George Lucas recently stopped by The Daily Show to talk about his new film Red Tails, which is about the trials and triumphs of the first all-black aerial combat unit, the Tuskegee Airmen.

Lucas, who is one of Hollywood’s biggest names, says that even he (despite his influence) had a difficult time trying to get this film made. Lucas has been working on the project for over 23 years trying to convince studios to give it a chance; however, many have been hesitant to back an action film because of its black cast.

Instead, Lucas poured $93 million of his own money into the film and forced the the studios to reconsider.

During the interview, Lucas explained why it’s so difficult for black films to find their way to box offices. As most of us already know, it boils down to one thing: money.

Studios do not want to invest the resources into high-quality films with black casts because they don’t think their investments will be returned in the form of large box office numbers, here or abroad. With Red Tails, Lucas hopes to prove them wrong.

So why did George Lucas use nearly $100 million of his own money on this film? He said that he made Red Tails to show teenage boys that there are real, inspirational American heroes.

Although many black filmmakers don’t have $93 million to get a film made, perhaps the success of Red Tails will finally open the door (and the box office), to more well-crafted black films.

‘Red Tails’ will hit theaters Jan. 20, check out the trailer below.

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  • Jess

    Unfortunately, the biggest casualty of George Lucas and Aaron Macgruder’s film is the relationship between Black men and women. Which of course, was theintention.

    Those Black men and boys who know nothing of history, and those Black men and boys who dislike Black women, will claim that complaints against this movie is simply because Black women are against Black men in interracial relationships.

    Those Black women and girls who know nothing of history, and those Black women and girls who know that Black males are being brainwashed into loving white and hating Black, will believe that Black men have always been this way, and will acquiesce and accept an inferior status in the Black community, just to avoid being accused of being against IR.

    Thus, White supremacist propaganda machines are accomplishing their missions of driving a deeper and deeper wedge between the genders in the Black community.

  • flight

    To the people saying ‘see the movie first before you judge,’ writer Kola Boof has seen the movie and tweeted that indeed there are no black women in the film. Meanwhile, one of the black pilots does indeed have a love affair with a white woman.

    • DivineBrown

      Welp, there ya go. No black women but had to insert the white woman. They do this on purpose time and time again just to make black women feel like shit. It’s funny how none of this matters or makes a difference but it’s ALWAYS the same PLOTLINE. Black man loves white woman or black man leaves you for white woman. I have yet to see ONE movie made where a white man leaves a white woman for a black woman. When they dared to show white men cheating with black women, they made sure that the white man never ran off with the black women which sends the message black women can only be jumpoff status and THAT’S non threatening to white women. Yet they constantly have to show us white women are threats to us(which I personally don’t feel they are but I do RESENT the implication especially at the rate it’s done). I don’t feel white women are a threat. I, however, DO feel they’re annoying to me as a black woman because they can never be given anything, without taking away from the rest of us.

      There’s also a difference between what you personally believe and the messages you know are sent, especially to the young ones. They often act like they don’t get that either.

    • Penny

      @flight: Okay, if the person saw the film and can confirm it, then my bad. Couldn’t tell for sure from the trailer. My bad! LOL.

      Hell, I’m still pissed off about “Hitch.” People thought I was crazy for being mad at Will Smith because he was too much of a [email protected] to fight for having a black woman in that role. He made it seem as if his hands were tied. I don’t recall anyone ever making Eddie Murphy put a white or latino woman in his movies so that they would cross over. Coming To America did just fine with a black woman as his love interest. So did the Nutty Professor and the Klumps. Yes, white people who run things in Hollywood exclude black women, but it seems to me that too many of the so-called powerful black male actors are a little too quick to go along with the program.

  • DivineBrown

    Females have the buying power and are the ones to make sure anything blows up. Females maintain a system. With that said, I, as black female, who’s hip to the game, knows not to talk to black men about this topic nor bi-racial people(they usually have a “one love”, colorblind) approach to things when discussing FULL black women and their portrayal(or lack of it). No disrespect to any bi-racials on this page but if you feel offended, that’s on you.

