Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Say Hello to the Cast of the All-New, All-Female 'Ghostsbusters' movie Say Hello to the Cast of the All-New, All-Female 'Ghostsbusters' movie Review: Nuance-Deprived "Race" Movie 'Black or White' is Actually About White Frustration (Opens Friday) Review: Nuance-Deprived "Race" Movie 'Black or White' is Actually About White Frustration (Opens Friday) Trailer: Musical Take on the Gospel According to John the Apostle w/ a Black Cast (Harry Lennix, Chaka Khan, Mali Music, More) Trailer: Musical Take on the Gospel According to John the Apostle w/ a Black Cast (Harry Lennix, Chaka Khan, Mali Music, More) ABC Picks Up New Pilot From Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland Titled 'The Catch' ABC Picks Up New Pilot From Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland Titled 'The Catch' First 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Trailer Surfaces! Watch It Now! First 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Trailer Surfaces! Watch It Now! Ava DuVernay & David Oyelowo Make It a Trifecta as They Re-Team for Katrina-Set Love Story/Murder Mystery Ava DuVernay & David Oyelowo Make It a Trifecta as They Re-Team for Katrina-Set Love Story/Murder Mystery Review: Lifetime's 'With This Ring' - So What Did You Think of It? Review: Lifetime's 'With This Ring' - So What Did You Think of It? Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th) Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th) Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record Alexandra Shipp Has been Cast as Storm in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Alexandra Shipp Has been Cast as Storm in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Open Casting Call - 2 Male Leads in New Feature Film From the Producers of 'Pariah' & 'Yelling to the Sky' Open Casting Call - 2 Male Leads in New Feature Film From the Producers of 'Pariah' & 'Yelling to the Sky' "Stakes Is High" in First Trailer for Season 2 of STARZ Hit Drama Series 'Power' (Returns This Summer) "Stakes Is High" in First Trailer for Season 2 of STARZ Hit Drama Series 'Power' (Returns This Summer) An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay Watch Teaser for 'Being Mary Jane' Season 2 + Details on Story, Guest Stars Watch Teaser for 'Being Mary Jane' Season 2 + Details on Story, Guest Stars Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Eventually, You Come To Realize & Make Peace With The Fact That They Don't Care About You...

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 16, 2013 at 3:17PM

That was my response to a friend who wondered why I wasn't more upset and enraged over the dearth of black actors cast in Hollywood feature film projects, as well as the tiny percentage of *black films* backed by the studios, as we both looked over the lengthy list of new feature film projects announced in the last few days, as well as the onslaught of Cannes Film Festival updates, via sites like Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter.
37
Hollywood Sign

That was my response to a friend who wondered why I wasn't more upset and enraged over the dearth of black actors cast in Hollywood feature film projects, as well as the tiny percentage of *black films* backed by the studios, as we both looked over the lengthy list of new feature film projects announced in the last few days, as well as the onslaught of Cannes Film Festival updates, via sites like Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter.

"As someone who writes about this stuff, don't you get really annoyed... and depressed when you're going through these sites and it's nothing but whiteness and more whiteness everywhere, and maybe there's that one casting notice with a Samuel L. Jackson in a supporting role, or that new romantic comedy," was essentially his inquiry.

If he'd asked me that question 5 to 6 years ago, when I was running a little-known personal blog called The Obenson Report, long before Shadow & Act was born, my response would've been entirely different. In fact, he wouldn't have had to ask me that question because my *raging* would've been evident.

But, eventually, as stated, I realized that I certainly wasn't the first black person to rage against the machine, so to speak; black people have been doing just that since D.W. Griffith unleashed Birth Of A Nation onto the world. It's kind of sobering when I read critiques penned by black writers, of black films and TV shows (or black characters in films and TV shows), from 50 to 100 years ago, and I realize that I can say almost the exact same things about black films and TV shows (or black characters in films and TV shows) in recent times - suggesting how little has changed over the years, and how very far we still have to go.

As much as the institution called Hollywood pats itself on the back for how liberal it thinks it is, is it really?

Eventually, you have to realize that, the product of an industry that's run by white men primarily, will reflect its makeup (their POV) for the most part, especially when there's little desire to broaden their thinking, and take what would be described as risks, and, like most in industry, are almost entirely profit-motivated.

You also realize how powerless you really are to challenge the status quo, especially as a single voice. Collective power is another thing entirely, however. But that's another conversation - one we've had once or twice in the past on this blog.

And I'd rather invest all that energy (as well money and time) into projects that I think fill the gaping hole Hollywood has long ignored, or has just pretended isn't there, or, frankly, just doesn't care about.

So... life isn't fair. Mother Teresa isn't running Universal Pictures nor Warner Bros. There are stories to tell and lots of money to be made, but, unfortunately, you don't really have a seat at that coveted table. You're invisible - haven't you heard? And nobody gives a shit about you and your plight, and your laments about how *invisible* you are (other than you; you meaning, us.. some anyway).

But whatever the reason is, I actually really don't care. It's pointless. The bottomline is that the results are evident, and have been for a long time, despite the tiny bursts of progress that have been made over the years.

So I'm tired of *raging* if you will, and reacting to every questionable casting decision, every *problematic* project made, the lack of awards show representation, critical analysis of "what's wrong with Hollywood," or "why black films aren't [Fill In The Blanks]" or "why black actors are [Fill In The Blanks], etc, etc, etc. 

My energy is better utilized in what I feel are more productive ways. 

But, to my friend who inspired this post (thank you by the way), don't let any of what I've said stop YOU from raging though.

A luta continua.


Shadow & ActNewsletter