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Outcry Over 2012 Highest Paid Actresses List's Lack Of Diversity. Really?

by Tambay A. Obenson
June 21, 2012 11:36 AM
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Hollywood Sign

Based on emails I've received, and articles I've read this week, some of you are apparently taken aback by the fact that the latest Forbes list of the 10 highest paid actresses, released earlier this week, is absent of any black actresses.

And in response to that, I'm shocked that you're shocked!

Seriously, where the heck have you been? Have you visited a movie theater lately to watch a film? How about in the last 12 months? 24 months? 60 months even? And how often have you found yourself sitting in a movie theater, looking up at the film playing in front of you, and seen the faces of black actresses in leading roles that would command the kind of high salaries the women who did make the Forbes list are receiving?

How many black women STARS are there? Not just black women actors, but STARS? The ones whose names are near-guaranteed box office triumphs.

To complain about the absence of black actresses on this list is silly, and is to ignore decades of discussion on the lack of diversity within the Hollywood machine, and the numerous attempts that many have made (whether by individuals or collectively) to help affect the kind of change that would allow more black actors and actresses the kinds of opportunities and privilege that their Caucasian contemporaries have enjoyed since the medium was invented.

Surely, I hope it didn't take this 2012 list to make you realize that we have a, you know, problem here (one that's much older and deeper than this list), and that this is still very much an industry that's dominated by the images of white men and women.

If anything, I'd instead be taken aback by the fact that Kristen Stewart is at the top of the list this year, thanks to those horrible Twilight movies. Now THAT's something that should raise your eyebrows; not this.

Let's first worry about getting our treasured actresses more work; preferably starring roles in high profile projects; or really just more work, starring role or not; high profile project or not.

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  • SLINKY | November 19, 2012 4:06 PMReply

    It doesn't matter what race an actress is, the fact is whether or not she can act. Kristen Stewart is a horrible actress. The only reason the Twilight Series did well is because the books have a large following. The books are much better than the movies.

    None of Kristen's other movies did well, and none of her future movies will do any better. She should use the money for acting classes. Also, she should plan on getting an education.

  • Zunilda | September 24, 2012 8:31 PMReply

    Faces of black actresses in leading roles you ask? How about: Jada Pinkett Smith; Nia Long; Rosario Dawson; Thandie Newton; Vanessa Williams; Angela Bassett; Raven-Symone; Rihanna; Whoopi Goldberg; Queen Latifah; Halle Berry; Regina King; Taraji P. Henson;
    Garcelle Beauvais; Rashida Jones; Sanaa Lathan ; Viola Davis; Paula Patton ; Tracee Ellis ; Lauren London; Meagan Good; Tia Mowry; Tamera Mowry. And, watch any Tyler Perry film. He mostly hires black actors (female and male). I would love to walk through his studio on a busy day and count how many non-black employees he's hired.
    So many black people with chips on their shoulders just wanting to complain.
    There's a network called "The Black Entertainment Network". Imagine if there was a network called "The White Entertainment Network"?
    There are magazines called: "African-American Golfer's Digest"; "Black Bride & Groom Magazine"; "Black Enterprise Magazine"; "Black MBA Magazine"; "Ebony Magazine"; "Essence Magazine"; "American Legacy Magazine"; "Black Men Magazine"; "Blackmen's Swimsuit Extra Magazine"; "Heart and Soul Magazine"; "Jet Magazine"; "Sister 2 Sister Magazine".
    Replace all the above with "white" in the title or reference, there'd be outcry of bigotry like never before.
    Quit your bitchin' and work hard in this land of amazing opportunity and you will succeed. Only after you knock that chip off your shoulder.

  • riku | July 7, 2012 9:42 PMReply

    Am black and am African even though I have noticed the lack of black A-list celebs, and I think it is a matter to be concerned with. I do have to agree with “sin” on some matters he/she pointed out I have been to a lot of countries and the most place I get hostility by non-whites was when I lived in America by the same black people who cry out on seems they didn’t like Africans and hate being compared to Africans I was made to fill like a third class person first by the whites then by the blacks themselves, I mean how are we to fight discrimination when we are handing it out ourselves. Also as a race we need to be less selfish yes I know blacks have had it rough from my point of view worse than any other race cause no matter what race you are it all comes down to one point that a black person is the most hated and degraded race in the world that is just a given, but sometimes I do consider people like the red Indian who have no right on their own land but do not make a sound about it. that’s just my view of things.

