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Why White People Don’t Like Black Movies

Why White People Don't Like Black Movies

To get to the short explanation of this loaded assertion I have to narrowly define what I mean by “Black” movies.  Black movies are those films with a majority Black cast that situate Whites, if any, in peripheral or non-influential roles.  No matter what the genre and no matter what the race of the director, these kinds of Black films, we are told, form a niche market within the broader domestic U.S. market and are but a tiny fraction of the Global film marketplace.  Now that I’ve established this narrow definition we can explore a brief series of questions beginning with the assertion that is the title of this piece.

Why White people don’t like Black movies.

A vast majority of White people don’t like Black movies because they lack the empathy necessary to identify with Black characters which in turn affects their ability to “suspend disbelief” and surrender to the narrative of a Black film.  What has been called the Racial Empathy Gap in various sociological studies conducted by researchers at the University of Milano-Bicocca and the University of Toronto Scarborough have revealed that,” The human brain fires differently when dealing with people outside of one’s own race.”(1)  This study found that the degree of mental activity when White participants watched non-White men performing a task was significantly lower than when they watched people of their own race performing the same task. “In other words people were less likely to mentally simulate the actions of other-race than same-race people.” (2)

When we watch a film we are watching images of people doing tasks in the pursuit of a goal to change a circumstance and it stands to reason that if the threshold of empathy in Whites is higher when watching non-Whites perform certain tasks because of the Racial Empathy Gap, then if the Whites are watching a Black film such a high empathy threshold would make the suspension of disbelief difficult and attenuate the pleasure of their viewing experience.

But it is often difficult to transpose such highly controlled academic research into a diverse cultural enterprise such as the cinema, so I offer here my own anecdotal evidence that would seem to confirm how the Racial Empathy Gap negatively impairs the ability of Whites to be entertained by a Black film.

In January of 2011 the Wayne State University Media Arts and Communication department hosted a special event with Academy Award winning Asian-American Editor Richard Chew (Star Wars IV: A New Hope-1977, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest- 1975, Waiting to Exhale- 1995) at the esteemed Detroit Film Theatre.  There was an on stage interview with the acclaimed editor with clips from the various films he had worked on throughout his career. He amused the audience with juicy tidbits of behind the scenes encounters with various movie stars and directors of whom the audience was familiar.

The event also included a full screening of the groundbreaking 1964 film NOTHIN’ BUT A MAN (Michael Roemer) which Chew credited as a major inspiration for getting him involved in the film industry since he was in law school when he saw it and started his career soon after.

This Black film starring Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln which has a story that can be understood as an important harbinger of the Civil Rights Movement was playing to a packed house that night: ¾ White and ¼ Black.  Yet I noticed and couldn’t help but to keep track of the fact that 10 minutes after the house lights went off and the film started many Whites began discreetly heading towards the exits.  Two by two, White couples and individuals continued to leave the screening as the film was on, until by the film’s end only the Blacks and a handful of Whites remained.  I was stunned because I assumed that the older White couples in attendance, who would have been young adults during the Sixties, surely could empathize with the Civil Rights issues dramatized with the film, but the emptying out of the theatre would seem to confirm that some Whites –no matter how tolerant- are unwilling or unable to overcome their Racial Empathy Gap and watch a dramatic film with a majority Black cast.

Specifically, a film whose story does not show Blacks interacting with Whites in servitude, deference, or emotional dependence.  In other words, when the fictional world within the film is exclusively under Black control and influence, as was the case with NOTHIN’ BUT A MAN, many Whites snuck out during the screening, if they dared go see it at all.

The effects of such a Racial Empathy Gap may not negatively influence all Whites when they are viewing a Black film as was evidenced by those Whites who stayed through the entire screening, but it would seem to have had a strong negative influence upon a large number of Whites who had attended the event.

Now of course the Racial Empathy Gap does not directly correlate to a racist attitude or mentality, but it would seem to suggest that there is a certain comfort level experienced with one’s own race that extends to the attention one gives and the pleasure one receives from watching a narrative film.  As film scholar Anna Everett has mentioned Whites don’t take notice when there are no minorities or Blacks in a film, but Blacks do.  “Even if Whites recognize the exclusion it will have different meanings for them.” (3)  Conversely, Whites do seem to take notice when there are no Whites in a film and, it would seem, respond by leaving the theatre or not going to the see the film at all.

Another anecdotal example concerning Whites dislike of Black films is found in the negative comments thrown at Irish director Bill Sheridan for making GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN’ (2005): He says,” Everybody keeps saying,’ You know, you made a black movie.’ And I keep saying,’ No, I made a movie . . . I made the same movie if I were making it in Dublin or London or anywhere.’ I didn’t approach it like its special. I’m used to Belfast. It’s the same.”(Slave Cinema, 35) Now we can assume with a reasonable degree of certainty that the “They” being referred to were White critics and industry insiders whose comments seemed to be specifically targeted at Jim Sheridan for making one of “those” movies; Black movies that they don’t really want to experience.

Before addressing the deleterious consequences of the Racial Empathy Gap on Black cinema as a whole it would be prudent to ask a question from the assertion with which we began in the opposite context.

Why do Black people like White movies?

The short answer here is that we don’t have much of a choice.

Many of the big budgeted, summer and holiday tent-pole blockbusters often have a majority White cast and/or feature Blacks and other minorities in supporting or non-influential roles.  These blockbusters have massive screen ratios from 2500 to 3500 screens and equally massive marketing campaigns designed to tickle the fancy of even the most discriminating viewers and/or their children.  Long running franchises that often begin as White films start to add more color to their casts over time as a way of sustaining and extending their audiences as was proven recently with the Latino upgrades in the blockbuster, Fast and Furious 6.  Moreover there is a vast catalog of decades and decades of films where Whites (and ethnicities who feign Whiteness) make up the majority of the cast, often with no Blacks at all or Blacks in menial roles that are still pleasurable to view by Blacks and Whites alike.    

The White film is narrowly defined here as a film with at least one White in the lead role or co-lead role and Blacks or other ethnicities in supporting or non-influential roles where the narrative resolves itself by giving more dramatic attention to the emotions and circumstances of the White character(s).

Another more profound answer is that it is not just the race of the cast members that we as Blacks are empathizing with when we watch a “White” film.  Some of us might be acknowledging the tacit notions of White privilege, power and control that can be reduced to the higher class status often ascribed to Whites that many other races and ethnicities aspire to exercise in a highly economically stratified society such as the United States.  Even as the United States becomes increasingly less White (in its population aggregate) the notions of privilege, power and control associated with upper class status is still seen through the prism of Whiteness on the movie screen.  

It is a question of agency. We watch Whites exercise power, privilege and control in “White” films because some of us aspire to exercise that same type of agency ourselves so we, for lack of a better phrase, roll with the Whiteness that we see on the screen.  We don’t sneak out of the Tom Cruise movie when the lights go down.

Returning to the research on the Racial Empathy Gap- the researchers at the University of Milano-Bicocca found that some Blacks lacked empathy for those of their own race and their findings suggest that class and social status- which is inextricably tied to race in this country can have an inhibiting effect with regards to empathy.  “It turns out assumptions about what it means to be black- in terms of social status and hardship may be behind the bias…  First, there is an underlying belief that there is a single black experience of the world.” (4)

For many Blacks to exercise a sense of power, privilege and control similar to Whites a material emphasis is placed on Class divisions within the race which subsequently affects their empathy threshold with regards to members of their own race.       

What can be suggested here with some degree of certainty is that the two vectors of Race and Class have an effect upon empathy thresholds.  The effect, which could be measured using the same techniques as those in the two Empathy studies, might potentially reveal that Race is a stronger impediment to Whites with regards to Black films just as Class is a stronger impediment to certain Blacks when they watch Black films (e.g. Hood films v. Black Rom/Coms).  For example, even though a Black upper class exists (both historically and in the present day) as was documented in the book OUR KIND OF PEOPLE: Inside America’s Black Upper Class by Lawrence Otis Graham, we rarely see films made about this Black upper class and the world they inhabit because of this,” underlying belief that there is a single black experience of the world.” (ibid)

But now we should consider a third and final important question:

Why should Blacks care if Whites don’t like Black Movies?  

With almost 14 Black films and films with Blacks in high profile roles scheduled for release from July to December of this year it would appear that another Black film renaissance (like the one in the early Nineties) is coming our way.  All we have to do is support these films with our dollars and it won’t matter if Whites like or don’t like our movies.  

Yet one of the deleterious consequences of narrowly defining Black films as films with a majority Black cast that situates Whites in peripheral or non-influential roles is that we are too easily convinced that Black films only appeal to a small domestic niche market.  Even after the success of THINK LIKE A MAN in overseas markets like South Africa and Great Britain foreign licensing rights are still a sensitive issue of negotiation between studios and Black filmmakers- and by sensitive I mean you don’t discuss them with the studio if you want to get your film made or seen.  

In addition, this narrow conception of Black movies encourages the studios to treat all Black films as one singular genre that appeals to one singular audience.  Budgets are mandatorily kept low, development schedules are reduced to mere months and the control over the kinds of images we produce of ourselves are held in tight control in a myriad of other ways from screen ratios, to ratings to the dreaded DVD only release.  All of this power is exerted upon images of Blacks by Whites perhaps because the only way to truly enjoy White power, privilege and control is when it is exerted against Blacks and other minorities.        

Because African-Americans have not held simultaneous control over the four essential aspects of filmmaking: finance, production, distribution and exhibition since the advent of the “talking” Motion picture, we have been at the mercy so to speak of those Whites and other ethnicities who have and do hold control of if not all four aspects then at least one.  The consequence of this “three card monte” type of power shuffle, for lack of a better analogy, is that even with the use of Kickstarter finance campaigns, AFFRM art-house releasing patterns, internet streaming, and on demand viewing Blacks are kept out of the “big arena”; segregated within an unequal global cinematic playing field.

A way out of this power shuffle is not the direct route of simultaneously having our own means of finance, production, distribution and exhibition- this ideal is both impractical and unwise given the amount of capital necessary and the constantly manipulated pitfalls of the cinematic industry.  Instead it is the narrow definition of a Black film that must be challenged in such a way that the threshold of empathy is lowered for both Whites and Blacks with agency (power, privilege, and control) alternating within an integrated and/or international cast.  Such an expansion of the definition of a Black film begins by challenging the stereotypes of race and class as they define our perception of social roles and agency.  

For the visionary Black filmmaker the task is really to destroy the notion of a singular Black experience of the world by any means necessary.

Don’t look for truths, look for lies. 

Andre Seewood is the author of SLAVE CINEMA: The Crisis of the African-American in Film. Pick up a copy of the book via HERE.   


(1) “Human brain recognizes and reacts to race, UTSC researchers discover” by April Kemick, 4,26,2010

(2) Ibid.

(3) “The Other Pleasures: The Narrative Function of Race in the Cinema” by Anna Everett, taken from page 122 of SHOTS IN THE MIRROR: Crime Films and Society 2nd Ed. by Nicole Rafter, Oxford, 2006.

(4) “I Don’t Feel Your Pain: A failure of empathy perpetuates racial disparities” by Jason Silverstein 6,27,2013.

This Article is related to: Features and tagged


taylor patterson

what’s a white movie?


    Blacks wouldn’t have empathy with an All-Chinese cast, either. Good lord.


      Bullshit. Tons of black people like me grew up watching martial arts movies, most of them exclusively Asian cast. I watched La Bamba and cried for Richie’s family and Donna…none of whom were black. I watched Fried Green Tomatoes and Saving Private Ryan. I’m sick of false equivalence everywhere. The reality is, white people expect to lead from the front with everything and have a problem when they’re not included.


        Definitely true it’s easier for a black person to watch a movie with Asian cast. I have grown up watching them. And I know others who have. I know they are martial arts and some comedies with action. I have read similar studies which says about the same thing about whites being in the position they are.

        Read the link don’t get offended it just says the lack of association leads to lack of perspective of others.


        I don’t believe a word you say plus while all Whites watched Seinfeld your people were busy with Martin. We’ve got nothing in common and apparently Chinese and Indians feel the same, that’s why movies starring blacks bomb over there. Get things straight in your head first of because White people dont produce anything in Hollywood. The people who are bothering you are Jews, do take your grievances to them, Chinese and Indians, this is not our problem.



        steve J

        I think it depends on the movie if the movie is pushing white guilt I wont watch it as I do not identify with it and it annoying to constantly have that in your face. Other reasons depending is the body language behind it (I am fine with that) but if you are not used to watching it ..maybe i can be clear the differences in watching a black preacher vs a white one. white preacher tends to be rigid and quieter lol preacher you need to set the camera back so he has room to move and still be on camera haha …i am talking generally many people like one type or the other .. same with TV movies .. if the depecting blacks as thugs …now i dont want to watch it . stereo typing ..lots of factors do go into it ..and yes i agree a certain amount of knowing your own race does but again i think it falls into talk body language ideas what is the message in the movies is it to point at how horrible white people are or were to blacks so on .


      Seems like a racist article to get more people to hate whitey. I’m white and 60 years old. When I was a kid growing up I loved watching all those Bruce lee type karate movies and the asian movies with asians flying thru the air doing cool martial arts forms. And blacks make up about 12% of the population in america. It is whites that are making them rich watching black movies and watching blacks on TV playing basketball and football and it was the white vote that got Obama elected both times since whites make up 60% of the population. I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt when BIG Mamma was dancing in church and mentioned the flashlight in bed. Whites loved and made rich many black actors comedians like Bill Cosby, Eddy Murphy, Redd Fox, Martin Larence, etc etc. It wasn’t blacks that made Oprah rich it was white people. Whites loved boxing matches for 150 years but when the finest black athletes in the world took over world championship boxing whites really packed the house. Same with basketball and football. It’a mostly whites who show up and we love watching black sports figures so it’s not just the black actors. It was whites who appointed several 4 star black generals in the military of america. To think all whites think so lowly of blacks is just pure nonsense on the part of black people.


        That’s great but y’all elected Trump because he promised to Make America White Again

          steve J

          He never promised that! total lies actually think make america great again is refering to white people!? Blacks and ALL other minorities would never have stood even a remote chance at a life if whites where racist ..because whites were in charge and whites passed the laws to make things equal they passed so many laws ..without the whites against slavery slavery would still exist 627k whites that know slavery was wrong died to free 300k slaves . He wanted Jobs to come back if you EVER watched his speeches he always talked Jobs Jobs and more Jobs and talked Jobs for black communities as he felt it was needed and it is all of the usa needs more .. and a country that elected a black president is not going to up and OH WAIT thats right we racist .and racist because we refused to elect an old white woman .2 choices .. Trump any damn day of the week over ..hitlery that is pillaging haiti for all the resources ..even many libs had NO idea why they pushed hillary and felt she was not that good of a candidate but they wanted a female president .. either way think it through if you have a white nation could slaves every get free? how is it that many minorities worked their way up the top and to have become president if whitey was all racist?! makes absolutely no sense AT ALL.


      Exactly !


    That white people lack human empathy for black people doesn’t surprise me one bit. Its why Bill Cosby is being railroaded or lynched in corrupt system suporting a case w/o evidence, w/o proof where the prosecutor normally has the burden of proof and the defendant is “innocent until proven guilty. Yet in this case, the reverse occurs. The burden of proof is placed on the defendant and the media & white public opinion declares him guilty so that they can send him to jail for punishment. Meanwhile taking all of his hard earned money. This is the same that was done to O.J Simpson. Whites are monstrous towards blacks. Yet the article says lack of human empathy isn’t racist? I beg to differ. Whites are hopelessly prejudiced and wicked towards blacks. Thankfully, Christ gets the last word—not whites.


      I like this article is racist even though it’s trying not to be racist


      also there was a burden of evidence against OJ Simpson and this article’s facts are bullshit just like blacklivesmatter and third wave feminism.

        Gareth David James


      Rollo Lawson

      Hey Anonymous,
      Bill Cosby being railroaded has nothing to do with race, but with feminism and the liberal prerogative. As long as you keep playing the race card you’ll uncover racism everywhere you look despite it not being there. Sort of like how cheaters think their partner is cheating on them. Your mind is polluted.


    Everything and anything ‘mainstream’.


    You couldn’t understand us you’re not White.

    Gregory Park

    I just love when a black man tells me why I don’t like black movies…I couldn’t be the base humor, crummy plot or the complete lack of reference “straight out of Compton” my apologies for the correct spelling.


    Mostly because most Black movies are fucking racist as you can be.. They are so racist they make rich white men that are standing on black people look ok…


    A white film is a film where the hero or the protagonist is white. That simple. Just like you will notice how many people will refuse to see the Dark Tower, because although the character in the books is white, they decided to cast a black actor in the title role. I certainly won’t go see it. I have no problem with blac actors as heroes( in fact, i have never seen them as anything else. Hollywood is very careful to only cast black people in a good light. I would think that after complainign night and day that you need black actors as role models for children, you will understand that white kids( and adults) need to see characters that look like them. Its all about identity, and the fight to not loose it, for both sides.

gwendolyn williams

got dam the white maggots?

Jennifer Jennifer

that’s a lie white people are the ones selling the black movies on line for high price. anything of black history always sale the most

Rebecca Katsolis

Nobody likes black people.
Blacks don’t even like other blacks Black cities like Detroit, Atlanta, and Chicago have huge murder rates. Do black lives matter when a black kills a black? Have you seen any news outlet that says Black Lives Matter ever run a story about a black person killing another black person? Or how about a black cop shooting a black person?
That news hasn’t been invented yet, I guess. Well, Jews run the media, so, it does make sense.


its true that white people do not like black movies,even though there are many super black actors, but part of the problem is toomuch black oriented and most of the movies seem to have a mostly black view of 1 meaningfull relationships,2 useage of a different language commonication,ie, housewives of atlanta. really? i like watching a good movie ,not a porn tears for beers. also some are too dramatic and everyones cheaten on some one, rhere are too many pointless story lines,spike lee is a freat weiter,but most of his stories are too black,as thoigh there are no oyjer people, i, jewish and i would bet of all the actors and rhe storyline was only jewish ,you would face the same problem! today every one wants to blame some one,we must look in the mirror first..

    Andre the black giant

    Do you even know any white people, you stupid racist

    Andre the black giant

    The best thing about white people comedy is that it isn’t always about race and they can think of something original and not keep going on and on and on and on about skin colour. BIG YAWN!


      You’re a moron. Watch Love Jones. Or Eve’s Bayou. People like you love to find excuses to justify your preexisting myopia. I shouldn’t even waste oxygen on you, but hopefully there are other people who are reading your drivel, so my response gets seen as well.

    Katy Bee

    I’m Native-American, look and raised White, and I like some Black shows and movies like I like some White shows and movies like I like Asian, Latino, and many others! I like some of everything BUT not everything! I think when we stereotype any group of peoples we limit ourselves in understanding other groups and thus don’t allow ourselves to become educated about each other which grossly affects our abilities to tolerate one another! We become less peaceful than we could be because we are actually choosing not to be! That’s all I want to say about these matters right now!


I dont get their humor, and have trouble understanding ebonics.

Joe Schmoe

I’m a 59 year old white man. I laughed so hard thru BIG Mamma my cheeks hurt. Many other great movies with blacks. The anti-white movies I don’t care for. Too many slave movies that promote white guilt but NONE to promote black guilt. What black guilt you might ask? 388,000 black slaves came to america. In the barbary slave trade black muslims owned 1.5 million white slaves. So the truth is blacks have owned MORE white slaves than whites ever have blacks. 10.5 MILLION black slaves went to Latin america and had Mexican slave owners but does Satan’s Hollywood every promote the Great Mexican Satan Slave owners? And Arabs owned black slaves for a the last 1400 years and still do today but the Hollywood ever promote the Great Arab Satan Slave Owners? And the we have all the media about the Great White Satan Crusaders who take other peoples land and kill them but no movies about Gingus Khaun killing 40 million people and conqurering 12 MILLION square miles of land. That "Crusader" and his asian brothers took more land than any race in history yet whites are the only ones who ever get blamed. His people about committed on the people of Iran but no hollywood movies about that. Then you have the egyptians **who are not white** who conquered all the middle east and all the non-egyptian races and enslaved them and ruled for 2000 years but Hollywood makes no movies about the Great Egyptian Salve Owning devils. Only white are devils when they do evil. ALL non-white races can rape, murder, take land and do all the evil they want and it’s OKAY. Whites better get back to Jesus. He came ONLY for the Lost Sheep of Israel. They are of Adam. That’s why the non-white race and Satan hates us sooooo much.
Strong’s #119: ‘adam (pronounced aw-dam’). to show blood (in the face), i.e. flush or turn rosy in the cheeks.

