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Media Watch: Black Actress Update – Has Hollywood Been Good to Them Lately?

Posted on | December 30, 2012 | 24 Comments

Last post of the year. So, Happy New Year. Have a prosperous 2013, and many more.

Let’s get down to business. I’ve compiled all the shows that I noticed have black women (two black parents or not) as main characters or otherwise.

Always feel free to add shows / movies I may have missed … I’ll update this post over time.

Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington – image from celebritynetworth.com

Scandal – Kerry Washington, Columbus Short

Update: The NY Times has discovered the historical nature of this show: “Scandal on ABC – breaking barriers“.

Update: Faith (actsoffaithblog.com) has written a very compelling and incredibly insightful post about the show. This is in regards to Star Jones trying to dictate via twitter to Shonda Rhimes (executive producer / writer / et al)   who she wants Olivia Pope to be partnered with.

Did I happen to mention that the analysis is awesome? Please, check it out:

***

Apparently, for the first time in eons a black woman (with two black parents) had a show of her own on network television. I love soaps. I love the drama. The crazier the better. This show moves much faster than I expected. And what beats the most powerful man in the world being “wide open” for a black woman? Very stimulating. :D

I was initially worried that Shonda Rhimes was going to bury her main character, Olivia Pope, behind all those “special” white women on the show. She did not, and does not, do that. What I love most about this character is that she is: petite, elegant, beautiful, smart and vulnerable. Yeah, she’s not superwoman. She cries, but when she’s ready – her mind gets to work and she runs a superb game. I love any show that brings on a woman as a “fixer”, but not someone physically pushing her weight around, cursing and screaming at anyone, or doing anything stereotypical. Not an eye roll, neck twist, lip smack, or hand-on-the-hip in sight.

It’s a fine line, presenting a black woman with this amount of complexity, but this show rides it nicely. And I like that with this character, there’s much more to learn about her. Every couple of episodes peels back another layer to that mysterious onion. Wonderful.

So, I want to thank you, Shonda Rhimes for making this show, and letting the world revolve around Ms Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington).

I like Columbus Short‘s character, Harrison Wright, as well. I’ve seen him in a few movies. I like the way he speaks, his careful delivery of lines. He really looks like one of the few actors who enjoys himself and gets immersed in his role. I think what I’m trying to say is, I can’t recall if he’s ever played a thug. He seems able to avoid falling into stereotypical “black guy” roles most other black actors get by default.

Maybe, unlike the others, he’s found a way to move beyond those roles….

Aunjanue Ellis - image from blackfilm.com/read/2012/09/aunjanue-ellis-tapped-to-co-lead-new-amc-legal-drama-series/

Aunjanue Ellis – image from blackfilm.com

NCIS: Los Angeles – Aunjanue Ellis, LL Cool J

Low and behold on NCIS: Los Angeles they found out that LL Cool J‘s character Sam Hanna is married and a father! Not only that! She’s a real two black parent black woman! I am shocked. Shocked! I tell you. Usually, when a brown skinned actor like LL is cast with a woman, she’s skim milk black with a teaspoon of chocolate.

She’s darker than him!!! Sorry, but the credo with color casting in the media is always a black guy who’s charcoal and a woman who looks half white. It’s racism against dark-skinned black women and lighter complexioned black men. So, it was nice to see something different for a change.

And the plot of the show? I don’t know. I had stopped watching NCIS: Los Angeles, because I was getting tired of all the other characters having a life whilst LL Cool J did not. I will have to catch up to the season. All I know is that Sam Hanna’s wife, played by Aunjanue Ellis,  is an undercover agent going by the name of Quinn. From what I see, I like how she rolls.

Part of me is afraid to see the next episode, because of what Hollywood usually does with black families….

Overall, I really like the NCIS shows. My longtime favorite is the original. Mark Harmon has aged well. Still a handsome man. The formulas for these programs work.

Update: Almost forgot there was an NCIS episode (Season 10, Episodes 10) that featured Rose Rollins as a Navy Lt Commander married to a former military officer who happened to be white.

Danai Gurira - Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage

Danai Gurira – Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage

The Walking Dead - Danai Gurira

As I said to my girlfriend, “They killed off Shane (Jon Bernthal), why I need to watch it now?” The show follows the novel / comic book sorta closely. I heard they deviated from killing Shane off earlier, because he had a fan base. Why not keep him around indefinitely? Oh, well.

Apparently, a show with so many characters needed to make room for one of its centerpieces: Michonne (Danai Gurira). She’s a samurai-sword wielding warrior kind of woman. Keeping everybody safe from zombies. All right now!

I’m all into zombie, science fiction, action and mystery stories / movies, so I’m thrilled about this.

And I saw that trailer for World War Z with Brad Pitt. I cannot wait!!!

Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Eureka - Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Tembi Locke

This was the last season for the show. I love how it ended. I never saw the first episode, but it gives it a nice loop, which make the show self-containing. If that makes any sense.

