Awhile back I was watching Hollywood Unlocked and Michael Jai White was the guest. I’ve been a fan of White and his body…….of work for most of my life ;-). However this was one of the first times I got the opportunity to hear him discuss a number of topics at length. To say I was floored by the genius and the wisdom this brother was dropping would be a massive understatement. In the course of an hour and a half, he broke it all the way down about the history, challenges and solutions concerning Blacks in Hollywood and the media in general.
One of the highlights for me was when he explained that lie about black films not being successful overseas and that it is akin to the lie of “Black on Black” crime. It’s a misnomer. White explained that Black films and Black actors can do well internationally and he’s living proof of that. In fact he shared that he had just finished filming two flicks in both Asia and Europe.
White stated the reason why most Black films don’t do well overseas is because of the other genres they primarily fall into: drama and comedies. Dramas and comedies don’t do well internationally period. That also goes for white dramas and comedies. White dramas and comedies that are huge in the states fail in foreign markets all the time, if they even bother to distribute them there, but we never hear about those failures.
White explained that solid films that fall into action, sci-fi/fantasy genres are safe bets to do well in foreign markets. Which is why Men In Black, The Fast and the Furious, The Equalizer, and the Black Panther franchises have broken records here and abroad. This is another reason white studios and execs and publishers have moved heaven and earth to try to keep Blacks out of speculative fiction. We’ve seen the impact Black Panther has had on Hollywood and society and that’s just one film. Imagine what happens when more stories that are speculative love letters to Black Excellence are shared.
And speaking of Michael Jai White, can we discuss the second pic below that came across my social media feed today coincidentally (or providently). He and his better half, the lovely Gillian Iliana White are the epitome of #RelationshipGoals.