  • Kid chaos | July 6, 2012 12:34 AMReply

    Sin shut the fuck up iam soo tried of you fools from south america telling black how they should feel.You fools are just niggers who speak spanish.

  • Zunilda | September 24, 2012 8:35 PM

    Maybe what Sin said hit home a little too hard, huh?
    Work hard, don't expect things to be handed to you. That's what we hispanics do. We work hard and don't have that huge chip on our shoulders.

  • Sin | July 3, 2012 10:25 PMReply

    My thing is not to offend anyone. That's not my cup of tea. But the most frustrating thing in life and sets many to stand at a stand still, is complaining with no action. The film industry is like any business, it has no color. What it has is the promise to cater to what audience want. If a movie falters, then obviously a lot of people aren't watching it.
    Take action is all I'm trying to say. You say race of color don't get enough A list roles in movies. But not enough , take action on this problem. Merely talking about in a blog isn't going to change anything , it's not even scratching the surface.
    That's all I'm getting at.
    And to be honest to have actors like Denzel, be picked for leading roles, which to me he is definitly up there with your Al Pacinos and Robert D'nioro is honorable. Just like having Obama as president. That list that you are complaining about is of the top 100 of this year. Last year it was Janie fox and Denzel.
    Everyone knows in Hollywood one day your up there , and the next day your not. Give a three sixty of the story. There are many things at play when it comes to these industry's. But anyways, goodnight and I hope your blog does shed some light on the percentage that is being hurt by such a thing.

  • wadi tejada | September 9, 2012 5:43 PM

    Dominicans like you make me proud to be Dominican, you sound very educated and you make very good points.

  • Sin | July 3, 2012 7:55 PMReply

    Every where thing I see, read, listen to has african Americans complaining about why they are over looked for everything, by the way I'm Dominican raised in New York City. My thing about these subjects is this. No one owns no one anything anymore. Most black African Americans cry out about the mother land and speak about slavery and the majority haven't even been to , let alone want to go to Africa, don't like Africans and hate being compared to Africans. Two , slavery, very touchy subject, a lot of nationalities experience it, but the ones that talk about it the most and still and act as if they experienced what they ancesters went throught, (speaking about my generation and on) are African Americans. I don't see any other nationality complain, not even native Americans who in reality are the ones who really got the bad end of the stick( not trying to offend). African don't want to admit it, but those that don't see success want to look at others for their lack in making in this world. Now they want to complain about not being nominated in Forbes. I'm going to explain to you why I and maybe others don't like seeing black films. #1, almost all black film portray African Americans ( or people of dark, brown, skin) as gangsters, drug dealers or ignorant as hell. #2, they're ghetto, uneducated or are educated but need to act like they're from the hood. #3, the woman have attitudes, are mad, have no trust in men, the man are cheaters, or they talk about church, wanting or getting saved, non of the things that people really care about. Every movie with all black or African American actors are about the same damn thing just different actors. Hence, it's not Hollywood , it's how races other then white allowed themselves to be portrayed. I go to the movies to be entertained , if u can't do that I'm not going to pay. The actors that do make it as a listers and aren't white do it because they think outside that spectrum, and don't enclose themselves in a box. That's why Zoe was the leading lady in Avatar, it's about going outside the box. Think, having an imagination. This is why I watch vampire movies, conspiracy action movies and so on, it takes me far away from the norm to a different place. This is why I don't go and see Tyler Perry's movies or other movies like it, cuz it's all the same thing. Change it up and I'll invest my money in seeing it.
    Don't like the truth, then don't complain, stop allowing African American or other races that aren't white, portray our races as ignorant ghetto fabulous low life people and maybe hollywood will start writting leading roles for us....instead of the " white" which by the way I still don't know who that is because he still hasn't brought me down.

  • WOW | July 3, 2012 8:40 PM

    WOW! Sin City is practicing for her GED in English Composition. So let's pass the hat for the Dominican in the hood who obviously skipped class to watch vampire movies, conspiracy-action-movies and so on and so on and so on. But I am glad she arrived b/c I didn't know almost all black film portray African Americans as gangsters, drug dealers or ignorant as hell. And are ghetto, uneducated or are educated? Who knew that all the woman in almost every black film have attitudes, are mad, and don't trust men. I didn't know all the men are cheaters, and they want to get saved, in those black films. And I surely didn't know people didn't care about any of that, whatever that is? OOOOOOH, that's right, every movie with all black or African American actors are about the same damn thing just different actors. WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! Wow now brown cow!

