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But Does Anyone REALLY Want To See “Red Tails”?

But Does Anyone REALLY Want To See "Red Tails"?

So this morning a friend of mine forwards me this e-mail that’s been going around:

     “I am writing regarding the new movie Red Tails.  This movie was 23 years in the making.  George Lucas (Star Wars) wrote the movie with the Tuskegee Airmen.  When he started writing the movie there were 42 men alive,  now there are only 7.  He said their stories were so compelling he did not want to leave anything out.  There are 3 movies.  This is the first all black film.  He is using his own money, because the big companies will not finance an all black film.  If the movie does not do well the first weekend, we will never see the other two!  The movie comes out Jan 20 Friday! Please make a date with someone and see it the first weekend! Please forward this email to everyone you know, so we can support this movie!”  

Here we go again. Asides from the fact that Red Tails is definitely not the “first all black film” (has this guy been living in a barn???), this is it yet another example of what I call “castor oil” movies that black filmgoers are commanded to go see as sense of duty and obligation.

As I wrote in S & A back in June (HERE) there’s always this pressure that: “We-must-support-this-movie-even-though-it’ll-be-as-dry-as-toast-and-even-less-entertaining-because-it-is-a-positive-movie-that-will-uplift-the-race-and-if-it-fails-then-they-won’t-make-any-more-movies-like-this-anymore. 

The simple fact, and I’ve said this several times before, is that NO ONE sees a film out of duty or obligation. People see a movie because they WANT to.

People went in droves to see The Devil Inside last weekend despite horrible word of mouth and terrible reviews because they wanted to.

When Tambay asked a few weeks ago what films people were most anxious to see in 2012, films like The Hunger Games, Django Unchanged, Prometheus and The Hobbit were named by all the commenters. I can’t really recall anyone saying Red Tails.

And from what I’ve always seen, even the most ardent “castor oil” supporters encouraging people to go out and see the films never even watch the films themselves. They always seem to find some sort of excuse. 

Also, the fact that people are sending out e-mails like this, and trying very hard to convince people to see it means that even they know that there isn’t a lot of enthusiam for the film itself. And I absolutely resent this idea that the future of black cinema lives or dies because of one film. I mean seriously?

How many times have we heard that in the past? If Red Tails tanks (which I suspect it will – I’ve seen it) believe me, black cinema will still be around, epecially in the independent film world, where it’s always thrived. It’s been around since the silent film era, and it’s definitely not on its death bed.

You’re just not going to see another film about the Tuskegee Airmen; but there are SO many other stories to tell.

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Some people are far too obsessed with skin color. There's also some seriously disturbing paranoia, a wide array of persecution complexes and some truly astounding idiocy going on here too.


Angiewhite and Jews are NOT responsible for young blacks' embrace of the dignity-absent,stereotype-affirming garbage called (c)rap "music!!!!"


How 'bout an AMERICAN movie with a great-looking,multi-racial,multi-ethnic cast?After all,it IS 2012!!!!


How 'bout an AMERICAN movie with a great-looking,multi-racial,multi-ethnic cast?After all,it IS 2012!!!!


Christi Luv,the TRULY unseen people in the film-and television are us boyishly handsome,NON-URBAN(read:"stereotyically black;i.e.,at 58,I'm a rocker dude who also loves Country music and is said to resemble a handsome black cowboy in my Western duds!!!!),articulate black lads who don't fit Hollywood's modern black male stereotypes: the eunuchoidal buddy/side-kick to the white star and the mentally and/or morally stunted pity/opprobrium objects!!!!

Watson R. Maynard

I would love to see more historical movies about the Red Tails, my wife and son enjoys them too.

Watson R. Maynard


How about encouraging blacks to , raise their kids, treat others with respect, emulate positive role models and stay off drugs and out of jail, before seeing a movie?


Enjoyed the movie, "Red Tails", however, it left me wanting much more. I had seen the documentary, "On Freedoms Wings", & "Wings For This Man" years ago, & believe me, the true story is far more interesting in their own words, (the airmen & the narrator), & far more thrilling! You can see both these documentaries about the Tuskegee Airmen on YouTube. These brave warriors took the high-road, during a time in America's History, when they were often thought of as less than second-class citizens. Their true faith in God & the comradeship they held for each other, was an inspiring tribute to the honor they deserve & held, that turned their feats of bravery, all the more, making them known as true hero's. Still, I enjoyed the movie as entertainment, but, do yourself a favor & find out why they say, the truth is better than fiction!


I saw the movie…twice and it was great! And guess what..Noone made me go!


Loved the movie, I thought it was too short,I know two hours just seemed like a minute! …..Lucas sir you are the man..the movie was like a throw back to the fortys Cinema.


I really saddens me to here our young bright literate generation talking like this. That I believe is the reason why our movement and sucess in the world of entertainment is partly a big joke. I fear that we are so down on our own race and people, that there is no recovery. Due to a large part being from what the all jewish, all white, exec. populas has already planted in the minds of african american's. I see the struggle continues, we are so hard pressed and quick to put our opinion out there, but the last to pick up a hand and do something positive. Like encourage someone black to go and see a black movie. I guess you rather not see a black man or women working in an industry where we spend more time and money.


Sergio or whoever wrote this commentary really pissed me off with his stupid comments. Of course as blacks we should encourage one another to support a film that has an all black cast. Why shouldn't we? Especially a positive historical black film! Majority of the decision makers in hollywood are white men, they could care less if there are ever any positive movies made about blacks. It's such a slap in the face for these execs to not support a film by George Lucas with his credibility and to have the audacity to say they refuse to back him because "it's an all black cast and no one would care enough to see the movie". That statement is such an insult that black people should feel compelled to prove them to be a lie! It's funny that "The Help" was made with no problem, a movie about blacks being maids and a white woman coming to their rescue but a historical proud film about blacks helping to fight during the war and everything they had to go through was met with opposition! Good for George Lucas to be brave and care enough to use 150mill of his own money! As blacks we should feel obligated to support Lucas, the movie and to make a fool out of those uppity white hollywood execs who pretty much said in so many words no one cares to see a movie about blacks unless it's in the same o'l stereotypical roles!


Here are my thought on the movie…


My husband (a military man of 30 years service) and I went to see Red Tails last night and we were both thrilled with it. It was beautifully done, and the acting was superb. We love war movies and this one was way past time to be done. Good for George Lucas! You showed us that black men are brave, too. No, we are not black; we are white, but would love to see more movies like this one.



Christi Luv

I saw Red Tails and I enjoyed it. I know, I know the black man in the interracial scene in the movie looked longingly in the eyes of Italian Sophia and said, 'you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.' Well, such is life. He only said what SOME black men think.

I am so thankful we have the Queen Latifahs and Tyler Perrys (I know, I know) of the world out there making movies about black women that humanize us and showcase our beauty. Before you start jumping down Tyler's throat, he has made movies that show the spectrum of black women personalities and beauty. Some folks just like to focus on Madea.

If you want to see a color-struck movie, check out Jumping The Broom. Its chock- full- of colorism. You have the fair-skinned Paula Patton bride (love her!), dark-skinned husband-to-be, and the very dark-skinned bridesmaid who gets a real lashing from a guy for rejecting his advances 'cause she should be 'thankful that a man would pay her dark-skinned behind some attention'. That is the point at which I walked out of the movie. The light-skinned girl gets married to an equally acceptable dark-skinned black man and the dark-skinned girl gets put in her place. I'm sure my dark-skinned sistas did not pay their money to see themselves dismissed in a movie that is supposed to entertain and embrace us. By the way, jet-black T.D. Jakes was the executive producer of that movie; I'm positive that his mama looks nothing like Paula but more like the bridesmaid. I am absolutely sick and tired of the way BLACK folk use the color wheel in the movies THEY make.