I usually dislike (hate, hate, hate!!!!) it when the main characters of a show are required to fall in love. I know that’s what the fans usually demand. And 9 times out of 10, that will kill off a good show. It’s like, once the writers throw them into bed, they’re depleted of new material, and go, “Now what?”

I have to say that the chemistry between Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Allison) and Colin Ferguson (Jack) worked. It felt genuine. I wanted them to be together. And when they did, it didn’t get lame like we see with most other TV show couples. They seemed like a perfect fit. I think because they were really really good friends that respected and loved one another. Being “in love” was another aspect to their relationship. And goodness, I wanted to be in a couple like theirs!

Even though their erotic tension was muted, it wasn’t primary, like we see with most other shows, where everything goes flat the minute they get together. The failure with other couples (Moonlighting) was because the sincerity wasn’t there from the beginning. Other couples worked (Cheers?), because the tension never goes away, sometimes it intensifies.

And breakups are fine even after they get together, that shows the writers know how to work their material.

Tembi Locke

Tembi Locke

Update: Crazy of me to forget Tembi Locke. She played Grace Monroe, the wife of Joe Morton‘s character Henry Deacon in the alternate universe. She was a major character on the show as well.

Person of Interest - Taraji P. Henson

This is the first program I can recall where a black woman had the top billing on a network program, I mean as a major character, not just part of an interchangeable ensemble. And this show preceded Scandal - timewise - by a country mile. I enjoyed POI immensely. I love shows with intricate plots. But I lost track when CBS pulled the online plug. So I have to wait for it via DVD or some other method to catch up with it.

I liked the chemistry between Taraji P. Henson and Jim Caviezel. I don’t need for them to get romantically involved or hot and heavy (hmmm, maybe though). I liked their dialogue. When I started watching, the show gave me the feeling of a modern day revamping of Batman as a former special forces soldier (Jim Caviezel) with Catwoman (Taraji P. Henson) as a cop. Don’t know if anyone else feels that way, but that’s just my take.

Meagan Good

Meagan Good

Deception – Meagan Good

Brand new show. And if I’m not mistaken, will be the second major network show with a black woman as a lead character. Wow. If it’s fun like Revenge with the quality of Scandal, it should last. Haven’t seen it yet, so I cannot judge.

What’s also interesting is how Hollywood can now locate beautiful two black parent black women to star in TV shows. Were they hiding somewhere before?

Anyway, hope the show does well. I’ll try to catch up and see it.

Warehouse 13 - CCH Pounder as Mrs Irene Frederic, Genelle Williams as Leena

The character of Mrs Irene Frederic is still going strong. Although she doesn’t appear in as many episodes. The character Leena, played by Genelle Williams, “died” in episode 10, Season 4. Not sure what happens after that. I heard a new character – a black woman – will be joining the show. We’ll see.

Suits - Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson 

I love this show. The dialogue is witty and silly. It doesn’t lean too heavy on the lawyerly (is that a word) stuff, but deals more with problem solving before they reach the courtroom. The show manages to make chasing clients down and dealing with sheets of paper for court filing seem exciting. That takes talent.

And I don’t care how bad a show is, if Gina Torres is on it I’m watching. Yeah, I’m a fan. Did you know she’s Laurence Fishburne‘s wife? I had no idea. I only ask that she cut back on cooking for him: he’s gonna explode any day now.

Franklin and Bash - Dana Davis as Carmen Phillips, Garcelle Beauvais as Hanna Linden 

Yes, Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Mr. Saved By The Bell) has a show with two – count ‘em, two – beautiful black women (with two black parents). And the show is already into it’s third season.

I think that’s a TV network record.

Parenthood – Joy Bryant

I’ve never watched the show. Unfortunately, I never had the time, and I didn’t realize it was still on and running. Maybe I’ll catch it one of these days. I don’t think I ever saw an ad for the show. Interesting.

It’s been on for a good number of seasons. Good for them.

Parks and Recreation - Retta

Community - Yvette Nicole Brown

I get these two shows – P&R and Community – mixed up. Although I shouldn’t. I honestly thought they were the same program. And like Parenthood, I haven’t seen any advertising for P&R.

***

Last, Last, Last! Update:

Grey’s AnatomyChandra Wilson

After Isaiah Washington left, tried to hang in there. Couldn’t. But glad to know Ms Thing is handling her business on the show. I read somewhere that they found her character a man. Hmmm.

GleeAmber Riley

Years ago, I watched the first episode. Never went back. Although, good for her that she’s still there. She can sing. I don’t know about the others.

Penny Johnson

Penny Johnson
Grabbed from superiorpics.com
© Retna

CastleTamala Jones and Penny Johnson

Any major network show that can have two beautiful black women as major characters gets props from me. It’s been a while since I’ve watched. Gotta get back on track.

JustifiedErica Tazel

They took this show off online, and I cannot find it anywhere else! Not even on Amazon (instant video). I don’t know if I can bother with Netflix or iTunes.

I just need my fix of watching Timothy Olyphant swagger once in a while. Guess I’ll have to hunt down the DVDs.

Why do these entertainment companies do this? Don’t they want viewers? Not everybody has cable TV.