  • Marie | June 26, 2012 9:45 AMReply

    How about native indians and asians actors?

  • Sin | July 3, 2012 9:53 PM

    Ha,ha , give yourself a pat on the back for that one. Second no GED here on, more like working in my masters for Computer Engineering. There is such a thing as a Typo, unfortunately there isn't a think for the nerve I hit. Ever heard of thinking ahead while writing? Guess not, let me state that I did say, Majority of the movies. That's not saying that some movies with black actors aren't good. My point in a nut shell is don't blame Hollywood, blame those who do have the power to change the stigma of how african, latinos and other races , not white, ate portrayed or seen. It bothers you that much, don't get mad at me for stating the truth. I'm merely saying what many others don't say, because" Oh my god," biting nails, " if I say this I'll be viewed as being racist."
    That is not the case at all. Does it happen? Yes, but write a letter to Tyler Perry and complain to him. Yes stories about struggle and comedic struggle are good and tear jerker's. But every single movie? Really, come on. People go to the movie, cause now in days in these hard times you want to get away from everyday life. Why go pay 12 even 15 dollars to see on the screen only to see , what you see everyday? I wouldn't want to do, I'm sure others wouldn't either. Is it harsh the way I said it? Yes, but sometimes being harsh is the only way to open others eyes. While your crying about simple things like that. Which by the way of course it might not seem simple to others. Hollywood doesn't care, because they are making money no matter if you , I or anyone else complained about it. It's like beer and alcohol, many know, protest and make campaigns promoting its bad. Yet these industry's are still make millions. You want to make a change, get some money together, a good screen writer, director, producer, actors , actress and crew and make your own films and pave the way so nationalities of color can make it big in the film industry. If not shut up, don't complain about, act on it, do something to change it. The Chinese don't say, " One day I'm going to the United States and be rich," no they say , " I'm going to America and I'm going to be successesful."
    Another thing, assuming where I came from , what I have and my education level only furthers my truth. No matter weather low or high, people always have a way of making fools of themselves and showing their true colors. My colors are always the same, what about yours. Don't fool yourself, be honest, ask yourself do African Americans complain( majority) a little too much with little or no action?
    By the way there are tons of white actors that are good actors and aren't A listers. Have fun with your continuation on complaining some more.

  • green black red man | June 26, 2012 6:18 PM

    How about native irish black actors. Remember any time black people talk we must all other races before us. Native americans may deserve that but not asians.

  • noel | June 22, 2012 7:38 AMReply

    Same ol' story. Seriously blacks should be tired of speaking with about same issues all the time with little actions.

  • curious1 | June 22, 2012 3:45 PM

    It is the same old story but there is plenty of action being taken and it should be respected.
    Shadow and Act wouldn't exist if there weren't so many great things to talk about coming
    from talented black artists. Let's encourage those who are making it happen and support their work!

  • Nadine | June 21, 2012 9:11 PMReply there really an outcry? I thought the problem (disdain) was that Kristen Stewart was at the top of the list. One gets tired of being the "look at the White females to find the source of your issues" hysteric on the boards. I know I cannot be the only person in or out of the industry who frequents S&A who knows that Hollywood courts White American females who are one of the most aggressive anti-female diversity markets out there which makes creating films for them quite easy. Just make a film where the main character is a White female and accessible (not too "hot" or else that wf audience turns against the "hot" actress). Black women on-screen are fine in the U.S., as long as they make White American females feel better about themselves (are fat, not classically attractive even for her own community, are beaten-down, and are the exclusive conduits for dysfunction). Male, specifically Black male integration is fine as long as White Females continue to be the focus and are, again, accessible (a White female actress who does not make the White female viewing audience feel bad about themselves). Black men have been regularly in the Top 10 paid/grossing actors and they are only 6% of the American population. This really is an issue of GENDER, privilege and narcissism that men and those in power, in Hollywood, KNOW, but rarely say in public... White American females are antagonistic towards the idea of female diversity when it comes to their stars... period (no room on the pedestal...ever). White men aren't putting these Top ten women on the the list... White females are. White females are a real market and without their dollars, you almost don't have a chance, as a Black actress, to make a big name for yourself. It has only been over the last half year or so that the issue is finally being addressed (to much hostility at times) on the small screen. Honestly Tambay, if S&A truly wants to set those who wrote in straight and have a transformative discussion with the S&A audience, I believe this issue should really be addressed openly. As long as the White female viewing audience continues to avoid dissection, we will continue to talk in circles...