Andre Seewood

@Joseph, Unfortunately, critical acclaim does not always equate to high cross-racial viewership. David Simon himself has stated in numerous interviews that as highly praised as his show THE WIRE is, it was consistantly low in ratings; so low in fact that the series, like many other David Simon series, ended with more critical acclaim than viewers. Now it is quite disingenuous of you to imply that THE WIRE debunks the claims made in this article regarding White viewership of Black films 1) because THE WIRE is a cable television series and not a "Black film" and 2) The low ratings for THE WIRE actually support that argument within this article inspite of the classic status of the television series today several years after it ended. Moreover, if we apply the criteria for a Black film (or television series) to THE WIRE it is not altogether clear if THE WIRE actually qualifies as a "Black Film" or "Black Television" series in the strictest sense. So although you may not agree with this article, it is important that you use better examples to "debunk" it as you say.


I don’t agree with this article, as a white male I find that storytelling is the predominant way to keep audiences engaged, regardless of race.. A prime example of this is with HBO classic series ‘The Wire’ which has a predominantly black cast and focuses on black and white life within Baltimore. This is clearly one of the most critically acclaimed shows if you’ve read about it anywhere, and in my opinion goes someway to debunking many of the points made in this article.

    Sam Lang



These so called Black Movies are racist,
stupid movies.
Movies that don’t hold up well, and like tom said up there, they are about retarded pushing of black memes. Black people are dumb as fukc and are always trying to talk about being black??

Black people think white people hate them because they think white peopel think that they are better for no reason, when in reality, everyone hates black people simply because they try to be something they are not.
They call themselves black, when they are brown, they choose arrogance instead of asking you to prove yourself when you contest them, they fear that if they dont follow trends that they are not good enough, when really following trends is what makes you NOT GOOD ENOGH.
Black people are retarded and so are their racist movies.

Make Better Movies!

Why do black people make good actors?
Cause thats all they ever do. oooh burn
Black people are fake, their concepts of art are way behind everyone else.


Nearly two years late, but whatever. White people don’t like black movies because they’re purposefully alienating. Not to mention lazy and boring.


We have heard enough whining from them that’s why

Andre Seewood

@Mike, It would appear that you are suffering from "confirmation bias" in the sense that you have unfairly categorized all Black films as usually having a heavy handed message about how Blacks are oppressed by evil whitey- which is an assertion that is patently untrue. Moreover, to believe such an assertion you would have to go out of your way to cite Black films that adhere to such an assertion and dismiss all of those many, many, many other Black films that do not adhere to that assertion. Furthermore, although you say that it would be normal for a White person to not want to go to a movie that protrays them in a negative light, you express no sentiment or observation of Blacks and other minorities who have to go see movies, television shows and other media that more often than not portrays them in a negative light. And just to make matters worse, you trash all Black actors, screenwriters, directors and producers by asserting that they are not many who are any good. The fact of the matter is that this article explores why it is so easy for a vast majority of Whites to negatively assess the films and talents of Blacks- because many Whites lack the empathy necessary to surrender to the narrative of Black film/literature/art and thus they, like you, use confirmation bias to dismiss the work and the relevance of all but a precious few Black filmmakers.


The problem with black films is they usually have a heavy handed message about how blacks are oppressed by evil whitey. With that being said would it be normal for a white person to want to go to a movie that portrays us in a negative light, I don’t think so. Also they’re are not many good black actors, screenwriters, directors, and producers. An example of a good black film is soul food, but movies like that are few and far between.


To be frank enough, Has White People ever like something that is purely blackness, as far as race is concern? Yes, but may be, only when they making some Profit behind it. Ecample, Slavery, Colonisation, etc.

    Rollo Lawson

    Well that’s an idiotic claim. Who do you think is tge greatest consumer of bkack media and products?! Whitey, that’s who. Without white money all of these black celebrities would be vastly poorer. Why else do you think blacks sell-out to whitey by going mainstream, they want our money.


No, I don’t think you know exactly why white aren’t appreciating black movies. Just as it happened many years ago, we are tired of being insulted because of our race. I’d read that 93% movies made for blacks display the white person as a racist and any hurt, disgrace or insult put on the white is alright or funny or justified . Talk about profiling. I was not raised to hate, but I am hating the racially fueled "black humor". They are teaching their young to dislike the white race and they think this is ok. Sounds like the 60s. If not, why don’t you hear any defense. White people fought and joined the equal rights movement too – because it was the right thing to do. Do blacks think its right to dishonor other races because of their history – well anyone that says they are the children of Abraham were slaves. This attitude that the blacks show contributes to the dislike of their race.


I think black people, ghetto-rats to neurosurgeons, all pretty much go to the movies in the US. I don’t think it’s the same with whits. Trailer trash doesn’t go as much as the middle class and up. That’s why there is such a pull for Tyler Perry movies – poor, stupid blacks like the movies. The stupid white movies that would compare are generally watched by 12-15 year old boys.

Denzil Devarro

One of the hardest things to do is to get a black director to help another unestablished aspiring director get his foot in the door. We talk about the "good ole boy" network but we can’t get a break from our own kind. I published a book a few years ago that sold thousands but when I approached an established Director at the BET after party in LA this person spoke to me as if I was ignorant for simply asking for his help or that he take a look at my work. Black actors and Directors often don’t lend a hand to their own kind. I expect to be "dissed by whites but I would expect someone that walks in the same skin that I do to at least extend an olive branch. We cant fix the problem of injustice in America until we fix the injustices that we commit towards one another.

Denzil Devarro



What a bunch of malarkey!!!!!
personally I love Tyler Perry movies and guess what! I’m white ! So let me be clear, the greater majority of the "white" population that doesn’t like a "black" movie is when the producers or writers continuously comment and segregate the whites and blacks , guess what," some of us would like to move on, really bored ��


because all black men are not hung and all white women do noy look like barbie dolls and black men are still being shot like ducks .


because they hate black men love black women


I'm white and watching a black person in a good movie not only doesn't bother me, I don't even think about it. I don't have a barrier to relating or a problem suspending my disbelief. Granted there are many genre black movies that I just find terrible and nearly unwatchable but I hate movies like The Family Stone for the same reason I don't like some of their mostly black cast equivalents. It's just really bad writing regardless of who is in them but when it's good, it's good. I don't care. For example, Meet the Browns to me was great except for the over the top parts with the actual Browns family. I love Jennifer Lewis but what that fine actress (I have seen her on stage so I know what she can do) is always asked to do gets really old after a while but the rest of the movie worked for me. What's Love Got to do with it is one of my favorite films. OK it's not just an Angela Basset thing (Although I love her) but those are just the first two I thought of.
In the end, I guess it just depends on how you were raised.


I'm not disagreeing with the author here, but I'm not sure this article can explain why EVERYONE loves Friday. Friday the movie, not the day of the week. You don't have to be black to love that movie. Everyone loves Friday. Not the 2nd or 3rd one but the original Friday. One of the greatests comedies ever. I might go watch it again right now.

Richard Holmes

Of course I didn't read this dumb shyt. I frustrate at every time I search movie list that author is always white, obvious, none of the lists I search and go over ever have any movies that I like. To type top 50 movies or whatever it comes up all white


At the beginning of the awards they interviewed an actress on the red carpet, and it wasn't 20 seconds until she brought up the subject of "being an african american" in the entertainment industry. This is so so typical, how often rather than something more substantial, it's a predictable beeline to talking about identity as a race. People should find their identity in something deeper and OTHER THAN what color their epithelials are. They should have a "ringing bell" and every time someone brings up their surface color aspect rather than something more meaningful that bell needs to ring, bringing attention to the predictable elephant in the room. If people can't at least BE creative, they should occasionally try to fake it just to not be boring and predictable !

    Rollo Lawson

    This site needs a like button.


Wow. I read a lot of these comments and some are provocative for both sides of this article. The comments leave me so disillusioned. To summarize, there goes another black person playing the race card or blaming their lack of success on the white man. Why don't you just get a job, stop being lazy and father your kids you racist. I can hardly look up a recipe without someone expressing this sentiment. Is there a line between stereotyping and racism? The question is for all races.


One of my favourite actors is Idris Elba. I want to to see a film that either breaks new ground, has an actor/actress I admire/follow or has a incredible story. I can't say this article rings true for me at all. Personally for me it is ridiculous.


Why don't black people like white movies?

WiIll carr

Cauz they shuck and jive no fo


Yet another black guy complaining and spending hours writing an article of several pages explaining why a certain sector of culture isn't having success. I would think that such energy spent thinking of ways to have success instead of complaining about it would be much more useful in the enterprise of actually having success, but i digress.

I want to call into question the very own definition of "black movie". How many "black movies" consist in making out the white people as the culprit of all black problems? Half or more? Would you go to a movie that you know would make your race look like cause of all suffering and hardship?

Isn't most "black movies" absolutely racist in their dealing with the very issue of race? If i describe a "white movie" where the plot revolves around an Iberian boy captured by black Muslim africans during the Reconquista and his fight against his brutal captors. Doesn't it sound a little racially charged? Would black people line up to see black people as invading marauders and slavers? Or would they throw a fit and do rallies against a movie (that is based on very believable and historically correct facts by the way)?

Most movie goers don't care about race. They want good plots and actors. Morgan Freeman, Samuel Jackson and Denzel Washington are acting gods. Will see anything that has them. But you want me to sit and go through an hour of "black people good, white people bad" weak ass movie with no merit whatsoever? It won't happen.

Look at "12 year a slave". Mostly black movie. But managed to convey an interesting plot with multidimensional characters. Fine movie! Great success. Most movies about hip hop and fight against the "man" and the Pooolice are racist shit. Period.

It's not about being black or white. It's bad movies vs good movies. And many "black movies" aren't good enough, as they only appeal to the feeling of race. How is a white person going to be motivated to see a movie that is not meant to appeal to white people. In fact, the opposite is true.


I think the topic of this article is invalid. Its not just whites but all the races are not interested in African american history. I am of asian descent and seriously sick and tired of all the racism, inferiority complexes and retribution sh*t. We as asians faced worst possible racism, segregation and even my family was forced to live in a camp during the second world war for 5 years. But we kept out head down and worked hard and achieved success. Blacks are just finding reasons to blame for their lack of success. The fact is that they don't want to work and just want to sit and get rich which is not gonna happen. So they get frustrated and keep brining up slavery which happened a while ago and none of the blacks living here have ever faced slavery. So let it go.

Andre Seewood

I find it extremely interesting that one of the most consistent opinions expressed by Whites here in this commentary section is that if you quit looking at people by race there wouldn't be any racial issues to talk about or observe. It's a little like telling a cancer patient to stop thinking about his cancer and it will go away, don't you think? Ignoring racial disparities, inequities and systemic power imbalances divided along racial lines does not make these problems go away; it only makes it easier to continue practicing and holding on to racially derogatory stereotypes, prejudices, discriminatory polices, procedures and racist ideologies.

    Rollo Lawson

    Inequities?! You’ve had your black president for 8 years, who acquired an Ivy League education due to affirmative action; blacks dominate professional sports, they’re represented everywhere in national media; they’ve been generals, Attorney General, Surgeon General, Secretary of State, mayors, governors, police chiefs, fire chiefs, town council members; what more do you need?


I understanding your need to be wanted and your need to be appreciated by others but let it go man. We as Indians and Pakistani have already figured out that we have no future in this film industry so we make our own and market our products in our own majorities so why don't you do the same?


I like to see more African-Americans as well as African-Canadians including all people from the colonized islands as lead characters in up-coming films that are not based off religion and I feel there has to be equality in all aspects of film production in north America whether in-front of the camera or behind the scenes because we know the culture, we know what we want to see and you punk-as stuck up directors don't feel, you have to be emotional to feel emotional content and you are prick so let more colored producers and directors enter the scene that can spice up your taste. Ask your grl she tell you about it…


We are complaining what white people do but how about we we do to ourselves, take for example India, the Bollywood film industry is dominated by brown people yet every actor/actress looks almost white due to extreme make-up and bleaching of the skin so how can we complain about colored people in films here? when in those countries like India/Pakistan people are trying to be white? Majority of Indians do not look at all like what they put on film and television, those a hole Indian film producers are trying to make their majority look like sht by excessive use of lighting and make-up on their actors/actress, at least here it is a bit realistic as we can find hot blondes on the streets not that different on film in Hollywood even tho filters makes them look more pure, less pasty, or frekley, freak linesh…


how about an epic film on the fist boats that entered west African countries and grabbed Muslim engineers to build and operate boats??????????

Film on Hitler

How about a real film about Hitler that is opposite of what has been produced about Hitler? or how about jewish catholic orhpan turned deversirm'e turned Janissary turned wizard turned Templar turned pope turned priest turned some omish inbreed tribes of the European destitute provided with land and slaves that somehow became the KKK in America all whole pretending to be Aryans—liars.


I don't like to see stereotypical films continued to be produced despite learning about stereo typical films in film schools. I don't understand why all the hate? They got some Spanish dude to play a dirty filthy Arab? why you guys abusing the film industry? You don't you know what this will lead to in the future…..for example Palestinians presented as true victims of racism, they are African, Arabs, brown and black people, showing north Africans as part of African society and Israel as south Africans (Europeans, Russians) etc.. When in-fact they were put on boats from Russia, Germany, Italy including U.K that went against Germany which is a crazy discovery of removal of certain kinds of people from society and despite that they lick their butts and are supported by them so why hate on Africans? Arabs? it's African resources, it belongs to them not white people who you call Israel Just look at them, do they look African? this is by far the biggest racist movement supported by north America to date. Any films on it????


Is it true that North America including Canada does not poses any American or Canadian born Egyptian or Syrian journalist that could have been sent to be our foreign embeds? report back on our national television channels? they are people with Syrian, Egyptian ethnic backgrounds so why did we not here it from their mouths? because our majority does not trust, even if they manage to put some Egyptian or Syrian, Libyan, Iraqi or Afghani on, it will be an embed of their own in faith with a name they can trust, when they trust it they watch it, like we here, don't trust a single word that comes out the mouths of the present day embeds, they could be telling the truth but because they poses zero credibility to Muslims we know better…


I am a brown man and I am sick and tired of the films out there, I had already gave up Television due to non-stop commercials that just made me unplug but films are not suppose to be annoying as commercials and I am beginning to lose interest because I do not identify with the story line with most of the films coming out, the comedy and the presumed hero and heroin that are always the same. I do not want my kids to grow up thinking they are second class to anyone, so we must have our own audiences of north America and not to be depended upon Bollywood as an alternative when only to trying to avoid Hollywood films as a personal enjoyment of entertainment so I must have watched over 100 black films this summer and have enjoyed watching. Also, it is clear in the films that the lead characters are colored and kids begin to think that they can also be hero. I hope to see brown people doing more films that we can relate to in north America.

hoo boy

I was stunned because I assumed that the older White couples in attendance, who would have been young adults during the Sixties, surely could empathize with the Civil Rights issues dramatized with the film,

Your understanding of America is flawed. Whites who empathized with CR issues were The Exception, not the rule. The Civil Rights Movement was necessary because of them.

This isn't surprising at all.


"Whites do seem to take notice when there are no Whites in a film and, it would seem, respond by leaving the theatre or not going to the see the film at all."

It's good to know that we're being observed from a zoological perspective.
In this respect your comment immediately brings to mind Tyler Perry's god-awful tripe that spans a decade… aside from that, I'm not clear on what you mean by a "black movie". Or a "white movie", even. Aside from his Oldboy remake, Spike Lee has all of the respect I can give to a filmmaker. Michael Bay, although white, is an over-payed hack. If you want to play a race card, sure, everything and everyone is a bigot in the right light; in the viewing of that premier, if you think that white people in the audience got up and left out of spite while the black people stayed out of some misguided race-oriented obligation, that's a damn fantasy. I am sick to the core of being an assumed racist just because I'm white. Congratulations on being the casual racist that made me realize that.


What a load of crap. I have dated men of all races. Even black men. Do you know what really surprised me when I got to know all of these men. That the assertions made in this piece are complete and utter junk. OK, so one of the assertions is that whites have a great degree of difficulty connecting to black characters. Really? Explain the popularity of actors like Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Samuel L. Jackson, Danny Glover, Ving Rhames, LeVar Burton, Shemar Moore, Louis Gossett Jr., Forest Whitaker, Cuba Gooding Jr., Denzel Washington, Anthony Mackie, Terrence Howard, Billy Dee Williams, Don Cheadle, and Keith David. I got this list from my white fiancee. Would you be surprised that he was barely able to name more white actors? I asked him to name black male actors that he likes to see, or can see, and can identify with in leading-man roles. What's funny is that several times, with white actors, we had to look up the movie they were in so he could see their face and say, "that guy." He knew their face, and liked them in a movie, but didn't know their name.

Now, what about music? Most of the white guys I knew and dated, had very diverse music collections. Everything from country, to classic rock, to new rock, to classical, to R&B, to hip-hop, to rap. One guy introduced me to what he called Heroic Epics, my favorite being one called "Undying Love," by a group called 2SFH.

Black guys I knew thought being diverse meant having both hip-hop and rap. And they thought they were the paragon of diversity if they also had some R&B. I would often ask them why they didn't have some country, or some rock music. They would say that they couldn't relate to it. Most also had a library full of "black movies," but few if any white movies. By white movies, I mean not being an epic movie like Star Wars, 300, Braveheart, The Hobbit, etc…

Now we get to sports. Black athletes dominate nearly every popular sport. yet white men bring their families to these events repeatedly. The NFL is blacker than ever and yet is also more popular than ever. Why is that? This despite the fact that the rules keep turning it into a sprinting sport as opposed to an endurance sports. Endurance versions of football, also known as Rugby and Soccer, are not nearly as popular, and yet those two sports have a more fair distribution of white players. Maybe white people aren't really as racist as you people want to make them out to be.

    Rollo Lawson

    No self-respecting racist will support or let their kids idolize black athletes, yet millions of white kids have posters/cards/jerseys of black athletes, yet corporations are paying millions of dollars to black athletes to endorse products so whites will buy them. Yep, them good ol’ racist whitey’s love nothing more than spending their money to be like blacks.


I can tell you that what turns off many whites about watching black movies is often and deliberately being made victims of abusive jokes and references. No race likes that but if its a documentary there is a time and a place for historical reference and some mud-slinging is expected. Blacks often irritate whites deliberately though in comedy, music and cinema. That is not the extent of what their culture has to offer and the get-even-with-whitey stuff can really be insulting especially when many whites have gone out of their way to be open-minded and done many things to help blacks. A white person just going to a black event displays a willingness to be open-minded. To sit through obnoxious accusations alienates and that destroys feelings of empathy. Thus, its more than we are just different. I would dare say a white person in the united states will be more empathetic with a different black person from africa than a different black person from the united states when watching cinema because there is more open-mindedness when abuse is not as expected. Just some thoughts…


I disagree that this is a "race" issue. This article classifies any film that has a significant white role as a white movie and limits the black movies to any film that whites are relegated to the background. By their definition, Blade is a white movie even though the main character is played by Wesley Snipes. This would also include nearly every Denzel Washington and Samuel L Jackson movie being categorized as white movies.

So basically, the fact that these are all A list actors and white audiences love their movies is disregarded because the cast and story lines are presented to appeal to a broad audience.

Whereas, movies that they consider "black movies" are specifically written to appeal to an urban culture that can directly relate to the story line and plot elements. I would say that white audiences were just as uncomfortable in general watching the movie 8 Mile as they are watching a "black" film in the same setting. It is culturally foreign and unappealing to the majority of people who did not grow up in that culture.

To make it harder to watch, most of those same films imply white privilege and oppressiveness over black or at least carry a big racial chip against white people. This creates a hostile environment for the white audience members to trust the narration sufficiently to suspend disbelief.

Nikky Tarns

Oh ok, so the reason I dont like Medea goes to jail isn't because its a TERRIBLE TERRIBLE movie, It's because im a racist


I was reading a book called: 'They don't want us here' by Kevin Watson The writer went through arson attempt racism as white people could not empathise never mind live next door to a negro. This took place in England. White people will never watch black movies have black neighbours but they will steal from Africa oil minerals and gold


anchors from CBS like Otis Livinstain and cindy Shu must be checked by police they loaded with illigal drugs meny black peaople from brooklyn meeting Otis to get drugs Cindy Shu she hold killos of cocaine at her apartment and when they are ont brake they tal king how to kill peaple and iven stuff go back to your contries


Honest opinion: I am not white, but Asian-American. Asian-Americans are not very much represented in mainstream media, but a lot of us tend to follow "white" entertainment (like pop songs, action films, etc.) Personally, I admit to being one of the preps who loved Backstreet Boys and (teenage) Britney as a kid, and was never a huge fan of rap/hip-hop. I like Harry Potter and LOTR films, and cannot sit through a Tyler Perry film. I don't think whitewashed films are objectively better than Black films, but at the same time, I don't genuinely relate to or like a lot of Black culture. I think people should just like what they like, and try new things, but it shouldn't be held against me for not liking Black entertainment.