So give George Lucas a break…


@bondgirl 479 black nurses in ALL of WWII guess if there was just 1 it should have been in the movie huh SIT DOWN "F#ck-This-Movie Coalition of Bitter Black Folks" indeed..


This MIGHT just be the longest thread on S&A LMAO But, keep refreshing this link all weekend & on Monday y'all. This thing is the "tale of the tape" sort of speak. Very good numbers for RED TAILS


Men Of “Red Tails” Discuss Interracial Relationship In Film [VIDEO]
Damn. Nadine and BondGirl really broke it down, but this was something. I'm starting to believe that for (some) Black men, validation of their manhood and place in this White world is founded within the opportunity to have sex with White women. Interesting.

anthony byrd

As here people talk about how Hollywood will not support this movie red tail with funds yet they will support movies like devil inside with all negatives. This movie red tail has history to it, that shows Hollywood is still in control of this when it come to black actors.o

deno 257

Holiwood rip off this is just an expensive remake of the tuskegee airman ..pretty sure cuba was in this too!

James Brown

This is the gaga for an all black american cast film .. Gaga to the madonna that is "the tuskegee Airman" released in 1995 staring laurence fishburn and for the first time cuba gooding jr.
I watched the cast promote the film on BET recently and found it laughable that Cuba like all failed to mention that he had stared in the same film 17 years ago! [totally lame]

In my opinion it's a great story that if unlike me you haven't seen it, i would give this a watch. .. though you will be disappointed as the original has more of an impact and is much better.

brian tyson

I shall certainly go to see the film; but I am surprised that no one ever mentions (or compares it with) its predecessor, called simply The Tuskegee Airmen (ALSO starring Cuba Gooding Jr., and including Laurence Fishburne) made in the mid-nineties! I thought that film was really excellent, and historically sound. From what I've seen of the trailer of this one, it is less historically accurate, and Lucas seems careless of what I might call the true World War II “atmosphere," producing his air-fights with such obviously computerised models that one shrugs them off as “special effects" as soon as the sequence begins. I hope I am wrong. We shall see.


Umm, reviews are rolling in and they're not good. What many of us thought, the action would be awesome, the movie not so much so. *Sigh* God Damnit George…


SERGIO, IF THIS IS TOO LONG, PLEASE DELETE —-PLEASE FORGIVE THE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS POST, BUT I ACTUALLY NEED HELP UNDERSTANDING…now this post is getting old, so I don't know if I'll be able to get real answers from people, but @IGBO – the only thing with which I disagreed or thought needed some clarification in your earliest post was this sense that "Black People" aren't characterized as intelligent or heroic in films… I kind of get you because Black PEOPLE are not, but Black men, almost as A RULE, are which is why I'm not quite understanding some of the statements about this movie and its ties to some sort of "moment" for Black PEOPLE out there. This country is pretty clear on its thoughts about Black PEOPLE and it falls along gender lines. Black women are GHETTO and Black men "HAVE" COOL (which is to be coveted). Simple as that. Black heroic and intelligent males are in the Zeitgeist. The other night I fell asleep watching Iron Man 2 on Netflix. Cheadle was "the man"… No, he was not IRON MAN, but he was superior to Iron Man in decorum, dignity, leadership qualities, honor and was a warrior. Will Smith movies anyone? Even as an anti-hero in Hancock we saw that his true nature was a caring one and, not unlike I-Robot, his character changed after trauma where he became devastated by the loss of Charlize Theron's character in one movie and the loss of a little girl, not his — a stranger, in I-Robot, which apparently threw him into the DEPTHS OF DESPAIR. Sidebar: What's also interesting about his movies are the incidents of jabs directed exclusively at Black women (Hancock – "Even YOU don't deserve this", I-Robot – "The Mammy"… "You…(puff…puff… are 'A" a$$hole" and his disgust at discussing his ex-wife whose name most likely belonged to a Black woman)…this permeates the subconscious of a society… In X-Men, they "watered" down Storm to the point where she actually became a babysitter and chauffeur; casting was horrible (can you say IMAN, Fatima Siad or Yordanos Teshager, at the very least Aisha Tyler please) and Storm's "powers", which were near epic in the comics, fizzled in the hands of the Hollywood writers, yet Riptide in X-Men First-Class, having probably 1/20th her powers, was near omnipotent. Let's not even mention the heroic/paternal, but ill-fated Darwin (I still don't understand that casting)… "The Incredibles", one of my favorite animated flicks (Brad Bird – dude never disappoints), had Samuel L. Jackson's character, Frozone who, at the end, saves the day, but even he has to contend with the disembodied voice of a nagging Black woman ("Where's my supersuit?!?!??!" dialogue). Denzel Washington movies? Hello? Anyone? Even back in the day, Wesley Snipes (TALENTED DUDE) was ON FIRE, Passenger 57, Demolition Man (I don't care what anyone says, I LOVED that movie), U.S. Marshalls, and more ALL Hollywood movies. I mean… where is the disconnect? What are Black men NOT SEEING in terms of positive imagery that THIS movie is providing… Is it that for once, it is just ALL about them? How is the formula of this movie different from any of the others I mentioned. Black male heroes with Black female absence or "castration" (with a White female presence). Again, this belief that Black men are not being seen as heroic, intelligent AND, VERY IMPORTANT, DESIRABLE is just not right which is why you'll hear a lot of non-Blacks scoffing about that complaint because they REGULARLY experience Black men in these roles. Let's not even start with all the Black male doctors on television. It's not the "Mystical Negress"… it's the "Mystical NegrO"… and Black men in SPORTS and MUSIC? Even shows for preschoolers… Black women and girls have Uniqua (some sort of animal) and Caillou's best friend; There are NO Black women on Sesame Street, have mercy, but two Black males; elsewhere there are a endless representations of Black boys for preschoolers on television. Check out Yo Gabba Gabba and sooooo much more! Yes, people please go see this movie, but I REALLY need someone to explain to me how this movie will change things for "Black PEOPLE" in Hollywood (as SOME are saying). Is it the CONTENT of this movie, because I don't think we should expect too many historical pieces coming out of the U.S., period, but Black men in actions movies…NOT NEW… As for the Star Wars comparisons below, can you say Princess Leia? Lastly, it just seems to me that this movie simply solidifies the continuing trend of the severing the relationship between Black men and Black women in an attempt to "own" and "sell" certain aspects of Black culture that are easily accessible through Black men. Forgive my stream of consciousness … but I'M REALLY curious as to the Black male disconnect from the reality of the Black man's image in mainstream America. I do, though, think this speaks to a separate issue; Black men are NOT seeing themselves because they are not WATCHING THE SAME MAINSTREAM CONTENT that Black Women are watching. So when we, Black Women, see you all, Black Men, all over Grey's Anatomy and House and 90210 and Happy Endings and New Girl and Saturday Night Live and Community and the Practice and Psych and Lost and I Hate my Teenaged Daughter and the list goes on yet we don't see ourselves (unless we are unattractive or tragic), we find it shocking when Black men "ask for more". At the same time, I don't watch basketball, football, sports in general, not a fan of the Wire (yeah, I said it), but I know their television schedules are plentiful… I mean I'm just guessing, but I'd like to know what TOP 25 TELEVISION shows and MOVIES Black MEN are WATCHING or are familiar with given their perspective on the state of the industry for Black men and women. This is a new angle for me in thinking about this, but I cannot continue to believe that Black men are CHOOSING to be blind to what is CLEARLY a disparity of representation for Black women and Black men in the media. I have to conclude that Black men are enthusiastically included in MAINSTREAM American media, but don't know it.


The thing that turns me off the most about the film in the preview is that it looks like pure military propaganda. It's kind of a tall order to expect folks to get hyped for a military film in this time of endless war machine military industrial complex run tingisms! i'm sure some of his budget came from that industry. But I will say that I apprecilove the fact that Lucus has a history of giving rolls to Black actors in a genre (science fiction) that often omits our existence.


