some white people) didn't enjoy watching black characters. But in reality, I believe it's more than strange that many black folks love nothing more than to assimilate the ways and looks of white folks. Yeah, is it not strange and odd and adnormal to beg someone to adore you? That's especially odd when the one being begged has shown a history of deploring everything about you. Anyway... gotta go... late for a meeting.

  • Nadine | May 10, 2012 7:55 AM

    CAREY - Have you ever heard of the phrase "wrong and strong", mi dear? You know I love me some JUG, but I don't agree 'cause he is WRONG (dammit), but clearly I have lost this argument because I am unable to put in the time necessary (my post addressing JUG's points was so long that it was out of control, yet it was nowhere near complete... I had to cover everything from Reagan-era politics, the fall of political correctness, pre-FRIENDS and post-FRIENDS television and film, mystical negro/gress, Affirmative Action, Obama and so on...all leading to an especially entitled dominant society here in the U.S.) to jump into the fray here. Mind you, I don't give two hoots about these hackneyed/homely girls casting a Black girl (maybe a sloppy bi-racial girl, but would you really want them to control HER storyline) on their show because it is NOT reality. "Privileged"and "plain", though, are words I'm throwing out to you all because they are very important. I very much went to school with girls like these. I know more about these multi-culti, privileged schools that help breed these kids and the inner workings of these "Lena Dunham" types (and the fact that their rare popularity is based on their parvenu, or as we like to say "hurry come-up" parents) than I do about the "folks" whom I really didn't encounter until I went to college (which was a disaster btw - so innocent was I). As I said below, these girls know that they are not attractive and use their Whiteness, femaleness and privilege DESPERATELY to counter act... ugh...I'm too tired. I actually do not have the energy. I'm just not understanding why this post is getting so much play, especially when a lot of people are saying the same thing...they don't care. It's like some sub-conscious need to defend the very bitchy Lena Dunham. I mean she has been an asshole in her responses and please don't tell me that there was no other way.... "Precious"... my ass. How very "dominantly" privileged of her. Black people are being used as distractions to drive this controversy for Lena Dunham's work and crew when it is really the struggling Whites in the industry who hate her and her privileged fast track. I've seen so many articles from non-Blacks on Dunham's casting/racism that it was getting annoying. So, that's it. We're over here on the boards scolding Black people, who really don't care, in defense of this a$$ because we are always quick to speak in generalities and talk sh!t about each other. @JUG, I'm still trying to find the sources for your quote explaining the mindset of some on this board, "I don't watch it because there's no Black people in it". Your comments are leading us to believe that a number of people on the boards are making that sentiment. I'm not seeing that at all... Although I have heard that type of statement from CAREY before, I don't see or hear it often, ESPECIALLY from the women. I could say more more, but as I said... a bit lazy over here... slightly overworked and in need of a va-cay...

  • CareyCarey | May 9, 2012 8:15 PM

    Stop it Nadine! Don't even think about being a co-defendant in Misha's killing... LMBAO. Everybody knows Jug is too strong for that young child. In fact, they've been here before. That's right, Jug thoroughly trottled her in a debate 2 months ago. Yep, I believe she likes punishment (maybe it's a love thang?). Watch... she'll be back pointing fingers at me, but I'm just passing the message. In essence I am trying to help her. You know -- friend to friend -- I'm trying to telling her to stop making a fool of herself :-). But hey, my name is bennet and I ain't in it **snicker**

  • Jug | May 9, 2012 7:46 PM

    Well then Nadine, as usual, we agree to disagree.

  • Nadine | May 9, 2012 7:31 PM

    You're so very wrong JUG. :( ... I'm too lazy... take him MISHA!