Clipping Path Service

Excellent post! The black movie artist who have crafted such nice images looking absolutely genuine and real. My cat is playing with my rc helicopters every day and play with my another dog…
Clipping Path service


There are certain black movies I like, and ones I don't. The ones that are all about naked girls, drugs and sex I don't like. Same with the few white movies that are like that, but anyone would be a liar if they tried to deny that most black movies are like that.


You miss one important fact. A lot of "Black" movies suck. The characters are broad and stereotypical and they have thinly developed plots. Tyler Perry movies are a prime example.


In my humble uninformed opinion, I think that people all over the world like to watch things/movies/TV shows they can identify with and can see themselves in, or they can aspire to. And that's the reason that to me (mind you I'm uninformed) the future is interracial movies/TV shows where everybody gets a piece of their ego fulfilled.
Most whites (IMO) do have a mild curiosity in black casting when it's multi-racial.

Successful models:
Grey's Anatomy
The Originals
Shows who introduce race as a primary or repeated topic quickly lose their white audience and middle-class black audience.


@Brian Winiarski

Since this is a Black site, why don't you watch some of Dr. Farrakhan's youtube exposes on the control of the Jews in America. And read SECRET RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BLACKS & JEWS VOL I & VOL II. (Both available as a free pdf download on the internet)

The Jews can't help but boast of their controlling accomplishments. Prime Minsters of Israel, Ariel Sharon & Netanyahu both have publicly boasted about how they control America. They are pretty sure that their One World Order Agenda can't be neutralized at the present time.

And the top levels of the Illuminati and Masonic organizations are controlled by Jews with the lower level of the pyramids ignorant of what the Jews are doing at the top. Same goes for the CIA, FBI, and Mosaad in which a compartmentalized 'NEED TO KNOW' strategy is employed. I hope there is some White Aryan rogue units in those organizations to neutralize the Jews when they attempt a coup. They first need to take the guns away from the American citizens with the repeal of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. I read that Pennsylvania deer hunters have more guns then the whole Chinese army.

You can also check out the 1976 Rosenthal Interview exposing the Jewish ways. The Jew, Rosenthal was permanently silenced shortly after the interview.

John Doe

Brian Winiarski, I'm going to butt into your conversation and ask you to elaborate on your statement: "The non-white races did most of the work here while we had most of the benefits". And of the non-white races you're thinking of, which of their native countries is the most successful?


I don't have the energy or desire to educate you on the monopolistic or controlling ways of the Jews or their Crypto Jew Anglo Saxon names. Do your own research with key words such as Jewish Question and Jewish Control, because I have come across many sites that give specific names of all of the clandestine and obvious Jews in government,corporations,the legal system,main stream media,academia,banking ,money creation,AIPAC & ADL control of all of our politicians,CIA,FBI,Mosaad, stranglehold on the entertainment industry and even the "wag the dog"false flag total slanting of the nightly news in which the same professional actors have been spotted on youtube as being parents of victims in the various false flag occurrences throughout the United States, especially in their goal of changing the 2nd Amendment right of American citizens to bear arms against treasonous government actions.

I have spent five years enlightening myself, and am not a member of any Aryan , White Nationalist or Neo-Nazi group but simply a shocked citizen who became aware of my brainwashing and ignorance with the tool of the internet.

Any dual citizen Jews in politics and appointed power positions in government are traitors when they serve Israel instead of the welfare of America. The democratic system is a rigged affair with all politicians having to sign a pledge to serve Israel first in order to receive funds for election and reelection. Those that refuse are black balled into political oblivion. Even if the elections were fair, the computer election tally machine corporations are controlled by Jews.

Brian Winiarski

CRO, I agree that we are under the control of the corporations, but what makes you say they are run by jews. There are just as many european C.E.O.s now if not more than jewish or black or spanish. Your' propaganda is beginning to become obvious to the point of making you appear foolish. If you actually believe half of what you write, then I pity you. You are becoming the Sarah Palin of racism.


@Brian Winiarski "America was made a superpower because of the fact that it is a mixing pot of colors, not despite this fact."

As America sinks down into the cesspool of multiculturalism giving up it's superpower status, along with 15 to 20 points of average IQ, and White Aryan full foreheaded creativeness, we will see how ridiculous and asinine Brian's statement is. America was not built on the backs of Negro slavery or Chinese railroad building labor but rather the industriousness of the NATION of LIKE White European Christians and a economically healthy MIDDLE CLASS and INDEPENDENT FARMERS, which is hastily disappearing due to the outsourcing of Aryan technology and manufacturing by the Jew controlled global corporations and take over by giant monopolistic food farm corporations which will withhold food whenever the situation dictates.

We have seen how far the mixed and blended White Spaniards, Negros, and Native Americans have progressed in Mexico and the rest of the Central and South Americas. The pure bred White Spaniards and Jews are the ones who are in control of their mixed less intelligent brothers, with a ruling and peon class of people, devoid of a fruitful economic Middle Class.

Brian Winiarski

CRO, You talk about me as if I an jewish or israelite or have ties with the middle east or practice some sort of anti christian religion. You are mistaken if you think I practice or believe in any religion. You say I make threats and am verbally abusive to people like you and sometimes I do and yes, this is childish of me, but you are much more abusive with your' racist remarks and your' obvious hatred for the jewish and all non whites. You accuse me of being part of some New World Government that wants to destroy caucasions. I have my own political beliefs, my own religious beliefs, and my own thoughts concerning everything. My thoughts are usually different than those around me and usually this causes me to be unaccepted. You however have identical thoughts to the klan members or aryan brothers or skinheads or nazis or whoever you probably surround yourself with. You obviously are a person who strives for the acceptance of your' peers and have such intense desire for acceptance that you will even adopt their' philosophies and religions. I gave up any desire to be accepted years ago because I feel like I would be letting myself down by trying to act look or think like others just to be in a club or group or cliche. It is easier to be just me even though it usually means I am alone, You speak of me as one who is unwilling to educate himself. I have very few set beliefs regarding anything. My opinions change frequently with exposure to new information. I am open minded and this is essential for the absorbtion of knowledge. You believe what your supremacist buddies tell you to believe.I will never be a leader or a follower. You will always be a follower with the vain,petty and pitiful hopes of being a leader.


The Jews can unite for their Protocol agenda of White genocide and their New World Government in which all goyim are slaves. But supposed Whites like Brian,Johnette, and myself can't even agree to disagree. Johnette from across the pond gives up, and Bri "I want to improve humankind, Do you think I give a shit whether I am cool or not?" displays childish physical threats and verbal bashing in the guise of wanting to improve the society in which he lives, in that White suburb devoid of blacks.


@Brian Winiarski "CRO, What does internet illiterate mean?"

If a person is intelligent but lacks the desire(laziness) to educate their ignorant being about the world situation using the wonderful tool of the internet,I am not going to waste my time with your lack of education and knowledge . Are you one of those "gifted ones" employed as a troller or saynin for the AIPAC and Mosaad? And I bet you claim to have an IQ of 159, even though your brothers in Israel have an average IQ in the low 90's.

Brian Winiarski

JOHN- You refer to CRO and me as brothers. I am glad you finally acknowledge the truth. We are not all full brothers but probably 1/ 500,000,000 brothers. 10,000 yrs ago we had the same Mommy but different Daddys or something like that. Nice chatting with you, my long lost brother JOHN !!!

Brian Winiarski

@ JOHN- Read some of your' own previous posts. You have slung more mud here than just about anyone. I think Mr. Eastwood would be disgusted that a racist such as you had a crush on him and offended that you use his quotes.


@Brian Winiarski

I can see why the female named John ("Goodbye Brian you and your liberal bollocks will not be missed.") wished that the door would hit your liberal, internet illiterate ,unwelcome backside on your way out.


@Brian Winiarski "CRO MAGNON LAME MAN, = strong in opinion, weak in intelligence and thought process"

That comment was copy pasted from a typical angry White non-racist responding to the remaking of "Annie" with a black actress which will come to theaters Christmas 2014. On the surface, it does appear to be strong in opinion, weak in intelligence and thought process. But it can also be the reaction of a White majority race in America responding to their perception that Whites are being squeezed out of their own nation.


To Hollywood: Stop Remaking White Movies / TV Shows With Black Actors

What is currently going on with remaking classic television and movies known for white characters is absolute disrespect and racism against the original production.

It is the rape of white culture inserting a culture that never belonged and does not belong. The integrity of the original shows must be protected and not be open to a cultural attack and a resistance must be formed to prevent all of white culture being desecrated. Black culture appears to be determined to never stop until they have black remakes of every last white movie or TV show, while whites are unallowed to remake black movies or TV shows with white actors since that would be considered racist. What is happening now is racist and it must be stopped or white culture won’t have nothing left that wasn’t raped by the black.


Why did I just read this? Last thing I need right now is a reason to feel s**tty about myself. I think white people should stay away from stuff like this. I don't think it's healthy to be told that we lack empathy and are all subconsciously racist. Just live your lives. Try your best to treat others with love and compassion. Columns like this will only bring you down and prevent you from empowering yourself and attaining inner peace.

Brian Winiarski

Mike, I disagree with you on some topics, but I appreciate the fact that you are intelligent and do not abuse it by trying to manipulate people; you simply state your' beliefs as I try to do. We have had different experiences and thus different theories, but we have been able to have a decent debate here, and debate in a public forum is one of the easiest ways to entice people into thinking and perhaps learning. It has been interesting and thought provoking debating with you. I am always civil with honest, intelligent people. I am easily provoked by those who show ignorance or spread obvious propaganda though. I respect you as a proper debate nemesis.

Brian Winiarski

Mike, You are probably correct concerning the media's coverage of that story. They purposelly added fuel to a fire that has been burning for way too long knowing that the stir it would cause would allow them more business. You are correct also regarding the reasons you give for racial profiling and racism in general. I live in a predominantly white town in a predominantly white portion of the bible belt in southern, illinois though, and there are many thieves, drug addicts, and thugs here, also predominantly white. We are better than no other race. White skin has not been around for long and was caused by a mutation. We are different, but not superior. Each person is different, some better than others, but race has nothing to do with that.

Cro Magnon Man

@Brian Winiarski "Cro, it is a waste of my time to even discuss this issue with a moron like you""I am a veteran and I served with all colors of men"

There is no draft right now and you were dumb enough to join Sam Golbergs's army to fight another no win war for Israel. Who is the moron now? And may you disclose your racial composition? I am guessing that it isn't pure bred White European Pole, but a mixture of mongrel to cause such hatred on this site.

I know that we will never agree on the Zimmerman/Martin incident because both sides of the issue have biased evidence. I saw photos of Zimmerman's bloodied face after the incident which would lend to verify the story that Zimmerman received karate chops to his body and face. And the menacing looking fully grown Trayvon Martin didn't look like a BOY to me.

Cro Magnon Man

@Brian Winiarski "Cro Magnon Man, As I stated before; all racists are cowards. If George Zimmerman is your' hero then you are as much a bitch as him. He shot an unarmed kid for no valid reason."

George Zimmerman was an Hispanic Jew who defended himself against a full grown, muscled, Karate wielding thug. George while on the ground as a result of a karate attack, was suppose to die with the advances of Trayvon Martin. However, Trayvon was surprised when George pulled a gun and shot him dead. The Kosher news brigade purposely showed a very young innocent looking photo of Trayvon Martin. Martin's Facebook site purposely took down the older menacing looking tattooed photos of Trayvon Martin. He wasn't an innocent, unarmed(Karate hands) KID when confronting Zimmerman. It is typical of main stream media's under reporting of BLACK ON WHITE CRIME.(Except that George wasn't White, but an Hispanic Jew)

Cro Magnon Man

@Brian Winiarski "One thing that all racists everywhere have in common is that they either fail to realize or choose to ignore the fact that every human on modern earth is the product of a mixture of interracial breeding, interspeices breeding, inbreeding, evolution, mutation, evolution, and possibly interplanetary breeding."

What you speculate may be so, but when Whites enter the big inner city slums and tenements like Detroit,Philadelphia,Baltimore,Atlanta,and Chicago, there is no way that we will be mixed with lower form animals, blending out the best of the White gentiles into slavery and servitude to God's Chosen People. John Titor, time traveler communicated in 2001 on the internet with claims of a Racial Civil War in America's near future.

Whites don't talk about a master race but simply want to be left alone in our own White majority nations. China for the Chinese,Japan for the Japanese,Korea for the Koreans,India for the Indians, and Africa for the Africans.

Cro Magnon Man

Black South Africans when given the chance will gladly massacre,mutilate,and butcher innocent White farmers who had their guns taken away by the Jew overlords. The White Europeans in America are not dumb enough to give up their arms to the Jew controlled Homeland Security,National guard,state police, and local police.

Come on Black European and see if you can push me into a wall, and I will pull a George Zimmerman on you, as he did to the hoodlum-slinging, karate-wielding fully muscled and grown Trayvon Martin.


There are movies with black people and there are stereotypical black movies. Ray is a movie with black people – great. Anything with Madea (cringe) is a stereotypical black movie. Malcolm X – awesome. Big Mama's house – aargh. Current Kevin Hart movies – thumbs up. Soul Plane – thumbs down lol.

Brian Winiarski

One thing that all racists everywhere have in common is that they either fail to realize or choose to ignore the fact that every human on modern earth is the product of a mixture of interracial breeding, interspeices breeding, inbreeding, evolution, mutation, evolution, and possibly interplanetary breeding. There are no and never again will be a pure race of any type. You racists talk of segregation to save the purity of your' master race but no homo-sapien of any race or color has been of pure blood for at least 500,000 yrs. and probably longer. Racists who speak of a master race only fool themselves and the most foolish fool is the one who fools himself. Like it or not, this entire planet is nothing more than a big mixing pot. Show some respect for our' creator and/or creators and stop mocking him/her/them/it with your arrogant, blind, and utterly foolish misconceptions about who and what you/we are.

White European


The folks who are getting free stuff, don’t like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff, can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff. And, the folks who are paying for the free stuff, want the free stuff to stop. And the folks who are getting the free stuff, want even MORE free stuff on top of the free stuff they’re already getting!

Now, the people who are forcing the people who PAY for the free stuff, have told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff, that the people who are PAYING for the free stuff, are being mean, prejudiced, and racist. So, the people who are GETTING the free stuff, have been convinced they need to HATE the people who are PAYING for the free stuff by the people who are forcing the people who are PAYING for the free stuff and GIVING them the free stuff in the first place

White European

@ John "The indigenous peoples are lazy, indolent, spineless, brainwashed cowards who will not lift a finger to stop their inevitable demise into oblivion."

Our future Khazarian masters have done a marvelous job of brain washing both White males and females. Most haven't a clue as to their impending genocide. The master race has closed all avenues of enlightenment by the main stream media, together with total control of our politicians. Anyone that speaks up is met with increasingly heavy-handed methods, such as ostracism,removal from employment, and vilification by the cultural and media establishment.
Such "speaking truth to power" is fraught with danger against the editorial collective.

I keep hearing a commercial on the radio in which a female states that she is born to serve her country through the National Guard and Coast Guard. Coming back in a body bag to earn our masters in the counting rooms a few more shekels is disgusting. Hell no, we only have one life to live and it is not to serve our masters.

White European

@Brian Winiarski "I don't believe whites were the first race to call america home. They just took it over by force and treachery and have no moral right to claim it."

Thousands of years ago Europeans living in modern day France called, "The Solutreans", used to hunt wild animals for food. There‘s all kinds of archaeological evidence proving that these Europeans, (who lived before & during the last great ice age of 17, 000 years ago) hunted animals with a special arrow head attached to a spear. These special arrow heads were 100 times sharper than a steel razor! These unique arrow heads are called "Clovis points" and aren‘t found in Asia or Siberia but are found in Europe. The real interesting fact is that they have been recently discovered here in North America as well! However, the "Clovis points" are not present along the route of the Bering Land Bridge! So that means that these arrow heads did not come from Asia as they have not been found on that continent. They are an exclusive White man Arrow head, which have been unearthed in Europe and now here in North America!

So how did they get here? During the last great ice age which covered the Atlantic Ocean with ice as far South as Southern France, our ancient food gatherers had to venture out into the sea to locate additional food due to the harsh winter which had killed off previously available animal herds. These hunters who traveled by canoe accidentally got trapped in the ice flow & gulf streams & got swept to North America by the prevailing sea currents. Once arriving in this new land they had to eat, so they resumed hunting with the techniques that had worked for them in Europe. The White Solutrean people continued to create their "Clovis Point" arrow heads (which are now found in archaeological digs throughout North America). Science has even recently discovered White skeletal remains here in North America like the Kennewick Man which predate any Indian civilization. But our government, which is blatantly anti-White, works overtime to suppress these facts and hide the truth from our people.

White European

@Brian Winiarski "I think our history books here still state the same propaganda they did 38 yrs ago when I was learning to read. Books, magazines, newspapers, internet, television, and all other forms of media are used by governments, corporations, religious organizations, and individuals to coerce others into thinking however they think."

Kosher history books were falsely created by that certain race that tries to make it illegal to disagree with them. ie.,Germany,England,France,Canada already have imprisonment laws making it a crime to question the Holocaust even if the revision is the TRUTH.(Ernst Zundel & David Irving)

To work and associate in a nation of one's own kind is not racist except in White majority countries and only White majority countries. The Koreans do it! The Japanese do it! The Chinese do it! The Indians of India do it! Why should only White majority countries feel any guilt for doing what is natural?

The melting pot concept instead of creating DIVERSITY is actually creating one homogeneous mix of less intelligent brown mutts that the Zionists can control in their New World Order. Each nation with their own homogenous race or ethnic does create true diversity. How can we awaken and enlighten the brainwashed duped people of their impending genocide?

Brian Winiarski

I I recently lost my job because I have intelligence and this is frowned upon in modern society. I am ignorant in the field of democracy( which I think of as kissing ass ). Therefore I will probably soon lose access to my freedom to voice my opinion here because I cannot afford it financially( I cannot pay for internet).I really feel like this is perhaps the most important subject of our time. Andre Seewood you started this as a commentary about black movies but I am sure you knew it was actually about racism and illogical hatred in general. You did a good thing I think by starting this conversation because it perhaps allowed some people to think about this subject. I think that in time here I maybe could get at least one brainwashed racist to think logically but my time here is probably almost over and I want to apologize to any of you racists out there whom I have been unable to convert into intelligent, logical thinkers. It is very difficult to undo centuries of brainwashing in just a few months. I truly write my opinions here because it is an opportunity for me to make a positive change in this society that I would like to love but cannot because of the injustice of it. If I was able to kiss ass better and have financial success, I would be able to have more opportunity to persuade people like White European of the correct and intelligent way of thinking. My rich, white bosses keep firing me though because I insist on my freedom to be a free thinker.I am in many ways sorry that I cannot be brainwashed bedause life would be be so simple, so stress free, so easy.I apologize to myself and to of all you racists. I am truly sorry that I have a brain,because intelligence is no longer welcome on earth.

White European

I don't like to watch black movies but I thoroughly enjoy watching Dr. Farrakhan on YouTube tear into and expose the Rothschild Zionists' New World Order agenda of controlling America's government , money creation function , main stream media, judicial system, and academia, as well as the big global corporations who are outsourcing all of the White Aryan technology to third world countries, while drastically diminishing the well paying Middle Class manufacturing base.

White European

@Brian Winiarski "If your' dark skinned, african forefather never left Africa, there would be no Europe. There would be no whitey."

The Afro-Centrist theory is pushed in our American educational system to compliment the false egalitarian principle that all races are equal and that multiculturalism and multiracialism is good for a country instead of the ethno-nationalistic White Christian majority theory were all the ethnics are the same and pull for each other without civil strife or conflict.

White and Asian human bones were discovered in Georgia, a country in Eastern Europe which pre-date any black African human bones proving that Whites were not spawned from blacks.

Our government and academia have been infiltrated and over run by international troublemakers pushing the egalitarian races are equal theory, the Afro-Centrist theory, and multiculturalism which is blatantly anti-White.

Saying that human life originated in Africa is about as meaningful as saying all human life originated on Earth. Just because Africa is full of blacks today doesn't mean that the early humans were also black.

Africa is a continent. The humans that populate it today are in no way indicative of what walked out of there and into Europe a million years ago. Don't confuse today with a million years ago. Evolution or science would have one believe that "out of Africa" means that Aryan, White Europeans descended from blacks or that all humans came from the same ancestor.

When people try to spout that we are all the same," out of Africa" crap I simply ask them, with as strait of a face as I can “well, what happened? Why did we evolve so far from our black ancestors and they did not? ”

White European

Multiculturalism , miscegenation and open homosexuality is being shoved down Whitey's throat in spite of White Europeans' desire not to mix with coloreds or the brown mudpie races. As a White, I watch football and baseball games on TV because it is difficult to spot the black players, but have an aversion to seeing sweating blacks running up and down the basketball court. The same goes for predominantly black movies. Whites want to have their own homogeneous nations but a certain group of globally organized troublemakers have been busy changing all of the immigration laws in White majority countries and only White majority countries since the 1960's.