Anyone stupid enough to spend $100 mil on a movie about guys (black or otherwise) flying around killing and dropping bombs deserves for that movie to "bomb". I do not care. I am Black and I do not give a rat's ass about African Americans in a warmed over Hallmark movie that thinks it's a video game. Hurry up and lose your money Lucas and leave Black cinema to scrappy independents with actual creativity…we don't need to cozy up to the Monopoly.


Couldn't get into the promo screening tonight in L.A., so it looks like I'll be seeing it on Sunday. If the film is good, I'll be forking over some more $$$ to see it again.

Personally, I give Lucas kudos for putting his "money where his mouth is" and getting this film made. A lot of people don't know this but for his first feature THX 1138, Lucas went against the studio and chose a relatively unknown black stage actor James Wheaton over Orson Welles to narrate that film.

Zen 823

If Red Tails does not receive enough support we may never see another big budget film staring people of color. Forced to live in a cursed world starring Tyler Perry films or Hollywood crap with stereotypical blacks and Latinos, guns, drugs, and gangs.


Brotha I agree with you on every point….. I have been saying the same exact things…. However I heard one of the characters in the movie has a white wife in the movie but his wife was black in real life…


Lucas didnt say it was the first black film. He said it was the first with over a 50mil budget


No, I don't agree that if "Red Tails" is not successful will mark the end of black film. What will happen is the dismal state of black film that we see right now will continue. With a few notable exceptions what we get right now are two types of films. Either low brow mass market films from the likes of Tyler Perry or edgy microbudget films for the art house crowd like "Pariah." Among other things, we're not getting many films that show black people as either intelligent or heroic. Even if "Red Tails" does catch fire at the box office, there's no guarantee that Hollywood will open the flood gates for more of the same. "The Color Purple" made nearly $100 million at the box office (in 1980s dollars no less) and it would be ten years before a major Hollywood studio would make another ensemble film featuring black women with "Waiting to Exhale" (and Terry McMillan is no Alice Walker). …And yes, I REALLY want to see "Red Tails" and judging from the overwhelming response of a Film Independent sponsored screening scheduled for today, Wednesday, Jan. 18th, 2012 in Los Angeles, so do A LOT of other people. But I'm not going to put the weight of past disappointments as a black moviegoers on "Red Tails" nor do I plan to see it opening weekend out of a sense of obligation for the "cause." I'm going to see it with the hope that I'll be entertained and encouraged.


Jasmine Sullivan has confirmed via twitter that there are no Black women in the film. Her role, along with Edwina and Stacey were all cut out.

jsullivanmusic Jazmine Sullivan
Shout out to the cast of redtails! Just so u know I was edited out of the final version…


Well, there is this guilt trip that if we don't support Red Tail, studio honchos will interpret it as proof the black films don't sell. But, hey, they'd find that proof anyway to rationalize their outlook.

The point is that this is an historical film that was 23 years in the making. Historical films that take 23 years to get made begin to smell a bit musty. And…wasn't a film done about the Tuskegee airmen already? Wasn't Laurence Fishburne in it?

So why is it that a historical film like The Help gets so much box office, but not Red Tail?


Sergio, I can understand your sentiments. I don't think anyone believes that black film will "die". However, what I think is at stake here is the opportunity for high budget films that tell dignifying stories of the African American heritage that could potentially be seen by broader audiences, is what people feel such a sense of urgency about. I'm tired of the buffoonery or the half ass characters that black artist are offered. I hope Red Tails is successful but I definitely understand the ill feeling towards the sense of obligation.


Wow, how this thread grew. No one can say there is a lack of interest in Red Tails. BTW, I just read that the film is written by John Ridley who also has a story credit for Three Kings (Ice Cube, George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg) and is the cowriter for Steve McQueen's forthcoming 12 Years a Slave.


Okay, name one movie with an 'all black cast.'


The problem with coming out to see this film is that if it is successful, it won't be sending the message that "Hey, people don't mind seeing predominately blacks in major roles" and encouraging Hollywood execs to fund more black films–instead it will be sending the message "Hey, people don't mind seeing predominately black males in major roles as long as there is a white woman at their side," and THAT formula will be re-justified and continue to be produced. Which is no different from movies like Hitch, Training Day, I Am Legend, and many other movies in the past 15 years that have had black men paired with white/Latino/non-black women and have been successful. I don't see how this isn't the standard formula we've been seeing already, or how this movie is supposed to be deviating from that, as its not truly an "all-black cast" without there being any black women (and especially not when there are more white men and white women in the film than black women).


Not supporting this just like I didn't support that BS movie "The Help". I refuse to lend my support to so-called 'Black' movies which completely ignore My Black experience or relegate me to 'sassy black woman' / maid. Guess what, Black girls are 1/2 of this Black experience so how can you possible have an "all black cast" yet leave out Black females? GTFOH. Black girls f'ing rock, and the younger generation is tired of having to support "Black" films while simultaneously being ignored & not having OUR diverse stories told.

So this movie can kick rocks. Black or not, I'm tired of only seeing Black dudes stories told. And I could give a care less if no more "Black" films are made. Good. None of these so-called "Black" films are representative of Black girls like me any way. I'll keep watching 'Awkward Black Girl' and Hollywood can keep making these stock "Black" films.


Is your issue with Red Tails that there is no Black female presence in the film or that they are never mentioned? I ask because your WWII film choices only support the latter…sorta. I challenged any members of the "Fuck-This-Movie Coalition of Bitter Black Folks" to name five WWII films SET IN THE FIELD OF BATTLE. I appreciate you taking that challenge because it at least stimulates dialogue and gets back to the fact that Red Tails is one movie. It can not be the catch all movie for the Black experience in WWII that some of you seem to want it to be. It's not a documentary. Let me type that again… It's NOT a documentary. Hell, it's not even a docu-drama. I heard somewhere that Lucas wants this to be part one of a trilogy. How do any of you members of the Coalition know that the other films won't deal with the wives/girlfriends? I guess none of us will ever know because the Coalition seems to be doing everything in their internet power to suffocate this film's success.

Let's get back to your choices for a minute.
1. Corelli's Mandolin is a romantic drama set during WWII. It's a "chick flick", not an action movie, which is what Red Tails is. Also, Mandolin is not set on the field of battle. It's set primarily in a village, which of course has a female population.
2)Pearl Harbor was set in Hawaii, weeks before the U.S. had even entered the war. That film cynically tried to mimic the success of the Titanic by including a lame love triangle in hopes of getting that teen girl repeat business that made the Titanic on of the biggest box office successes ever. They failed, by the way. Pearl Harbor is also not set in the field of battle.
3) Pvt. Ryan. This choice is really confusing, because other than a prologue scene with an aged Ryan and his family visiting the D-Day memorial, and a few office workers, there weren't any wives/girlfriends in this one either. The troops talked about their "girls back home" in a few scenes scattered throughout the film, but that's about it. I haven't seen Red Tails yet (be there on the 20th!!!) so I can't verify whether there are any scenes like that are not, but if that's all you, Gina, Richboy, Carey, etc are pissed off about… random bits of appeasing dialogue, then, yeah, you all should probably sit this one out. LOL!
4) In Love and War. Never saw this one, and judging from the box office receipts, neither did anyone else. :D But, this too is a romantic drama with WWI, not II as a setting. Chick flick, not an action film.
5) Bridge Too Far. Haven't seen this one in years, so I pop over to imdb and the first thing I see is the poster with pictures of what? Dudes! Not a female name in the main credits. Why? 'Cause it a war flick. 'Cause it's about a specific moment in WWII and not an examination of male-female relationships during that era.
C'mon, Coalition. I love ya'll, but cut Red Tails some slack (at least until it's released and more people actually SEE it). It's about the pilots. Not their women, or children. Hell, the surviving Airmen who advised on the film didn't seem to have a problem with alleged admission. Why do ya'll?
Oh, and point of fact about The Help. Did you see the director's cut or something, 'cause I don't remember ever seeing Viola Davis' husband. Octavia Spencer's husband was an offscreen voice, kicking her ass in yet ANOTHER negative display of Black men. But The Help gets a pass, right?

