Who Decides What People Watch

CT has an interview with Christine and Michael Swanson about their struggles to get theatrical distribution for their films. Go read it, it is an eye opener. This particularly caught my attention:

[I]n those days before the big-screen arrival of Tyler Perry, studios tended to insist that there wasn’t much of a market for values-based, PG-rated films aimed at black moviegoers.

That sounded biased to me. Who determinied that black families don’t want to watch films?And even worse, whenever faith is portraied as even faintly positive in movies, it is almost always a predominantly black church. So Hollywood is being two faced on this. Blacks can have faith for white audiences but not for black audience. That’s just wrong. Hollywood is weird.

The reasons for the inordinate amount of crime, violence, and broken families amongst blacks as compared to other ethnic groups is complex and varied.  I don’t intended to lay the blame at only one aspect, but if Hollywood was only aiming R rated films at black moviegoers, that doesn’t contribute to changing things. It might just contribute to the problem. Hurray to folks like the Swanson’s and Tyler Perry for breaking that stereotype.

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  • Well, this might be a comment that gets deleted: but I spent enough time around television production (having worked for a media company), that convinced me that all of the folks “in charge” are those punks we used to pick on in high school. They are (mostly) WASP-y social misfits who are paying us back for all the playground beatin’s.

  • Hollywood seems lamer and lamer to me every year. I was in a cinema last week and the fall lineup of film trailers bugged me to death! Not one original concept. There is an indy film world out there, and its worth the hard work finding it. We don’t walk into a bookstore and just grab the newest bestseller of the table at the front, but yet its the only way we as Americans watch films. The reason the current film industry is so narrow is because we as viewers are so narrow.

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