White CollarDiana Barrigan and Diahann Carroll

Ms Carroll is not a main character, but I get very happy whenever I see her. I want to look as elegant, and be on point, when I grow up.

Cast Members Dominic West and Sonja Sohn  of HBO's"The Wire" Celebrate Season Finale at TAO Nightclub in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 8, 2008

Sonja Sohn
Grabbed from superiorpics.com © Retna

Burn NoticeSonja Sohn

Sonja Sohn is in the following six episodes: Over the Line, Down & Out, Best Laid Plans, Odd Man Out, You Can Run and Game Change. Really enjoyed her performance. She needs her own show. Having her as a one-of-a-kind black woman Federal Marshal or Military Official hunting down someone would be FANTASTIC.

Like I wrote before (re: Scandal), love to see it when they have a woman doing this kind of thing. As long as it has tension and good drama, it will work.

Although I see Burn Notice as having run it’s course 2-3 seasons ago, I still check it out. Don’t know how they do it, but every episode gives me anxiety attacks. They just know how to rack up the insanity.

Love Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Cop Drama Genres

But the following three shows have gone beyond jumping the shark:

  • Vampire DiariesKat Graham
  • FringeJasika Nicole
  • BonesTamara Taylor

True BloodRutina Wesley

Been trying to get started. One day I’ll grab the DVD collection and see what’s up.

Aja Naomi King

Aja Naomi King

Emily Owens MDAja Naomi King

Smart, as well as beautiful; apparently, a Yale graduate too. Haven’t watched the show. I guess it’s a funny Grey’s Anatomy?

Revenge - Ashley Madekwe

I had no idea she was there from the beginning, but yeah, episode 1, she’s there when it all begins. I like her character. Although my true favorite is Nolan Ross played by Gabriel Mann. He’s the guy with the best lines.

Nice campy drama. Doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Carrie Diaries - Freema Agyeman

She’s from Dr Who.

Touch - Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I wanted to watch this show, but I think the Fox network has been moving it around. I hope it stays around so I can check it out. GMR is from a short-lived black (married!) spy couple show on NBC a few years back.

The Neighbors - Toks Olagundoye

Spartacus: Vengeance - Cynthia Addai-Robinson

And thanks to all of you who reminded me to add these shows in the comments section. I appreciate it very much! :D

***

Mr. Easy-on-the-Eyes

Jay Ryan a.k.a. Mr. Easy-on-the-Eyes

Special Mentions: No Black Women Starring, But Enough “Color” to Be Interesting

The CW TV Network - Kristin Kreuk and Nina Lisandrello

I’ll give the CW props and much credit for having shows with black women. I watch the new Beauty and the Beast, and although the two mentioned above are not black women – I like Kristin Kreuk, and Jay Ryan is extremely easy on the eyes - it may be the first show I’ve seen with two minority women as cops in the lead.

Interesting show. And fun to watch.

The CW TV Network - Nikita – Maggie Q

I watched this show when it first came on. I have to give them credit, there was a black girl (Tiffany Hines) in the first season and partially in the second. There were a few more on the program, but since I lost track of it around season three, I couldn’t tell you who is in the current lineup.

As Faith says in the comments, this is the first time an Asian (or half-Asian) woman had her own show on a network. Not bad.

Elementary – Lucy Lui

I love this show. I also like the growing relationship between Jonny Lee Miller (as Sherlock Holmes) and Lui (as Watson). I’m a fan of Lucy Lui. I’ve always liked her “coolness” in the roles she plays. The show doesn’t rush the plot(s), although some episodes are a bit predictable, but I like that they refrain from constantly chasing after and shooting at people. I find that to be a waste-of-time filler on a number of cop dramas.

I mentioned in the comments, that by episode 5 – called Lesser Evils, Anika Noni Rose plays Lui’s best friend. I very much liked that, because I cannot recall the last time I ever saw a black and Asian woman portray friends, of any sort, on a major network TV show. Usually that role is filled by a bubbly blond with big teeth, head and a perfect disposition.

It was really nice to see a difference for a change. Sometimes I get the impression from TV programs that black and Asian women can only have white women as best friends. And that’s not a normal or healthy reality for the media to promote. As far as I’m concerned, anyone and everyone can play someone’s best friend.

MOVIES

Here’s the top 20 grosses of 2012 (grabbed from boxofficemojo.com):

  1. Marvel’s The Avengers
  2. The Dark Knight Rises
  3. The Hunger Games
  4. Skyfall 
  5. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
  6. The Amazing Spider-Man
  7. Brave
  8. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  9. Ted
  10. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  11. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
  12. MIB 3
  13. Wreck-It Ralph
  14. Ice Age: Continental Drift
  15. Snow White and the Huntsman
  16. Hotel Transylvania
  17. Taken 2
  18. 21 Jump Street
  19. Lincoln
  20. Prometheus

And special mention to the following:

  • Battleship (2012) - Rihanna as Petty Officer Cora ‘Weps’ Raikes
  • Immortals (2011) - Ayisha Issa as High Priestess #4
  • Joyful Noise (2012) – Queen Latifah.  I wrote a post about this film.

