Hollywood needs a tan.
Last night, after a day of football, beer and hot wings, I kicked back on my couch and watched the 70th Annual Golden Globes. Fifteen minutes into the red carpet presentation on NBC, I got the feeling that something was missing. Aside from Al Roker, there wasn’t a lot of color on the screen.
This was no surprise, the Golden Globes have forever been a milky white affair. Sure, there are always a couple of brown faces sprinkled here and there, but these are the more experienced and seasoned veterans of the acting game.
What about the young actors?
I believe now is their time to enter the ranks of the Hollywood elite.
While there’s still a lack of roles for Blacks in Hollywood and there is virtually no room for 100 percent Black films in the industry, there are more and more diverse films being made and receiving recognition.
The New Yorker points out that this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Picture are more diverse than they’ve ever been:
Look at the year’s Oscarizables: three of the most lavishly nominated films (“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Django Unchained,” and “Lincoln”) focus on black Americans and their place and role in the country, whether (as in the films by Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg) in the South in the time of slavery, or (as in Benh Zeitlin’s film) in the contemporary Louisiana bayou, after Katrina, in the face of invasive government. All three filmmakers are white.
These films that center around Blacks are still directed by white people. While some might point out that this is another example of whites stereotyping Blacks as slaves, maids, pimps and hoes, I like to think it’s a step in the right direction.
If these stories can get told, so can other stories. It just takes the right person to pitch the right story. I’m not trying to say that this isn’t happening today. There are great minds telling great black stories, like Will Packer and Tim Story, but surely, there has to be more!
Anthony Mackie has a project he wants to make about the life of Jesse Owens, a black Olympian who single-handedly put an end to Hitler’s supreme racist theories when he smoked the Germans in track at the 1936 Olympics. Let’s get this made!
Where were all the young black voices, black actors and actresses at the Golden Globes?
Where was Michael B. Jordan, an actor I feel has a bright future and who is filming a movie with Zac Efron as you read this. Why wasn’t he there?
Where is Lamorne Morris, who stars on the Golden Globe-nominated show New Girl? Did he not get invited? How about Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne on the hit series The Walking Dead, which is bound to be a nominee next year once Breaking Bad goes off the air.
There are other names in Black Hollywood that should have been there. KeKe Palmer, Nate Palmer or Jurnee Smollett. Maybe they aren’t starring in nominated movies, but a chance meeting with a top Hollywood filmmaker, agent, or whatever could launch them into the Hollywood elite. If not for the possibility of a job, at least for the experience.
I can’t help but think of something that Kevin Costner said last night when he accepted his award. He thought back to his first time walking into that room.
As he stood at the mic, holding his Golden Globe Award, he swallowed the liquid in his mouth, took a deep breath and let it fly, saying, “I just couldn’t help thinking of the first time I came into this room a long time ago. I was an unknown actor, the red carpet, I walked on it and the bulbs were flashing and the photographers were yelling at the actors to look at them. No one said anything to me. I was just walking and hoping to have some kind of career.”
Costner walked into the room to watch the greatest actors get honored and at the end of the night, he said, “it was a good night that night.”
Why can’t young black Hollywood have a good night?
I like to believe in a world where a Michael B. Jordan can become the next Denzel Washington, or even just the first Michael B. Jordan! I like to think that a Danai Gurira can go on to become Meryl Streep. I believe that there is a future for Black Hollywood. I believe that blacks will one day be depicted fairly in movies. But first we have to show up.
Because in Hollywood anything is possible. Don’t believe me? Just listen to Anne Hathaway when she honored Sally Field last night:
“I have to thank you so much for being a vanguard for type casting. I can’t tell you how encouraging it was that The Flying Nun grew up to be Norma Rae, and grew up to me Momma Gump and Mary Todd Lincoln so thank you so much.”
Jamie Foxx started out as Wanda from In Living Color and grew up to be Ray Charles and Django. Samuel L. Jackson started out as a stick-up kid in Coming to America and grew up to be Jules, Martin Luther King and Stephen.
Dreams do come true, and crazier things have happened.
So Black Hollywood, we need you to show up! Hollywood, invite more Blacks.
There is a future for Blacks in the movie business. We thank you for nominating Quvenzhane Wallis, but let’s not stop there, because there are a bunch of exciting talented young faces that deserve a chance to be… NEXT.
Xilla is the Sr. Entertainment Editor for GlobalGrind.com as well as CEO of the number 1 relationship blog BlogXilla.com/M2TB.com. He has been featured in XXL, The Source, Essence, LA Times and is considered one of the premiere bloggers in the industry. Follow him on twitter @BlogXilla