Aunt Kee

Black soldiers during World War II, like Japanese-American soldiers and many of minority race, were restricted to the support lines or otherwise not allowed to participate; when they were, well. That makes a fantastic story. Look at how the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was the subject of the very successful 1951 movie "Go For Broke." The Tuskegee airmen had to wait a while before they got some attention…1995 saw "The Tuskegee Airmen" starring Laurence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr, and Andre Braugher among other accomplished black actors. This story deserves several versions and interpretations. Those black men fought against all odds from 1941 to 1946–not only Nazis in the air but society's prejudices, their own prejudices and apparently–judging from this post and some of the comments–these prejudices remain. I don't see why more attention should not be paid to their stories. The story might seem cliché after all the attention given to "the Good War"–WWII (is any war good?) but frankly, I am thrilled this movie is coming out.

Ku-Klux Knight

OMG, I dont understand you black people, why are you so sensitive about racism? You exaggerate every single word and turn it into a racism.. unbelievable. and don't even try to write the word "black" with a capital letter. It's just sick. These types of movies are being created just for a check, just to do something for black community and get done with it. It's like to do some obligation and forget about it. black people are the same as white or asian or latino. Don't put yourselves in front of whites, don't pretend like you have to be treated as abused and poor race, that suffered in slavery. IT WAS A LONG TIME AGO! People that went thru slavery are not alive anymore, those times are GONE! So knock off all that "black" stuff and live the life as everyone else does!


Big slap in the face to Michelle Obama too, the first ever Black First Lady. One of her main campaigns has been supporting military families and soldiers in every way.

ANd Aaron McGruder and the other two BLACK MALE directors on this movie chose to leave out Black women, which could have taught young kids and teens just how much support Black women have given to gave Black men in the military, and others Americans in general.

Michelle Obama should tell them all to shove it, and kiss her beautiful Black a*ss. F*ck these people, seriously. You can do nothing right for them – Black men like McGruder and co, or white racists women and men.


Ahh, white hollywood knows the power of IMAGE. Which means they know the power of pushing white women as the ultimate catch for black men, especially successful, intelligent heroic Black men. They know the power of sending that imagery around the world, so that Black men will gain more respect in the U.S. and internationally, and Black women will be degraded in the U.S. and internationally. To finally make a big budget movie about Black war heroes, the Red Tails, but then throw in an imaginary white woman to diss all the Black women who, while SUFFERING through the Jim Crow times that they lived in, but made sure to still love and support their husbands away at war, and raise their families, is nothing less than an utter INSULT to Black women. And really should be a slap in the face to Black men as well – that the idea that Black men – who were kept out of the Airforce and relegated to only military food service positions for so long, who had to conform to Jim Crow laws in their own country while going to Europe to fight for the freedom of white europeans, who upon their return form war were mistreated and STILL had to live under the racist and segregationist system of the U.S. – would then prefer that their Black girlfriend, wives and families be subjugated to the image of white woman, front-and-center, when finally honored on film is sad, and even terrifying if true. This is what you're asking Black people to support? Please.

With African countries being bombed by NATO recently, and American troops already on the soil in Central Africa, is this movie preparing Black men mentally to go to war in Africa, and kill Black African women and their daughters with impunity because, yet again, Hollywood war propaganda is being put in place to devalue the lives and emotions of Black women?

If the women Black men always choose are non-Black, that says they have love for others and not for us. And that spells danger for us – here and abroad as Black soldiers head overseas. Turn a blind eye to Black women, and save all your caring for white ones? This is what Hollywood is all about, and it seems as if Blacks in the media would get this.

Also, every time any movie is made with a majority Black cast, Black people are given the old scare tactic of "you MUST see it or Black movies will never, ever, ever, EVER be made in Hollywood again. Well, many movies with all or majority Black casts have been made in Hollywood, in the past and up to now. The scare tactic is to get us in the theatres to absorb the harmful propaganda.

And being that Red Tails is a movie about soldiers who went to fight Hitler, maybe Black people should start thinking about the power of propaganda – everyone knows that Hitler used propaganda (in film, images, and news) to have many millions of people slaughtered.


IT IS NOT ABOUT GEORGE LUCAS, IT IS ABOUT JOHN RIDLEY (Undercover Brother, Esquire, etc…) …it takes, literally, LITERALLY, 2 seconds to find profoundly interesting information on the wives of the Tuskegee Airmen… – "Wives of men of the 99th, 100th, 301st, and 302nd Fighter Squadrons, as well as the 477th Bombardment Group, and related personnel have been interviewed. The interviews cover their personal backgrounds, as well as their experiences at Tuskegee, during World War II, and during the early years of integration in the Air Force. As young women, some lived in the segregated town of Tuskegee during the men's training; many were separated from their husbands by the war. When the Air Force desegregated in 1949, the predominantly Negro facility at Lockbourne Air Force Base was disbanded and personnel were re-assigned throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Consequently, the Tuskegee Airmen wives were among the first to experience institutional desegregation in the United States. How did the women cope in this unprecedented situation? How did they support their husbands, protect their children, and maintain their own sense of self? What enabled them to succeed during such challenging times? The actions of Rosa Parks led to a very public desegregation of bus service in Montgomery, Alabama, but years earlier these women quietly, nearly invisibly, desegregated Air Force bases throughout the country. Each day they navigated alien territory, sending husbands off to work and children off to school, while maintaining their households. Theirs was a quiet revolution, with far reaching consequences. The U.S. military is, even today, one of the most integrated elements of U.S. society, due in no small part to the men and women who were part of the Tuskegee Airmen experience." … the problem is, that JOHN RIDLEY WAS NOT LOOKING FOR THAT INFORMATION. JOHN RIDLEY WAS NOT INTERESTED IN THE SUM TOTAL OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, BUT SIMPLY THE BLACK MALE EXPERIENCE… To go as far as to add this actress, Daniela Ruah, of Portuguese descent for that extra little bit of flavor, one must acknowledge that there HAD TO BE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO NOT INCLUDE A BLACK WOMAN. I really like Liv Tyler, but I was PISSED that she was featured in "Pearl Harbor"…BORING… I loved Meg Ryan and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun (one of my fave movs)…and as a lover of old school movies, as I'm sure many of you are, you CANNOT tell me that they didn't find a way to include women. They were churning out movies left and right to support their troops. They even used the inclusion of women on screen as motivation for the troops while they were overseas. Like c'mon. Yeah, one of THE BEST MOVIES out there, THE GREAT ESCAPE, did not force feed women to its viewers, but are we to believe that a story about "race" in America can be told without inclusion of the support systems that kept these MEN afloat? Black women need to stop beggin' those Black men, who happily participate in the subjugation of Black women, to see Black women's humanity. If they refuse to see that now, they're never going to see it. Civil Rights? Didn't need no Black women for 'dat. Fighting for equal education, nope, not dat either. We are being relegated to nothingness so my thing is, let it be. Let THEM be… Let them continue to focus on the "State of the Black Man" and the raising of their sons whilst ignoring the their daughters…yeah… THAT will END the cycle of HATE AND FAILURE…


"Call the law because somebody is getting robbed out of an education."

So are you going to start arresting parents? That is a case of a parent abusing a child by denying him an education. Part of the reason these kids don't know thier black history falls on that parent. They don't want to know thier history. And if you TRY to teach them-that parent will try to have you fired. I'm in the school system and those BLACK parents try to get us fired the moment we try to inform that kid about anything not pertaining to rap or sports.