Pscht, Man with the Iron Fists was sick. I sympasize with that stoof.



Uncle Tom

I don't like to watch black films because when i see groups of black men it reminds me of every time I have been a victim of racism. And of every time I have been seriously injured by men trying to kill me based on my color (white). Because some douchebags filled their heads with a bunch of bullsht when they were kids that made them think I had something to do with SLAVERY. I did not. and I never would. They will continue to punish me for it anyway because BLACK PEOPLE ARE RACISTS!!!!! BLIND EGOTISTICAL HYPOCRITICAL RACISTS!!!!!!! (not all obviously, at some point we all evolve).
I suffer every day of my life because of the pure dumbness inserted into black children as they grow up. NONE OF THEM WERE EVER SLAVES AND I NEVER HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT BUT THANKS TO YOUR SCHOOLS I LOST MY GOOD FRIENDS THE YEAR THEY LEARNED ABOUT IT AND ALMOST LOST MY LIFE (permanently injured) FROM THEIR IGNORANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They could all disappear from the planet and I would not shed one tear. Not one. I of course would not ever do such a thing (even though I could) because I AM A PACIFIST. I BELIEVE IN PEACE AND LOVE DESPITE YOUR VILE IGNORANCE TO THE CONTRARY. And I always will. So I will practice peace and love. But I will never forget what you did to them and to me by FILLING THEIR HEADS FULL OF SHT WHEN THEY WERE KIDS!!!!!! Like a kid can properly put things into perspective and won't emotionally freak on anything….and then just kill all the white people for something they had nothing to do with at ALL. And oh how I love that Jews and Blacks get along so well…. WELL GUESS WHO OWNED THE SLAVE BOATS?!?!?!!? Do some research you retarded melons before you murder anymore white children.


It deeply saddens me to read about any kind of prejudice subconscious or otherwise because though I am white I also have a rare neurological condition that often causes people to treat me as if I am either a liar or a simpleton. I fail to see why people act as if it is important wether you are white, black or a purple elf a person is a person and should be judged on his or her personal merits not the colour of their skin or if they sometimes need to use a wheelchair. As for the actual issue discussed I find someone walking out a film because of the colour of the cast ridiculous and think the people who see fit to do so ignorant.

Blog Critic

Is there a direct-line to your point? I hope so!

Brian Winiarski

Alot of little white punks in my town walk around with their' pants falling down looking like a bunch of clowns talking about how they are better than the browns. Little white boys cover your' cracks and stop hating blacks before you get smacked. Quit trying to act like what you say you hate. Damn, you make me irate !!! Question: What do you get when you mix all the colors in the light spectrum? Answer:White. Kind of ironic eh?

Brian Winiarski

Who do you defend Defender? You are defending the most powerful race of our time. We need no defense. I suspect that in a battle, you would always choose the side that appears the strongest. This makes you the pansy !!!!!!

Brian Winiarski

Defender that 99.999 percent remark was correct concerning my life. I have been disrespected by one black person and about 100 white people in my life. I am not really a lover of humankind of any color, but I judge each person individually. For example, I do not know your' color, but because of your' ignorant remark I am quite certain that I am intellectually superior to you. Can you even spell KKK ? As far as my birth father and you thinking of me as a pansy, I am also certain that I could quite easily destroy both of you in any type of battle.

Brian Winiarski

That is not what I am saying John. What I wish people would understand is that deciding whether a man is a friend or enemy cannot be based on color. Only a complete moron would do so. If you witnessed a white man hurting a member of your' family, and a black man trying to stop him, would you shoot the black man? People are more complicated than shirts. If you like white shirts, and hate black shirts, that is alright. If you choose your' friends the same way then you are a fool and probably only hurting yourself and anybody else that you may convince to follow your' illogical beliefs.

Brian Winiarski

John, I hear what you say. Whites travelled here and civilised the country, but they also destroyed and killed what they could not civilise. My white forefathers may have allowed me the luxuries of our western civilisation, but that in no way makes me superior to someone of darker skintone. For us to continue advancing, we have to stop arguing about which color is better, and all work together as a team and family. America was made a superpower because of the fact that it is a mixing pot of colors, not despite this fact. Open mindedness and equal respect for all men is essential for our' survival, otherwise we will destroy ourselves before any other country gets a chance. Humans need to quit worrying about destruction from meteors, ice ages, global warming, aliens, zombies,God, etc., because we will destroy each other long before any of that will happen.

Brian Winiarski

I am a white man, but unlike much of my race; I have the ability to think logically and the intellectual capacity to resist the brainwashing of my ancestors. 99.999 percent of the people who have screwed me over in my life were white, so if I was ignorant enough to be racist, I would logically have to hate white people. I never had a real father, but instead of whining about it, I am thankful to have been able to form my own opinions about people instead of having to mimic the opinions of my ignorant, racist, white, american forefathers. White man's arrogance is what keeps him from advancing intellectually, and will destroy us. Logic is simple and clear. It takes effort to ignore it. Our' society purposely chooses to remain ignorant because of our' arrogance.

Brown Guy

Ok, so I'm neither white nor black. I was born in the Philippines (I'm pure Filipino). I can speak the Filipino language and know some customs, but I'm pretty much what some might call "white-washed" because I moved to the U.S. since I was 3 and act more American than Filipino. That being said, even though I'm not white, it's interesting to note that for some strange reason, I also don't seem to like black movies (maybe 'cause I'm white-washed?). I've never been a racist or anything, I know my history, and I think all people are equal (I have friends of all ethnicities). I'm perfectly fine watching movies, shows, music, and such made by and starring whites or Asians, but still, I don't understand why I just seem to always get bored whenever the cast is predominantly black.

Andre Seewood

ATTENTION ALL RACIST INTERNET TROLLS, HALF-WITS, MYOPIC BIGOTS, SELF RIGHTEOUS SMART ASSES, AND ALL OTHER SUNDRY POST-INTELLECTUAL NE'ER DO WELLS: Hurling racist, bigoted, uninformed and otherwise moronic opinions at an article that itself questions the validity of racist, bigoted and uninformed business practices that are systemically entrenched within the commercial art form of filmed entertainment only SUBSTANTIATES the conclusions drawn from the two sociological studies this article cites. In short, your racist comments against THE TITLE and/or THE CONTENT of this article supports the argument that many Whites lack empathy for other races. So before placing an idiotic racist sentiment in this comment section do yourself a favor and abide the words of one of your leaders, Donald Sterling: "Do you have to?" Because you are only fooling yourselves…

White guy

I think it has far more to do with culture rather than tribalism. There are movies with black people in them that transcend racial boundaries, like every Will Smith or Denzel movie , that everyone loves because they steer away from black culture and make a more homogeneous movie; there is a level of mass appeal that exists within them. Tyler Perry movies on the other hand are foreign to me because i do not understand the jokes, message, or tropes. So the entire time i am left trying to figure out what's going on instead of being able to enjoy the movie itself.

If your theory was true, then Asian movies wouldn't be as popular as they are among non-asians.


Stop the (poor us. We are so bullied) crap! It's gotten so old and the over the top (we are now superior to whites) is so undignified! Way to go with the fail! What you all are doing is actually creating more separation! How can you not see that!!!!!

gwendolyn ford



Have you ever tried to sit in a movie theater full of black people? ?? We don't like black movies because we can't hear them when we see them


I love the separation between whites and blacks…because it isn't like we're ALL human beings. Seriously though, you all need to get over yourselves and your ignorant thinking.


Trollin hard. This is disgusting. All of you.


I don't care about black people; I don't care about their issues, their problems, or their culture. It just doesn't matter to me. They don't have anything I want, or need. I have nothing against them – I hope they live long and prosperous lives – I hope that for most people on earth. But I'm not interested in trying to be 'friends', or trying to 'relate' – that's the truth.

cuz I'm black y'all

Couldn't get pas the 3rd paragraph.

White people don't like black movies because black people and everything they like is fkn stupid… just like black folk… we don't care about your shoes, your hair-doo, your auto, your "music"(😉), your holidays, your mama, your cousin, ( or what he done did), you ebb children, (😁), your big shelf asses, or your Sunday chimp hats. Your grandma didn't know shit bcause… she didn't know shit… you are waiting fir a prison term r a bullet in the face… nights be wasting time on this planet. You all gonna 've dead, broke or locked up…

Elroy Jetson

this article is stupid and not thorough, your not saying what movies. im an average white guy, here is your empirical evidence, 40 years old. white people dont like these movies because they are f@cking stupid. Im talking about tyler perry movies, they are stupid and not funny, the jokes are garbage and the stereotypes, are played, somewhat offensive and boring. The characters and script do not mentally engage me in any way. There are excellent black actors and directors in mainstream movies that i actually pay to see and are amazing. Malcolm X was an engaging, powerful movie. The butler, the color purple, new jersey drive, do the right thing, love and basketball, coming to america; these are amazing movies i watch over and over again. I love watching movies, particular on african american history, civil rights, hiphop, etc. But these tyler perry movies are just stupid and degrading, they come off to me as bafoonery. I dont watch these movies the same way i wouldnt watch a movie about the kardashians, its simpleton, low-rent humor in no way reflecting the life or complexities of "black america". Blacks deserve more out of hollywood, and its not that idiot.


you such


@HONESTLY i love your comment calling white people rigid racist and in that same comment you say pasty face baboons ,and Cave n!@@ers what a Hypocrite…


Cave n!@@ers don't like themselves that's why they spend millions on plastic surgery. I don't expect neanderthal apes to like people of color because they are rigid racist. The mayonnaise monkey only respects two things death and destruction. These pasty face baboons should have never been let out of the sh!t hole caves of Europe.

John D. Fiat

White people don't usually like black movies, because 99% of black movies, suck! They say that we don't get it, but that's just not true. We get it, it's just very corny and not funny!

Camel Productions


Just a Thought..

Personally I think its articles like this that breed hate (The comments say it all) too much discussion about us and them. Not for nothing but there are assholes in every race and in every corner, if you want someone to hate go after them. Now since this article is about movies I wouldn't agree with the comments about a lack of empathy for African American history. Quality films such as roots and the color purple have won awards for the quality of the film as well as the writing of African American history and there has never been any question about race who has enjoyed films like these. Ask yourself one question, Did you have any empathy for the Jews after watching Schindler's list? Does anyone remember the movie Blazing Saddles? This movie came out in the 70's and had quite a bit of condescending remarks against blacks. I saw this movie just a couple of weeks ago and remember saying that they would never make films like this again. Which is all good and fine, but now there are (by your definition) "Black movies" that have racist remarks about white people. How is that o.k.? Maybe this is why white people don't go to these movies? Hate breeds hate and if your really want to stop prejudice then don't be prejudice. Or as Morgan Freeman so wisely stated "The only way to stop racism is to stop talking about it"

How dare whitey not flock to yet another movie about how evil they are and how evil slavery is and if we just checked our privilege everything would be better. Whitey needs more forced viewing of Django unchained and soul plane than evil white movies like Mary poppins and citizen kane


People chose to see movies they are interested in. For instance, I would go to see a comedy made by and starring blacks *if it seemed like a good movie* but I am not going to see a depressing drama made by and starring whites. Even if I was convinced it was a great film. I do agree with another comment made regarding the Medea movies. I could be wrong as I haven't seen them, but they look horrible. The clips I have seen are abysmal, a man dressed as an old woman ogling a young, unsuspecting woman. Horrible, plus it seems like Tyler Perry is mocking older black women as well. If movies could be made the quality of Bernie Mac's Chris Rock's TV shows I would totally go.


I am white and I do find the statement that white people lack empathy racist. As in any race, some white people lack empathy, others don't. I think there are many factors at work, it may be true that some whites are uncomfortable with the fact that a movie centers around a black cast. Other people may be uncomfortable or depressed by the subject matter. I don't like horror movies, which are almost all white based, so I never see those. Just personal preference. While I believe that the movie Precious probably deserved all of the acclaim it received, I find the subject matter depressing. Likewise if the actors were white I would not have gone to see Precious. I prefer comedies, and I do not feel like a great number of quality comedies starring blacks are produced. Perhaps that is due to racism, but I feel like it is more likely that movie makers perceive less of a market. It probably is somewhat of a vicious cycle. I do agree that black audiences are more accepting of white movies because they don't have that much of a choice. I do not think it proves that blacks are more empathetic than whites. Also please take into consideration the fact that I would have to search out most black movies. They are not marketed to whites so in general we would be less aware of them. I believe that there are a lot of factors going on. The solution would be that more talented black film makers and actors be allowed to prove themselves, to be fair it is not only blacks who are excluded in the movies but pretty much everyone but whites. Among whites, Christians complain that Jews have a lock on Holllywood. One could also argue racism there, but I think it is a matter of economics. If someone is successful monetarily at making movies, they are allowed to make more movies. Likewise, if a genre or formula tic approach is successful, it is repeated.

    Katy Bee

    Again I appear White, was raised White, DNA presents more Native-American than any other group in my background, which includes Chinese, Carribean, Jewish, Middle Eastern and others. I want to say that I like the humor of Sinbad, Steve Harvey Tyler Perry, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart and many others. I like Tyler Perry movies and Madea reminds me of my maternal grandmother. I wept watching Porgy and Bess. I was angry with the way the Blacks were treated in Gone With the Wind and the way the Hawaiians were treated in South Pacific! I have enjoyed many other Black movies too but please know that Im just as picky about White movies and tv shows! I don’t just watch anything and some movies I would like no matter what color the actors/actresses are/were!


If the stories were objectively good then we wouldn't have to waste our precious time identifying the actors and talent by the color of their skin. Identifying something as a "black movie" can't work simply because the identification "white movie" doesn't work, without snags of racist under tones. To develop work with the primary goal being empowerment is degrading to the storytelling practice and that there is the very simple reason people don't like some of these movies – we write because we have questions, not because we think we have answers.


Yeah… Or, currently the "black" movies being put out in America are of objectively poorer quality. Smaller market = less talented directors, less talented writers, less talented actors, smaller budgets. The solution is to start making better movies, not to start blaming the white man for not signing off on the latest Madea trash.


Who gives flying f**** why white people don't like black movies. F###ing Americans and their arrogance!

OH man

First slave owner in America? Black guy named Anthony Johnson.

Shut your black mouth and get over the slavery issue, you useless dead beat, lazy ass SOB.

Stop blaming all your lazy problems on the white people. Get your ass the hell outta here if you don't like it.


Shannon, speaking the truth. The truth is rarely easy to accept. You only have yourself to blame.


Just another representation of the black population "blaming" the white man for everything. If their movie is not successful, it can't be because the movie wasn't very good…No it has to be because "The evil white man" has no empathy. This is ridiculous, I happen to LOVE many "black movies", but many I don't….Just like any other movie. Some are good, some not so much. In fact I never even think of movies as "black movies" or "white movies" etc… It's just another example of the black population segregating themselves from the rest of the world. They make EVERYTHING come down to race. If I don't like the president, it's because I'm racist, not because I don't like his policies or the way he is handling things, no I'm accused of racism. It's very sad that so many black people are consumed with being victims.


1-God is black,He came to earth in human form as Jesus
His hair of wool & skin the color of Bronze,He was
very black.
2-People will always hate black people for this reason,
it's their excuse to not accept GOD,
when they look at black people it's almost like they are
looking at GOD.
3-Black people don't realize their ancestry kill The Body
of Jesus,for this they will alway's be oppress on this earth.
4-White people don't even realize how big the lie gose for taking
on the responsibility of claiming they murdered Jesus,
5-Last but not least,the answer to everyone question on israel,
people alway's say the jews are white how can Jesus be Black,
european jews are from kazakhstan russia,they paid cash for the land
of israel in 1948,there were never any europeans in Africa or Middle east,
Hope this truth help's you understand the struggle.


Ok…. Soul Plane, was just as bad as Attack Of the Killer Tomato's. We are even.


I love how when that study is used its always exclusivly talked about that white people are the ones that dont empathies with other races when this is true for us all.


White people like good movies. Most movies suck. some movies are good. Some black movies are good, white people like these.
Barber shop 5, and Soul Plane, are bad movies, white people do not like them.


I find that in general, I ignore race in movies unless the racial stereotype is ridiculously overplayed. I may still find humor, but my empathy does decrease a tad. If that specific stereotype has anything to do with it, then my empathy has not decreased for a race but for a subculture. More likely, however, is that the stereotype is so over-the-top that the character has become cheap and two-dimensional. My empathy falls shallow, then, regardless of what stereotype is portrayed. It is shallow because the character is shallow.

There are some great, great films with talented black actors. I will always consider checking out a film with certain black actors because they act so well, they'll draw you in regardless of your race/gender/whatever…But I really don't want to see another black-cop/white-cop comedy. They seem to be, well for lack of better term, a cop-out to a good film. :)


Some black movies are good, but they are mostly about the same things over and over. It's usually about slavery, racism or gangs. I don't like alot of the comedies, but that is probably because alot of them are geared towards teens. I disagree with the article for my self at least. If the show is good and something that is my taste I like it. For instance the Chris Rock show was really good. The Dave Chappelle was really good also. Also, I don't like most white movies or T.V. shows either. There's not a lot of quality stuff out there.


Who gives a damn about black movies. They are uninteresting, and I'm sorry, but to me, blacks are unpleasant to look at. What's next? Brainwashing society into thinking it's racist to not spend your money on black movies?


I dont usually do this, hate the forum concept, hey lets give any idiot with a keyboard a platform to spread views that may not necessarily be their own. After reading many many offensive comments from a variety of claimed races I feel its my turn to chime in. I watch movies. That's it. Try to avoid Tyler Perry, usually at the fore front of his films is a black character in black face; ironically with very robust black characters situated around these stereotyped characters. Here's that thing the gets me about Perry. He can make these great character studies, but to draw to crowd he puts jive talking aggresive, man in a woman suit, Madea in the promos. Turns me off. Cant stand the character. Never have I met someone similar to this outrageously offensive imagery. I dont really see "black" movies. Not because of a lack of empathy. But because of the imagey and ideas put forth in these movies. Ive come to the idea that many black fail to idealize black culture. Black culture is as multi-faceted as any other culture on the planet, but blacks, much like whites, pigeon hole it as the "hood" culture. Ironically, this is probably the most minute of all black cultures. The majority of blacks in the hood dont even behave as the stereotypical images portrayed on – screen or in books or basically in mass media as whole. But blacks go see that garbage and say I relate. So take the minority of the hood, and the minority of the people who emobody those culture stereotypes and you end up with a minority of a minority. You know how people in the hood Ive met behave, the only reasonable, not accurate reasonable, representation Ive come acroos is friday, and maybe boys in the da hood. Blacks are protrayed porrly and as a sub species, and we wonder why whites have trouble relating. Surprise we all should trouble relating. All you racist white people have you ever met a black that fits into your little cultural box representing black culture. No? Is that because you refuse to talk or interact with them. Yes? Youre an idiot. But guess what all of us are. Because those same bigoted attitudes are what lead to these unrealistic characters. These same bigoted attitudes are what lead us to accept these characters. And these same bigoted attitudes cause us to ignore or just not accept "normal" portrayals of black characters. Want there to be a stronger black presence in movie box office sales. Until society puts on its big boy pants and stops trying to denigrate what is considered, unduly, a foreign culture and accept an accurate portrayal of black culture into the main stream fabric of Americana; people will not see black films.

We have a ways to go, but well get there. Someday.


I'm white and I love black movies and culture. I have tremendous empathy for blacks and cannot even begin to understand what it must be like to be black and live in America. All I have to do is briefly read the comments made beneath to see that there are still so many uneducated angry white people. I thank God for sending me my black friends and neighbors who constantly teach me about the enormous barriers black Americans face. It should be mandatory for all Americans to study black history and sociology. And to those who bring the black American story to the screen and books, this white girl thanks you. Remember we are all children of God.


Good article. 2 things: 1 The entertainment seems to be more about social control by the ruling class. Therefore it seems perfectly logical for them not to give power to any competition by elevating anyone other than whites through positive, plentiful, diverse and accurate depictions of their lives. 2 It's interesting how constant is the use of black music as soundtrack for not only American but British and now French films. If I hear "At Last" used one more time to give backdrop to white romance… It seems we are again only present when serving to further white stories and better still invisible, present in sound only.


Black movies are great if you deaf, mute and blind. Nobody wants to pay to see or hear the that ungodly babble. Most of us need to deal with it in real life. A movie is a place were us white people go to get away from the you- blacks don't go to white films because the plots are too complicated for them to understand. But since some blacks can afford to spend their entire welfare checks on a movie, we give your people money to produce low-budget, low-IQ movies that blacks can understand-that way we can go to the movies in peace. And the whites that go to black movies are generally part of that low IQ population.