Yeah, there are the Madea / Tyler Perry and other type of flicks that came out, but I have no intention of listing them.

Skyfall - Naomie Harris – Eve

Based on box office projections, this may be the most successful James Bond flick so far. Interesting.

And yes, it’s awesome to see another black woman in a big box office hit. See Hollywood? Including black women doesn’t hurt your bottom line at all. So, stop lying about how our lovely, dark-skinned faces cost you people money with the overseas market (and even domestic). I mean, if I can even see black women in Korean dramas speak a few lines, what’s the excuse for Hollywood besides racist sexism?

I confess that I haven’t seen Skyfall, yet. I will when it hits Amazon, Netflix or on a DVD at some point. I’ve cut back on going to the theaters.

You know the main reason I don’t see movies? Unless it’s an action film where I don’t care for the dialogue, I find that 90% of the time, I have no idea what characters are saying. When I watch something via Amazon or on DVD, I put the close caption on. And it turns out people are saying things completely different from what I expected.

I think that’s why I prefer classic old films, I understood what everyone said. Today, most of what comes out of an actor’s mouth is unintelligible. Not paying $10 plus to hear somebody mumble.

The Hunger Games - Amandla Stenberg as Rue

I don’t have much to say about this film. I didn’t see it. I have no plans to see it. I think there was an online ruckus, because white liberals admitted that they are indifferent towards the death of “innocent” black girls, don’t believe they exist or something to that affect. Please DO NOT explain the deal to me in the comments: I don’t care. I guess people were surprised by the blatant racist sexism hatred or something.

Hey, I grew up in NYC, capital of white liberals. Folks finding out that they don’t regard black girls and women as human beings is no shocker to me…. But, oh well … gotta find out the truth at some point, I guess.

21 Jump Street - Holly Robinson Peete as Officer Judy Hoffs

I had loved this show. This is where I became an early fan of Johnny Depp. I always hoped there would be something to that something between his character and Holly’s.

Didn’t see the movie, so I don’t know how much screen time she got. But it’s nice to know they remembered she was on the show. It was rare to see a black woman in a role like this one.

I’d give you more, but I’m exhausted. I’m happy there was a lot to include.

And if people remember other programs I may have missed, please list them, minus the Tyler Perry stuff.

So, Was Hollywood Good to Black Actresses in 2012?

I’ll give them a B. Was I too generous? Well, I’ve definitely seen an uptick in two black parent black women, even in commercials, so I’ll give them credit for remembering we exist. There are some movies or TV shows I wont watch if it seems like a waste of time, whether it has a black actress or not.

I always want to support the good, quality works that have black women in it. Like it or not, the media is an incredibly powerful image tool. If we look good / great, people do treat us accordingly, it’s conscious and subconscious.

So, I don’t mind if we’re invisible sometimes, I’m not looking for blind inclusion each and every time. It’s when we are included and look a hot dysfunctional mess that gets me upset.

Happy New Year. Let’s see what 2013 brings.

Prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones. May we all find more love, forgiveness and peace in the coming year.

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Comments

24 Responses to “Media Watch: Black Actress Update – Has Hollywood Been Good to Them Lately?”

  1. Roslyn Hardy Holcomb
    December 31st, 2012 @ 12:06 AM

    You missed Taraji P. Henson on Person of Interest. And also yvette Niole Brown in Community. It’s beenon hiatus, but will be back in February.

    GoldenAh: Happy New Year! That’s a terrible omission on my part. This major network TV show was one of the first, in a very long while, to have a black woman as a major character. My bad.

    I haven’t been able to watch it online and it fell off my watch schedule. I will update this post….

    Thanks for the reminder, Roslyn. :)

  2. JK
    December 31st, 2012 @ 2:52 AM

    Happy New Year!
    Your post is extremely timely.  While watching Sunday Night football I noticed that NBC is debuting a new drama with Meagan Good.  An interracial relationship (between her character and a white man) was teased in the promo. The show seems to be a competitive response to ABC’s “Scandal.”  I chuckled and told my husband, “Money talks.”  I’m not sure of the ratings for “Scandal,” but they must be pretty good to get a copycat show.  At a recent holiday gathering of several women in my family, it appeared that most of the group were fans of the show.  (One woman even said she wanted a white man)!

    The creation of this new  show makes it evident that when we (Black women) support quality entertainment, which uplifts us, we can make a difference.  We don’t have to accept “business as usual” in order to see ourselves on the screen!  So thankful to you and your blog for making us conscious of the way the media portrays and treats the image of Black women.  May God continue to Bless you in the New Year!

    GoldenAh: Happy New Year to you, JK!

    I’m rather pleased that there are a growing number of programs with black women – that I can lose track. It shows progress. And as you say, “Money talks.”

    Well, I hope I am doing my part to raise awareness. We are all connected to this powerful industry whether voluntarily or involuntarily. And we have to remember that we are their customers as well. People who are selling us their product owe us the same amount of respect they give other groups by default. :D

  3. Faith
    December 31st, 2012 @ 6:11 PM

    The Meagan Good show is closer to Revenge than Scandal. http://www.nbc.com/deception/video/meagan-good/n29178/ It debuts next week.

