Why ‘Detroit’ Flopping At The Box Office, Signals A Dent In Hollywood’s Appetite For Black Movies…
Ezinne Ukoha
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I direct here in Hollywood and am a long term fan of Bigelow’s work. Girl fought for and cast Angela Bassett in Strange Days, and I was roommates with her assistant’s best friend, so I’ve been round her and can vouch for her sincerity. She’s on the correct side of things here; her heart is in the right place. I’m also a mixed black woman, for what it’s worth, and one bored to point of misperceived autism with the three hissing hydra heads of more melanin, less melanin, and the pair’s endless marriage war about it.

But what I find remarkable here, if anything, is the probably uncalculated but persistent, instinctive omission of black women filmmakers’ voices from any roundtable that ultimately would greenlight this or any similar film.

If I were in Kathryn’s and Megan’s positions and wanted to get the basic injustice story of “Detroit” across, I wouldn’t have done it this way at all.

Instead, I’d have funded and spearheaded a new Hollywood initiative to produce and distribute at least 3 to 5 feature-length films written, directed and/or produced by black women about that very subject, and let them do the talking since it’s happening to their boyfriends and brothers right in front of them. And then find those women.

Today, this is called “pandering to black people”. But Warner didn’t dist an Black-American director‘s script about Italian Little Italy on Mean Streets in 1972: they disted Martin Scorsese. And back in his and his bud Mr. Coppola’s Godfather era, this practice was more charitably and sensibly called: “Oh, it’s a mob picture? Get an Italian, ‘cause those guys would know.”

But then that’s none of my business… (sips tea from a Panavision mug)

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