  • Jug | May 9, 2012 6:31 PM

    Misha, it is my pleasure LOL No seriously, I just hadn't been on the board like that. Actually, I don't think it's silly at all. I'm just letting folks know what the thought is because I've been in those offices. Spoken with those execs after they have pitch/dev meetings. And really, it's just human nature to not go where you're not wanted. I think I said it once before but if you have time, look up in the trades about who is making what around Hollywood, White Black, etc, & then go to Facebook. If their security settings are a little lax (which most of them are) check out their friends section. See who they hang with? Who they 'friend'. It's not a wonder that you don't have more minorities on shows because most of the people making shows, let along greenlighting them, gravitate to the people who are like them-as someone said below. This we already know too well, Hollywood or no Hollywood. BUT...why do WE, meaning Black people, act like we're any different? If all my friends are Black, am I racist against white people? More white people than I can count LOVED COSBY SHOW, FRESH PRINCE, NEW YORK UNDERCOVER-it's not just Black people keeping these shows on the air on a major network. But let's also not forget that there is a majority of the country that is not as diversified in its thinking let alone it's physical makeup, to see their lives embodied in a different skin color. Sucks ass but that is what it is. Just gotta wait for those fuckers to die off LOL Yes, we watch white shows, always have & always will. I like SHOWS. But ask yourself are we watching them because they're good-or are we watching them only because we so want to see ALL or MOSTLY Black faces in them? Anywhere? You said it yourself "it's not as if we really have a choice". If you had a choice, would you stop watching them, White shows I mean? I have a gang of shows that I LOVE (GAME OF THRONES BABY!!) that while I want to see more Black faces in it, selfishly, I don't want to see an ALL Black Cast. I want to see a good show, first & foremost. Where I differ from most in Hollywood is I believe you can have that with a Black Cast but necessarily exlusively-and there's the rub. When things like TLAM (I like that acronym Misha, I'm stealing it) cross ALL gender & ethnic demos, it says volumes & moves mountains in terms of who is putting money where. Kevin Hart is not just a "black" comedian, he hosted BET Awards AND was a main sketch guy for the MTV Awards. Him being in a movie, along with a movie adapted from the novel by the guy who hosts FAMILY FEUD, is a huge crossover thing. That and Kevin pumped that thing within an inch of it's life on Twitter, FB, TV & wherever anyone who would listen could hear him-Black white the other. He deserves a damn award just for that! Misha, I think you & I are saying the same thing essentially about this. This chick & her show, by themselves, are not racist. At least not yet, give it a few eps LOL. GIRLS is just a weak, not funny show-or maybe it's not meant for me (I thought SEX & THE CITY was great tho so go figure). But wouldn't Black folks be livid if someone said LIVING SINGLE & A DIFFERENT WORLD or THE GAME were racist, right? For having the "token white person" or no white people at all? Dunham made what she made & didn't say it was anything but. She never said "this is the whole of the feminine gender" or "White Girls, HOOOO!!!", she said this is her life & the life of people she knows (altho I know many a Black girl that identifies with her view of 21st century living vs something Spike might make). It was the way it was pumped as to the whole "the voice of a generation"-a poor choice of clip because her character was high as hell and in the context of the scene it was meant to be ridiculous. As they say-FAIL. Again, back to the network. They wanted to hook the young SEX IN THE CITY demo. I'm not saying NOT to have an all Black cast or wanting the main leads on the call sheet to be black, quite the contrary. What I'm saying is that you can't say it's okay in one respect & say it's horrible & despicable in another. Especially when the situations are exactly the same. But all of that is semantics. I agree we've been here before. And we will continue to be here until A) more people pull a Tyler Perry/Ice Cube and the like & cut out the middle man making decisions & fund their own shows completely and then cut distribution deals (just ask Marvel), B) have more minority execs who are passionate about other viewpoints & story ideas who can greenlight or C) the biggest "yeah right" of them all: more Non-Minority execs who just see good stories. Of course, Lena did get the ULTIMATE hook-up, but not just because of skin color or whatever (or as I believe Whitney Cummings slept with somebody cuz that chick is the worst), but she had a film that a certain guy-who's juiced in-liked because it spoke to his sensibilities and he has two friends & they have two friends & there you have it-HBO Hit! But it does speak to people like Ava DuVernay & others not being in a loop that gets shit done at HBO. Outside lookin' in. But Don Cheadle being on Showtime, with a show where it was not written for him as the Book & real life character are white, shows he was in that circle. I mean really, when's the last time you heard about a Black person writing a show where the lead's son is a cross dresser & his sexuality is "fluid?" It is about Cliques & Circles in Hollywood. Relationships. Somethings are just stupid to argue about & concern yourself with because they invalidate the issue on a whole. There IS Racism in Hollywood & there IS Discrimination in Hollywood. And sometimes...there IS just some shit that ain't for You.

  • Nadine | May 9, 2012 5:12 PM

    Oh mercy...I swear @MISHA... you make my life a whole lot easier. Same wavelength... I barely have to jump on these boards anymore and I'm sure we can all agree... that's a good thing (given my recent hysterics). "Fact is, black folk DO watch shows with little to no diversity and always have. I mean, it's not as if we really have a choice, considering that the majority of tv shows on all the major networks are told via the eyes/POV of white folk." - MISHA... on the money... and your TINY FURNITURE statement below...MONEY. You're on fiya...

