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The Daily Beast States The Obvious...

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by Sergio
December 29, 2011 9:09 AM
13 Comments
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The obvious being that black actresses are having a very hard time finding not just good roles, but, bascially, roles, period. So what else is new???

Today in The Daily Beast, columnist Allison Samuels, who tends to catch on to something months after it's happened (you know like American astronauts landing on the moon) writes about the difficulty that black actresses have today working in their profession. Not exactly revelatory news to anyone.

The article is similar to my recent post about Nelson George's "a-day-late-and-dollar-short" recent article in the New York Times about the current crop of up-and-coming independent black filmmakers. Though the only ones he was obviously aware of were those graduated from NYU Film School, unaware of the other 98% of indie black filmmakers out there.

Like the George piece, Samuels' article is really for white people who have no idea that things are hard for black actresses. You know the ones who say: "Why I had NO idea about this! I thought all black actresses worked on The Help. Wasn't Queen Latiah in it or was that Whoopi?"

So out of curiousity, if you're interested in reading Samuels' piece you can do so right HERE, but you're not going to read anything you don't already know.

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13 Comments

  • Mecca | December 30, 2011 11:49 AMReply

    Unfortunately that's the biz for you. If we owned & operated our own studios we wouldn't be complaining about the lack of work. Love it or hate it that's the way it is right now! There is only one man who continues to cast AA actors and that is Mr. Perry.

    Ignore any grammatical/punctuation errors.

  • OJIE | December 29, 2011 6:17 PMReply

    My apologies for the many typographical errors. Its just that this whole "black actors can't find work thing" always hits a nerve with me. We need to take the bull by the horn. Even look at 50 cent, who doesn't even have acting roots but he has set up a production house and makes movies. We need to also encourage writers, because there will be no film without good writers.

  • ojie | December 29, 2011 6:09 PMReply

    I HAVE SAID IT BEFORE AND I WILL SAY IT AGAIN AND PRAISE THE LORD THAT ANTHONY MCKIE SAID THE SAME. BLACK PEOPLE NEED TO STOP BLAMING THEIR MIS-FORTUNES ON WHITE PEOPLE. BLACK PEOPLE NEED TO GET OFF THEIR ARSES AND WRITE THEIR OWN SHIT. NO ONE IS STOPPING BLACK PEOPLE, AFTER ALL TYLER PERRY AHS A STUDIO, OPRAH HAS A NETWORK, THERE IS BET. THE MEDIUMS ARE THERE, PEOLE JUST AREN'T THINKING. PEOPLE NED TO TAKE THE INITIATIVE. WHICH IS WHY I WILL ALWAYS ADORE, RESPECT AND LOOK UP TO TYLER PERRY. FINE, HIS FILMS MIGHT NOT BE DEEMED "OSCAR WORHTY" BUT AT LEAST HE TAKES THE INITIATIVE, HE PICKS A PEN AND WRITES, HE DIRECTS AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, HIS FILMS ACTUALLY GET RELEASED, AND PEOPLE ACTUALLY GO AND WATCH HIS FILMS. HALLE DID THE SAME FOR FRANKIE AND ALICE, ALTHOUGH IT WASNT RELEASED BUT SHE TRIED AND WELL SHE DID GET A GOLDEN GLOBE NOM OUT OF IT. DEE REES WHO DID PARIAH AS WELL, SHE WROTE AND DIRECTED. SHE GOT UP WROTE SOMETHING, FOUND THE MONEY AND MADE IT AND NOW IT IS IN THE CINEMAS. SO, BLACK PEOPLE SHOULD STOP WAITING FOR "THOSE JUSICY ROLES", THERE ARE MILLIONS OF BOOKS OUT THERE, AFTER ALL THATS WHERE "PRECIOUS" CAME FROM. BLACK PEOPLE NEED TO GET OFF THEIR ARSES. THERE IS BET. AT LEAST BET IS NOW TRYING BUT DOING ORIGINAL SHOWS. WE NEED TO GET UP AND STOP EXPECTING THE WHITE PEOPLE TO HAND US THINGS BECAUSE HONEY, THEY DONT EVEN WRITE MOST ROLES WITH BLACK ACTORS IN MIND ANYWAYS, SO WE HAVE TO GET UP AND DO THIS FOR US, THEN THEY WILL NOTICE.E

  • Orville | December 29, 2011 4:51 PMReply

    Zeus is right these kinds of articles are always published around awards season. The same recycled pieces.

    Alison Samuels seems to be the black female writer the mainstream publications go to write these kinds of articles.

    Of course, the sexism and racism black women experience in Hollywood is terrible.

    I wish these kinds of pieces would dig a bit deeper though and try to find solutions.

    Nicole, I think Hollywood is easier for black male actors than black women because they are male. A male actor can be an action star like Will Smith or do detective movies like Morgan Freeman and not have a love interest.

    However, for black women it becomes complicated because usually women are treated as just the love interest or the wife or the girlfriend. Black women have it tougher because most Hollywood scripts written for women are about white females.

  • rgordon | December 29, 2011 12:38 PMReply

    Someone needs to write an article about the casting business. These are unknown, unseen, unaccountable people. And they have a huge amount of influence on which actors show up on our screens and stages.

  • Donella | January 4, 2012 3:54 PM

    If walls could talk...

  • Zeus | December 29, 2011 11:53 AMReply

    These type of articles always pop up around award season. Is there also an article on how water is wet?

  • Ash | January 1, 2012 9:18 PM

    You should be the one to suggest it, Zeus!

  • Nicole | December 29, 2011 11:11 AMReply

    Yeah, I'll pass on reading the article. Just from your synopsis, it sounds like the same regurgitated information.

    Maybe it's just me but it seems an article like this is written every few years. But why? It's almost as if the writer is hoping that if the problem is pointed out enough times that sooner or later some benevolent white studio exec(or white person with Hollywood power) will take pity on "the blacks", and start handing out quality roles to black actresses to make up for decades of being ignored.

    I do have a question: Why is it that Hollywood seems to be more comfortable with black actors more so than black actresses? Black actors seem to be given more opportunities at varied, quality roles or to lead their own network shows.

  • misha | December 29, 2011 10:43 AMReply

    "Why I had NO idea about this! I thought all black actresses worked on The Help. Wasn't Queen Latiah in it or was that Whoopi?"


    LOL! Oh, Sergio. I must say that you've produced quite a few eye rolls from yours truly but then, you come back with gems like the one above. :P

  • Mekisha Hale | December 29, 2011 1:05 PM

    Recent read the article on Shadow and Act. On the Daily Beast article about the lack of opportunities for black actresses. But I just recently read your comment and near the end of your comment. There was a question or maybe more of the truth about opportunities for black actors and actresses. There seems to more opportunities for black actors and even getting quality parts then the black actresses. I never thought about it,but there seems to an ease when it comes to black actors in Hollywood. I think you comment really hits to the point exactly. That point needs to be made. It's so so true!!

  • BluTopaz | December 29, 2011 10:11 AMReply

    I refuse to read it because it's unhealthy just for the comments section alone. If I read one that says we should stop complaining because we got to play maids this year... Plus this is the same chick who chose Newsweek as a forum to project her blackgirl hair issues onto a child. Samuels should be collecting unemployment.

  • Ash | January 1, 2012 9:16 PM

    You're exactly right! This is the same woman who wrote an article a few years back about how Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt needed to hire a Black woman to do their then 4 year old daughter Zahara's hair for them. She said Zahara's hair always looked a mess and devoted a whole article in an actual newspaper talking about it. I will always remember this woman for that painfully shallow and pointless article.

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