    I don’t know if there is a white love interest in this movie or not but it doesn’t surprise me if there is one. With that said, I’m going to comment with my thoughts as if this is CONFIRMED. I will NEVER support a movie or anything else that doesn’t have full black women in the leads being cherished and loved. And I won’t be supporting this movie. No one is going to guilt me into doing so by saying I’m “jealous” or “mad over IR”. Dismissive detractors use this SHAMING tactic while merging two separate issues. That is, the issue of black women CONSTANTLY being replaced or given villain roles (LIKE NO OTHER WOMEN) with whether or not you like/support IR. They are NOT one in the same. The only reason white women never have to complain as much or flex their muscles is because white men know and abide by the racial politics so they don’t have to show their disdain at ever being replaced(since they’re never replaced and especially at the speed we are while given bullshit excuses—trying to appeal to a larger audience). It’s funny how some will say “race doesn’t matter” and ask “who cares” but will tell you the REASON they replace black women is to appeal to a larger audience who wants someone to identify with. Isn’t that “larger audience” looking at RACE and seeing that they DON’T want someone on the screen who LOOKS nothing like them and whom they cannot relate to? Rhetorical. Why doesn’t race not matter to THOSE people? Why do the same people not tell whites/non blacks that race shouldn’t matter when the, “appeal to a larger audience” thing comes up? For so long that excuse has been allowed to fly and black women replaced. Or when it was stated flat out they don’t want to see black love on the screen. Oh so race matters to “them” now but it should never matter to us?. If it does, we’re “reverse-racists” or inferior feeling.

    Even in THIS instance(if true) all it proves to me is whether a white man is with a white woman or not(George is dating Melody) or even if he’s GAY and uninterested in women?(fashion designers), they’ll STILL make sure to HOLD up white women. It’s so INSTINCTUAL for white men to protect and uplift them while we’re told, “Get over it” and “It doesn’t matter. And please believe that George is aware of the rukus and message this sends. Just like he knew, or found out quickly, that Hollywood is all about making stereotypical roles and doesn’t want to show black men in a heroic light. Even with him supposedly willing to go against all of them by funding this movie, which is quite life threatening, he was STILL unwilling to go against WHITE WOMANHOOD and forgo promoting her. Ain’t that some stuff? At the end of the day, that is the ONE code they won’t break! Yet that code is broken without a second thought when it comes to black women over and over and over again.

    Black women, do NOT let anyone guilt you. Support people who support you. Because you can’t win for losing. If you shut up and allow your girls to see all these multi-racial women representing them, or totally be taken out completely, those little girls end up worshiping an image that is not their own since they see it so much. When they get older, they’ll try and duplicate that image and it’s then they’ll be slammed by black men for not appreciating their own beauty.

    The same people who readily tell you to “see past things” or not complain are the same ones who CRY when stuff is done to them ONCE, much less, as many times as it’s been done to us. Look how those black male actors were complaining about all the disappearing roles not too long ago. Remember black men are often allowed to portray themselves without a bi-racial or ambiguous person doing so. And still, they complained. Yet we cannot complain when we don’t get those same chances. It’s “jealousy” or “trivial”. The same people who complained about the Princess and the Frog’s love interest will be the ones telling you “race doesn’t matter”. Again, it just shows how they’re not taught to “look out for you” or uphold your image. It’s embedded in their psyches to not see anything wrong with putting you on a pedestal but accept that white women wish to be put there. Again, hence them telling you the reason black women are replaced in the first place. If it doesn’t affect them, they don’t care. ONLY SOME will.

    People(and many black men included) want you to never be shown you’re delicate or worth going to war for, yet when you grow up thinking you can only count on yourself, and that there is no prince charming, they wonder why you’re not like white women(who’s shown the opposite over and over) and won’t “play your position” being feminine and docile as if an environment like that was ever facilitated. Hell, they’re telling you it’s not NECESSARY. You don’t NEED that. Pfft. “It’s so trivial”. Why look for that? Carry on but STILL develop a disposition as if you GOT that (and from THEM) all your life.

    This will NOT get my money and I’m PROUD to say that. I will NOT be shamed. Let the PEOPLE they PROMOTED in this movie SUPPORT it. Bye now.

    • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

      Thank you for this DivineBrown. I actually picked up stuff to think about from this comment.

    • apple

      “If it doesn’t affect them, they don’t care.”
      This what I have been saying for years… or forever.. in every situation.. we should care about all issues because just because it doesn’t affect you now doesn’t mean it can’t affect you later..! or at least feel what others feel, i know you can! humanity’s mass lack of empathy makes me full of misanthropy. (whoa that rhymed lol)

  • Chica

    Wait so let me understand this…I just watched the trailer after seeing all this hype about a white female love interest. The only indication I saw of this THEORY is a gloved hand touching a picture of a white chick. I mean honestly I know none of us here have seen the movie so I don’t understand why people are getting their panties in a wad. I don’t think women, black or white, play a huge roll in this film PERIOD sooooo…I don’t get all this hoopla. I don’t know I guess I’m missing something.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    LOL!