Why do whites not enjoy black films? They answer is that they disapprove of and are perhaps frightened of "black culture" becoming the dominant culture in the US, replacing their comfortable "white culture" Black films spread and validate black culture. What is black culture, as interpreted by these whites? What you see in the ghettos: violence, improper grammar, dropping out of school, disrespect of elders and society, criminal activity and criminal worship, a you owe me attitude, promiscuity, unfit and uncaring parents with tons of kids, unwed mothers, absent fathers. Whites are terrified that this "culture" is going to take over theirs. Wouldnt you be frightened of it? The blacks who have become successful are viewed as "assimilated" into the "white culture". Because of this assimilation, they tend to blend in and are largely unnoticed by the whites, who are watching the spreading "culture" of the "ghetto, poor" blacks. They dont want to "discriminate", so they are largely silent, but they really wish that the "black culture" would assimilate with their culture and thus, disappear. Only then, I think, will whites feel comfortable emphasizing with blacks as they do whites.


The reason that Marvel Studios has been constantly dragging their feet on the Black Panther and/or Luke Cage movies………….George Lucus said it best when he did his "Redtails" movie

Movies like that are simply deemed "not profitable" by Hollywood…

Why??!?? Look at some of the remarks and you can figure that out…It's just cold hard fact.


A better question is "Why do 'Black Movies' succeed?" The answer: racism. Most black people are defensively racist. It's not their fault. They get targeted by the racist whites. There's baggage there and until all the white racists die out, it'll still be a shadow that black people will have to live under.

Kenneth Spell

Just a stray thought, but…the screening of 'Nothing But a Man' appears to have come at the end of an evening presenting excerpts from 3 or 4 other films, a lot of background dish about the making of those films…and then 'and now a film that inspired me…' I can see the audience and hear them saying.."Well, I can see why this impressed him…obviously important…another two hours? Probably another discussion, questions from the audience after that?" As George and Mabel and Will and Florence start looking at their watches….

*I recall a presentation of Return of the King…to be followed by a Q/A with the composer of the soundtrack music….I got through 2.5, nearly 3 hours of that thing, and the moment the credits rolled, I was up and zooming out of there-

Now the trick would have been, you start the evening with the 'film that inspired me', and THEN give the audience servings of films one worked on, and backstage stories…That presentation started with sweets and snacks and then went for the brussel sprouts and broccoli, the Serious Stuff..Let the audience know they're going to get some entertaining desert and they won't start slipping out for the exits…


Is this it? This is what I got all those whoopings for? I had a dream once. It was a dream that little black boys and little black girls would drink from the river of prosperity, freed from the thirst of oppression. But lo and behold, some four decades later, what have I found but a bunch of trifling, shiftless, good-for-nothing niggrs? And I know some of you don't want to hear me say that word. It's the ugliest word in the English language, but that's what I see now: niggrs. And you don't want to be a niggr, 'cause niggrs are living contradictions! Niggrs are full of unfulfilled ambitions! Niggrs wax and wane, niggrs love to complain! Niggrs love to hear themselves talk but hate to explain! Niggrs love being another man's judge and jury! Niggrs procrastinate until it's time to worry! Niggrs love to be late, niggrs hate to hurry! Black Entertainment Television is the worst thing I've ever seen in my life! Usher, "Michael Jackson" is *not* a genre of music! And now I'd like to talk about "Soul Plane". I've seen what's around the corner, I've seen what's over the horizon, and I promise you, you niggrs won't have nothing to celebrate. And no, I won't get there with you. I'm going to Canada.


Have you seen any of Tyler Perry's movies? DO YOU BLAME THEM?


I think you have severely hurt the white fragile ego.. lol….

turd ferguson

Maybe whites dislike black movies because they're awful. For example, any movie with a title "Tyler Perry's…" Wayans — Scary Movie, Another Dance Movie, Teen Movie. Eddie Murphy – Norbit, Little Man.


Look at all the insults going on below. All people no matter race or creed are no better than the other. In every group of people you will find good and bad and that is a fact. For me there is no race. All are people. All want love, respect and favor. No one deserves pain or hate. It should not be done With words or weapons. This is one reason I find Jesus to be so powerful, because he told us all are our neighbors. We have walls and barriers because we do not choose to put down the bricks and mortar, the hammer and the nails.

The fact is that one group sold their own people and another bought group bought them. While the one group treated the other cruelly both groups are to blame.The choices were poor on both parts. Just as we today have a choice it is not the past that is the focus but the opportunity for today. I will not teach my children to value skin color, but to value LIFE! To value PEOPLE!

Did not men like Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and John F.Kennedy teach us nothing? If we were all blind then we would be all free!

Clipping Path Service

I really like your article. It’s evident that you have a lot knowledge on this topic. Your points are well made and relatable.
Clipping Path


For one the movies featuring african americans are still falsely stereotypical in a more or less subtle way than in the past. Second and most important is that attractiveness is not something that is scientific in the absolute sense. The fact is in our formative years in the white world, we are taught that beauty is represented by white people. We are overloaded with images and conditioning to be attracted to white man and woman in the majority white nations on earth. It is revealing that while a significant percentage of black american males are attracted to white women, that it is almost the complete opposite in sub-Saharan Africa. I have know many black people and had black friends(i have no friends now for various reasons I have become a recluse). Their "issues"( f that euphimism. ITS PROBLEMS G DAMMIT!), joys, heart aches, dreams, curiosity, etc are not only the same as we whites but the same with any civilized ethnicity(although we might learn something to halt this world on the brink, from some things in the past about "uncivilized" culture and ethnicities). In addition the false youth culture that wall street and mad avenue push onto youth does have a deleterious effect to a lesser or greater degree. Whether it be black or white youth they are pushing "life is a game" and buy our products. If you don't you won't be able to play it. All "stuff and nonsense"



I'd really be happy if morons with a microphone or a keyboard who resort to racist generalizations for lack of a better idea for a blog would just step away and stfu. It isn't funny. It isn't cool It isn't trendy. It's a view an adolescent would be ashamed of.


Its cause blacks are a failed race anywhere they deem a good spot to unpack and start leeching

Mysti KasT

I'm sure this also applies to blacks watching white films. Blacks are the most racist group. They are also the least dysfunctional. Every race in the world hates blacks, asians, hispanics, whites, indians — we all hate blacks! They destroy everything — and build nothing !! (Detriot, Camden, Trenton, etc.)

Lets stop hating on whites & asians because they are smart and succcesful — and start trying to be more like them! Blacks are 13% of the US population yet commit 52% of all violent crime!


I'm sorry, but this demonstrates the problem with stereotypes. I can say without a doubt whites don't like to be stereotyped any more than black persons do. I wonder if the lack of empathy shoe fits on black persons watching white movies. Oh but I'm not supposed to ever suggest that black people are racist. I think anyone black or white who takes this crap to heart is racist. I have empathy for fellow human beings no matter the color of their skin. This race baiting has got to stop if we as one people and one nation are going to move on and let go of past hostilities. Shame on any person who judges anyone on the basis of the color of the skin. That being said I admit all people have prejudices. Mine personally is that I have no tolerance for ignorance. Many of the responses here show great ignorance and racism from both races.




Andy,you fat,greasy white honkies-meaning,in your case,white ethnics-generally are less intelligent,FAR LESS TELEGENIC-and DEFINITLEY LACKING IN QUALITIES SUCH AS EMPATHY AND COMPASSION,due to your passive-aggressive cozening the one-one-millionth of one percent who throw you race-bai-
ting bones about your fellow average Joes and Janes of colour while they mock your stupid prejudices AND PICK YOUR POCKETS.Since people who lack my genius-level intelligence AND Hollywood leading-man good looks are beneath my notice-an opinion seconded by other brainy,attractive blacks-I DON'T NEED YOUR SYMPATHY!!!!!!!NOW EAT YOUR PEROGIES,PIZZSA,SAUERKRAUT,


This is why. You can call this racist but I don't care. The roles that blacks play in these movies goes against the way blacks present themselves in real life. The small ignorant minority out of the majority of blacks pretend to be thugs, hard, and ruthless. I hear all the time about blacks not paying child support all the time. A lot of blacks live in broken homes as well. A large, majority have aborted their child, and in school do far worse than others. So for a white person to sit through a movie where blacks are in good standing is very unrealistic to is. Yes very unrealistic to see a white person doing a lot of things in movies or tv. I don't watch whites play a certain role if I truly cannot see them in that role in real life. The character Bullet Tooth Tony was a ruthless player for Chelsea Football Club I'm England. I will watch a movie of him In a thug role bc it is very much him or at least what he was. I agree with the last one too, if it's good I'll watch it. Good example is Spawn, man on fire or training day.


Im white and I like black movies… I simply like good movies..


Blacks will NEVER get any sympathy from me as long as they continue to play the infamous RACE card just because things do not go their way. They (the blacks) mostly come from the radio station WIIFM (whats in it for me?) and too many are total hypocrites such as Jackson, that lunatic Sharp and so many others I would run out of time in this life and this space. I am OVER it and counting the days until someone in DC restores sanity on commercials, TV shows and the liberal media in general.


If you want anyone to take your arguments and claims seriously, I would suggest finding scholarly evidence for your claims. If you do not do this you will sound like a crazy person rambling (which you do now).


It all depends on the content as African American myself I've grown tired of the usual: Hood films,slavery films, comedies, black men treating black women wrong plots over and over again. The white demographic outshines everyone on a global scale because they never stay married to one thing. Science fiction,horror,psycological thrillers etc.

jesse whitacre

1.according to the logic of your study NO ONE should enjoy the muppets, or the lion king. or anything featuring non human likenesses.
2 A lot of white people do like black movies.
3. people from all over the world appreciate the film of other cultures.
4.While your writing is excellent your logic and reasoning are far from pure. this kind of divisive thought perpetuates the racism you want to overcome.
5 You big dummy LaMont


The truth is that black's have painted themselves into a corner (no pun intended). By insisting on being portrayed like vulgar cartoon caricatures of themselves. Movies with any potential and value are squandered and they end up just becoming shallow vehicle's for the like's of Will Smith with his, don't take no shit from the man and hold my pie while I kick some crackers butt moronic dialogue and delivery. I Robot was a prime example of a wasted opportunity. A great book not given the due respect on transfer too the big screen. This demeaning Huggy Bear the nose know's baby, charade should have perished in the 1970's. Sadly, with the advent of the black man slavishly aping (pun intended) hip-hop values and style these boorish fools will be with us for a long time to come. Give me Sidney Poitier in a smart suit any day over these clown's.


And yet white people loved "The Cosby Show", Urkel, etc. I think white people not liking black movies is a combination of things. Lots of black movies are racist against non blacks, some of them portray unrealistic depictions of black people, and a lot of them *Tyler Perry cough cough* simply suck.


A lack of empathy isn't necessarily why white viewers left the movie. They could have felt threatened or antagonized by their race's undoubtedly negative portrayal in the film.


Not every movie needs to relate something you are familiar with. As a black person, I may like to see things from a white persons point of view time to time again, but I don't get angry and put the movie down because it doesn't relate to me.


I really don't mind watching movies that are predominantly of other races than my own. I am white. In fact, I love Chinese and Japanese movies. I've seen a lot of movies that are based around black characters (Friday was hilarious). However, I can't watch 5 minutes of a Tyler Perry movie before I want scratch my eyes out. It's just awful.

darrel winter

White people don't like black movies is because of the language and the sound of a black person's voice which is annoying,and all the selfivictimization using always race as an excuse.


Watch all kinds of movies, and have never thought of them in this light… The movie is just telling me a story, and it is what it is… One thing i have noticed though in "Black" movies is the way the people talk, using slang all the time… Not all black people talk with slang, and it seems to be that way in most "Black" movies… Queen Latifah proved that in Bringing Down The House when she went from talking Ghetto Slang to talking in a Professional manner…


Whites don't like the lies they tell in black movies, like the lie that white forced black into slavery, when it was the BLACKS that SOLD other blacks to the whites to be used as slaves. Thet also don't tell you that BLACKS owned slaves too.

Nate Higgers

Why would anyone, especially Whites, want to pay to see a movie displaying ni99ers? We already have to deal with enough ni99ers in our day to day lives, and trust me one ni99er is one too many.
Ain't nobody got time fo blacks.


Because black movies are racist and the only topic is black race is better whites are fun to laugh at. Black movies need to stop using only discrimination as a concept they should focus on other issues because let me say a lot of races have been discriminated as well and you dont see them putting that as important they focus on positive not negative. I remember a black movie call poetic justice that movie show so much garbage the way black people act and stuff especially in their homes not all black people are like that and thats the negative concept the people get.


I dont like most of the black movies because the usually use the phrase "white kid" not in all movies but in a lot of them. They act quite racist and it seems that the race issue is the concept. When you see othe movies from other countries in the world race is not much of an issue and let me say that other races have been slaves as well as black. I am hispanic and i notice the way that most not all these black movies make jokes about white call them naves and stuff and thats funny but call a black guy somenthing and you are the biggest racist in the world. When these kind of movies stop doing these kind of white jokes and negative comments about white race i probably like them. I never heard in a movie " that black kid" like the kid didnt have a name, but in black movies everytime is " hey this white kid" isnt that bother white people i am latina and it will bother me to be referred as that hispanic etc. Lol i have a nams


Its people like you that have kept racism alive in our country for far too long. And by that I mean black and white people like you. I grew up watching Fat Albert, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, and the Cosby Show (along with the rest of white America). If what you say is true, none of these shows would have made it 5 minutes as they depicted whites as complete morons if they were depicted at all. Black cinema is what black writers and producers make it. Do you think Spike Lee could have made the money on his movies that he has without a white audience? Take the movie The Life of Pi for example. No whites, great movie. do you honestly think that if you replaced the cast from India with an all black cast it would make the least bit of difference? Its a movie worth watching regardless of the color of the cast. I find it very offensive that you suggest white people are only comfortable with movies where whites are looking down on blacks. I think you are mistaking the color white for the color green, and that ten percent of the population looks down on us all. It makes me sad that you're walking through life wearing those glasses, because you could take them off and see a different world.


As a white Australian with Irish/Scottish/Portuguese heritage, I'm very removed from African American culture.

I love Coming to America, The Golden Child, A Haunted House, See no Evil Hear no Evil, Antwone Fisher, Remember the Titans, Red Tails, Bernie Mac movies etc. so I do like some of the stuff.

But, I'm completely sick of RnB music (and have been since the mid 1990s). I also hate hip hop. What makes me avoid most African American movies is a) the music, b) how the zany Chris Tucker stereotype is often hammed up, so we end up hearing a lot of stupid catchphrases and silly faces, instead of seeing the smart Denzel Washington/Terrence Howard typed characters and c) Do African Americans constantly call each other motherf*ckers and bitches etc. like the film industry lead us to believe? I particularly have trouble viewing that stuff happening when children are present in the films.

But, that's modern American film in general these days. American comedy is usually incredibly dirty and crass (i.e. Soul Plane, Funny People, Van Wilder), regardless of race. For a nation filled with millions of hardcore wacko Christians, America produces some of the most sickening and fetish-ridden crap in the world's cinema.

Americans probably haven't noticed, but their pop culture is largely inspired or created by African Americans. All the little dances people do, hand gestures, catchphrases, handshakes are very "African American" in appearance. It's no longer African American, it's AMERICAN. "You go girl", "Sup?", "Woot woot" and all that shit is old and infuriating.

Go back to the Jerry Lewis/Chevy Chase/Gene Wilder + Richard Pryor era, where the humour still had some cleverness and slapstick in it.

But after all of that, I MUCH prefer watching African American movies than those annoying as cowshit on your shoe "White valley girl" movies like Mean Girls – and anything else with f*ckin American teenage girls in them. Valley girls are one of the worst subcultures on this planet. Words can't express how much I hate hearing them speak.


As a white Australian with Irish/Scottish/Portuguese heritage, I'm very removed from African American culture.

I love Coming to America, The Golden Child, A Haunted House, See no Evil Hear no Evil, Antwone Fisher, Remember the Titans, Red Tails, Bernie Mac movies etc. so I do like some of the stuff.

But, I'm completely sick of RnB music (and have been since the mid 1990s). I also hate hip hop. What makes me avoid most African American movies is a) the music, b) how the zany Chris Tucker stereotype is often hammed up, so we end up hearing a lot of stupid catchphrases and silly faces, instead of seeing the smart Denzel Washington/Terrence Howard typed characters and c) Do African Americans constantly call each other motherf*ckers and bitches etc. like the film industry lead us to believe? I particularly have trouble viewing that stuff happening when children are present in the films.

But, that's modern American film in general these days. American comedy is usually incredibly dirty and crass (i.e. Soul Plane, Funny People, Van Wilder), regardless of race. For a nation filled with millions of hardcore wacko Christians, America produces some of the most sickening and fetish-ridden crap in the world's cinema.

Americans probably haven't noticed, but their pop culture is largely inspired or created by African Americans. All the little dances people do, hand gestures, catchphrases, handshakes are very "African American" in appearance. It's no longer African American, it's AMERICAN. "You go girl", "Sup?", "Woot woot" and all that shit is old and infuriating.

Go back to the Jerry Lewis/Chevy Chase/Gene Wilder + Richard Pryor era, where the humour still had some cleverness and slapstick in it.

But after all of that, I MUCH prefer watching African American movies than those annoying as cowshit on your shoe "White valley girl" movies like Mean Girls – and anything else with f*ckin American teenage girls in them. Valley girls are one of the worst subcultures on this planet. Words can't express how much I hate hearing them speak.


Do black people like watching white movies as much as black movies? Probable not! Why is black racism toward whites totally ignored? Is the author of this column excluding major factors in order to make a case for their own bias? I believe they are!


Im asian – not about race as such – but somehow I just cant stand watching black movies. I cant seem to connect with them – and its just not appealing


Well since its on topic, lets lighten things up a little. Some wonderfully Animated story, straight out of Africa's Dong Woo Studios.

you tube dot com /watch?v=ywa_K8tC_LI


It is true…without being racist that when most black directors make a film there is not even a Hispanic involved in that film without having the stereo type accent or name…."Julio" or "Jose" it is ridiculous…in the sense that we have struggled too as much a black people in trying to recuperate our image as idiots with an accent or low education….it is simply "preposterous" cut the crap out….we are all "human" no one is better than the next person . If it came down to an alien invasion so to speak, we would all ban together…human to human to help each other fight this enemy or "unknown" out of fear… is total nonsense….if you want to make movies make movies with "humans" in it. Not the race bull crap……

You are a racist

You are very very racist


Harold and Kumar (asian and indian but correctly speaking both are asian). They are very popular because they speak proper English, how they act is very North American, and although they bring in some cultural influences here and there they overall represent the modern American person without delving into culturally stimulated movie (other than Americanized Asians). Not only Asians are watching them by the way – a lot of people like their series of movies even with no relation to being asian (Europeans and other loosely termed "white" americans whatever white is suppose to mean).


Think about this. Most blacks don't really care much for the majority of "white" movies either. Sure, we go to some of the action flicks and every now and then some of the music and comedy stuff. It just so happens that whites have more money to make whatever kind of movie they want and they are supportive of each other. What you'll find if you asked is that many of us aren't into the "white" love/romance/deep emotional journey. Blacks and whites are two very different races and dare I say, just weren't meant to be alike.

Emmeline Human

Maybe it would help to see from a different perspective…

Why don't white & black people watch FILIPINO movies??? sniff sniff…
Probably because neither group:
• can relate
• can empathize with/understand the dialogue/language
• can get past the often poor quality in storyline, script, acting &/or technical aspects

Maybe it's for the same reasons of this black & white gap. Maybe if Filipino movies spoke the same "language" (and I don't just mean English, because they often speak excellent English. I mean speak to the heart of a general audience without making them feel excluded or like outsiders), they would be more relatable.
With a good storyline, acting & relatability, even language barrier can be overcome. Did you know some people love watching foreign films, Korean dramas with sub-titles? But the language for the viewer is relatable. Too many very specific nuances can push away the general audience & make viewing hard to bear. Besides, people watch movies to be entertained. If they have to wade through so much unfamiliar territory, the entertainment factor goes away & it becomes a struggle to enjoy.

When injecting your culture in a program that is meant for a universal audience, you need to do so in a digestible manner. Little bits. Do you want to hear about all things Filipino? Probably not. But what if I gave you a peek into that life? Maybe you could feel it. Then maybe next time, you could have more.

I like watching shows that are fun, entertaining & clean. It doesn't matter the colors of the people. Shawn & Gus are a team. Incomplete without each other. They're funny & that's why I like them. Sometimes they're not clean & that's why I don't like them—it's not because they're not Filipino. If there happens to be a Filipino on TV, I'll get excited. But I'm not going to like their role or their flick just because they're brown. No, they have to be fun, entertaining & clean.