    If you’re including other actresses, don’t forget Maggie Q as Nikita, the 1st Asian woman as main lead on a tv series. Of course, as she mentioned during Comic Con, she’s half-white (like Kreuk). And Lucy Lui is the first female Watson on Elementary.

    Vanessa Williams is on 666 Park but I think ABC just canceled it.

    You know I just watched The Avengers on DVD a few days ago and there was one BW extra, but otherwise that’s it. I found that rather infuriating actually.

    I thought Skyfall was just okay – esp compared to Casino Royale – but Naomie was great!

    The one thing I continually come back to is when blacks in america have the chance to turn away from obvious messes – like this django insanity – they not only embrace it but defend it without thinking about the long-term costs of promoting African-Americans in particular as being victims, dysfunctional or otherwise out of established norms. Sure, other folks do it (to a point) but they have other things to balance it out.

    I’ve been catching up on several movies the past week and I can’t seem to find anything with blacks as the main protagonists that doesn’t make me cringe. None of the movies that really interest me have blacks in significant roles.

    I don’t even want to hear about the plight of black male (actors or directors) when they benefit from patriarchy over the racism they complain about.

    I think tv is the better venue for more opportunities, but movies tend to pay more and have shorter schedules.

    GoldenAh: Hello Faith! I will add the non-black women, because I like all of those you’ve mentioned, esp. Lucy Lui. Elementary has already had one episode where Anika Noni Rose played her best friend. So it was good to see an Asian and Black woman being best friends on TV. I cannot recall ever seeing that before.

    Finally checked out Skyfall. Yes, Naomie was great. Not sure why, but everyone else bored me. Although Daniel Craig’s long blond eyelashes were fascinating. I didn’t find the “exotic” chick Bond met in Asia to be that interesting. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t figure out what she was saying. And I think we could have been spared the camera lingering on her body. She had a nice face though. I agree that Casino Royale was great. I also liked the oddness of the second movie.

    I don’t know if I can watch Avengers, it’s a struggle to watch a movie with Samuel Jackson, Morgan Freeman or Jamie Foxx. I try to avoid it. They all get on my nerves. And they seem to be the easy go-to-negroes for Hollywood. Honestly, I cannot stand any of them.

    I’ve heard my share of, “But that’s how black really people are,” from some seriously sad black folks when they’re embracing (celebrating) the most vile, denigrating, despicable and dysfunctional images of us. I don’t know what to say about it anymore. Maybe if they got electroshock therapy, it would help cure the stupidity?

    I wish miniseries could make a come back. Sometimes a show doesn’t need to run for a couple of years, but a couple of episodes and end there. Some movies would fit better as a miniseries as opposed to a tediously long three hour plus marathon.

    Thank you for the reminders to add to the post! :D

  4. SouthlandDiva
    January 1st, 2013 @ 2:33 PM

    Happy New Year!!

    At the moment, ‘Scandal’ is a positive influence for black women, in particular. the sad fact is ‘Scandal’ is groundbreaking in a great many ways. Yes, at its core it is a soap opera, but to see an complex, intelligent, powerful, vulnerable, yes even fallible human being embodied in a black woman is awesome.

    Olivia is not the same old stereotype for black women. The show is refreshing and compelling.

    I believe Olivia is the tipping point for ‘Operation Upgrade’ in the re-imaging/re-imagining of black women.

    Peace_/\_

    GoldenAh: Hello SouthlandDiva! Great comment. It’s the complexity of Olivia that I enjoy. She’s no stereotype. She’ll help someone, but I like that her character will not jump in front of a bus, bullet, or Bentley to get it done. There’s not a self-sacrificing Mammy bone in her body. That works for me.

  5. Traci
    January 1st, 2013 @ 10:10 PM

    I noticed the black actress Danai Gurira who plays Michonne from ‘The Walking Dead’ – Her character is very masculine compared to the other women on the show. Her character looks like a man, compared to photos I’ve seen of her off the show, where she looks very feminine. Meaning black women can’t be tough and feminine simutaneously – Only white women can. And the end of the first season of the show, the only black woman character optioned to stay behind and die.

    I liked ‘Pulp Fiction’, but Quention Tarantiono’s films have violent, mysoginistic, racist tones – Because he grew up watching a combination of violent and blaxplotation films.
    ‘Django Unchained’- Turning slavery into a revenge action film to get people to see it. The black actors in the film and some black women blogs cosigning the film as positive for blacks, when its just another form of black exploitation – like Precious, Norbit, Big Momma’s House, The Nutty Professor, The Help etc.

    Spike Lee’s makes good films, but they will never be mainstream enough for society. Tyler Perry films are successful because they are stereotypical, cartoonish, and minstrel, while simultaneosuly glossing over important issues in the black community. Black people need to create their own film production companies, and produce more positive films about blacks, and that also address important issues in the black community like, Higher Learning, Boyz N the Hood, or Waiting to Exhale (Even though all the women were still single at the end of the film).

