RED TAILS: Through a Different Lens


For the past month or more, a word of mouth ongoing viral with regards to the movie Red Tails has set the motion picture in place to have a huge successful opening weekend based on director George Lucas’(Star Wars) statement. “Hollywood didn’t want to fund Red Tails because of its black cast.”


For the most part, Black America fell prey to the marketing ploy once again proving their value when it comes to the return on the dollar.

Social media sites, blog post, and new feeds have been jammed daily since the video release of his statements, thus spurring a false sense of a needed movement of support to continue securing work for Black actors in the movie business.


Nate Parker as Marty 'Easy' Julian, Tristan Wilds as Ray 'Ray Gun' Gannon and Andre Royo as Chief 'Coffee' Coleman in high-flying action epic World War II 'Red Tails.'

Black America has displayed we are still a “reaction people.” Rather than first questioning in depth the reason and true necessity for Mr. Lucas’ public statements, you ran to defense because for lack of better words were told “Hollywood didn’t believe in your box office appeal.” There are games beyond games people.

The story of the Tuskegee Airmen has already been told and well done in a 1995 release of the TV movie starring Lawrence Fishburne, Allen Payne, Malcolm Jamaal Warner, Courtney Vance, as well as Cuba Gooding Jr. This also was not the first time a predominately black cast received acclaim and success for a feature project. We can date even further back to Spielberg’s (Jaws) 1985 release of the film The Color Purple. With no further explanation needed the box office and award season success spoke for itself with regards to that feature. Needless to say after stating the facts, the question should have been assessed, what’s the reason for George Lucas’ public statements? He doesn’t have a history for speaking publicly with hopes of getting moviegoers attention for significant box office results.

Terrence Howard star as Col. A.J. Bullard in high-flying action epic World War II 'Red Tails.'

I’ve personally have not seen the film yet but reading the plot-line of the film, its partial comic book approach, and the pattern of movies Blacks usually go see, this movie generates at best $20-25 million opening weekend. These numbers spell failure based on the movie’s suggested $50 plus million dollar budget.

The motive was to say that if this film isn’t successful, next time around there may not be another big budget black movie which is not the case. If the movie Red Tails fails, George Lucas just doesn’t get his money back. It happens in Hollywood…and that’s the case.

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