But it is often difficult to transpose such highly controlled academic research into a diverse cultural enterprise such as the cinema, so I offer here my own anecdotal evidence that would seem to confirm how the Racial Empathy Gap negatively impairs the ability of Whites to be entertained by a Black film.


Empathy? The next time Tyler Perry makes a funny movie it will be the first time. Has Ice Cube ever been up for a Grammy? I'm pretty sure Denzel's movies don't have racial barriers BECAUSE he's an amazing a actor! As far as comedy's go if Chappell ever comes back I'm the first person in line. Until that day……..enjoy house of pain.



"our European blacks have a very different mentality"

Firstly many blacks in Europe come from countries ruled for the most part by European nations, secondly many in UK are Caribbean who were ASKED to come and work in that country, who are also descended from Caribbean slaves and face virtually the same social issues as a result of slavery as do many African american. In fact its amazing how similar Caribbeans in the UK are to African Americans in their attitudes.

The tone of your response speaks volumes about your own ability to empathize with people from other cultures.

Lacey A

Most of the movies just aren't good. I don't lack empathy, I lack the ability to enjoy shitty movies. Except I liked Stomp The Yard… maybe because of that scene when the guys were all on the edge of the cliff with no shirts all sweaty and ripped and glistening in the sunlight… Whew.


As a biracial Trinidadian-American (I'm half Trinidadian and half white), I got to say I find this article intensive. To me all that matters is a good story. My local art cinema showed Cleo from 5 to 7 this month and is showing Mother of Geroge next month. One is a "white" film and one is a "black" film, but the reasons I want to watch this movies is because they seemed like they have interesting stories/ideas. So please don't generalize the entire white audience, as people who hate African-american cinema. Are there white people who are like the ones you describe above? Of course. But there are plenty of others who aren't in this stereotype. The moment one starts stereotyping (and I say this from my experiences with racism) the oppressing group, one becomes as bad as the oppressing group.


Great article! Whites are so used to seeing themselves on film, having in lead roles, in action, drama, romance, scifi and whatever else is out there that they have a hard time liking any movie that doesn't cater to them. As for Blacks, we are used to not being represented in modern films. I don't even think about it. If I go to the movies and it's not a "Black film," I know already there's hardly going to be any Blacks in it. That's why I support independent cinema.

independent cinema

Support independent cinema! :D

Thomex Groes

This isn't even pseudo-science, this is outhright ecneics!

Jason Brown

What I think people are missing here is the money factor. What it really comes down to is that black movies ususally don't rake in big profits like your mainstream white movies. It's simple math folks! If the dollars don't make sense then the cents get to going. If I'm a producer I am going to cater to the cash cow. There are probably more whites that go to movies than blacks so I am going to produce movies that appeal to that demographic. One poster said it perfect, It's not the color of a movie it's the content. Content is what brings money. Black movies tend to lean toward cliche comedic value verses content, White people ain't trying to hear that! Lets face it we are are different, lets embrace our differences and let people decide on what they want to see and not judge them for it.


Wow Idiots have to argue with Idiots. There really is no such thing as a Caucasian in the United States. Most people calling themselves white are actually mostly Mongoloid now-a-days including myself from what i know of. Czech, Native American, Arabian, A little Mexican but oddly enough by Birth certificate says White.


Oh my…I can see the wind blows from the prejudice side of the field here..
I'm white and perfectly able to put myself in the position of the actor and enjoy the movie enormously, if it's a GOOD movie. Nothing do with race. I very much agree with what INDIGO writes about "over acting" and putting a standardized black trademark out there that tends to be absurd sometimes.
Also white US-citizen standarts don't equal white European's. And I'd venture to guess that black culture in the US differs from black culture in Europe. So stop painting everything in black and white. Duh!


I recently did a post on my blog dealing with racism located here
and lets face it race is a perception not an actual fact the only race that is based in fact is the race of human also known as homo sapien Every one shares the same color of skin it is only the tone that differs from person to person. So for some people who claim one specific race as theirs, this article may apply to. but even if there were different races so many people in this world are mixed that we aren't really a multitude of races any more.

Justice Jay

There is no single reason for most whites disliking most black films. There are likely several. In addition to the above, another possibility is that (many) whites wish to avoid any film that may remind them of what they have done to minority people, and what they continue to do. Many whites find the associated feelings of guilt and shame intolerable. To that end, some whites can only tolerate films where whites play a major role in helping to remedy the problems of black people (and such films tend to feature "The great white (powerful) hope" juxtaposed with the disempowered minority people they rescue).


I totally disagree with you. I just think people tend not to like "black movies" because most black actors are given to "over acting'. And by that I mean most Black American actors. I'm black, but I find it hard to sit through a Black American movie, not so with British black actors, 'they' to me are just actors, neither black nor white. Whereas in the US you find most black actors feel the need to over act, in every scene or role, and the only times you actually see what good actors they are is when they star in serious roles, and they have no choice but to act properly. Even in the so called "White movies" movies you will see the one or two token black actors(s) playing the silly, one quip jokers and making a right fool of themselves. I actually ran across this article when I googled; "why do black actors over act?" I'm not saying everyone dislikes "Black movies", there are some very good all black cast films out there, for example; "Colour Purple, Beloved etc". So I believe the like or dislike of "Black Movies" is not necessarily a racial thing, it is more an intellectual one I think.


Im white. I love 'black movies', not sure if the term 'black movies' is defined by the fact they have a fully black cast if thats the case then I hardly watch 'white movies' and my favourite are 'black movies'. I've been that way since I was little and its just the way I am- maybe I respond to certain humours that are in black films that aren't in black movies but due to different plots, characters and issues I'm not sure how thats possible. People will respond to GOOD movies. I both empathise and identify with black characters easily as a white female viewer.

Reality Check

Because black movies suck.


I partially agree. It was a new thing for me to watch a mainly all modern Black film (vs. a period film like "The Color Purple") for the first time; it opened my mind about standards of beauty and showed me new lenses to view the world through. (And I am of mixed heritage.) There are some great Black or mixed (part Black) actors/actresses, and from time to time, it's great seeing them on-screen in movies with very few non-Black people, even if some of the movies have mediocre scripts; and many movies in general have mediocre scripts but have endearing actors like Jen Aniston, Jim Carey, Sandra Bullock, etc.. But I do take issue with the stereotype that Black culture is still a bunch of negative stereotypes. Black people don't need to say "My Black ass…" or "My Black [this-and-that]" or "N*gger…" all the time; it's like we get it, your skin isn't pink or white, just tell your story already; like how Bill Cosby told stories and didn't resort to stating the obvious about Blackness. Lots of Black people have more in common with mainstream culture than not in common with it. There are Black nerds, skateboarders, surfers, campers, swimmers, shy people…etc. I just love the "IT Crowd" and how Richard Ayoade, a mixed actor, plays a character that exactly illustrates my point; I actually know a guy a lot like that character. So maybe the issue is with some Black American movies? And to the commentator re: Madea, she IS an idiot. But if you stay tuned to the plot, she always has a profound message at the heart of her buffoonery. And if you can overlook her, the other actors in the Madea movies are usually pretty good. It's how I discovered Idris Elba.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.

C Martin

What utter rubbish. Stop stereotyping the people you say stereotype blacks.


Preferring quality in my cinematic fare does not strip me of empathy as a human being. Your argument is disingenuous and misguided.

I can empathize with black characters in movies just fine. I just don't enjoy implausible scenarios, grating characters, and ridiculous dialogue. Tyler Perry's horrendous movies and his idiot Madea character make me want to lie down on the highway. "Barbershop" was boring as hell. The Wayans Brothers should be bricked up into a wall under the Kremlin. Eddie Murphy should have retired at the end of the 80's. But I love just about everything Will Smith does, and "Family Matters", the "Friday" movies, "Roots", and many other black-oriented films and shows. What puts me off of a black movie is being subjected to overacted stereotypes like Cedric the Entertainer and that grotesque Frankenqueen Madea. Irritating ebonic dialogue in scenes straight out of a 30's blackface skit. Thug mannerisms just for the sake of being "street" because the movie is "true-to-life ghetto drama". I don't know anybody that acts like this, black OR white, and for me, watching this overacted crap is a trial of patience.


I enjoy movies with an all black cast. Hasn't anyone ever seen American History X?


Although I ran across this article by accident while doing other research, I found the title so compelling, I read it and many of the accompanying comments. As a white person of middle class background. I would probably qualify as the type of person one might think wouldn't enjoy "Black" movies. However, I've seen many films by Spike Lee, Tyler Perry and other black film makers. I must confess I sometimes struggle with cultural references in the films and don't always "get the joke." Since I grew up in an all white farm town in the Midwest this probably isn't surprising. The things in these movies that I can "get" and empathize with are love, family, friendship, struggle, and loss and the related laughter, joy, and pain. Yes, I know there are white people out there that can't understand or empathize with black films or black people and wouldn't even bother trying, but please don't paint us all with the same broad brush. Just as all black people are not all the same, neither are whites.

The more films that are made about ordinary black people leading ordinary lives struggling with ordinary problems the better. Even if white people don't go to see these movies they will still be exposed to them with ads while watching TV or with previews before other films. Just as every film about slavery, segregation, and civil rights is a reminder of where we've come from as a nation. Every film about ordinary life is a snap shot of where we are today. Maybe some day in the future we won't use the words black or white to describe films. At my kid's school they don't use those labels to describe each other they just use the word friend. They make videos together all the time and there are no races just kids hanging out and being cool, funny, young, and free.


Why should anyone like or dislike black movies just because they're black? Lack of interest could simply be due to indifference. Do you know anyone who doesn't like (for example) Chinese soap opera style movies? They're indifferent to them because there's no interest there. It has nothing to do with race or lack of empathy or lack of understanding or any other moral failure or bigotry. The question I would ask is why anyone feels the need to push something on someone and insist they like it or be condemned. OR be forced to show interest and empathy when they have no interest or be condemned because they have no interest? People who do that want everything to be all about them and have issues.
Now go watch 50 hours of chinese soap opera movies or there's something wrong with you. See how that works? If you're not Chinese and have no interest then something must be wrong with you too! See~ we can play the same game with Chinese films that you want to play with black films.


As a black male, I strongly disagree with this article. It is true that the frequency of popular black films is significantly lower than that of White films, even when accounting for difference in population. However, to say that this is the result of Whites lacking the ability to empathize with Black actors makes no sense. When you look through the history of successful films, it is clear that the success/failure of Black films is the result of content, not the race of the cast. It’s about the story the film tells and the quality of the film itself.

To see evidence of this, one needs only look at successful films with Black stars. That should be enough evidence that the color of an actor skin has little impact on the success of the film. Off recent memory, some counterexamples of the author’s argument includes films like The Help, The Karate Kid, Rush Hour, The Butler, etc. Then, look at the mass of successful films starring Samuel L Jackson, Denzel Washington, and ESPECIALLY Will Smith – one of the most successful actors of all time. These counterexamples completely destroy any argument that skin color prevents Whites from empathizing with the film.

Now, I guess you could make the argument that films by Will Smith, Denzel, etc. should not be considered “black films.” Well, even if that was the case, it wouldn’t matter. The fact that those counterexamples exist is PROOF that the argument that “Whites can’t empathize with black actors” makes no sense.

Moreover, once you make the argument that films by Will Smith, etc are not “black films”, then you start talking about content and not race. And that’s where the heart of the discrepancy lies. It’s not about skin color, clearly. There’s simply a difference in content between a film starring Will Smith and your average black film. Now, I’m not going to get into the debate on what makes one better than the other since that’s a subjective argument I don’t want to have; however, the evidence should be clear. The content from films like Hancock, Rush Hour, etc. is simply more appealing to Whites than the content from films like “Mac and Devin go to High School” or something like that. Race doesn’t matter.


Ghost Dog was an awesome black movie. Yes I'm white. But most black movies are pretty lame though. The plots are ghetto or just flat out stupid. Also making anti-white racial jokes in black movies probably won't make many whites like that film. Just a suggestion. This goes for BET channel TV shows too.


I'm white and Tyler Perry is pretty much the only thing I won't watch. Nothing to do with the fact that it's black, Tyler Perry just makes the shittiest movies.


I agree with the author its television but The Wire is universally praised but during its run never had ratings. The mostly Black cast turned people off. I think the empathy gap is true can you imagine a Black Walter White.All the unrealistic ways that WW triumphs would be torn apart and called bad writing.


There is some truth in what is being presented in this article. Far too many European-Americans find it too difficult to watch a movie or TV show that presents an African-American in the leading role, if that African-American is not in some type of subservient role or secondary role. A focal point character can be subservient to another, predominately, non-male role, but the African-American focal character must somehow be diminished in order for the “white” audience to accept that character. Remember the movie “Training Day” or “Unstoppable” with a very prominent African-American actor, Denzel Washington. In both movies, Denzel as the “Black Focal Character” had to function in a subservient role to the more “intelligent white” counter part. The highly acclaimed film, “The Butler”, appears to be loved by European-Americans, simply because the movie displays a “Negro” family in total conflict and on the verge of self destruction. That type of internal black conflict is attractive to “White” movie goers. Look as the films with “Black” actors that were successful and you see this pattern repeated. The Color Purple, The Help, Boyz N The Hood, Malcolm X and even the epic “Roots” reflect this need for uncertainty in a lead or focal character that is African-American.
Perhaps the recent unexplained cancellation of the TV show “Ironside”, which stared Blair Underwood, in a remake of a previous near all white TV show, clearly shows how uncomfortable “white” audiences may be with a very dominant Black lead, especially when that Black lead character is also handicapped. It could be that “Ironside” was removed from white controlled TV because the dominant audience was very uncomfortable with where the show was taking them. Even the very brief stay of Laurence Fishburne on CSI, Crime Scene Investigation, as a dominent character, was due to the discomfort of “White” America. Note that CSI, Crime Scene Investigation is now an all “White” show.
Even movies that are reflective of African-American icons must be embroiled in conflict to be acceptable to “White” audiences. Revisit the movie “Ray” and watch with renewed awareness and you will see a story that displays the main character’s life in complete conflict and neglects to show the achievements of Ray Charles’ extreme musical talent.
On the inverse, perhaps “Black” audiences can accept European-Americans in dominant roles, simply because that is an existing fact of American life and African-Americans are mature enough to accept the inequity. But "White" audiences have difficulties in accepting any attempt to balance the scales.


I grew up with sitcoms like Sanford and Son, Good Times, What's Happening, The Jeffersons and the Cosby Show (among others), majority black sitcoms… and I enjoyed them all. To me, most of the recent "black" movies seem like couples movies or 'chick' flicks. Both of which do not interest me. Now, I would not be adverse to an "all-black" actioner or drama. It's all about context. I have seen both "Nothing But A Man" and (Ivan Dixon's) "The Spook Who Sat By The Door" and very much enjoyed them.


It may be true that some white people find it hard to empathize with black characters.

It is definitely true that many recent "black" movies are just TERRIBLE. Has anyone ever tried to sit through a Tyler Perry movie? The acting, writing, plot and broad racial stereotypes are each individually cringe-worthy on their own, but put together … it's too much for this particular non-black non-white moviegoer. Of course, there are also many terrible "white" (or non-black) movies, but the ratio doesn't seem nearly as bad.


I'm going to go ahead and ignore the incredible amount of racism that is happening in the comments of this article.

I have often wondered about this black/white dynamic in movies. I've often read about the "Race music" of the 50s. What we have here is race films. Why? Why are there movies with all white casts and all black casts? More importantly, why are there mixed audiences in the white movies, but only black audiences in black movies? As Andre said, minorities in this country have no choice. There is such a small selection of mainstream black films that the likelihood of identifying with a character is slim. You have to identify with a white character. On the other hand, white people have no reason to see a movie where there are no white people when there is such a wide selection elsewhere. I never thought that it played into level of empathy, although now that it is brought up, it makes perfect sense. Minorities in this country are constantly bombarded with white images, so it's no big deal. White people however, see nothing but themselves, and to suddenly be in a space where they don't see themselves is a shock that they are not willing to deal with. Never mind taking the time to realize that is everyday life for everyone else.


This applies fairly well to men and women, too. Women identify with male protagonists (or entirely male casts) because we must, while men aren't expected to do as much as watch one conversation between two women.


The issue is subject matter – not casting. Movies like: How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Waiting to Exhale, Jumping the Broom, are the types of movies that are widely accepted. The subject matter is universal…with some ethnic specific aspects. Many Spike Lee movies are, however, unrelatable. It is no different than choosing not to view movies that deal with dark depressing matter….or movies that deal with romantic themes….or with aliens. It is not the make-up of the cast but the story that they are telling.


Site really needs an edit button to allow the deletion multiple posts. When you click "submit" nothing appears to happen leaving you to wonder if you really clicked it or not.


It seems a lot of people are completely not understanding the concept of a "black" film, or more specifically what mainstream American audiences presume a black film to be. One reason for this is the idea of a "black" film is subjective, because in reality there really aren't any black films unless we consider films like Ordinary People, The Great Gatsby, or The Hobbit to be white films, instead of just entertainment.

Point is a lot of people just don't care to see blacks in films in any significant degree, and the fact the blacks balk at the lack of diversity in the films they do appear in cause no shortage of anger, ridicule, and consternation as well as some of the most ridiculous and illogical responses you'll ever see. For example why would a film with a story that takes place in South Central, or Harlem, be considered a black film because the majority of people in the film would obviously be black, yet if one black person is seen as a minor character, or even in the background in a film set in the midwest, these people will say that the filmmakers are pandering to multi-culturalism? Fact is in many films any black presence is often completely eradicated when if one were to go to those specific places you would see one. For ex. I've seen movies set in Memphis that make it appear that the city is probably 20% black or less when in fact it is closer to 63%!

Still a film gets defined as a black film under certain obvious instances.
1. Films that employ a black protagonist, and multiple black leads. [This is independent of the screenwriters, or director, so that some films that aren't necessarily black films erroneously get categorized that way. Ex. Attack the Block]
2. Film directed by a known black filmmaker. [Spike Lee often falls into this category regardless of the fact that several of his films for all practical purposes are mainstream films]
3. Films directed by white filmmakers that feature black protagonists. [Audiences can place these films into any category though films that would obviously be considered black films had a black directed them are oft-times considered just entertainment if the director has enough clout and a following. Ex. Django, The Color Purple etc]

For a black director or writer that simply wants to tell a story that happens to feature a predominate black protagonist, in this climate he can ONLY make a black film because that is the perception that people have, and that is the way his film will be marketed, sold, and accepted by the public.


afrocenic like roots out of Africa all lies


your study is full shit. just like white peope is born racist when its black todders beated up white todders and after the white todder get beated up she still wants to be friends and share her toy . you people are racist to a core


I see you didn't want me to post the truth you racist pig


I believe it's a "cultural" thing as opposed to a lack of empathy. Many whites do not come from a cultural that reflects what they see on the screen. It doesn't make them racist, merely note interested in viewing movies of "black culture".

P.S. They would probably leave most "Bollywood" movies too.


Heres one thing that should be kept in mind. In your reference of "black" film, I am assuming you mean movies that are along the lines of Tyler Perry, and by mentioning "white" films that play to more audiences, you might mean something like transformers or American Pie. Lets look away from the color of the actors and look at the kind of content these movies portray. Tyler Perrys movies do have comedy in them, but they also are more drama based than anything, which is somewhat typical by a film coming from a black production studio, with the exception of a few Ice Cube movies. The viewer is confronted with several peoples dramas all at once with movies like the ones he makes. I do like his movies, but i cant watch that kind of stuff all the time. On the other hand, the other types of movies I mentioned, like transformers and American Pie and the comic book movies that have been coming out lately, are more for fun and arent so wrapped up in drama and trying to teach you a life lesson necesarily. Drama prone movies do not appeal to the average white male, or even female. But you also forgot to mention that there are black actors like Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington who regularly play leading roles in movies that do not get placed in the "black" cinema category and do play diverse roles in movies. Most "black" films seem to be aimed at one particular demographic. I will also add that not all whites avoid black cinema, and not everyone who hates black movies is white.

i am a black person

i dont why hate black folks they are not pointless and all black people do not dress like thugs and talk with bad grammer something white girl you just hang around the wrong crowd so when you do hang around the right crown of black folks you may start to like us


I don't know, you guys… but I feel it's perhaps more about a sense of style rather than a color of skin issue. Or a sexual preference issue. I bring that up because I've been in a minority group myself. The 'gays'. I opened a nightclub once years back. The four of us involved in the business were all either L,B,G, or T or whatever other initial you wanna throw in for some other ridiculous label that doesn't ultimately matter. Because that's all it is… a label. I don't like labels so much, by the way, perhaps you can tell. Anyway, the club in which I'm speaking ended up having a mixed crowd – gay, strait, black, white, whatever. Everyone got along beautifully and we had amazing musical adventures together for a number of years. It worked out great. Many of my 'gay' friends didn't particularly enjoy going to the typical gay bars anyway… the music selections at those places weren't quite right for our tastes at that moment in time – the crowd not really on our same wavelength either. So we, at the same time, preferred something different. So let's not make it about differences, let's make it about sameness. The sameness of a certain sense of style. One group might be okay with silly humor. So they see movies with silly humor. Some people may like more cerebral films that make them feel something… or think something. They view those. Simple really. I happen to fall into a – here we go again – a 'category' that doesn't much enjoy silly humor, whether it's Dumb and Dumber, or something like Tyler Perry might do. Its the same with comedians. A white male from the South might not relate to, say, Larry the cable guy. But might relate to George Carlin and Whoppi Goldberg. It's not about the color of skin, people… it's about what those entertainers have to say as artists and how it resonates with you as an individual. Now… those individuals can and perhaps will form groups and seek out friendships with others who like the same things. If one group happens to be predominately gay and they like certain 'gay' things, then whatever. If one group happens to be predominately black and like certain 'black' things, then again… whatever. If one group happens to be predominately freaky and like to get their 'freak' on, who the eff cares. Just be true to yourself and do whatever stimulates you while we're here on this planet. Be happy that at least something resonates with you and that you can find other humans whatever color, sexual preference, or temperament to share those special moments in time and the beautiful bonds they create.