    GoldenAh: I only get to see a few episodes of TWD online, but I did hear that same complaint you made. I heard Michonne became who she is through an extremely horrific event. Male writers really have to put this notion to rest that a woman (esp. black) will become warriors after being brutalized. That doesn’t happen in real life. No man would write a story talking about a guy getting gang raped and viciously beat down, then turning around to become a super vigilante. He may get beat about – on his way to becoming a “hero”, but there’ll be no rape included. In the real world, those guys lose their mental faculties pretty quickly. There’s nothing to glamorize.

    I’ve noticed at these Comic Cons that American artists have been on a Dystopian path for a while now. They seem the most depressed and violent out of all the others. I thought the Japanese were bad, but they seem positively upbeat compared to what our guys churn out.

    The only film I liked of QT’s was Reservoir Dogs. That’s a stand alone classic. I don’t like S L Jackson, so no matter what he’s in, any good film is mostly ruined by his presence.

  6. Faith
    January 2nd, 2013 @ 7:21 AM

    Revenge and Touch have actresses who are biracial Brits in lead roles. And Glee still has Amber Riley.

    GoldenAh: Yeah, that girl with the forehead in Revenge. It took me a while to figure out she was mixed, until I thought about that head. I think that’s a distinctly black trait. I forgot about Touch. I have to remember Fringe too.

    Glee still has Amber? I thought she left. Hmmm.

  7. Patricia Kayden
    January 2nd, 2013 @ 11:45 AM

    Happy New Year Betty,

    You don’t post often, but you’re always interesting when you post.

    You forgot Joy Bryant of “Parenthood”, who is in an interracial marriage with a White man.

    And “Scandal” has been great so far. Absolutely love Kerry Washington.

    GoldenAh: Hello Patricia! Happy New Year to you! Although it’s rather late. I’m so exhausted these days, and I never have enough time.

    I’m making the updates, so thank you so much for reminder about Joy. :)

  8. Andrea
    January 7th, 2013 @ 2:04 PM

    “And the end of the first season of the show, the only black woman character optioned to stay behind and die.”
    ~Traci

    This is why I never watched the Walking Dead again after season one. I was especially annoyed that the WW was BEGGED to come with them. Gee, I wonder what message they were trying to send?

    “Spike Lee’s makes good films, but they will never be mainstream enough for society. Tyler Perry films are successful because they are stereotypical, cartoonish, and minstrel, while simultaneosuly glossing over important issues in the black community. Black people need to create their own film production companies, and produce more positive films about blacks, and that also address important issues in the black community like, Higher Learning, Boyz N the Hood, or Waiting to Exhale (Even though all the women were still single at the end of the film).”
    ~Traci

    I think Black film makers would be better served making movies about us that are entertaining, realistic and Human, rather than simply trying to tackle issues. Even I don’t want to waste my time and money being preached at. That is why Scandal is such a huge crossover hit, despite the fact that Olivia Pope is not a BW stereotype and has made the most powerful man on Earth (who’s White) her love slave. People want to be entertained first and foremost. Most films deemed “Black films” tend to be depressing and preachy, and people expect them to be depressing and preachy. That is why they don’t do as well as they could. The reputation of Black films needs to change.

    Waiting to Exhale did well, because it was based on a successful book and people knew what they would be getting. But most “Black dramas” are depressing. Just look at most of the movies that Oprah has produced. Being Black is not that bad. I’ve always enjoyed it. LOL.

    GoldenAh: Thank you for stating this, Andrea. I don’t think I’ve ever expressed why I can’t stand Black media (books / film, etc), but you’ve nailed it. Hey, I love being a black woman. Bring me back for another life and I will still want to be one. So, why I gotta sit through 3-4 hours of child rape, molestation, sexual abuse, drug addiction, heart wrenching adversity, and God-knows-what-else, then try and tell me that we go ALL through that kind of depraved $#@*^@? And I honestly believe, that everybody – bar none – thinks that this is the kind of mess ALL black girls and women go through. That is the heart and soul of “Othering” us. Our norm is the bizarre world of cruel dysfunction.

    No, thanks. I cannot even make friends or talk to some people, because they cannot wrap their minds around the fact my life has been and is normal and mundane. I refuse to endorse the freak show expectations.

    And I love that you mentioned the preachy aspect. As we can see, no one in this society is listening to advice, so they might as well stop trying to push a message. It’s a waste of time.

  9. Lana
    January 8th, 2013 @ 4:10 PM

    There’s a new reality show on TLC called ‘The Sisterhood.’ Its about the wives of pastors and their church. The only interracial couple on the show is Tara and Brian. They’re immediately questioned about their interracial relationship when they are introduced to the other couples. While Anthony who is black and Christina who is Dominican are never questioned about their relationship – Hypocrisy. With Anthony referring to how attractive his Spanish wife is.

