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Gregory Allen Howard Breaks Down Hollywood’s Whitewashing Of Black Icons

August 7th, 2014

hollywood-whitewashed

“Who’s going to tell these stories — The children of the Civil Rights struggle – or – a bunch of strangers? That’s really what this boils down to.” -Gregory Allen Howard

One of Hollywood’s very own leading Black screenwriters stands firmly behind his words. HSK recently published Gregory Allen Howard’s essay “The Whitewashing of James Brown” — which exposes segregation behind Hollywood’s movie surrounding the life of The Godfather of Soul, citing segregation between the film’s all-white production team and its Black actors.

Howard — the brainchild behind the “Remembering The Titans” screenplay — has since spoken out for a second time, explaining why it’s critical for Black writers to be the ones to tell the stories of our Black icons.

“This wall that’s been going on — the discrimination of Black writers — goes back over 40-years. David Wolper just happened to be honest… the producer of “Roots” 40-years-ago… he said, “I’m not hiring Black writers because they’re too close to the material.” Yeah, he’s right. I AM THE MATERIAL.. and I need to be at the table… I need to be in the room… and other Black writers need to be in the room… so they can bring some truth to these stories.”

Peep what Gregory Allen Howard breaks it all down:

“James Brown was a Civil Rights icon. He meant so much to me and millions of other African Americans (then called ‘Black’ because of James, thank you).

This is not a specific criticism of this movie. I want to make that very clear. In tough times — and these are tough times in the business, let’s be honest — people close ranks and help each other out, help their friends out. Well don’t help your friends out with my Black icons. These icons meant something to me and millions of Black people and we need to be included in the storytelling. It’s as simple as that.

Racism hasn’t gone away, just because Barack Obama’s sitting in the White House. Racism is alive and well. That hasn’t taken away the racism that still exists in America. It’s in the DNA of America, it’s in the very fabric. But my thing is — and what I tried to do in The Titans is — the way to deal with it is to deal with it. Don’t sweep it under the carpet, don’t pretend it doesn’t exist, deal with it honestly.

I also proved… I think, at least… that you can make a commercial movie that deals with race honestly. Don’t take it out, deal with it upfront. I deal with it, of course. I’m on a different level and it’s, frankly at my level, a little more subtle… but I see it.

This is not a plee for me to get work. There are other very qualified Black writers — two Academy Award-winners, multiple other Black writers with awards as well. And for them not to be involved in any of the King projects or any of these other icon movies — it’s staggering to the imagination, this kind of discrimination against Black writers goes on even today… in otherwise “liberal” Hollywood.”

Check out the Howard’s entire interview:




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42 Comments on "Gregory Allen Howard Breaks Down Hollywood’s Whitewashing Of Black Icons"


shonuffiz
August 8, 2014

Well, things are not likely to ever change. Maybe some of us can take solace in the fact that Get On Up didn’t do much at the box office and probably won’t be seen by anyone this weekend.

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dalle Reply:

I saw it and liked it. Chadwick Boseman has some serious charisma.

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non importante Reply:

My mom is going to see it. I wonder will they talk about how much of a crazy perfectionist James was, garnishing wages of band members if they missed notes or were off count. A grade school music teacher, a Jewish man, ironically, taught our class that. He said James was a great performer because he put his all in to it. The reverse psychology didnt work on us because our trumpet section, me included, struggled the whole year and sucked bawls.

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non importante
August 9, 2014

My mom is going to see it. I wonder will they talk about how much of a crazy perfectionist James was, garnishing wages of band members if they missed notes or were off count. A grade school music teacher, a Jewish man, ironically, taught our class that. He said James was a great performer because he put his all in to it. The reverse psychology didnt work on us because our trumpet section, me included, struggled the whole year and sucked bawls.

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dalle
August 8, 2014

I saw it and liked it. Chadwick Boseman has some serious charisma.

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eric5000
August 8, 2014

stop complaining and pool the resources we have as a people and do our black icons. You know they will cut us out if we let them.

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Anonymous
August 7, 2014

HSK:

Why are you deleting comments?

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Anonymous Reply:

It’s ruining the tone of the site.

The threads have no organic flow because so many comments are deleted. You cannot tell who is responding to who any more.

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Anonymous
August 8, 2014

It’s ruining the tone of the site.

The threads have no organic flow because so many comments are deleted. You cannot tell who is responding to who any more.

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anna
August 7, 2014

I wont be seeing this, i hate all the black movies exept beloved because i like dark twisted story lines. But color purple, dream girls, temptations, hearbeats, Django, precious, and everything else was garbage imo

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Anonymous Reply:

I loved Django. Loved it.

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anna Reply:

the only reason i hated Django was because the violent scenes with the black people were mush more bloddy and disturbing (dog eating the man, the man dingo fight) i hated how Django was free but still had to be the white mans side kick

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Anonymous Reply:

Anna I agree with you about the grotesque gratuitous violence. I cannot watch those two scenes. However, I disagree with you as to the symbiotic relationship between the dentist and Django. There is nothing wrong with one person mentoring another. Django was not subservient to Schultz in any way. I thought the relationship was well written and the characters were fully fleshed out. I felt sadness when Schultz was killed and Django was clearly hurt by the loss of the man who facilitated his reunion with Broomhilda.

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anna Reply:

Dont get me wrong i absoulutly loved the dentist, and now that you put it that way i agree it was more of a partnership/mentor relationship and i was also sad when he was killed

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Anonymous
August 7, 2014

I loved Django. Loved it.

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anna
August 7, 2014

the only reason i hated Django was because the violent scenes with the black people were mush more bloddy and disturbing (dog eating the man, the man dingo fight) i hated how Django was free but still had to be the white mans side kick

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Anonymous
August 8, 2014

Anna I agree with you about the grotesque gratuitous violence. I cannot watch those two scenes. However, I disagree with you as to the symbiotic relationship between the dentist and Django. There is nothing wrong with one person mentoring another. Django was not subservient to Schultz in any way. I thought the relationship was well written and the characters were fully fleshed out. I felt sadness when Schultz was killed and Django was clearly hurt by the loss of the man who facilitated his reunion with Broomhilda.

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anna
August 8, 2014

Dont get me wrong i absoulutly loved the dentist, and now that you put it that way i agree it was more of a partnership/mentor relationship and i was also sad when he was killed

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nba is fixed
August 7, 2014

The other urban blogs will not report this story. They will not mention Gregory Allen Howard, gee I wonder why?

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