  • misha | May 9, 2012 4:38 PM

    Jug, how nice of you to take time out of your busy career to come and school us all! ;) Seriously, you make some valid points. However, the notion that black attitudes on shows with no diversity is equivalent to white attitudes on "black shows" is rather silly. Fact is, black folk DO watch shows with little to no diversity and always have. I mean, it's not as if we really have a choice, considering that the majority of tv shows on all the major networks are told via the eyes/POV of white folk. Meanwhile, said white folk rarely tune in to shows where they don't represent the majority. And why would they when they have the luxuy of choice? Ahh, the effects of white privilege. Moreoever, you'll have to forgive me if I'm not yet optimistic about what TLAM's success means for "black movies/tv shows." You see, we've been here before with the success of black films/tv shows in the 90s. There was Fresh Prince, Martin, Living Single, Family Matters, etc. At the cinema, we had Boyz, Waiting to Exhale, Poetic Justice, Boomerang, The Best Man, etc. All of these films/tv shows proved to be quite popular/successful. Yet here we are again talking about how TLAM's succes is so important...as if black actors, producers, writers, consumers haven't already proven the naysayers wrong MANY times over? You're telling me that we have to keep fighting despite this fact? And it's not at all racial? Forgive me but....HAHAHAHA!!!!

  • Jug | May 9, 2012 2:32 PM

    And to make it more plain, it's why THINK LIKE A MAN having the success it had is SO important. It wasn't a "Castor Oil" project nor was it a Tyler Perry/TD Jakes/David E Talbert Production. It was a romantic comedy with Black actors in it. Period. And it KILLED. Killed so much that I'm almost sure it's why USA is using it to pump Michael Ealy's new show COMMON LAW. And why NBC seems keen on picking up NOTORIOUS, Megan Good's pilot. A pilot, I might add, that has a Black love interest in Laz Alonso. That good D.B.O. is gold if they can spin it. If there was sooo much racism, you think they'd do that again after the debacle that was UNDERCOVERS? Somethings you just have to fight & fight to prove. Sucks, but it's real. I'm sure a lotta Black people didn't accept Eminem as a rapper at first either. But all of this is kind of a non-starter really, cuz I think GIRLS is just plain weak LOL

  • CareyCarey | May 9, 2012 1:07 PMReply

    Do not pass go. Do not pickup 200 dollars. Marvin K Mooney would you please go NOW. This has to be one of the most ridiculous arguments to ever graced the pages of S&A. You mean to tell me that some black folks are pitching a bitch because a white women wrote a script that did not include black characters and thus she's racist and the network is racist, and they all committed a crime against black folks???!!! GT-BIG-FOOH! Seriously, I can understand complaining about "The View" firing Holly Robinson. I even understand the complaints about Django, The Help, Halle Berry's role in Monster's Ball, everything Tyler Perry and the shame on the movie "Shame" -- but THIS!? SERIOUSLY? Yet, of course, some folks will argue that fat meat ain't greasy. Yeah, imagine that. You know -- they just love to see the multitude of reactions when they yell "FIRE"! But damn, crying wolf is so annoying and it goes without question that it's counter productive. I just don't understand, but who do we blame for this bit of ridiculousness? I mean, who can stop Misha from her fatal bout of ridiculousness - huh? Surely she knows her argument is akin to a Chihuahua or French Poodle nipping at the tail of a Pit Bull. C'mon now. Only a person who simply loves to argue would compare Issa Rae's one hit wonder ( a web series at that) to Lena Dunham's resume. Charles said it right -- Issa is a ROOKIE in the lower minor leagues. So yeah, in the end "if loving you (black folks) is wrong I don't wanna be right. If being right means being without you I'd rather live a wrong doing life" But this is Madness! What's next, complaining that the writer of "The Three Stoogies" didn't include Tracy Morgan?

  • CareyCarey | May 9, 2012 9:16 PM

    Yeah Jug, I have to admit that I can be straight-ass crazy, but as you well know, I am not asleep. I am suggesting that you've made you point over and over again, yet some simply refuse to admit the obvious. For instance, this was the ultimate trump card --> "But are they making a product that HBO is selling right now? There's a reason why BOTH of Doug Ellin's-DA BRICK & 40-are dead at HBO, because it's not what they're selling right now. And that dude made HBO a shitload of money with Entourage. They're not selling heartfelt, normal stories. They're selling "exceptional" (meaning extra-ordinary), fantasy escapist drama & very idiosyncratic comedy. Are Gina, Kasi Lemmons & the rest selling that? ~ JUG. Yep, are they bringing to the table? And Jug, before I forget, some people... some people we can take to the water, but we can't make them drink. And Jug, I don't care how many times you qualify your statement with the following, some black folks are hell bent on turning their heads and playing the nutrole. However, if they missed it, lets go uptown one-mo-gin... "There IS Racism in Hollywood & there IS Discrimination in Hollywood. And sometimes... [SOME GAW-DAMN TIME] there IS just some shit that AIN'T FOR YOU! ~ Mr Jug. Oh, and your opinion/overview/characterization of Issa is so on point. In the business world the powers to be has to consider the whole package. Issa not only has to sell her product, she has to sell herself! Can she stay the course? Can see listen to suggestions? Can she work well with others? What's her track record in the area of interpersonal relationships? Who's vouching for her, and who are they? Yep, you killed it as usual --> "HBO is not crazy, they've not going to let a first timer write/direct/produce her own shit unless she proves she A) knows this material inside & out & B) can deliver". C) Will she get a little money, and thus, think she's n***r rich, then decides to pull a Dave Chappelle & tells them to kiss her black ass LOL.

