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...

Inaugural Shadow And Act Annual Black Cinema Toasts! 2011 Honorees #3 - Anthony Mackie

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act December 21, 2011 at 10:06AM

Continuing on as promised with the S&A 2011 toasts proposals to, as I stated in the first honoree post last week Friday, all the brave, passionate black men, women and institutions in this ruthless, monocratic industry we cover here on S&A, who were, as the late Steve Jobs put it in that famous ad for Apple, the crazy ones.
3
Anthony Mackie

Continuing on as promised with the S&A 2011 toasts proposals to, as I stated in the first honoree post last week Friday, all the brave, passionate black men, women and institutions in this ruthless, monocratic industry we cover here on S&A, who were, as the late Steve Jobs put it in that famous ad for Apple, the crazy ones.

And, if I recall correctly, when we first posted this video of Anthony Mackie earlier this year, in which he essentially challenged *black Hollywood* for being "lazy on our game," several of you folks in the comment section that accompanied that post questioned Mackie's sanity :)

I, on the other hand, applauded and still applaud him for voicing what apparently was an unpopular opinion; it takes guts to do that, in my not-so humble opinion. And I think many of us either misinterpreted his words, or narrowed in on just a piece of the quote, ignoring the overall message, which, as far as I'm concerned, was to highlight the fact that this black cinema *problem* (broadly speaking) that we constantly debate on this site and elsewhere (the lack of Hollywood representation, and a lack of variety within existing representations) is one that WE, yes WE, black people, are in a position to resolve, instead of expecting the current dominant, white-controlled studio system to act on our behalf, or in our interest. 

I think many of you took his words as a personal attack on your abilities and/or contriubutions to what we call *black cinema*; but he wasn't necessarily talking about the everyman. He did say "we," essentially including himself; "we" as in *black Hollywood* - not you, the struggling actor, actress, filmmaker, etc, but rather those on the other side, we could say, who have made it, and have the wealth and resources to affect change, but are maybe only catering to their own interests, ignoring the needs of the larger group.

Watch the video again, if you were one of those who reacted negatively to his words, and listen to his full response, and I believe you'll see that his words very much echo what many of us have long felt about this particular industry *problem* we're having; especially the last 30 or so seconds of the video clip, which I believe sums up the entire argument. 

That post, along with the follow-up entry, in which Mackie appeared on the Tavis Smiley Show and further explained what he meant in his interview with The Griot, combined to make up the top 2 or 3 S&A posts of 2011! From the number of comments, to the number of clicks, the number of social networking shares... it was astounding. When I posted the original interview, I had absolutely no idea that it would spark the kind of debates it did, and the length and breadth of those debates. I thought most would actually applaud Mackie's comments, but that wasn't quite the case. 

If you champion what institutions like AFFRM are doing for black cinema on the distribution side; if you appreciate what Shadow And Act is doing on the production/financing side with the S&A Filmmaker Challenge (even though it's not a lot of money being offered currently, although that will change over time) then, logically, Mackie's comments should be music to your ears; because what AFFRM, S&A (and others who I've already toasted - or will toast to) are doing, or are at least trying to do are essentially Mackie's verbal challenge put into action - emphasis on the word "action."

So, a toast to Mr Anthony Mackie for doing what many of us are often afraid to do, which is speak our minds, and stand by what we say, when voicing what may be unpopular opinions, regardless of what the reactions to what we do or say might be. 

He said what he felt, some of us agreed with him, others didn't; and he never backed down, even with all the post-interview backlash. I think what he said took some balls to say, given that few others in his position had/have made similar arguments.

I agreed with him then, and I still do agree with him now.

As a refresher, here's his follow-up chat with Tavis Smiley (which contains the initial Griot interview quote) in which he further explained his stance:

This article is related to: Awards


Shadow & ActNewsletter