Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Here's the Character Lupita Nyong'o Plays in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' + Jar Jar Binks Dead? Here's the Character Lupita Nyong'o Plays in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' + Jar Jar Binks Dead? Weekend B.O. May 1-3 (The $187 Million Disappointment) Weekend B.O. May 1-3 (The $187 Million Disappointment) Deon Cole, Nicki Minaj, Regina Hall and Eve Join 'Barbershop 3' Cast Deon Cole, Nicki Minaj, Regina Hall and Eve Join 'Barbershop 3' Cast Taraji P Henson Thanks UK Fans for Illegally Streaming 'Empire' Which Led to Its Pickup + UK Reactions to the Show Taraji P Henson Thanks UK Fans for Illegally Streaming 'Empire' Which Led to Its Pickup + UK Reactions to the Show Will Smith Channels Shaft in These 'Suicide Squad' On-set Photos Will Smith Channels Shaft in These 'Suicide Squad' On-set Photos A New Film Studio Grows in Uganda - Wakaliwood A New Film Studio Grows in Uganda - Wakaliwood You Will Be Moved By the Atmospheric First Full Trailer for 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' You Will Be Moved By the Atmospheric First Full Trailer for 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' Wendell Pierce Will Play Clarence Thomas Opposite Kerry Washington's Anita Hill in HBO's 'Confirmation,' Directed by Rick Famuyiwa Wendell Pierce Will Play Clarence Thomas Opposite Kerry Washington's Anita Hill in HBO's 'Confirmation,' Directed by Rick Famuyiwa Jordan Davis Documentary Gets New Title, New Poster 2 New Clips + Theatrical Release Dates Set Jordan Davis Documentary Gets New Title, New Poster 2 New Clips + Theatrical Release Dates Set Crowdfund This: Feature Film, 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' Crowdfund This: Feature Film, 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' Interview: Black Masculinity in Comic Books with Jonathan Gayles Interview: Black Masculinity in Comic Books with Jonathan Gayles Indie Box Office: How Did the Queen Latifah Exec Produced Indie Drama 'Brotherly Love' Do? Indie Box Office: How Did the Queen Latifah Exec Produced Indie Drama 'Brotherly Love' Do? Watch 'Deadpan' - an Early Short Work by Steve McQueen Inspired by Buster Keaton Watch 'Deadpan' - an Early Short Work by Steve McQueen Inspired by Buster Keaton 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' 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...

"She's Gotta Have It" Was Released Today... About That X-Rating And Black Sexuality On Screen...

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 8, 2011 at 9:42AM

Today in history... August 8th, 1986, Spike Lee's feature film debut, She's Gotta Have It, was released theatrically, and is, by the way, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year!
9

Today in history... August 8th, 1986, Spike Lee's feature film debut, She's Gotta Have It, was released theatrically, and is, by the way, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year!

Time flies right?

Revisiting an old post on the film, and, in a way, in celebration if it... some trivia and food for thought...

Did you know that She's Gotta Have It was initially given an X-rating by the MPAA? Why? The exact quote, according to Spike, was that the MPAA said it was "saturated with sex."

Hah! You can't help but laugh at the ridiculousness and hypocrisy of that given reason. Talk about a double-standard!

Thus, Spike had to re-edit the film three times, and still then, it was considered too risque; so he released it first in New York unrated, but was contractually obligated to deliver an R-rated movie, if he wanted to get paid, and eventually did.

What was Spike's response to the whole thing?

"I don't think it's out-and-out racist, but the film portrays blacks outside stereotypical roles, and they don't know what to do with blacks in films. They never have any love interests. Nick Nolte is the one who has a relationship in 48 Hours. And when it comes to black sexuality, they especially don't know how to deal with it. They feel uncomfortable. There are films with more gratuitous sex and violence. 9 1/2 weeks got an "R." And look at Body Double."

Boy, how little has changed in 25 years! There's still very much this suppression of what I'd call black-on-black sexual expression on movie theater screens, at the studio level specifically, so much that some of our stars (especially our male stars) seem to have even given up, or given in to these tacit "agreements," if we can call them that.

I'd say that since the Blaxploitation era ended, black sexual expression has been noticeably absent from mainstream cinema.

In 1987, when Robert Townsend's Hollywood Shuffle was released (in which his character was involved in a romance with Anne Marie Johnson's), he was quoted as saying, "This year, I'll be the only black man that kissed a black woman on screen. That's deep."

And with that, I'll leave you with this, how many films developed, financed and released by a Hollywood studio last year had a black man kissing a black woman, or vice-versa, with mutual affection? How about this year, 8 months in?

This article is related to: Things That Make You Go Hmm..., Today In History, Flashback


Shadow & ActNewsletter