  • Jug | May 9, 2012 8:38 PM

    Carey you stupid! LOL But you know something, I went down & read more of the comments & I realized that many are focused on a director/creators actually talent and not what they're selling in relation to the marketplace. Gina Prince Bythewood & directors like her (Kasi Lemmons, etc) are indeed more accomplished directors, content creators etc. But are they making a product that HBO is selling right now? There's a reason why BOTH of Doug Ellin's-DA BRICK & 40-are dead at HBO, because it's not what they're selling right now. And that dude made HBO a shitload of money with Entourage. They're not selling heartfelt, normal stories. They're selling "exceptional" (meaning extra-ordinary), fantasy escapist drama & very idiosyncratic comedy. Are Gina, Kasi Lemmons & the rest selling that? I mean damn, HBO just shot down a VERY expensive pilot, THE CORRECTIONS-with Diane Wiest, Chris Cooper and Ewen McGregor produced by uber-producer Scott Rudin-but greenlit straight to series a buddy cop drama with Matthew McConaughey & Woody Harrelson. Isn't one of the basic rules of business "Know your product/Know your audience?" I wouldn't take TWO AND A HALF MEN to FX LOL The regime change at HBO came in part to critically acclaimed shows like THE WIRE, GENERATION KILL & IN TREATMENT losing hella money giving way to opwerhouses TRUE BLOOD & BOARDWALK EMPIRE & they're now casting for a Mick Jagger/Scorsese project about the Punk/Disco/Hip-Hop New York scene of the 70s & 80s (you can just smell the sex, drugs & violence oozing outta that one). I love all of them, but you can see how the latter appeal to a more broad, sensational taste. And now they're ratings kings again, whooping Showtime's ass! I actually think MISADVENTURES OF AN AWKWARD BLACK GIRL would play extremely well on HBO, if not FX & if Issa's reps can get her a good meeting & she rocked it, it could go. HBO is not crazy, they're not going to let a first timer write/direct/produce her own shit unless she proves she A) knows this material inside & out & B) can deliver. The stuff I've seen about Issa & having watched the series, I think she'd prove that hands down-unless they hand her a stack of cash & she pulls a Dave Chappelle & rolls the fuck out LOL

  • CareyCarey | May 9, 2012 8:05 PM

    Well Misha, fortunately for you, Jug has already laid you to waste. So I am not about to get arrested for child abuse. So carry on Miss Misha because you have your hands more than full with Jug, Charles Judson and Cassie. But psssst, they obviously do not know y'll never concede even when you're drowning in quicksand. Nope, you will only change the issue and wait for Nadine to throw you a rope. So again, carry on baby... do yo thang :-)

  • misha | May 9, 2012 3:43 PM

    LOL Oh Carey, I see you couldn't help but to call out my name, eh? Well unfortunately for you, I'm not interested in a futile back and forth with you today. But I will say that if the above nonsense is what you deduced from my argument, then you really are a foolish, old man.

  • CareyCarey | May 9, 2012 2:52 PM

    Yes Ali, pure madness, and the beat will go on -- unfortunately! But I am sho glad Jug showed up, he's the voice of reason around here. Seriously, his "voice" is not confrontational and he always speaks from a platform of facts. I can't say that about many who comment -- including myself. I mean, as Jug said, the usual course of action around these necks of the wood is something like: "Anyone who says the show is racist has an agenda. Period". Yep, agendas, agendas and mo agendas. Most of which are as thin as piece of cheap one ply toilet paper. That's right, you can see right through them. More importantly, one can poke their fingers right through them, and thus, find your fingers in a bunch of mess -- if one chooses to go their with them :-). This post will attest to that.

  • Ali | May 9, 2012 2:29 PM

    I mean, if he DID get hired, that would have been the next argument.