    Sorry but I don’t get this –

    are these the same black american women who get ecstatic over a white male a love interest (and lead) in a show called misaventures of an awkward black girl – complaining about a white female love interest in some dumb hollywood movie?

    What is it with black americans?

    I can’t see what the complaint is here. I mean, go to any discussion on this site and you’ll see some post racial, colour blind black woman extolling the “virtues” of interacial love.

    Surely you should be glad that your message of love across the colour lines is being taken to heart and has even reached hollywood – why all the hate man?

    I mean you don’t seem to want your brothaz so why can’t a they find love in whoever’s willing to give it to em?

    Are black american men supposed to sit down and let black american hog the interacial “goody bag” and “limelight”?

    Are they supposed to sit down and watch black women f uck everybody – but them. and remain passive as black women flaunt their treachery in black men’s faces?

    Nah I don’t think so – been there done that, didn’t like it much.

    I want to see black american men and women reconciled, but if that’s not gonna happen then everybody just go their merry interacial way and –

    shut up.

    If the only problem in black america is that a movie features an interacial relationship – you’re doing pretty good compared to everybody, even white people, and have nothing to complain about.

    What a bunch of pathetic sex obssessed morons –

    stupid bastards

    bring nothing but shame and embarrasment to the international Black Community. .

    • Socially Maladjusted

      I just wanna say to the whole world that –

      NOT ALL BLACK PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE THIS STUPID.

      Please do not take Black America as a representative sample of blacks everywhere.

    • Krantzstone

      I suspect that the black experience in America is somewhat different from that of blacks in other countries, because of their history as descendants of slaves. When a people have been forcibly taken from their homelands and forced into slavery in a foreign land, deprived of their language, culture, history, mores, etc. it isn’t surprising when their descendants struggle to find and/or forge their own identity. Discussions like these are what help a people find themselves, and allow them to define themselves, rather than be defined by those who oppress them.

      Even though skin colour may be the same, the average black African who grew up surrounded by those like themselves, educated by those like themselves, governed by those like themselves, policed by those like themselves, generally haven’t experienced the kind of racial oppression that black Americans have faced living as a minority under a white majority rule (with the exception of black South Africans who know it all too well, I’m sure). Thus, because they don’t have that shared context of racism, they may not understand the degree to which it permeates every part of society in North America and why it so greatly upsets those who have grown up as an ethnic minority here.

      And personally, as an Asian male in North America I can appreciate the American black woman’s anger at being marginalized by Hollywood, especially in terms of important, pivotal roles, leading roles, and as romantic interests, because a similar thing has been done to Asian males in Hollywood. You’ll find a lot of White Male / Asian Female pairings on TV, in commercials, in movies, etc. but it’s rare to see the Asian Male in any sort of romantic role whatsoever: we’re mostly relegated to stereotypical roles as the Nerd, the Scientist/Doctor, the Martial Artist, all of whom are apparently asexual. Asians are also similarly ‘white-washed’ out of major Hollywood films, often replaced wholesale by white actors, even where the roles clearly call for an Asian actor (and in the politically incorrect Hollywood of the past, were played in Yellowface, complete with yellow make-up and simulated slanted eyes and epicanthic folds). Nowadays, the Asian roles are completely re-written and re-cast with white actors. This happens even in movies like _The Last Airbender_ (2010) where the director (M. Night Shymalan) is himself a visible minority: the roles of Aang, Katara and Sokka (who in the original cartoon are clearly drawn to be Asiatic in appearance) were played by Caucasian actors Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz and Jackson Rathbone respectively. This caused a huge uproar in the Asian American community and the movie was boycotted. The few Asian faces in the movie were relegated to background performers, suggesting that Asians aren’t good enough to be main characters, but only good for playing extras.

      So yeah, I kind of know how that feels, to so rarely see one’s own ethnicity reflected in the mass popular culture that one consumes, and to feel alienated and marginalized because of that. To not be seen as being worthy of being a hero, a protagonist, a main character, a romantic lead or interest: it’s not a good feeling to have. Some people may just say ‘oh, it’s just a movie’, but kids go see these films. It matters to them to see themselves reflected in the kinds of movies and TV shows they watch, and it matters that they get to see positive role models and healthy relationships of all kinds portrayed which reflect their own ethnic realities.