Well I'm black and my boyfriend is white and he NEVER watches black movies I can never get him to watch it with me he says it's racist because its predominantly black but then he has nothing to say when there are all white movies with NO black people or even a "token" black people. It's just stupid but I get that a lot of stuff is hard for other race to relate to but for the most part I feel like it's purely ignorance


Mr. Seewood has crafted a thought provoking article. I'd like to see an enhanced version of a Racial Empathy Gap study performed that shows if the degree of racial integration within communities influences the gap. Would a white person who lives in a highly integrated community (such as New Rochelle, NY) have more empathy for blacks than one who lives in a community where whites are a large majority (such as Harrison, NY)?

Can't Race Bait Me!

This is absolute horseshit. I watched that Jaden/Will Smith film and that was an almost entire black cast and I am a guy who happens to have light skin pigmentation. Coming to America is hilarious, Beverly Hills Cop is fantastic…etc. People don't be fooled, the "author" of this "blog" is clearly a race baiter who is exploiting the xenophobic tendencies of the ignorant in order to gain hits on this site. As for the evidence that people of lighter skin pigmentation prefer not to watch movies that have a cast of people who have darker pigmentation is ludicrous. The movie in which he was referencing AINT NOTHING BUT A MAN, sucks ass. and that is why people left. If it was a Richard Pryor Comedy Special, EVERY SINGLE PERSON regardless of their skin pigmentation, culture, or creeds would've stayed.


Would these be considered black movies:
Coming to America
Training Day
Remember the Titans
Django Unchained
Enemy of the State


and here i thought it was because the white people in black movies are always protrayed as racist jerks

Next Article: Why White Racists Flock To Black Message Boards

The saddest part about having to parse through the TIDAL WAVE of de facto comment thread stupidity, glaring lack of reading comprehension, and the deliberate, willful misconstruing of facts is quite simply that I'm not surprised at any of it.

This well written article has been greeted with such luminous golden nuggets of wisdom such as:

"If whites were so racist when it comes to the movies they watch, how are the following black people SUPER-stars?: Will Smith, Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Forrest Whittaker, Don Cheadle, James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, and I could go on. Do you really think that they rose to stardom based only on black movie ticket sales?
It is people like you and the liberal media that see everything through race-filtered lenses. And you probably were in an outrage with the George Zimmerman murder. "

And this precious rarified pearl:

" I have read and TRIED to make sense of a lot of black "bitter" articles such as the white people and dreads which made laugh as my people were "rocking" gruaige nahair over 2000 years ago!"



I didn't read this whole thing. I don't think it's true that white people don't like black movie. If people do dislike it, it could be the quality of the writing. I will argue that Tyler Perry movies are terrible, well I can only say the Madea movies. It is not because he's black; It is because it's not funny. The upcoming Christmas movie where "she" will play a mall Santa and says all these mean things to children. I'm not saying I have a problem with some adult doing that to kids. It can be funny, but the jokes were just lame. One example:
(Madea is Santa)
Kid: I want a stocking full of candy
Madea: You want a stocking full of candy! Well. why don't I get you a stock of Jenny Craig.
In the trailer, they show the good parts of the movie, so you want to watch it? If that examples of the good parts,
no thanks!!


"White people don’t like Black movies because they lack the empathy necessary to identify with Black characters"…. what a load of shit.

A well written/acted/directed piece of film is moving (if that's what it's supposed to be) absolutely irrespective of the race of the characters, or even if the characters are of another species!

Michael V.

I read your very redundant paper. I think I can bust your biased theory by pointing on one simple fact you seem to have not realized or ignored. People (of any race) find it hard to empathize for people who are cold hearted. Now I'm not saying that black people are cold hearted, but it is well known black people are known for showing off how tough they are and how strong they are, a lot of time showing lack of any range of emotion venturing too far from pride, anger, and jealousy. But it's just not whites who find it hard to empathize with black people for this reason, and it's just not blacks who whites can't empathize with for this reason either. It's all people who find it hard to empathize with any person who doesn't take down their wall and allow themselves to be vulnerable. So while you want to conjure up some more racial division by picking that scab, you failed to recognize the human element of it all. People just don't care for people who don't care. But try and find me one person who didn't get teary eyed watching Antwone Fisher, regardless of race.


The thing that stands out to me is how some people in the comments blame films as being marketed as black films where that's completely absurd because you might as well say Chick flicks are marketed that way in that just not true our society groups things into categories which separate these films. Even if these "Black movies" are labeled black movies there's more genres then produced by Tyler Perry or a gangsta movie, yet those are the stereotypes some people associate with those movies and Bex say's he doesn't like the racist comments in these movies ( which if that's his view point i completely unde stand who wants to feel degraded watching something there suppose to enjoy) ,yet i'm sure there have been movies where other races didn't like what was being said about their race in any Movies by (insert race here ) but don't insist that just because there are movies out there with racist comments that those are the only kind of Black movies out there because to do so would be no better than someone saying the reason I don't enjoy "White movies" is because the characters are stereotypical versions of (insert race) and why would i want to watch more of that. Yeah, that shit gets old very quickly. All i'm trying to say is that don't lump all movies in the same pile because there all unique and different even if some of them do have similar premises.

No Name

I am a Caucasian person, and I am hurt by this article. I do not judge movies on a particular race, but how much I actually enjoy the movie. I recently just watched The Butler and I loved it so much! I feel like this may just be another way to wedge us apart… it makes me sad.


The reason many white people dislike "black" movies is not because of the race of the characters in the film. It is because many "black" movies and TV shows portray white people in a negative and, let's face it, racist way. In many black TV shows and movies, white people are shown as stupid (That's So Raven, Family Matters) or racist (Everybody Hates Chris). Nobody wants to take a chance paying for a movie that may mock their ethnicity.


I can appreciate your analysis, but as a white woman who has enjoyed some movies with an all black cast, I don't really see that much thematically these days that I am drawn to… offense to Tyler Perry, but his movies are not of the caliber I'm looking for…..and maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't see much else out there…..except for occasionally a movie like The Butler, which was great (though not an all black cast). Perhaps you can ascribe this to unconscious racism on some level, I don't know…..But I would also add that, in general, the quality of most American movies these days is piss poor, so my perspective has more to do with my standards for film rather than the notion that 'white people don't like black movies'.


I see most black movies as racist while white movies never mention race at all. In general, white people believe that racism has ended and they simply want to get on with their lives. Blacks still feel racism is rampant and feel the need to get back at whites for historical crimes. This is evident in black comedians who proliferate the use of the "N" word while a white person will lose all respect if the same word is uttered.

It seems black movies use racism as a benchmark for their humor and impact while white movies purposefully eliminate any potential racism that might offend blacks. It politically acceptable for blacks to mock the white race but impossible for whites to do the same.

Case in point: After the Zimmerman verdict, violent black rioters stopped cars on freeways, destroyed property, injured and killed white citizens while the media claimed the riots were peaceful. MSNBC actually edited Zimmerman's 911 call to create belief of racism to increase ratings while Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton proliferated their racist agenda.

If someone created a WET (White Entertainment Television) network, Sharpton and Jackson would have a field day while blacks would riot violently and rob every Walmart in Los Angeles.

Think about it.


Nice article, never really thought of this before… However, I would say the main reason I don't enjoy a lot of 'black movies' is usually because you find racism toward whites in them. Mostly benign and played for humour (like some of the jokes in Fresh Prince used to be) but it gets tiresome after a while, like if the new James Bond film contained about twenty separate jokes about fried chicken. Yeah, that shit gets old very quickly.


Interesting article. As a white man I have to say I didn't grow up in an area with many black people. I went to two different high schools, one for freshman year and then transferred to another for the next three years. In the first high school I don't remember there being a black person in the entire school. At the second school there was one black person in the entire school. So this might have something to do with why white people don't notice when there aren't black people in a film. Its not racist, many white people just don't know any black people and to be fair many black people don't know many white people either. I would also argue that there are actually quite a few franchises nowadays with black characters in prominent positions (Matrix comes to mind with both Lawrence Fishburn and the two women who played the oracle in the series). I mean if you think about it why do we always have to break it down in black and white? How many Russian actors are cast in leading roles? Or german, irish, polish, or any of the Spanish speaking countries?


I've watched "white" films that didn't have black actors and didn't question once why there weren't any black people. Realistically speaking, not every black person has white friends. Not that they're racist, it's just that wherever they frequent they might have low chances of meeting white people! The films reflect reality! Not every "white" film, not necessarily majority white cast, has black characters or ones of other races. I'm sure in real life most white people don't have a black friend. Even when they use that lie "I'm not racist, I have a black friend". Geez! Get your heads out of your asses!


Personally I think whites are scared shitless of becoming a minority and not being in charge anymore, at least I am. I know how much crap black people talk about white people behind their backs, and I know very well how much crap white people talk about black people behind their backs. I don't want my daughter to marry a black man, simply because I don't want black grandchildren, and I also know how bad most interracial relationships end. Most blacks in the industrialised world are used to being a minority, used to not being in charge, not a single white person is used to that, even in South Africa the 10% whites ruled over the 90% completely untill 1994, and still are in charge of the economy today. Seeing a black movie normalises the concept of blacks being the major market, and blacks being in charge, and white people don't like that, including myself.

It's also provoking how a lot of black movies wants to portray the average black family as educated, wealthy AND funny, white families are just educated, wealthy and boring. I just can't relate to a black, educated, wealthy and funny family, not because I'm white, but because I've never seen one.


I refuse to accept this article simply because its as racist as the point he is making. The whole article would be made better by saying perhaps, a percentage of whites… rather than trying to sum up the entire white population on a small survey. I still can't believe people actualy think that because your a certain colour… you must behave or act a certain way. I cannot deny that there is discrimination to many races or nationalities and I also cannot deny that most of the discriminating is/has been done by "whites" but to catagorise every white is no better than refusing to watch a film because it has "blacks" staring in it. If its true that a "majority" of "whites" don't like or enjoy films because it has a coloured cast then I just lost my faith in humanity, but I know its not true to say "All whites" because i'm white and as said, the colour of people is not important to me or what nationality…. for me there are 2 types of people, Good or Bad… simple as that, colour and nationality doesn't even come in to it. Unfortunately I know its not the same for everyone else.


So its not a "generalization" saying "Whites don't like black movies" ? You just generalized the entire white population…. It's a load of bull anyway, some people are racist, some people aren't… its nothing to do with what race you actually are its to do with the people. There are black racists against whites, chinese against american.. it doesnt stop and its boundries are not within your colour. In this day and age why the hell should it matter what colour people are in a film… if they are all black, all white, black & white… blue & god damn green it really doesnt matter.
Will smith doesnt do "black films" ? even though he's the leading role in pretty much every movie he's done just because its not full of black people? this whole article is out-dated… you shouldn't be trying to pick the differences between people and come out with bullshit like "blacks are this" or "whites are that"…. grow up and stop causing seperation. You should be looking for what makes us the same.


Ahoy there. black movies are about black culture which is only interesting to black people. samuel jackson is one of favorite actors because he plays interesting characters in interesting films. not black films. those suck.

Seánaí Ua

Also, white privilege is a load of American nonsense! I grew up in a war zone where I watched my people suffer EVERY day! We couldn't gain employment because of our religious denomination, our children starved, our Brothers and Sisters shot down in the street……I could go on! So don't you tell me about "White privilege". When you have truly suffered, only then will you realize how pathetic and whiny your views are! Síocháin.

Seánaí Ua

Oh, so because I have white skin then I automatically cannot like Black movies? This is an American problem where you tar people with the racial stick as it were! Have you ever heard of individuality? Obviously not if you are writing crap like this. I do not care if the lead role or everyone in the movie is Black, White, Asian or Hispanic or what have you. This is as stupid as saying "White People" have no culture which is the dumbest thing I've ever heard…….We all have culture and heritage regardless of our skin colour. In fact, if you define yourself by your skin colour then I feel sorry for you…….After all, it is only an evolutionary trait!

P.S – There are some great black movies as well as terrible……The same as everything else.
Please keep your sweeping generalizations to yourself in future as you do not know
everything about every person that exists! This is your "point of view" and I can assure
you that you have got it VERY wrong!

Effrem Adams

I am an aspiring black filmmaker who makes Horror/Action/Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I produced a zombie film with several black characters.

Me and my friend conducted a marketing experiment once where we edited all the black actors out of the trailers and advertisements. We found that more white kids would show up to the screenings. You can find zombie movies these days pretty much anywhere. It really hurt my spirit to find out that people wouldn't be interested in the film simply because it had a lot of minority actors.

Because I'm black and make science fiction, I get the same reaction all the time. "A black guy made this?". A lot of people (including other black people) like to keep us in a box. The truth is that we like superheros, comics, anime, sci-fi, action, and horror just like the next person.


I like all of the Friday movies, white girls, Death at a Funeral among many others. Dumbest article I have read in a long time.


I'm black and even I can't stand most black movies. They're terrible and too over-the-top with the stereotypes which, sadly are true. It's no longer a "strerotype" when the MAJORITY of a race (or group) act that way for real. Add to this most black films exaggerate them.


Well, it's not surprise that white people (and other non-Blacks like asians and latinos) do not like Black people are see us as human, for the most part.


Because nig gers suck

A Working Thesis

The most talented and broadly appealing blacks don't make "black movies." They just make movies.

This leaves the less-talented and less appealing blacks to make "black movies." Naturally, these are not going to be as good.


I really do not see the correlation between "lacking empathy for a person outside of your own race" and racism, if we use the definition "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race" – Webster's Dictionary.

Lacking empathy for someone who looks different from you, according to the study quoted above, postulates that this is an inherent characteristic of the human brain, which seems to suggest that it might be an important evolutionary trait. It does not mean you are racist.
Using the argument that most white people do not like to go to black movies is not racist either, but it is quite ignorant.
As for racism/discrimination within the Western World's film industry – this might be better explained by the socio-economic principles of capitalism, but not institutionalized discrimination.
Too many people confuse class warfare with racial warfare, Mr. Seewood, and those last 2 lines in your article are simply ridiculous. "By any means necessary" didn't work out for Mr. X too well, and if you search only for lies, that is all you will find.

Algonquin J. Calhoun

I loved the "Color Purple", which was made by a white man. "Sounder", which was made by a black guy is on of my favorite movies.
But anything made by Tyler Perry? Give me a break. He is a hack and knows his audience will spend cash money on his crap. He is a horrible filmaker and I dis-respect his work, his art and his life. Gay Mother.
And Spike lee just really sucks.


The last two "Black films" that I saw at the cinemas were Fruitvale Station and The Butler. The audience was predominantly white, and more than a few were in tears at the end of Fruitvale Station. #empathy


I believe what happened in that study because this reminds me of sometime that I experienced a few years ago. I used to work at Blockbuster video and frequently went there with two friends, one white and the other Asian to take advantage of the free rentals that came with the job. This became somewhat of a weekly routine for us for about a year or so.

I quickly started to notice a pattern that whenever any of us would pick a black movie and it came time to watch it, our white friend would refuse to watch it. He would either suggest that we do something else or leave. I'm not exaggerating when I say that he would do this every time!! He wouldn't even give them a chance.

The first one that comes to mind is "Life" starring Eddie Murphy and this was after sitting through High Fidelity which he picked out. My Asian friend called him out on it jokingly one time and of course he denied that he was doing this. I wonder if he even realized what he was doing.

To me it was less about the actual movie and more about the unwillingness to compromise and see a movie that might be from the perspective of another culture, race or whatever. The"If it's not coming from the point of view of my race, it's irrelevant" mentality.
This was over 10 years ago and we're still acquaintances but stuff like that always makes me wonder about people.


I'm curious to know what Curtis "50 cent" Thinks of your horseshit "wannabiogrophy"?
Bet he has a slight difference in opinion.
But…let me start it off with "Why Black People Don't Like White Movies"………
Better yet…"Why Smart People Avoid these Movies"………You're not fooling anyone into your racist state of mind…I used to be DIE HARD white supremist…I used to be STUPID…just like YOU.


wow. I never looked at it this way. I learned a lot from reading this and I encourage you to continue sharing these types of messages.



Exactly 2 months from the date of this post Andre "The Brown Bomber" Seewood has been knocking out all comers. Granted, their are those like the judge in last night's Championship Boxing Match between Floyd Mayweather and Carnelo Alverez, who seem to view this post from an odd angle, which makes them incapable of seeing the truth. The judge is question (and now under investigation by the Nevada Boxing Commission) was apparently filing her nails or texting her BFF instead of actually looking at the fight, and thus missed the lopsided victory which was a no-brainer for everyone in attendance, including his opponent.

Anyway, in celebration of Mr. Seewood's continued defense of his marvelous post (a post that has been under attack for 2 full months) I dedicate the very popular "Children's Story (Knock 'Em Out the Box Mix)" by Slick Rick

The lyrics begin with children, upon their bedtime, asking "Uncle Ricky" to read them a bedtime story (thus the song title). Rick responds with a story about "once upon a time" in a village where there was law and order, where a little boy lived. He was led into a life of crime by another child into robbing people for quick money. He tried to rob an undercover police officer who hits the boy, which provokes him to pulling a gun on him. Rather than risk shooting the officer and facing jail time, he leads police officers on a foot chase throughout town. He runs into Dave the dope fiend in an abandoned building, who gave him a powerful shotgun. He steals a car, only to crash into a tree but he survives the wreck. He opens fire on the officers, and then holds a pregnant woman hostage. He lets her go, and officers surround the boy who drops the gun. At only 17 years, he is gunned down by the cops as he screams in agony. The story ends with a moral to the story that a life of crime is not a joke and can mean life or death. "Uncle Ricky says goodnight to the kids who ponder the story. The melody and chorus plays on… "Knock em out the box Rick, knock 'em out. Knock 'em out the box Rick, knock 'em out. Knock 'em out Rick, knock 'em out, knock'em out the box Rick, knock 'em out Rick"

Now I don't know why some people are having a hard time accepting a simple fact that some white lack empathy for some issues facing the black man in America. Seriously, why is that so hard to understand? The author is not "blaming" anyone nor calling anyone a racist. As he said, he's merely analyzing racial inequities, disparities and injustices. So, as the song suggests, when a person does wrong, there's a severe price to pay. In this case, when one comes half-stepping at Andre's doorstep or rob him of his glory or try to twist his words or don't read the whole post, they might find themselves posterized as the Children's Story plays in the background… "Knock 'em out the box Andre, knock 'em out the box!"

Juicy Grove

Won't speak for all white people, but I'm perfectly fine with movies that have a predominately black cast. Empathy shmempathy. The problem is that 99% of those movies are "black" movies and are not movies with a predominately black cast. They are about being black or somehow have race as the main theme. We get it, you're black. So???

Just give me a good story. I don't care what color you are.


Just curious, but why are only Black and White people even mentioned in this article? What about all the other underepresented races in cinema? I've never heard of an Asian film made in America (the Asian equivilant of the definition you provided for a Black movie). I'll have to say, though, that in any Asian movies made in Asia that I've seen, it is very very rare that you someone who isn't Asian. And even then, the character is probably an extra or something. At least actual Black people play black people in Hollywood, and not Johnny Depp or Jake Gyllenhaal in make-up. And what about Pacific Islanders? I'd say Hispanic people are closer to being the least underepresented. But that could also have something to do with the fact that more and more of the American population is becoming Hispanic. And Hollywood is in California? XD Anywho, interesting blog here. I tried to stop and consider whether or not I have that problem, me being a white person and all…And I can't relaly think of a lot of Black movies I've ever seen…Does Bad Boys count? What about Drumline? Stomp the Yard? I realy liked those movies. I loved Family Matters growing up. And Fresh Prince. IDK, those are TV shows and not movies though…I think it's because I tend to watch a lot of Sci Fi/Fantasy and I can't think of a single Black fantasy movie. That also brings up an interesting subject about people of race in literature (especially the fantasy genre) and the lack thereof, but I don't really think that's a topic for this blog.