    And they later incorrectly inform and graphically speak to their daughters about sex. Unfortunately Tara and Brian are also conceited, with Tara constantly referring to how attractive her body is, how much she loves her ‘Barbie Weave’, and can’t have a normal conversation without constantly quoting the bible. Her husband also refers to her as ‘Black Barbie.’ Another wife Ivy, receives handcuffs from her husband and they graphically discuss their sex life.

    These ‘Black Christians’ who are living in luxury while their congregation are struggling to pay the bills. These black women gossip and fight each other, just like the other reality shows where black women gossip and fight. The Pastor’s wife and family walking around in designer clothes, living in a nice house, while everyone else struggles financially. Another Basketball Wives knockoff, with black women willingly participating in showing themselves negatively.

    And a bad representation of an interracial couple. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with looking nice, staying fit, and living in a nice home. But specifically speaking of people that live in extreme excess, who don’t give back to their community, while watching others struggle financially. That is a sin.

    The Sisterhood Trailer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ssjUSXUqqA

    The Sisterhood Review
    http://beginningandend.com/tlcs-the-sisterhood-real-housewives-of-blasphemy/

    GoldenAh: Are you promoting this or criticizing it? Because I said I wouldn’t consider “entertainment” if the sole purpose is to make black women look bad. If it’s not interesting or good quality let’s leave it in the dust bin.

    I’ll let it go this time, but I don’t care for “reality programs” if the content is as poor as you say. Thanks.

  10. Lana
    January 8th, 2013 @ 4:21 PM

    Forgot to add I disagreed with the review about ‘The Sisterhood’ that said woman can’t be ministers or preachers in the church. I think woman should able to preach as ministers or preachers if they choose to.

  11. MsMellody
    January 12th, 2013 @ 11:37 AM

    This should go without saying…but I will say it-

    It is really great to see how far we have come as far as actress representation for Black women.

    Here is an article that I almost missed, that makes me celebrate our advances by being reminded that companies can still be ignorant and ass backward as recent as 2012;

    http://gawker.com/5975162/this-is-your-racist-anthropologie-candlestick?popular=true

    When I saw this, all I could say was “Really?!?”

    GoldenAh: If I can make $398 putting together that kind of tacky garbage, I need to start getting creative….

  12. BWMM
    January 13th, 2013 @ 5:51 PM

    I realized while looking at stills of The Haunted Mansion that you really haven’t seen that many black children from two black parents (who look like or close to their parents) in a long while.

    I loved Jay Ryan in Sea Patrol. Though Hollywood is finally getting a clue, they still have a long way to go compared to Britain, Canada and others. Even then I wouldn’t hold my breath. They have been known to dump black people as soon as they get us hooked into their shows pretending to diversify.

    GoldenAh: Oh yeah, I remember the early days of the Fox Network. Nearly every show had black people, Martin Lawrence, In Living Color, etc. Then when the money got good, as you say and they got enough viewers, they got rid of everybody. I think the early days of the WB and some other network that eventually became the CW did this as well – Jamie Foxx Show, Steve Harvey, Moesha, etc….

  13. BWMM
    January 13th, 2013 @ 6:00 PM

    Well, remember these shows (which are scripted) are supposed to be hot messes. That’s why I don’t watch them. Everytime folks watch this show they are giving these folks more money to keep it on and produce others similar.

    GoldenAh: Exactly. My time is too precious to be feeding those monsters.

  14. BWMM
    January 13th, 2013 @ 11:34 PM

    I know not a film about a black woman, but this is a good example of what can be done on a low-budget. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV94Kx2GqyM

  15. Faith
    January 17th, 2013 @ 2:09 PM

    King of the Nerds reality show – http://tv.yahoo.com/photos/king-of-the-nerds-slideshow/king-of-the-nerds-moogega-photo-560569669.html

    GoldenAh: Wow, she is awesome! She’s like a dream daughter. :D

  16. Tracy
    January 18th, 2013 @ 11:19 AM

    Who is the black warrior chick on the new Spartecus?

    GoldenAh: So that’s still running? I thought it stopped. Anyway, I did a check and I see from the episode lists that Cynthia Addai-Robinson plays a character named Naevia. The pics in her profile remind me of the early days of Gina Torres (Cleopatra 2525 and Firefly).

    Always did like Conan The Barbarian with Arnold and Grace Jones…. :D

  17. Roslyn Hardy Holcomb
    January 18th, 2013 @ 1:51 PM

    This show is beyond silly, but it does feature an attractive black woman in a non-stereotypical role. Toks Olagundoye plays the commander’s wife, Jackie Joyner-Kersee on the show The Neighbors. (they’re aliens and have taken the names of famous sports figures. The commander is Larry Bird. Their kids are Dick Butkus and Reggie Jackson. Reggie Jackson is Asian.) It’s a bit of ridiculousness that is very much Third Rock From the Sun, but her character is really strong.

    GoldenAh: Oh, I had loved 3rd Rock! That show was so funny. I haven’t watched a sitcom in a long while. My funny bone went missing a while back. I’ll try and check it out.

    Here’s her profile on IMDB: Toks Olagundoye.

    Thanks, Roslyn.