      It’s difficult for me because on the one hand, I really do want to support movies which feature a majority-black cast, in a history-based story which is about black American accomplishment (especially in a time of war): I’d love to see a similarly big-budget blockbuster adaptation of the story of the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/442nd_Infantry_Regiment_%28United_States%29) because I want to see those of my ethnicity get that same recognition in popular culture based on historical wartime feats. But this marginalization and minimizing of black women in _Red Tails_ really bothers me. I’m starting to think I may not be able to go and support this movie in the theatres because I’ve read so many people here who’ve raised these issues and who feel so strongly about it. And as I said, I too know what it feels like to be marginalized and ‘white-washed’ in Hollywood movies, so I definitely sympathize.

      I don’t know. Maybe I’ll ask my friend who is a black woman how she feels about it, and if she’s not comfortable with going to see it, I probably won’t go either. Either way, I’d like to write to George Lucas myself to express my concerns, because I do think it’s an important issue and something worth fighting for.

    • Socially Maladjusted

      kranzstone

      er excuse – I’m a black male born raised and living in the UK, I know about being an ethnic minority amidst a white majority. Also, I’m born of parents from Jamaica, country which has its own history of slavery, so don’t act like black americans experience of slavery and racism is somehow unique.

      In fact I think I could convincingly argue that racism is worse here since we are a much smaller percentage of the UK population than blacks are in America and therefore don’t have the luxury of at least being able to retreat to all black neighbourhoods to escape white racism.

      So nope – your special pleading on behalf of black americans won’t wash.

      Just seems like black americans have turned every black enclave of the internet into a battleground to fight each other over interacial dating.

      It’s embarrassing.

      No one else behaves like this.

      As for black american women being pissed over their under-representation in hollywood – are you serious?

      You really think that’s something somebody should give a damn about?

      They want to be included in an establishment that is merely the propaganda wing of white supremacy, which was built on the dehumanization of non-whtie peoples and continues to this day in its project to portray whiteness as the epitome of human excellence – of all things good, and everything not white as all things not good?

      They want in on that and you sympathise?

      You’re as crazy they are.

      kiss teet

    • Krantzstone

      @Socially Maladjusted:

      I was merely stating the fact that the black American experience is different from that in other countries. Of course, the black British experience is different as well, and I wouldn’t compare the two. They may be similar in superficial aspects (eg. skin colour) but that’s really where the comparison ends.

      I would like to make it clear that I have no problem with inter-racial romantic relationships of any kind, and that is not what most of these women are against from what I understand. Rather, they are upset at the fact that even though this movie is based on a historical event where there were black women involved and made substantial contributions, they were effectively written out of the story in favour of a fictional inter-racial relationship between a black male lead and a white woman. While it is entirely possible that such an inter-racial relationship may have occurred, it was not the norm (considering it was illegal in America at the time, and would be until 1967) and to place that as the main love interest in the story as opposed to the love and support given by the black wives that these pilots left behind to go to war, is a slap in the face to every last one of those black women who, just like the wives of the white pilots, fretted every day for their husbands and prayed that they’d come home safe.

      Also, this article by Ralph Richard Banks (who identifies himself in the article as a black American male; he is also the Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law at Stanford Law School) in the Wall Street Journal came out on August 6, 2011: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903454504576486492588283556.html

      He says:
      “Nearly 70% of black women are unmarried, and the racial gap in marriage spans the socioeconomic spectrum, from the urban poor to well-off suburban professionals. Three in 10 college-educated black women haven’t married by age 40; their white peers are less than half as likely to have remained unwed [ … ] Black women confront the worst relationship market of any group because of economic and cultural forces that are not of their own making[.]”

      With these statistics, you can see why black [straight] women might also feel threatened by black [straight] males entering into romantic relationships with non-black women: with so few suitable black men available in the United States, black male / black female pairings are increasingly rare.

      The thing is, I also believe that mass media, popular culture, all affect how people see themselves, and without sufficient examples of black male / black female pairings in the media, black kids are going to grow up without that sort of model for a relationship. While there is nothing wrong with them dating and marrying (and of course, having sex with) people of other races, if there is a societal bias against the black male / black female pairing, it’s only going to compound the problem that black women have, especially if they do want to enter into relationships with black men (for whatever reason).