How can any kid not know blacks can be pilots? How many black guys were piloting ships on Star Trek? the POWER RANGERS! Airplane with Kareem Jabar?

As for the lack of women in this film-

For those who have seen it-how much of the film showed the men during downtime? Was it all action and scenes of planning the next battle? Of course I would have expected black women to be in it myself-at least show them seeing thier men leave for war.

If Kola has an issue with this film over that. She must be looking to take Tyler Perry to the woodshed.

She might want to look at the studio releasing the film-whose to say any mention of black women to be removed came from the studio?

It wouldn't be the first time a studio had black women axed from a project. See Static Shock cartoon-Static's mom was banned from being on that cartoon by the network (WB).


I'm not questioning Kola's literary credentials. I'm sure they're impeccable. However, prolific author or not, this is a ridiculous criticism. It's a war movie, not an examination of Black relationships circa 1943. It sounds to me like she is just desperately digging for something to complain about.


I am definitely going to go see it! I don't see any reason not too. It looks great to me! Cheers!


@ Richboy
You and Kola Boof's criticism is Reason #1,350 Why Black People Can't Have Nice Things! LOL!
Quick… Name five WWII movies, set in the field of battle, that dealt with the wives/girlfriends of the troops. I'll help you and Ms. Boof out. Saving Pvt Ryan had a quick prologue scene set in the present that showed Ryan's family and The Dity Dozen had a couple of scenes with the German wives and girlfriends who were ultimately slaughtered by the film's heroes. WTF are you two talking about? While we're at it, how many members of the Tuskegee Airmen(which, by the way, Red Tails is about) were female? So what's the point of even bringing up Black female pilots? This ain't that movie.


From what I understand, the Tuskegee airmen featured in this movie – in real life they were all married to black women. But the movie creator(s) saw it fit to erase every single one of these black wives, and only feature a white female love interest for one of the black male characters.
The movie also completely ignores the fact that there were black female pilots too.

It doesn't matter how 'positive' the movie is in other regards, this is plain disgusting and just shows the contempt that these movie makers have for black women. They expect us to automatically support with our dollars anything that degrades or just plain erases us from reality. It's a joke.

There are black men working in entertainment and sports today who, if they really wanted to have positive portrayals of black men on screen, could get together and finance positive movies. We shouldn't have to wait until a George Lucas and others bankroll a film, allows African American history to be distorted, and then try to guilt black people into supporting said lies and distortion for fear that more black movies won't be made.

If you are going to make a movie – especially about such an important aspect of US history – then do it right.


Kola Boof has already seen the movie and noted on her twitter/facebook, that there are no black women prominently in the film; (Jasmine Sullivan makes a cameo). Also, one of the airmen has an affair with a white woman. This is a reason to NOT support George Lucas' movie "Red Tails", about the Tuskegee Airmen :

"Every war movie *except* those with black soldiers show the soldiers fighting to come home to their women (of the same race). This is true for every white war movie from the black and white era, to “Saving Private Ryan” and right on down to “The Dirty Dozen.” When it comes to black soldiers, movie makers find ingenious ways of leaving black women out! This trend even touched “A Soldiers Story.”

And now black women, who are once again NOT shown as women worth fighting for, are supposed to bear the burden of supporting “Red Tails.” Otherwise, we risk seeming ungrateful to Hollywood, unsupportive of black male actors, close minded to interracial themes or just plain too ignorant to see period pieces or anything that doesn’t have Tyler Perry’s name on it. But they keep missing the point: Show us some love and we will do the same for you!"

Darla & Mark

It's a dam shame a young black boy don't know black people fly planes in 2012. Lisa Leslie husband flies for UPS, recent story in the past two year regarding two black female flying for an airline company, pure ignorance running rampant in the black communities. Does this boy and mother watch tv news or read black publish magazines?


@Reelblack, Scripttease, and Filmchick:
Thanks for giving Red Tails practical and historical perspective. If Black audiences had more choice, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Low budget indie cinema is great, but we need the option of expanding our scope and low budget just doesn't realistically allow that. Black talent also need to be fully represented in higher budgeted, mainstream cinema as well (and not just as BBF's or MMN's). We spend our $$ on big budget popcorn movies just like everyone else and we deserve to be included in every facet of those types of productions. How many Black under-40 box office 'names' do we have? How many A-list directors/writers/producers? You can name them on one hand and probably have fingers left over. Who's to say that Red Tails being a hit won't help create some new players in the game?


(Like to preface by saying I'm a black woman who has previously worked in development for a major studio).

Does anyone really want to see Red Tails? I can't say. War movies tend not to bode well with black audiences. But make no mistake, the box office success or failure of Red Tails will have an impact on budgets, distribution deals and even theater release of future black films. George Lucas is an iconic director. So Hollywood will be paying close attention to his pet project.

The racism, sexism, age and gender biases seemingly running rampant in Hollywood are merely byproducts of its singular goal – to make money. After all, it is show business. If a movie doesn’t perform well, studio execs are less likely to fund the next. They just see potential loss. So if you want to see more and varied black stories told, this is the reason to support. Hollywood wants your money and will keep giving you want you want to get it. (Tyler Perry films are proof of that). That’s why it’s important to show the strongest support on opening weekend. Those revenues project the overall success of the film.

The production budget of Red Tails was 58M. To be considered a box office success, a film needs to recoup that. So Red Tails needs to make at least 58M domestically. If it does, then it’s possible Hollywood will take a chance on telling more black stories, giving unknown or lesser known black talent more opportunity, increasing budgets and theater screens. If not, the current budget-model for black film will likely stay in place, only bankable black actors will work and the number of screens will stay the same.

Having seen the film, I enjoyed Red Tails. The aerial combat scenes struck me. (The HBO movie of the same subject matter had none). After the screening, I heard a black pre-teen tell his mom that he didn’t know “we could” fly. For me, that was powerful.




Damn! I wanna kiss Bondgirl in the mouth for that commentary, sheeesh!
Bryan Cranston(Breaking Bad+Malcom in the Middle) might end up upstaging everybody in the film while playing a bigot! Cuba is miscast(again,damn Oscar's), Terrance Howard is stylizing again, and why now would Hollywood bank their decision of future financing on one black film let alone this one? I'd like to see what Parker does in this flick, I liked him in Great Debaters. Hail Spike Lee baby! (as in Hail Ceasar baby from Last Days of Judas Iscariot)


Yeah, I've got NO interest in this flick, precisely because it looks like your generic "Support America, Support the Troops" type flick.. only in Blackface. I don't feel morally obligated to fatten George Lucas' pockets at all.

peter ford

i'm sorry but this movie will sucks balls, black people flying airplains? what the fuck. Red tails, why not call it black tails?


I agree, black folks should not feel obligated to watch this film…. however, Do Not complain about blacks not being cast in High Budget films (such as this one) because not enough people go out to support a film that consist mainly an all black cast. We complain about not seeing ourselves in high budget films, well here you go. If this film flops, we might as well hang it up, and continue to make "Momma Done Shot The Dog" type of movies. If we had a whole heap of movies on the big screen, and a whole heap of television series, than we might can afford to be more selective…. but I see this movie as an opportunity to try and prove to Hollywood, that High budget Black movies can make money…. but they shall see, and If this movie does not make it…. They (Hollywood) will be talking.

richard james

i did not know there where black people in the airforce in the old days. somebody say to me they where slaves

The Jew That Sat By The Door

When will you blacks learn to stick together?