  18. Lana
    January 19th, 2013 @ 2:57 PM

    Not promoting the reality show ‘The Sisterhood.’ Just saying black women might come across other blacks claiming to be christians, and attempt to advise them on how to live their life. And black women should not watch the show, but be aware of other blacks similar to the black women on the show, so they know how to spot faux christians – if they themselves are religious and seeking out other christians.

    GoldenAh: Thank you for the explanation. I understand where you’re coming from now….

  19. Faith
    January 21st, 2013 @ 2:05 AM

    The Carrie Diaries and EMily Owens, M.D. have black women co-stars. Oh and I actually saw that episode of Elemental with Anika by chance as it’s the only one I watched. It was cool. I’ve always liked Lucy Lui. I watched Gridlok’d on Netflix this weekend (hard to believe it’s been 15 years) and she had a small part in it. Actually, it was interesting seeing all the actors who are still working who had bit parts of leads (like Thandie and Tim Roth) still working after 15 years. It’s almost unheard of.

    GoldenAh: I think when a studio, producer or director “likes” an actor / actress that person will always get work. ‘Cause there are actors the audience really doesn’t like, wont come out to see their movies, yet they get to star in film after film. I remember Steve Spielberg took an active dislike to Sean Young. He said she was “difficult.” Whenever I hear a director say that, I suspect she refused to give him some. She still got work, but I think at the time, she was supposed to be the next hot thing. Never saw much of her after that.

    The sad stories are when you find out certain actors / actresses have gone off their meds or are taking too many….

  20. Tracy
    January 24th, 2013 @ 3:19 PM

    OK guess I gotta pay Comcast and get Pay TV cuz ole girl looks AWESOME!!! Please don’t kill her off in the first three episodes! And please have some sex scenes! LOL

    Um, has anyone noticed that since Scandal has taken off, all the other networks are upping the “look we got a black girl too!” game in their commercials. CBS dogged out their BW lead in “Person of Interest”, choosing to put James Caz-whatever in the lead and not even MENTION her character at all….Now, she’s all up in the promos, got her own big pic in the ads, etc. CBS thinks they are slick, aint biting…Plus they always put my fave show Criminal Minds on the back burner to boring NCIS! Rant Over…

    GoldenAh: Yeah, I remember when POI started you wouldn’t have known that she was on. That’s how I miss a lot of shows that have black women on them: they are invisible. Well, programs can push the “we got a black girl too” kind of thing. I’m okay with that. But I know how fickle, shallow and short sighted these media / Hollywood folks are. The minute a couple of shows don’t pull a big audience, they’ll be like, “See, that kind of thing doesn’t work.” A far different attitude from the 400 plus shows they have about boring white women and their nerdy needy boyfriend(s) season after season until one of those shows is a “hit”.

  21. Faith
    January 29th, 2013 @ 5:57 PM

    One quick clarification/update. The actress on the Spartacus: War of the Damned posters is the same one cast in Spartacus: Vengeance though her character Naevia was recast after the shooting delays when Andy Whitfield died.

    After the slaves revolted, she was brutalized and the plot involves her love rescuing her, him training her (since he’s a gladiator) and her ultimately killing the first guy to rape her in a battle.

    I just caught up with last year’s episodes before the start of this final season.

    GoldenAh: Okay, ’cause I noticed that the same character Naevia had two different actresses. I thought that the Spartacus shows were independent of one another. Thanks for the update, Faith.

  22. JaliliMaster
    January 31st, 2013 @ 2:14 AM

    @Tracy,

    100% true. When I first came across POI, it was because my brother watched it online. The ONLY characters that got any play (in posters or promos) were the two main characters (Jim Caviezel & the rich nerdy dude) and the woman who plays Caviezel’s characters former love (a bit part role). I find it irritating because of all the actors involved in the show, Taraji P Henson is the most famous one, in terms of recent box-office success.

    Atleast one good thing about all of this is that bw actresses are finally getting good, meaty, non-stereotypical roles.

  23. Faith
    February 4th, 2013 @ 8:58 PM

    The Spartacus series will be ending with this final third season. TPTB had to do a prequel when Andy died from cancer before they had begun shooting Season Two while they decided what to do. They recast the lead with another guy who quite frankly is younger and mushier IMO. The prequel wasn’t bad and the guy they got for the lead is really good. I think they should have cast him as the replacement Spartacus and just continued, but no one was prepared for what happened.

    GoldenAh: It was a bit of a shocker to hear the guy was sick, then just dies like that. My sense of time with these shows is always off. I thought the series ended a couple years ago. They could continue it if they wanted; the show could go in any direction. And people love Gladiator-type programs, that’ll never get old.

    Thanks for the update, Faith.

  24. Faith
    February 21st, 2013 @ 9:31 AM

    I forgot about Guys With kids. I saw one episode 3 months ago. Tempest Bledsoe’s in it. http://www.nbc.com/guys-with-kids/photos/garys-idea/12674/#item=277758

    And this actress on Rookie Blue which is a Canadian series ABC picked up for distribution. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enuka_Okuma

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