  • Ali | May 9, 2012 2:27 PM

    "What's next, complaining that the writer of "The Three Stoogies" didn't include Tracy Morgan?" Yes, Carey, that is the next argument. Then the one after that will be that Tracy Morgan was only hired to "coon" it up for the white folk.

  • Joe Camel | May 9, 2012 12:24 PMReply

    The problem with the GIRLS fiasco was their CASTING SIDES. If you remember it was a laundry list of racial stereotypes from the 1950's. True to this article's point, it was offensive to all non-Caucasians. Here's a link:

    http://cdn.theatlanticwire.com/img/upload/2012/04/19/casting.jpg

    MUST DO JAMAICAN ACCENT. MUST DO TIBETAN ACCENT. MUST DO SOUTH AMERICAN/CENTRAL AMERICAN ACCENT. Whoever cast this program (wrote those dialects phonetically into a script?) is not a racist but is definitely mired in a culture of passive racial stereotyping. If they aren't minstrels they're service personnel. Except for the "weirdo." That one COULD be white if the right fat guy auditioned.

    Don't dismiss this because *you* don't find it personally offensive. It's a serious problem in Hollywood, and whether you like it or not (whether it applies to you or not), has seriously impacted how the current generation in power understands social aspects of race.

  • Laura | May 9, 2012 10:39 PM

    @Miles, the problem is not that they're writing what they know. The problem is that white writers have a narrow world view and their stuff are always green lighted by white (male) executives. We (Black, minorities, women --take your pick) are for the most part powerless to do anything about that. So the only strategy employed to deal with this systematic exclusion (institutional racism)is to call out the writer/artist/creator as racist. And the only way we attempt to remedy the situation is for us to collectively persuade (through outcries, protest, complaints and the like) the creator to include us as we see fit, in these stories that were originally written for and about "white" folk. The real problem is that we don't have the power, influence, wherewithal to broadcast our stories where we like, when we like, how we like and as often as we like.

  • Miles Ellison | May 9, 2012 10:09 PM

    All very well and good to "write what you know." The problem is that when you know nothing, you won't produce anything worth watching to people who at least know something.

  • Laura | May 9, 2012 9:59 PM

    @Joe Camel, I don't see it as racist. Here's why. Because they write what they know and in their world they only know West Indians and South Americans women as nannies. In reality these women are employed as their nannies. I see it all day every day. Even where I live I see West Indian (Black and Indo-Caribbean) and South American nannies pushing white babies up and down the street. Dollars to donuts, the show "Girls" is not about Brooklyn, it is about a bunch a spoiled rich girls slumming in Brooklyn. And their worldview is very, very narrow.

  • Jug | May 9, 2012 3:17 PM

    It's not like the breakdowns I've seen for Black Women stating that the character is "Loud, Foul-Mouthed & Overweight". Yeah, that right there.... :-(

  • Jug | May 9, 2012 2:48 PM

    Exactly why is that racist? Was it making fun of their accents in the "breakdown"? Now, I'm sure it'll be a part of the "funny" in the actual scene, but is it racist to demand that the character have that particular trait? If you live in NY, you know A LOT of Caribbean nannies. Just like as I live in L.A., I know A LOT of Mexican nannies who barely speak any English. If you notice, the other Af-Am characters in the breakdown have no depictions of how they speak (based on age/education level/etc), so is it really racist or is it honest/important to that character? I'm noticing you glanced over the {[Oliver] MALE, African-American, early 20s. VERY VERY HANDSOME & VERY SEXY. on-again off-again lover of Jessa's} breakdown. Was that racist too? Just asking...

  • Ms. Mooks | May 9, 2012 11:19 AMReply

    I agree 100%. I love the show. Doesn't bother me that there aren't any people of color on the show. The world that she's in, i'm sure, people of color probably doesn't come across her path that often, feel me? (To be frank, I think the Asians have it FAR worse than any race in the entertainment business) If we want things to change we have to change them ourselves. "Think Like a Man" could have changed perceptions but it could be the just the hot thing of moment--meaning "black films" might be the new fad until ONE crumbles...

  • Roy | May 9, 2012 10:28 AMReply

    Being a background actor and writer, who sees himself as human more than African-American, I feel if you want to see more diversity in television, created something that's worthy of being produced instead of bitching. Despite a lot of setbacks, African-Americans have come a long way since the Jim Crow days.

  • donnadara | May 9, 2012 9:47 AMReply

    Sorry, I care. It's 2012. I have close black and white friends and a white husband. In her age demographic, it is not unusual for people to hang out in multiracial groups. I think it makes HBO look behind the times to greenlight this show with all white leads.

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