I've stayed out of this cuz I'm really torn about it (go & see something that looks not good OR not go & promote the myth). I think it's a little like religion, you either believe or you don't. Hard to change somebody's faith. Anyway, what I will say is this, many people are hyping this up waay more than it needs to be. It is an INDEPENDENTLY financed film. It's an indie, just like PARIAH, or BALLAST or I WILL FOLLOW. It just happens that the "indie money" came out of the rabbit hole George Lucas calls his wallet. This will not change how studios do business when it comes to Black films. If anything, it will strengthen what they do already-DISTRIBUTING risky big budget projects paid for with someone else's money. Studios spend a couple hundred million on existing multi-platform, merchandise heavy properties & shoulder that risk with the merchandising entity (Hasbro, Activision, etc) or another studio & let smaller prod. companies scrounge for cash for their "dream project" or "it needs to be made" film & then get a cut of the distribution. The success or failure of RED TAILS will not change that. It's a matter of perception that is for the masses, but not for business as usual in the industry. If it blows, it ain't like we should all pack up go home LOL Life in Entertainment will go on…


BONDGIRL, you've done it again! The most relevant comment in this thread is right here —> "These PITIFUL comments lending support for a film, [with painfully inadequate writers and actors] , shows nothing more than the idea that we will accept MEDIOCRITY for the sake of being "the hero". Yep, Bondgirl you are absolutely correct. And, you said it right when you mentioned the following… "Hollywood will NEVER consistently make movies like this because they choose to, NOT because we haven't proven so". HELLO! Now I'm sitting here thinking… what if I was "Hollywood"? Yeah, I'm sitting here with money and power in my hands. Now I'm a white business man so I'm looking for any opportunity to make a buck off of black folks (my history says that). So I'm watching all the uproar, arm twisting and support over this mediocre movie and a light goes on. Well hell, all I have to do is pull out one of the championed negros from the past, Hurriet Tubman or Booker T Washington, add a black cast of recognizable names, and all the black folks will come a runnin' with dollar bills in their hands. Well, at least I'll get a whole lot of pub, fury and passion from the "we shall overcome" crowd. Forget about a quality product filled with great acting, believable suspense and a new story, who needs that? Heck, to really ingratiate the starving black viewer, it would be wise (some might say a slick pimp and pandering move) to package the movie around the great holidays of Martin Luther King's birthday and Black History Month. Yes sir, give us mediocrity, camp & corny, we don't care, we just want black on the menu. Yes BondGirl, the venom and lecture directed at those who are not opening their arms to this nonsense should be retarted. And those who are spewing said venom should be chin checked. In short, I've said this before: One should watch whose ass they are biting on (hanging on) and following, because if and when they, the leader, jumps off the bridge, or out a 10 story window, guess whose dumb ass will hit the bottom?


I agree 100% with Sergio. This is the worst example of affirmative action I've ever seen. Actually, it's right up there with the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. White guy hires painfully inadequate writer and actors (sans David Oyelowo & Nate Parker), and the plantation is all abuzz with support. Hollywood will NEVER consistently make movies like this because they choose to, not because we haven't proven so. These pitiful comments lending support for a film, that will be in the 99 cent bin at Walmart come summer, show nothing more than the idea that we will accept mediocrity for the sake of being "the hero". Fast Five, Transformers, & Mission Impossible have been used as examples for white films that blacks promote. Correct me if I'm wrong, but those were multi-culti films. Fast Five had 4 black men, 2 Latinos, 2 Latinas, and a poorly written black girl. Transformers had Tyrese & several black men in lead speaking roles. Mission Impossible had Paula Patton front and square. These movies also depend on white people & Latinos, who make up the other 75% of box office goers, to make it a hit. Also, a lot of blacks didn't go out to see those movies opening weekend; they waited to hear the reviews from co-workers (Planet of the Apes was a prime illustration of tha) or they saw it via Netflix so it's not a fair comparison to say "we like white trash, so let's advocate black trash". If you're going to see it out of self-obligatory reasons, go for it. However, the venom and lecture directed at those who are not should be retarded.


I definitely want to see this, still. I wish there was a Tyler Perry making these types of films. I'm sorry, but I will not be seeing this in theaters, though. I'm basically all rentals now. I'd be surprised if I see 2 movies a year in theaters. I hope it does decent. I can't say I hope it does well, because I think that other than older people (like 50s to retirement age) who seem to be open to watching lots of movies, and big time Lucas fans, I think general audiences are superficial and they don't want to watch a "period, black guy movie."

I don't think Hollywood is totally correct when they presume that a white male lead is what gets asses in seats, but I wonder what goes on in the heads of people when they see the Red Tails trailer.


Usually I agree with Sergio, but not this time. Honestly, I haven't watched the seven minutes (and probably won't), because I want to go into it fresh on the 20th. Black folks not showing up for a film like Red Tails only reinforces the myth that all we want is Madea/The Help type flicks and self-important indies that only play in theatres for a week or two. Nothing against those types of movies, but we've done that and its time to diversify.
Isn't it time for a Black superspy, or superhero, or space cowboy, or whatever? I want to see big budget action/sci-fi/western, etc movies made by Black filmmakers with predominatly Black casts.
A couple of people on here who've seen the film are saying it's lame. So what? Fast Five was lame. Transformers 3 was lame. We give more than our share of $ to lame mainstream(White) shit all the time. What's wrong with passing on yet another Underworld flick for a weekend and coming out to support the Black movie?


I agree no one should be told what to see and what not to see. I think the point that folk are trying to make – me included – is that it would be a good thing if on opening weekend the studios can look at box office receipts and see there is $$ to be made by with an all-black cast, on films other than Tyler Perry. AND a black director who's paid his dues and moved up from 2nd to 1st A.D. and is now getting a major shot? Why wouldn't we support that? It's about trying – yes I'm afraid we do still have to keep trying and not just shrug our shoulders and say we know they're never going to fund an all black action film. Probably not. But there's even less of a chance if no one supports – and I mean with cash money, not waiting to see it on DVD. I haven't seen the film. Maybe it's mediocre. But c'mon now, there's a lot of mainstream Hollywood mediocrity that we've all gone to see, that's gone on to make major dollars. I'd like to think we still have a shot at seeing 1 or 2 of our stories on the Hollywood screen and not just on the indie circuit. Bottom line: Money talks and …well…y'all know the rest of it…a lot of change happens when we vote with our wallets.


Hey Sergio!

I see where you're coming from but I think the point of the furore around Red Tails is for it to be considered in the same mind space as Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbour and, to a lesser extent, Flyboys. Check out why I think George Lucas used his force on Red Tails


See the Film because it is a Learning experience. Yes, some feel they have no interest in the topic because MANY have No Knowledge of the topic. My advise Watch and LEARN you may want more of this type of film if you are at best INFORMED!!

Honey Karamelle

I know that all opinions should be respected, but it disappoints me to hear that most of you won't support the film because of the weather, or the trailer, etc. It is not everyday that a film with a black cast or black director or black crew is made and especially one that shows another dimension to our multidimensional lives. There should be a sense of pride in another accomplishment regardless of who paid for it and a rallying behind it. Also, this is a part of our African American history, and American history, that most of you probably don't know about! Our stories should not be downplayed or pushed aside over some bullsh*t (like the cold or because the trailer looked cheesy, really?). At least see it and then say something. You might be surprised (or not). Peace to all of you and whatever you decide.


i've been feeling the same way about this movie, i feel like i should see it and support it but i don't have any real interest or desire to, so i'll do what i always do in these situations, i'll buy tickets for this movie but go watch another one instead… probably "contraband" or something, lol.


I just mentioned my conflicting feelings about seeing the movie to friends yesterday for the EXACT same reasons you mentioned, so I definitely feel this post. I applaud the risk Lucas took in making the movie, and appreciate that someone is telling the Tuskegee Airmen's story, but I decided that I shouldn't feel obligated to see anything in the theaters that isn't particularly up my alley re genre (it's the type I would watch on cable, though). I don't feel like my supporting the movie "just because" would move the industry any closer to creating stories that I really want to see about the modern-day lives of African-Americans, particularly the lives of black women. I hope the film succeeds, though.