      If you read the WSJ article, it states some interesting facts and figures, as well as Mr. Banks’ theories on what societal factors affected the results of his study.

      Perhaps you have not considered the possibility that because you directly benefit from male privilege, you are unaware of it or its deeper implications, especially with respect to how it affects women, and women of colour in particular. Just because one is a member of one minority, doesn’t necessitate that we would necessarily understand what it’s like to be of a different minority. Minority men face racial oppression, but minority women face both racial _and_ gender oppression. I know that being a man, I take for granted a lot of things in society that a woman has to think very carefully about: things like being able to take a walk alone after dark without worrying about my safety (for the most part), being able to voice public objections without being called a ‘bitch’, being able to be promiscuous without being labelled a ‘whore’ or ‘slut’, being able to get mad or upset about something without having people put it down to ‘PMS’ or ‘that time of the month’, to be taken seriously when speaking my mind, to not be restricted or relegated to pink collar employment, to not be paid less for equal work, etc. These are all part and parcel of male privilege, and just because I’m a member of an ethnic minority in my country, doesn’t mean that I have any real clue about what it means to be a woman in my country, let alone a minority woman.

      So when a woman, and in this case, a black woman, expresses her concerns about representation in popular media, especially when it’s a classic example of black women being marginalized and their contributions to society minimized, their presence erased, I have to ask myself if these concerns aren’t justified. Just because the presence or lack thereof of black women in _Red Tails_ doesn’t exactly negatively impact me personally, doesn’t mean that it has no effect, because clearly it does. It matters, even if it is just another Hollywood movie, because people of all races go to watch these movies. I know that if I were a black woman, and I knew the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, and I saw a white producer with loads of cash and influence re-telling the story and purposely leaving me out of the picture, I’d be upset. Never mind that the white producer is dating a black woman, it’s clear that he just doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a black woman in America.

      I’m not calling George Lucas an outright racist: regardless of his major gaffes regarding ethnic sensitivity, he’s hardly a David Duke or Pat Buchanan. If anything, his ignorance seems to stem largely from white male privilege, which renders him unable to see the things he does in a racial or gender context other than his own. Also, I’m starting to wonder if he doesn’t have some sort of mild autism spectrum disorder, because he has difficulty writing convincing or realistic dialogue (a complain that’s often been made by the actors in his movies), which suggests some form of deficit in social learning, despite his clear perfectionist (some might call it ‘obsessive’) tendencies and his remarkable ability to develop otherwise fantastic fictional worlds and films.

      Anyway, I would gently assert that these are some things that you might be interested in further exploring, because while I am sure you are well-versed in the challenges facing the black male in Britain, that doesn’t mean you have any real understanding of what it means to be a black woman in America. I don’t claim to even come close to understanding what it means to be a black woman in America, but I know that I’d like to try and make that effort, because while I may not know what it means to be a black woman in America, as an Asian male in North America I know a little of the feelings of marginalization and lack of representation, and can definitely sympathize with black women when they make that same assertion that they do not want to be ‘white-washed’ or marginalized in popular media.

    • AJ

      @Sociallymaladjusted:”NOT ALL BLACK PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE THIS STUPID.’

      This stupid? What? You mean as stupid as you? Just because your men in the UK marry out at 70%, ultimately telling me that your people are:

      1. truly of the colonized mentality
      2. uphold the British colonial view of them being the best and you ‘third worlders” being less than
      3. have no true love or respect for the dark women that you look like too, and make up the majority of the women of your little island

      You have no idea what we have been through in America. BW have the right to protest how we’re treated in American media, and in our communities. Hollywood, the mainstream media, AND many of our own BM choose to portray us only in the most negative light. Hip hop called us b*tches, h*s, sk*nks, “too black”, ugly – all from BM-dominated medium. And Hollywood has historically done us even worse. And before you give the old Love & Hip Hop or Basketball Wives argument, the point is that the media will only select those to portray, and not other BW. Just like with this movie. They can find BW to play prostitutes, mammies, or loud-mouthed reality stars, but they can’t find a BW for decent,loving, caring roles. There is something wrong there. If your Caribbean/UK experience can’t understand this, I don’t care.

      Especially when this is perpetrated by BM, it is the ultimate slap in the face to women who died for their privilege (just as the died for us), supported them, and to be forced to play 2nd and 3rd fiddle to the very women who intentionally got millions of them lynched and killed in other ways. But now we are the enemy?