  • Charles Judson | June 22, 2012 8:50 AM

    I'm not sure I would draw that broadly. This only anecdotal, but when I was managing a Suncoast Motion Picture for several years, young girls and women of all colors would go on and on about how films like LOVE & BASKETBALL were among their favorites. At least once a week we'd get the White teenage girl who was the newest inductee of the DIRTY DANCING rite of passage and LOVE would be included in the stack of classics young girls continue to discover every year. This is definitely a gender issue, however, this is in my mind much more about the creators and the producers adhering and maintaining the standards than it is about the audience, who are often much more broad minded than we give them credit for. According to many studies women of all types feel equally bad when they see magazine ads. In generally, women don't like the messages either. Yet, is there some hate from women? Yes, I would agree because it explain why some folks seemed to have an irrational hate for characters like Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) on GILMORE GIRLS. A hate/dislike that they would go so far to even complain on message boards even when Sookie was barely featured. When we say their's no room on the pedestal I have to ask how many women outside of the norm dictated by those making films have been groomed for the pedestal? Post BRIDESMAIDS Melissa McCarthy was getting a lot of the love she never got while on GIRLS or MIKE AND MOLLY and Queen Latifah jumped into the mainstream with CHICAGO. Kristen Stewart was in 17 movies before she got TWILIGHT. If you really knew who she was before that raise your hand. As long as Stewart kept moving forward, the chances are better, but not guaranteed, she would have gotten a TWILIGHT like shot. For a McCarthy or Latifah, not so much so. To me that's the real issue. We can dump on the "Best Friend" roles, however that's where people could get their start, or get a plump role with some great dialogue and could shine, post 1980s those roles have more and more been reduced to a dumping ground of exposition and stereotypes. While I do think that we all explicitly or implicitly support the obstacles society puts up for us and we have to always be on guard for it. I can't at the same totally fault a female audience for the lack of their support when very few women outside of a narrow range of women are being readied for something bigger and better. When it comes to the films and projects we're creating, are we really giving Black actresses parts that allow them to shine. What's the last film or show you saw that a Black actress got to show off her comedic chops? Verbally? Physically? What's the last film you saw that a Black actress got to be smart and neurotic? So much of what we're creating is about correcting perceptions of Black women instead of representing the diversity of Black women as vulnerable, strong, smart, dumb, insightful, weak, funny, confused, sexy, cute, angry, destructive, talented, untalented and powerful. Traits that can exist in one woman. Even ABG is only one small sliver of the awkward Black girl pie that exists. There are so many variations of the ABG that we don't see on screen. We're still wrestling with the hypocrisy that showed up during the Civil Rights movement that praised Black Women and said Let's Do This Together, while implicitly saying But Wait for us Black Men to get to the promised land first. And we're often still too oblivious to how often the films we're creating are still defining and crafting stories featuring Black women primarily around either their sexuality, their roles as mothers or romantic relationships, making for films that still look and feel like the Hollywood product we collectively denounce. Until we start embracing our own broad spectrum of what it means to be Black and female, there's little point at aiming our ire at the top levels. If we want to get more Black actresses to the other side, we need to first do a better job of filling in the vast, empty pit that sits before them and give them solid ground they can stand on.

  • JMS | June 21, 2012 8:30 PMReply

    Screw Hollyweird. That game is rigged.

  • troy | June 23, 2012 4:22 PM

    Agreed, No Brainer sports are rigged yet we can marvel and be entertained by that staged reality. What is the talent actors are displaying?

  • NO BRAINER | June 22, 2012 12:52 AM

    So are sports but you still watch. I see you jumping up and down for

  • Orville | June 21, 2012 8:06 PMReply

    I am going to disagree with Tambay on this one. Yes, Tambay you do have a point there is a paucity of A list high profile actresses commanding big bucks.

    I do see an opportunity for black women on TELEVISION. I am happy that Meagan Good is the star of a NBC show Infamous and Kerry Washington's got Scandal. Gabrielle Union is getting her own show on BET this fall. So I think black women young and the older actresses realize the film industry is really stacked against them so they turn to television.

