This being the start of Black History Month, I figured I’d enter an installment of BGitR. See below.
Dear movie industry,
I just saw a trailer for the new movie Big Miracle. Now, I’m an environmentalist, and in theory, I should be dropping everything to go see this new flick, right? Everybody loves whales! Thing is, I notice there are Inuit people in the story and they’re in the trailer for maybe only a second and half. They’re like the sherpas who lead the white guys to the top of the mountain and fade into the background of history. Will there be more of them in the movie?
I’ve got friends who never even noticed this detail, who said to me “what native peoples?” after watching the trailer. This signals to me that I would go to the theater and sit around pissed off for two hours because the story revolves around Drew Barrymore and that guy who plays Jim in the Office playing rescue doing what Inuit folks have probably done for years. And I’d be the only one pissed off about it. It’d be like going to see Avatar and having to look starry-eyed people in the face afterwards and wreck their experience. I did NOT subject myself to that horror, thankfully.
I’m not suggesting you’re doing it on purpose. Half the time I’m the only one uncomfortable in a lot of situations because I’m the only black person there. Perhaps if you diversify your boards or focus groups you’d get a better impression of what I’m talking about. Or maybe the prospect of profit would sway you anyway, because blimey do these flicks (Avatar, District 9, Dances with Wolves, Last Samauri…) sell!
So let me just take a moment to ask, respectfully, if you could agree to an official moratorium on movies about white folk stepping in and taking over situations when the “going gets tough” for brown folks. Or at least stop throwing Oscars at them. Seriously. It’s time.
The Black Girl in the Room
PS: By the way, did that little white girl finally give voice to those black maids in The Help? I didn’t see it. Any good?