Adam Scott Thompson

I'll go and see it, if for nothing else than to say I actually saw it (like "The Help") before I give a full thumbs-up/down assessment. To be honest, though, it makes me wince when I see the trailer on TV and that one actor screams, "How ya like that, Mista Hitler?!!!" Something faintly coonish there. j/s




I'll watch it and buy a few extra tickets just because. I like seeing things getting blown up and if it's black folks blowing up Nazis that's even better. We always need a reason to watch black films but how many went to see Transformers – a movie based on a damn 80s cartoon – or a tired ass Madea movie. I don't expect an Oscar (not a requirement for me to spend money on a film) but I expect I'll see things in Red Tails I haven't seen before. Excited that this could be number 1 in a series of 3 films. Black trilogy that doesn't go straight to DVD is as rare as, well, a black US president. I thought Glory was corny and dull (and unintentionally funny in some places) but I watched it anyway. Too many black folks – good black folks with good quality track records – behind this film to turn my nose up at it and refuse to go. Red Tails was on my moderately anticipated films of 2012 list…. And some people will go to a film [or buy the ticket and not go] just to support it whether they actually want to see it or not.


It's really easy to save your time and money for great black indie films when you live in a major market. For folks living in most of the country, "Red Tails" and other major releases is all there is. So while there will always be a stream of great black movies for YOU to go out and support and enjoy, what about brothers and sisters outside the big black markets? No one wants to take castor oil, but it does deliver results.


I will probably go to see it, but not the first week. But first, I will have to gulp down massive doses of Pepto Bismol because of the CubaGoodingJunior-TerrenceDAYshawnHoward factor. I wince even thinking about them. But like a good sheep, I will go to see it. I will…I really will…


If this movie flops, it won't be because it is a black film with action and heroes. It also won't be because of poor marketing or lack of interest and/or awareness.
It will be labeled a black film failure because the skin color is what sticks out.

It's the same thing for the now axed Static Shock comic book. Folks are screaming that no one wants to read a black comic but that book was RUINED by the writer and artist.

So if this film really fails due to story and special effects-no noe will care because all they see is a black cast and fussing about the black cast takes all the attention.

Now will we see a black film get this much funding if this film flops? Issue is what subject matter can be done with a black cast that doesn't have history, slavery, Tyler Perry buffonery or Boys in the Hood storyline that won't run folks off?

Predator in the Hood? Friday the 13th? Compton Chainsaw Massacre? Planet of the Blacks? Static Shock?

As for me-I'm going to take off work to see the first noonday showing (yes that means paying $2.50 but at least I supported the film. )

This is on e of three? He must be planning on finally releasing Droids and Ewoks cartoons and that Star Wars Special on DVD . They should get him 200 million.

lil nut

fuck the dumb shit, serg. niggas go an drop quadruple the price of a ticket on a night at the bar. i aint a fan of most of what i've seen at the movies by black folk. regardless, i'm supporting it. spend the doe! see the movie! support the effort! period!


IDK maybe it's just me but I didn't feel anything from reading that email. No guilt or sense of obligation. Nothing.

Either I'm going to see the movie or I'm not. I was heavily leaning towards going to see the movie until I saw that Aaron McGruder penned the screenplay. Is that right? Aaron "Boondocks" McGruder?

Haven't made up my mind yet. We'll see on 1/20.


Sergio keeping it real…I've seen it too. :/


Sounds like Anthony got the shot that many black filmmakers only dreamed of. You should know better if you've been in the studio meetings that folks look at charts when deciding on movies, how could you not want our voices in the Hollywood film making. George did state that it would possibly hinder black voices in Hollywood film making. Since you hold a DGA how is it you write that you don't feel obligated to help out your fellow film makers? Since you didn't have to read up then why not speak of the fact that in major key roles are people of color, African Americans, and that means a lot out here in LA considering other people are always telling our stories on the big screen! You know what the score is out here and you really gonna tell folks it don't matter better yet your words
"How many times have we heard that in the past? If Red Tails tanks (which I suspect it will – I've seen it) a DGA member stating this ? And if your a black filmmaker what you stated would be really jacked up! Our community does not need that considering the images of black folks on tv and on the big screen presently!

Cinema Nero

Sergio, I agree. I have already seen Red Tails and I do NOT recommend it. If this movie flops, it won't be because it is a black film with action and heroes. It also won't be because of poor marketing or lack of interest and/or awareness. I plan to share my thoughts about Red Tails next Friday via my blog at


I suspect the author of this article does not work in the film industry! Don't mis quote him, he talked about a certain budget range of film making and distribution with numbers this size. Please remember two black screenwriters wrote the film and that George gave a first time feature Director the helm, and also gave Terrence Blanchard the score not Hans Zimmer or Danny Elfman. So do your research its beyond just there being an all black cast its about black folks making films about black people, because usually it is not. I am a union cameraman and I see who is making images about Black folks between the music vids and the feature films , its usually not US controlling the images and dialogue about our stories! GO SUPPORT many black story tellers had their hand in "REDTAILS", George cut the check! Oh and FYI the other Exec Producer is a Howard Univ grad and a brother….READ UP ON IT!


Sometimes these choices are hard. I watched Beloved because I was curious to see how they could possibly transform Toni Morrison's book into a screenplay. I chose not to watch The Help because after I read the book, I didn't think I'd be able to keep my dinner down during the movie. I watched The Great Debaters because I liked the casting choices. I watched Why Did I Get Married, again for casting and to support the actors. I wish I had not watched Why Did I Get Married Too because the writing quality went down drastically. I'm going to watch Red Tails. The box office has been pretty blah lately. Red Tails looks like an exciting, action-oriented pick-me-up. I'm also making a deliberate economic choice to support a large cast of Black actors, the Black director, and the Tuskegee Airmen themselves.


Wow. I agree that in making a 60 million dollar all-black cast period action film about the Tuskeegee Airmen and releasing it in January, George Lucas has probably bitten off more than he can chew if he expects to make his money back in one weekend. And yes, as a big cheerleader for Black film, the arguments for going out to see them regardless of quality or anticipation is getting a little stale. But the fact remains, if Red Tails doesn't have a solid opening weekend, it'll be another 10 years before you'll see another major budget movie that tells our story. So if you're cool with writing another 500 blogs a year about Black movies, Black actors and Black directors who are struggling to get their work seen, then keep being cynical. I've seen Red Tails too. And yes, plotwise I have to agree, there's nothing groundbreaking in the story or its execution. But to spend 2 hours in a theater and experience a time and place where Black men are heroes and have some of the best WWII special effects in the history of cinema in service of the story is enough reason to want to see this film. To take our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews who might not be as critical and just need to see heroes. There's a lot of buzz happening for this film. I think its going to do a lot better than most people expect and yes, if you are a person invested in wanting to see a greater range of the type of Black film that gets distributed, we are obligated to encourage folks to go see these films, in theaters–not on bootleg, the same way people rally to see Michael Moore, Mel Gibson (before the bullshit) and yes Tyler Perry.
And while you're at it, go see Pariah.


I have to agree with MW. I will be supporting and encouraging as many as I can to see this movie , simply because it would send a message to Hollywood that we have more profitable media to offer than stories about thug life and shuck and jive comedies. I mean you have to look at a whole picture, you have a major Hollywood player putting up major movie on an all-black cast. How often does that happen? " The Color Purple"? We can talk all the independent ish we want (trust, I love a good independent film), but money is the bottom line and in order to see more diversity in our films in major markets, we need to show Hollywood that our people can command high returns. Anything else is bull. My only problem is that viewing the trailer and 7 minute preview; I think that aside from the stunning visual effects and some nice performances, this movie is gonna suck. The writing appears to be horrible. My biggest fear is that Hollywood think we will accept these cookie cutter story lines and sub par writing. Totally unacceptable!! We have too many talented writers and technical people out here.