    However, I think the reason some people are upset is the lack of opportunities for black women in Hollywood STILL! It sucks to be frank that Kerry Washington isn't A list yet. Sure, Zoe Saldana is doing well but she sees herself more as a Latina than as a black woman. So there are still no A list black actresses out there in Hollywood. Jennifer Hudson won the Oscar but what has she done lately? The only thing I can think of is Jennifer appearing in Weight Watchers commercials and that's pathetic!
    MoNique won an Oscar a few years back but she hasn't starred in a film since Precious.

  • K | June 27, 2012 9:07 AM

    Why does everyone consider Zoe less black? My parents are from Haiti. Dominican Republic and Haiti are both part of Hispanola. So somehow the slaves that were brought to Haiti are real black people but not the ones in the Dominican Republic? Or are the only true black people All American? Anyhoo Zoe totally identifies herself as a black woman. But this black woman is also totally latina.

  • moionfire | June 26, 2012 8:01 PM

    I am sorry, but you did the annoying thing and implied being Latina makes a person less black. A black person with Jamaican parents might identify more with Jamaican culture than American, but that doesn't mean they identify strongly with their race. There is not one black culture. And it is mostly magazines that keep mentioning that she is of dominican parentage.

  • P | June 21, 2012 6:47 PMReply

    This is why the Gabrielle's, Sanaa's, Nia's and the soon to be Kerry's(after Django) and Halle's(after her legal problems with a white man) really got fooled.. Hollywood has a glass ceiling..most people don't know when to "take the money and run". They stick around wanting more and more and more..IF you are black and a woman trying to break into the industry without Juilliard or Yale, chances are you won't be going as far as you would like- heck even if you DID go to those schools you will end up shafted( look at Oscar nominees Angela Bassett and Viola Davis). This isn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings but lets save a lot of girls about 15-20 years of asking "why" and maybe redirect them to careers where they will be truly valued. They will only pick ONE-- like they did with Denzel and Halle ( who can't stay out of trouble) and those classic, very articulate and good-looking African American chosen actors will be "representative's" for the race. Hollywood is all about who is f8ckable..I think black beauty is the best beauty but you will have a VERY hard time convincing Hollywood that.

  • Someone | June 21, 2012 6:39 PMReply

    When will people of color understand that UNTIL you are in the white Hollywood mainstream, no matter how many Tyler Perry films, " Think like a man", even Scandal, types of projects you do, they will not even consider you a contender...ever..please don't ask why. you know why. goodnight

  • moionfire | June 26, 2012 8:09 PM

    To be honest I think most black actors know this. They all know they will never have the careers of whites. That doesn't mean they shouldn't try. And even though black actors and actresses get less pay, these people are still rich so let's not shed a tear.

  • Charles Judson | June 21, 2012 5:33 PMReply

    According to labor statistics the median income for the average actor is $17 per hour. That's about $36K IF they work 40 hours a week all 52 weeks of the year. Most actors will never get anywhere near the top 10. Nor do all actors want to even be in the movies or take on the roles that it takes to be in the top 10. SAG-AFTRA represents 150,000 members. If you don't include non-members and aspiring actors, the Forbes list represents .006 percent of the acting community. Not exactly very representative. It's in the day to day reality of being an actor hustling, trying to improve your craft, create quality projects and actually make a decent living to pay the bills is where our collective efforts will count.

  • Cinexa | June 21, 2012 4:39 PMReply

    Here it is in a nutshell from one of the players:
    "Gates said one of the most revealing interviews that he did was with producer Arnon Milchan, founder/head of New Regency Productions who broke down how racism works in Hollywood. Milchan explained how "Panic Room," which made $100 million at the box office, would have made, at most, $50 million with Halle Berry in the Jodie Foster role. He went on to say that with a darker-complexioned actress, "Ten million, maybe $20 million." Gates' questioned Milchan about a Halle Berry-Denzel Washington love story. "Oh man, that is a brilliant idea," Milchan said, "Only one problem, it will only make $50 million." He went on to illustrate that the problem. Since they are both A-list actors, once he pays Halle $20 million and Denzel $20 million, he doesn't have any money left. "The moral of that story is that film will never be made," he said. Gates took it one step further and questioned Milchan about a Halle Berry-Russell Crowe pairing. "$200 million, maybe $300 million," Milchan said, explaining that the audience is not interested in seeing two black people, black man and black woman, make love. And they are definitely not interested in seeing a black woman and her son being terrorized by anybody. "They are not going to pay for that," he said.

    The Israeli-born producer of more than 85 feature films (including "The King Of Comedy," "Once Upon A Time In America," "Pretty Woman," "The Negotiator," "Fight Club," "Big Momma's House," "Don't Say A Word," "High Crimes" and "Daredevil"), Milchan added, "It could be there is an assumption that Hollywood is closed to the black community, and the assumption could be wrong. Maybe the club door is closed, but not by conspiracy. Maybe it's by disassociation socially -- unless you get into that room, you don't have access. But if we hang out, we talk, and if we talk, we do business."

  • ALM | July 6, 2012 12:06 AM

    "Milchan said, explaining that the audience is not interested in seeing two black people, black man and black woman, make love. And they are definitely not interested in seeing a black woman and her son being terrorized by anybody."

    This is the second time in the last year that I have heard someone in the industry make this statement. The other time was at a book/movie summit. Can someone explain to me what is behind this? What is so threatening about seeing two African Americans on screen in a love scene? I have seen several movies with Caucasian people in love scenes. Good for them, but why does seeing brown skinned people in love scenes bother Caucasian people so much?

  • Miles Ellison | June 23, 2012 1:29 AM

    Panic Room with Halle Berry would have made just as much money as it did with Jodie Foster, if Halle Berry was playing a hooker.

  • cinexa | June 22, 2012 9:22 AM

    I guess the question becomes,"Do we want to see a story about a black woman and her son being terrorized" or whatever the story is outside of the typical"Black" film/story. We are a part of that 100million dollar box office. If we dont support these "white " films the box office wont be so pretty. Do we even want to see our selves portrayed in a different manner. I was listening to the Sci-fi podcast that was posted on here where the brother said that initially he couldn't see blacks/Africa as being a place for realistic Sci-fi. I was like "Damn we cant even imagine ourselves as something else". That is powerful. We have been here for thousands of years too. there are many a great story to tell. Im sure of it. If Europe had dragons and elves, Im sure there were some in Africa and other parts of the world.

  • BluTopaz | June 21, 2012 7:32 PM

    @ CINEXA--I remember that interview with Milchan and I was floored at his honesty. It reminded me of an interview with Lonette McKee when The Cotton Club was first released. She was in the office of one of the suits (can't remember which) and another white suit from the movie studio called and they were on speakerphone. He didn't know Lonette was in the office. The guy on the phone was upset about all the footage of Lonette with Gregory Hines, and wanted more footage of Richard Gere and the lead White chick. She said his exact screaming words were "this is not a nigger movie g--dammit" and he slammed down the phone. She said she could only sit there stunned afterwards--how does one even respond to that level of hatred. And to start more ish, I do remember the studio exec had a Jewish name.

  • LeonRaymond | June 21, 2012 5:51 PM

    @CINEXA, POWERFUL, VERY POWERFUL right on the money. I would say the door is closed to the Black Community and don't make an assumption, accept it cause Milchan is being kind. I wish you take this article or piece and Blast it all over the internet cause with that it's way past time to stop complaining and start doing and please throw away the "we hate each other so we don't want to work with each other" We have to now I would say for sure no other way around it. Now I love the part of the fees to Halle and Denzel and then your broke and can't make your movie. We have to make other actors stars we just have to our indie films!!!!

  • LeonRaymond | June 21, 2012 3:24 PMReply

    I saw this coming. Here is the sad thing that no one wants to talk about, for any of you filmmakers out there who have tried to mount a low budget film using all Black talent only to have deep problems in the casting of them from the Agents and Managers, and the so-called stars they think they are, I have had white actresses come froward to want to audition for parts written for a Black actress and offering to work for nothing on the front end, ("just feed me good and I am" there, they tell me) Well we have to work more together and help move projects forward, our actresses have to don producers hats like white actresses will do at a heart beat. we have to look at that sister or brother and offer to help out on the set and help find locations or key crew if needed cause all that swims up stream and then once an actress develops a reputation as being a joy to work with or was there when we all struggled, we can over come that list cause white folk band together to do and producer their shit, look at that white filmmaker Lynn Shelton, as she said she just called up friends who became crew members and hired actors who were friends of other friends who just jumped on board. We have to start out that way and then those actors we helped groom will be one of those high paid on our list, with Hollywood it will always be about racism and skin color, they don't make a move to do anything unless it's about race and color and that permeates their entire being. So what, to hell with them, groom our own make our own. What you don't hear or see or that never gets told is that white actresses are always begging to be in our films. That tells you something. NADINE on this site once made a comment that "we don't work with each other cause we hate each other" that statement sends chills down my spine cause to this day I still can not come back at her and say she is 100% wrong. I hope she's wrong, I pray she's wrong!!!