Some back-ground info on The Red Tails-A FAQ
This is something I posted on another board and it seems to fit here as well
I looked at all the topic lines on this board and read a few of the threads. I find it rather interesting (and sad) that some folks here just have either never read any WWII history or history in gereral.
So here are a few links to read up on before seeing the show:
Members of the Unit as well as The Foundation itself have been involved with this for the past 25+ years
Tuskegee Airman Col. Charles McGee says World War II film "Red Tails" is spot on

A fateful mission: Chance meeting with Tuskegee Airmen changes B-24 bomber crew

Tuskegee Airmen (this part will more than likely be part of Part I if it gets made)

The Tuskegee Airmen
First Group of African-American Fighter Pilots in WW2

Dr. Daniel L. Haulma

If you are not sure/aware about air to air combat-If you look up P-51 vs Me-262, you will see that they also took them on air to air and won due to turn radius.Yes-true many more kills were much closer to air to ground. I have also seen first party posts by a F-4 pilot who had Red Flag dog fights with P-51's and only won by getting out of Dodge City/out of the furball. P-51's and F4U Corsair's def took out MIG-15's in Korea and Sky Raiders in 'Nam did take out MIG-17's air to air.


I don't think that one movie will make or break black cinema, however, it is true that we just do not see blockbuster-type action movies with an all-black cast. If one is made and it fails at the box office, it will decrease the chances of more of those movies being made or released.

Kwame the Black Racist

I'm not going to see it because George Lucas has a black girlfriend named Mellody Hobson. He ain't slick…


Simple selfish reasons as to why I want to see this film: the dogfights. I don't recall that other Tuskegee Airman HBO/Cable flick as having splendiforous dogfights that I expect (given the trailers) this film will have. Dogfights, special effects, dogfights, special effects, dogfights. I want to be entertained, some. Speaking of castor oil and "speakers", I've yet to see the Great Debaters, which I recall was mentioned in those 'oil' discussions. And I voted Red Tails amongst my 2011 selections in Tambay's poll a couple weeks back. LOL Now pat me on my head and wish me happy viewing as I exit this thread. Peace and deuces! LOL And dogfights, dagnabit!

Ben Ramsey

I actually agree. No one should feel obligated to see any movie but I actually WANT to see this one as I am starving to see a movie about black folks being excellent in something other than sports or music. Plus the action looks great even though the movie looks corny. Have you ever wondered how black folks can be the coolest people in the world in music and sports but constantly make the "corniest" movies on the marketplace?


I see your point and I'll even say I agree with it. However I'm still going to go opening night. Regardless of it being a great film or not, I'll support it. Because there simply aren't many films with majority black casts that show us as heroes-even in the indie and foreign film curcuit. And out of those few that exist non go theatrical. And 10 bucks won't kill me.

The Soapbox Princess

I disagree. The point of supporting this movie is not that it has an all black cast. Its how hard he had to work to finance it because Hollywood wont finance black films. Its the same reason Tyler Perry created his own. At the end of the day, this film is suppose to be a positive depiction of an African American story, something that is needed. When we don't support them (good or bad), it gives legitimacy to the industry "reasoning" as to why they wont financially back movies such as these. At the end of the day, either support the movie, or put your movie where your mouth is (speaking in general not to you) and support young black film makers who are making the type of movies you desire to see.


The question is will big dollar Hollywood look to finance another "All Black Cast" if this one, made by one of the most famous movie makers of all time, tanks – because of lack of movie goer support? I think it would be hard getting big movie dollar monies if this one gives a poor showing.


Agree that people shouldn't feel obligated to support it. If people don't want to see it then don't, if they're curious then see it. I was initially interested and still am a little even though the trailers do it no favors in my opinion. It may not need to be a huge success to shine a spotlight on its young cast. I'll make a decision when I see more reviews.

I disagree, however, on the idea the black cinema should be confined to the independent realm. I have enjoyed a lot of the indies I've seen this year such as Kinyarwanda, Moozlum, Besouro, etc. but I don't think filmmakers should always have to play the game of low expectations as it relates to budgets, box office expectations, etc. especially if you are dealing with acting talent that has been developed through mainstream movies or tv.


Before someone brings it up again…

Folks keep emailing me and asking me why we haven't reviewed the film yet, thinking there's some conspiracy or something.

Yes, we've seen the film; but there's a reason why you haven't seen any reviews of it yet ANYWHERE, not just on S&A.

As I keep saying, by early next week, you should start to see reviews online.

I'm actually debating whether I should post one here before the film is released. I'm thinking that I'd probably just say nothing and let people go see it first, and then we can come back and talk about it.

We'll see. Depends on how I'm feeling next week.

But before anyone asks me that question again, THERE IS AN EMBARGO on reviews.

Do with that info what you will :)


I will see it because I study WWII a lot but I am expecting more "Windtalkers" than "Glory". The dialogue just looks cringeworthy and all the planes are CGI despite flyable examples being in existence.

Michael P

Let me guest sergio…u were probally like many other that flocked to see The Help. Im supporting this film because 1) The subject matter. For once a black film thats not about an unfunny romantic comedy, depressing melo drama or being gay. 2) Im a fan of Lucas. 3) YES, a black director made the film and YES i'll support it because we're not giving many chances like this in hollywood. I'm a filmmaker myself so I know the deal. If you dont wanna see it…stay your azz at home. SMH Some black folks! Cant please em all!

Donnie Leapheart

I'm only going to see it because I was invited to a screening early next week. I'm sure it'll be full of long inspirational speeches and shots of black men crying.


I'm seeing it for my husband Method Man. I saw GI Joe 4 times for Byung hun Lee I can sit through anything for the right face.


@Sergio Please explain what you mean when you say "castor oil". Thanks! :)


My sentiments exactly. I wrote about that today.


I wanted to see it, but now maybe I will wait for it on VOD. You are very right that people don't go see a movie cos they are obligated. I see a movie based on the trailer. Judging by the trailer, I don't think I wanna leave my house in this cold just to save Black Cinema. I watch a lot of great films made by Africans in Nigeria, Ghana and Congo and now they are incorporating African Americans in their stories too. So, African American cinema will never die if we don't see this one movie.


I'm going to see it to honor the airmen who assisted Lucas in telling THEIR stories. Kill the snark. And stop acting like box office doesn't matter for films like this. It does. And a call to arms to support it won't hurt the industry. So you just stay home and let us rally the troops. #NoPunIntended

Carlton Jordan

Had this same conversation today.

Robert Richardson

I hope that the "essence" of the Tuskegee Airmen is not lost in a super hero blockbuster banter. There are those who still think that the black fighter pilot is a myth. The "essence" of the Tuskegee Airmen is a story of intelligent, motivated, patriotic young men who had to beg to die for a country that continues to minimize them and their culture some 70 years after their sacrifices.


I do want to see this film for the cast if not for anything else. why does the topic feel so outdated? the trailer! it wasn't engaging or anything. Even they way this film has been marketed.


Sergio you are such a hypocrite. Pariah is your "castor oil" movie. You need Jesus!


Actually the post you mention, RED TAILS was number four in my top five. Now, after seeing those cheesy clips, it's number eight out of ten. If RED TAILS does do well, Hollywood will still be Hollywood. They will still use the "can't sell internationally" line as an excuse. If they told George Lucas to fuck off, we don't have a chance in hell. Real talk. Indie is the ONLY way. The revolution will not be done with Hollywood money.


For what it's worth, I interpreted the forward to suggest Red Tails is the first of Lucas' 3 movies (on the subject of the Tuskegee Airmen) to have an all black cast.


My words exactly Sergio. Thanks for lifting the yoke off some of our shoulders as I had no desire to see the film.

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