  • troy | June 21, 2012 2:41 PMReply

    Why aren't black women more marketable outside of music? Is there room for Beyonce and a Beyonce of music?

    Primal example: Porn
    A fan thinks their favorite is the best because they are their favorite.
    My friend thinks PinkyXXX is a top pornstar because he and many others like her. Forget the fact that she is a midget, she has never won any AVN award, and 19 y/o white girls make more money in porn.

    So why do black women have to stand on the podium alone. If we support one we cant support another one. Does it take all of our support to help make Beyonce one of the biggest stars in the world?

  • NO BRAINER | June 21, 2012 2:21 PMReply

    Phew! I was about to be deeply concerned for you Tambay if you were the one pondering on this subject matter. The title of this article had me asking, "Really? Really S&A?" I'm glad to see you recognize how silly it is to complain.

  • Cherish | June 21, 2012 1:38 PMReply

    Wasn't Whoopi Goldberg back in the day one of the highest paid actresses in the industry? We have really gone backwards but its been happening right in front of our faces...

  • vc | June 21, 2012 1:05 PMReply

    Black folks talk about this wayy too much, Hollywood doesn't owe black people anything, they made it for the people they made it for, question isn't what THEY are going to do, the question is what are WE going to do. see a young black woman in a lead roll, a small film but a strong lead, trailer


  • BluTopaz | June 21, 2012 5:37 PM

    @ NO BRAINER (in an embarassed Emily Litella voice smiling sheepishly)--"oh... nevermind" But yes now I see what you are saying and you were very generous. The error message was more entertaining.

  • NO BRAINER | June 21, 2012 5:15 PM

    @BLUTOPAZ... But it's a Youtube link. Are you opening just the link, I mean with the VC part at the end? Try again.

  • BluTopaz | June 21, 2012 4:18 PM

    At least ya'll got to see it without changing settings. I keep getting a pop-up message "to help protect the security of your computer..." which tells me all i need to know about that masterpiece

  • NO BRAINER | June 21, 2012 2:33 PM

    I hate to say it but it does look really, really bad. The sound is terrible. The lighting is too glossy, the acting look flat, and the camera/editing both seem to be in the hands of a child. I'm sorry, because I know you invested time, energy and some finances in this.

  • the black police | June 21, 2012 2:02 PM

    LOL, a prostitute story... And it looks bad, real bad...

  • saadiyah | June 21, 2012 12:53 PMReply

    You mean White people with less talent, brains, or looks still manage to be more successful in Hollywood (and in many other careers) than Blacks who are more talented, intelligent, or better looking? That's the natural order of things.

  • Ali | June 21, 2012 11:57 AMReply

    I swear. It kind of makes you just want to say "You know this based on facts, right?" There are bigger problems than not being included on this list. The hard part is not getting on it, it's getting the opportunities to be able to get on it. Trust me a black woman will be on when she gets $35 million. Hence the reason that you should take the outrage elsewhere. This ain't shocking. Should they have added a token black actress that only made $1 I'm with you. It's obvious why they aren't on it, people are apparently blind, and we should focus on the work and work towards bigger oppurtinities.

  • ndlela | June 21, 2012 11:53 AMReply

    Amen! Well said. Let's spend that knee-jerk reaction energy on creating quality work, cultivating our audiences/communities and on supporting that work when it comes out.

  • troy | June 21, 2012 1:25 PM

    Yeah lets focus on all the problems so we never accomplish anything. We got it Adam black people are not more important than anyone.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | June 21, 2012 11:56 AM

    Agreed. And where's the outcry over women earning less than men in Hollywood, or the lack of non-black minority stars? If we're gonna talk about inequalities, let's talk about ALL of them.

  • the black police | June 21, 2012 11:52 AMReply

    Oh gosh...

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