Well, I'm going to stop ranting now.

Native Scottish ginger

I have to ask is this just in reference to the US and excuse my ignorance. I live in and was born in Scotland and by geographical location and many economic reasons etc the country is predominantly for want of a better term a "white country" yet I have never ever felt uncomfortable about black cinema, music or culture as a whole and I lived and work in Ghana for two years, strangely enough Ghanian television is not overly full of leading white actors, admittedly the production expenditure may have been a little short but it didn't mean that I couldn't relax and watch TV. Admittedly I would always enjoy watching either programming from the United Kingdom or the US but not because of colour but because of familiarity and that I understand the accents far easier.

No I fully appreciate that I will probably get slated for my views of this (it's a blog it happens) and I do apologise if I have offended anyone, or cheapened anyone's feelings on this, neither were my intention. It was purely just a question from someone outside of the historical and political US race arguments.


The main problem with this article is the selective use of facts. In the case of GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN', despite Seewood's assertions to the contrary, there is significant evidence that white people actually liked the film. For example, GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN' outperformed Sheridan's critically acclaimed film IN AMERICA in the UK, despite the latter film being about an Irish family.


This is so damn typical of Black people. Did you ever stop to think we don't like the films just because they're not good? Most Black people tend to base their humor off of things requiring the least amount of intelligence. There's no wit to what they do. You talk about going to the bathroom in graphic nature. You often rely on the very negative stereotypes you don't like other people imposing upon you.

This doesn't mean all Black people are like this. Give my Eddie Murphy, Chris Tucker or Kevin Hart and I'm usually laughing my ass off. Put Denzel Washington or another good actor in a good movie and I'll think they're great in it.

But Tyler Perry? Absolutely pathetic. This is the tactic that people who lack any talent take when faced with it. They start looking for superficial reasons being why people don't like them or what they do, instead of facing them just may be an asshole who sucks.


"Black movies are those films with a majority Black cast that situate Whites, if any, in peripheral or non-influential roles." The vast majority of such films are of a very poor quality. People are not likely to go see a Tyler Perry movie, for example, when they know his last ten films were awful. And they weren't awful because they had all-black casts; they were just awful. Most films with all-black or mostly-black casts are broad, sophomoric comedies or heavy-handed, preachy dramas, or worst of all, a mixture of the two. If there is an inability for audiences to identify with characters in many of those films, it's because of bad writing and filmmaking, not the "blackness" of the actors. It's also silly to suggest that the many performances by black actors that wider audiences have come to love are irrelevant, and that only roles played by black actors in films with a "majority Black cast" are actual black roles, and therefore when audiences don't flock to see those films, it's because they don't "empathize" with blacks.


You are woefully incorrect. The issue is that your definitions are absurdly narrow and you have a victims complex. As a white individual, black films often dont appeal to me because that is how they are marketed: black films. Movies like coach carter, undercover brother, head of state, remember the titans, american gangster, red tails, and more are all movies I have seen and that fit your wildly narrow-minded definition of of a black film. The distinction between them and movies that are specifically described as being "black films"? They are not marketed as such. Black Films, as a title, suggests that its target audience is black people and that, therefore, those who are not black would not enjoy it as much, since it is not meant to relate to their experience. Your definition of white films, besides being idiotic, does not represent a fair point of comparison because movies that fit that criteria are not marketed as "White Films". They are simply marketed as films. If they were marketed as "white films", then you could probably be safe in assuming that black people would not be as interested. So maybe, the next time you make wild, sweeping generalizations about entire groups of people based on hyper-specific anecdotal evidence, a clear bias that permeates every character of this article, and studies conducted by universities of little to no repute, you think about what you are saying and how perhaps your argument could benefit from more than one perspective


What a terrible article. Is that the best you can do? Your over-generalizations and assumptions cost you any credibility you may have had. You say black movies "are those films with a majority Black cast that situate Whites, if any, in peripheral or non-influential roles." So basically, the movie must have blacks in all prominent roles, and whites only in small roles. Yet you call a movie "white", if it has just ONE white co-star. So an entire black cast, with the exception of one white co-star, is considered a "white" movie? What a joke. Talk about skewing the playing field, huh?

If whites were so racist when it comes to the movies they watch, how are the following black people SUPER-stars?: Will Smith, Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Forrest Whittaker, Don Cheadle, James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, and I could go on. Do you really think that they rose to stardom based only on black movie ticket sales?

It is people like you and the liberal media that see everything through race-filtered lenses. And you probably were in an outrage with the George Zimmerman murder. I'll name a few examples of recent black on white crimes, and you can tell me if you've heard of them: Chris Lane, Australian baseball player, murdered by two black teens and one half-black teen, one of whome tweeted "White people are nasty. #HATE THEM". Delbert "Shorty" Belton, WWII vet, beaten to death by black teens, the school bus incident in Florida, where a hoard of blacks beat a white kid for refusing to buy their drugs, Jeffrey Babbitt, a 62 y/o who was killed by a black man after he yelled "I hate white people", and today, a 31 y/o guy had his face smashed by a black man that called him "cracker". Why don't you care about these people? Racial hatred was CLEARLY evident in a majority of these cases, while the liberal media and the race hustlers were grasping for straws to find racial bias in the Zimmerman/Martin shooting. CNN had to MAKE UP racial bias by editing Zimmerman's phone call to make it appear as if he was profiling.
Who are the real racists here? White people have become afraid to call out black racism for fear of being called racist themselves. And the media, with its anti-straight, white male agenda doesn't report the black on white crime. Even if they do, they leave the race out, as if people couldn't figure it out on their own.

Wanna talk about racist? The FBI's 2011 violent crime stats, separated by race, show that blacks, while representing only 13% of the country, commit 48% of the murders. And blacks killed whites more than twice the rate of the reverse. I ask again, who are the real racists here?

Your desperate attempts to show white racism has drawn you down to the bottom of the barrel, by picking apart movies. You couldn't even do that accurately. To show black racism, one most look no farther than the incidents I reported above, or the FBI stats listed below. Keep in mind that blacks only reprsent 13% of the population, and that the FBI waters down the stats by including Hispanics in with the whites. Grow up, quit your hissy fit, and stop playing the victimized race card.

www d0t FBI d0t gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-6

Audri Good

I think the writer of this article has oversimplified things, and doesn't understand something important. As a white woman (wow that feels wierd to say), I was raised to never look at race. People are people. I honestly didn't even know that race was *still* such an issue until getting on my own. Many "black" movies are racist. Plain an simple. If you take some black movies or black comedy, reverse the races, it would be a national outrage for people. As one commenter said, when movies or tv shows have a predominantly black cast, the script is good, and its not racist (exept historical movies showing civil rights struggles), most people love them (regardless of race). I'm starting to understand with age why everything seems to be about race to some black people. They have to deal with racial bull. Still, since many white people are raised to ignore race, hearing people talk about race (except when talking specifically about racial injustice)… being called a "white girl", hearing comedy about white vs black, etc…. these things are EXTREMELY taboo and make us uncomfortable. People like us would NEVER say anything like that. We would leave friends and avoid family that spoke like that. Its extremely awkward when black friends of mine start mentioning race for no apparent reason in conversations or say things like "She's the whitest black girl you'll ever meet." WTF??? —- I was never awkward around black people until I lived in a predominantly black neighborhood and found out that, for many (not all) black people, race is a constant part of conversation and many people filter every event through the lens of race. This makes me afraid to offend people, and confused about how to act… and then my initial awkwardness is perceived as racist anyways. — If I had seen ANY movie where one race takes over the world (anyone else thinking nazi's?) I would feel wierd being in the room… and a little worried the movie was made by a crazy cult.

Jennifer Bradt

I did not read through the comments ..only read a little bit of the main post but I will comment anyway. I am a 42 yr old white female. I have zero hatred towards black people. I was raised in a Catholic school…only had a handful of black ppl in my school..but I became very close with them on the sports teams we were on together. In fact, we became best friends…all of us. Yes, there are true idiots in the world..ppl who hate others simply because of their skin tone..I a not one of those ppl. The"n" word disgusts me..i get it between two black ppl however..other than disgusts me. like honkey..i also get that between two white ppl..other than but, I choose to not use either of those words…unless everyone involved sees that we are joking around and having fun…both black and white friends..but we all get it..its ok and we are just having fun..I have been called the N and H words and its ok in my world because we all understand that its a joke on all of us. That being said..some ppl in this world are truly : Racist, Sexist, Ageist, Homophobic, Weightist..the list goes on. It is a sad truth, but it happens. I have no hatred in anyway towards black ppl..I feel that George Zimmerman should have been convicted!! I posted this on my Facebook was an injustice and full of you know what..he was guilty of doubt. It sickens me as a white person that this idiot got off..yet, he is Spanish in my opinion..not white. I would not want him as part of my race quite frankly. I posted loud and clear on my FB page that I was disgusted that the idiot was aquitted..couldnt believe these stupid jurors..had I been one..wouldve dead locked..I find him guilty ..HE IS GUILTY!! that said..plz dont hate white ppl..I am one..and black ppl have been my best friends..since grade school and in the workplace..they have been the minority in my world but I trust them more than any other race!! So please rethink your opinion..if just a little..and know that there are ppl on your side more than you know…and honestly in my world..that is a common opinion…thanks for reading and plz know that hatred towards black ppl is not acceptable nor justified in my world or circle of friends and honestly..we all love good black ppl and hate bad ones ..same as any other race. Also, I am sorry for the trash who make comments to the contrary..that is what they are..trash!!..white trash..mexican trash..chinese trash..its all the same..trash..I a an educated white female who has had the pleasure of having black ppl in my life and guess what?? Not one has ever stolen from me..used me…been fake/phony person/./lied to me…not one..other races have…thats all I have to say:) Jennifer Lynn Bradt..ex Air Force/Creighton University grad….respond if u have anything to say..thansk for reading!


So, we're all the way down to movies now eh? You racist must be running out of reasons to justify your hatred of white people, huh? Well, don't let that keep you from scraping the bottom of the barrel to try to squeeze the very last drop of white guilt from a rapidly awakening people. You know, there's plenty of other mundane things you can use to slander an entire race of people. But for now, just get yourself up and take a good look in the mirror. Congratulations my friend, you finally know what real racism looks like!


This has long been the case with "chick flicks," a derisive name for any movie with a predominately female cast. Men won't go to films by or about women, whereas women do go to movies with mostly male casts. Dominant groups resist being exposed to the worldview of those they view beneath them.


One thing I've noticed about some white people is that anytime a move about slavery or the civil rights comes out, a lot of stupid people are quick to label it as race bating. Something like "The Butler"? Embellishments everywhere. Yeah, there sure was some race bating going on. But "12 Years a Slave"? That's a true story. So don't go yelling race baiting when you haven't even seen the movie yet and don't slam the movie because your mind is so feeble that you get mad because a movie is being made about a serious subject that you are so ashamed of that you dismiss it as race baiting. Grow a pair and watch the movie.


Seriously? White people don't like black movies because black movies are not funny, extremely racist (ever see a black comedian who's main act isn't about race?), very poorly written, have terrible actors, and overall poor quality (see all of Tyler Perry's movies). I've taken two African American history classes (btw… If you're black and were born in America, you absolutely ARE NOT African American) and black people try to make that exact same arguement. The reality is… It is completely untrue, dumb, and very ignorant. I feel sorry for some of my black friends because all the damn naggers out there give them a bad name too. Bottom line, black people are the most racist of them all.


Typical yank: thinks the World consists of the U.S.

It doesn't


Typical yank: thinks the U.S. is representative of the whole world when it isn't – Nothing new to see there

I'm Jamaican by the way


Typical yank: thinks the U.S. is representative of the whole world when it isn't – Nothing new to see there

I'm Jamaican by the way


White people don't like "black," movies because movies that bill themselves as black movies tend to be low quality, badly written, poorly acted, or heavy handed with the moral lesson (see Redtails and or anything by Tyler Perry or Spike Lee).

We do however like movies that deal with black issues or feature predominately black casts. I for instance still count Cry the Beloved Country as one of my favorite movies, and James Earl Jones is amazing in it. Some other good ones off the top of my head:

Antone Fisher
The Pursuit of Happiness
Coming to America

Notice how nearly all those movies were successful at the box office and critically while featuring predominately black casts.

Robert Negron

I'll tell you why white people don't like black movies, and it's not for any of the reasons that were suggested in the article. white people don't like black movies because black filmmakers only make movies about police brutality, baby mama dramas, or gangsta flicks, with the exception of movies like love and basketball, malcolm x, or 42. I'm not white, I'm latino, and I could tell you that, that is exactly why I don't like black movies. You got black filmmakers like tyler perry who keeps making the same movies over and over again, its a wonder why he is so successful. okay, we get it you say it's hard out here for a pimp, cops are bad, there's gotta be more subject matter for black filmmakers to offer than that.


This is a well-written article and very insightful. Thank you for offering these perspectives. I would only note that whites' inability to suspend disbelief extends beyond movies. And quite frankly, whites all too often have a difficulty in accepting what I call "myth-busters". Certainly, this does not apply to all whites. However, how blacks are "expected" to respond are equally unexpected from whites. This is so deeply-ingrained in America. And unfortunately, blacks often fall into accepting the majority culture sentiments as their own, even when those sentiments are detrimental. Again, thank you.


@SEEWARD. Next segment shorter than last, but website still will not let me post under this article.


I agree completely.


@SEEWOOD. Tried to post Igbo's response under my name, but that did not work. Perhaps the response is too long. If that's the case, it's going to be a lot more than four parts.


@SEEWOOD. IGBO just wanted to let you know that the "powers that be" at Indiewire, have apparently blocked any further posts under this article, but not on the site as a whole. If you can suggest another location on Indiewire to complete the post, IGBO will gladly do so.

weißen Mannes

Since you seem to have all received a thesaurus for your third birthday perhaps you should pick up a dictionary once and a while too.
Diaspora when capitalized in referencing Jews. Look it up then tell me how stupid I am with your pinky sticking out.


It is amazing how many of these comments illustrate exactly what Mr. Seawood wrote about. The lack of empathy and the wholesale ignorance about black film is glaring.


I'm white and love black movies and theatre. This thread is insulting and ignorant.Its sad that black people live every second by the color of their skin. Hoorah for the color purple, best broadway show ever, where black people treated me rudely just for being.


I suspect it is because many black movies have the same predictable narrative, there's nothing especially unique about them.

For example,

Self-deprecating jokes about being black
Jokes about other races and ethnicities
I'm a victim (racism, poverty, life…)
Sexually crude language and etc…
Excessive slang or Ebonics
Over-all silliness with out a purpose

Black movies are all about being black, not just being human. That is with the exception of "Inside Man", which wasn't technically a Black movie. Make a smart movie and the people will come.


Prior to the Civil Rights Era, such movies like “Emperor Jones”, staring an all-Black cast has lost the battle to remain part of our collective memory due partially to the Racial Empathy Gap created not necessarily by Whites, but by the African-American Community. Only a handful still remembers that movie and what it meant for its time. Though I am not huge fan of Will Smith, the movie, "The Pursuit of Happiness" made me cry for reasons any African-American with a degree in business should probably relate in their bid to infiltrate the Fortune 500 culture. When, I saw the movie in a theatre filled with African-Americans they seemed less interested in the topic of an African-American male trying to make it in Corporate America. Not relating to the character they appear to be validating the Racial Empathy Gap. And in years to come, where if this trend continues, many will ignore or disregard similar non-traditional-theme movies in the African-American community that ultimately raises the question as what do we value in our people; how do we see ourselves? Thus, if the survivability of our movies made by African-Americans for the Community is lost then it's only because we have failed at demonstrating we can think outside of the proverbial Box. I believe it's a fair assessment in concluding that there exist levels of Negrophobia undermining the continual success of movies made by Blacks. Is it possible that we only relate to movies that asserts ghetto realism as the acceptable viable genre? Movies that tell how some person beat the odds of emerging from a crime-ridden and drug-infested area only to be a Rap Singer? Why not, if the general population of African-Americans can easily disassociate with the contributions made, let’s say, opera for the guile of rap, then we are guilty of unconsciously boycotting our own change by negating Blacks to be seen in a different light. We are accepting the continuation of stereotypical movies to define us when we dismiss movies that just might go onto demonstrate we’re bigger than a few laughs, the character that dies as a non-consequential or unattainable superhero.


Notwithstanding the forcefulness of his assertions, Mr. Seewood's has done little more than incorporate a series of cliches, half-truths and misconceptions about the film industry in his provocative article. First of all, the references cited are arbitrary at best and often fail to adequately support the author's assertions. Secondly, the author fails to look at the issues within the proper context. Thirdly, the author shows a lack of understanding of film history, specially as it relates to distribution.

Specifically, the author uses the film, NOTHING BUT A MAN (the correct spelling of the film's title) to demonstrate the so called, "Racial Empathy Gap." While a fine film and an important film in regards to the images of blacks on the silver screen, it is not a good film to demonstrate a lack of empathy on the part of whites, at least not in a contemporary context. As the white filmmakers themselves have acknowledged after they made the film, they wish they had injected more humor into the movie. While there are a few lighter moments in the film, as a whole, it takes itself too seriously. Humor has always been a tool for people of all races to deal with hardship and suffering.

Additionally, the author states as proof of the empathy gap that although 3/4ths of audience for the screening in Detroit were white, most left before the film was over. This argument is problematic for several reasons. One could argue that the fact that only one 1/4th of the audience was black for a black movie in a majority black town, shows a greater resistance on the part of blacks rather than whites to see the film. At least the white audience gave the film a chance. Whereas, most blacks didn't even bother to come to the screening. The few blacks who did come were obviously highly motivated and quite possibly were more likely to be locals, whereas the whites perhaps lived in the suburbs and thus motivated by a need to return home by a reasonable hour.

Another problem with the article is the assertion that there is something inherently wrong or even insidious about giving a black film "an arthouse release." Nothing could be further from the truth. Up until the mid-1970s, all films, irrespective of genre and target audience, were released slowly, often in only a handful of theatres on opening weekend. Even today, many films, including big budget "white" films are released very effectively in that way. For example, CHICAGO opened in a mere 77 theatres on opening weekend and went on to gross $170 million domestically. DREAMGIRLS opened in only three theatres and also did over $100 million at the box office. Meanwhile, TYLER PERRY PRESENTS PEEBLES opened in over 2,000 screens opening weekend and only made $9 million at the box office. A better reviewed black film, GET ON THE BUS, opened in 1,200 theatres, but made under $6 million. Compare the latter film to Spike Lee's first full-length feature, SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT which outgrossed GET ON THE BUS, despite opening in only one theatre. If anything, black films are often better served by getting an "art house" release, particularly if they are not broad comedies. Despite its serious subject matter, ANTWONE FISHER opening in 15 theatres did comparable business to black cast comedies (e.g., THE BROTHERS, DELIVER US FROM EVA) that opened in wide release around the same time.

Another poor example in the article was using THINK LIKE A MAN to show that black films do well overseas. Despite its grosses in South Africa (a majority black country) and the UK, overall the film did over 95% of its box office in the US or less than 5% overseas. Not a good showing at all. A better example was BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, which did approximately 40% of its business overseas. It's commonly known that American comedies (irrespective of the race of the cast), with rare exceptions do not do well overseas.

Another film, contradicting the empathy factor theory was EVE'S BAYOU. A large percentage of its audience was made up of white women. All of the major characters in that film were black.

The problem lies not in the "empathy factor," or with white executives refusing to greenlight black films, or with black films having minuscule production and/or marketing budgets. Four of the top ten highest grossing films to come out of the Sundance Film Festival's dramatic competition have been black films, including PRECIOUS, the all-time box office champ. The real problem was only hinted in your article. It is the lack of empathy by BLACKS for black films. And this is not just for films about working class and economically disadvantaged blacks like in PRECIOUS or the current release, FRUITVALE STATION (another one of Sundance's top grossing films), it's also for films about more affluent blacks like EVE'S BAYOU and SUNSHINE STATE.

Despite all of the talk about a lack of variety in black films, black film audiences have time and time again shown a greater interest in supporting only certain types of black films, while ignoring others. The films are out there. While they may not have the wide release or big marketing budgets of a Tyler Perry film (and as TYLER PERRY PRESENTS PEEPLES has shown, it can still be a box office failure), many blacks know that alternatives exist, but for whatever reason, choose not to support them.

As the saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."


I am a little late to the party but here it goes.
I am a 39 year old white male who watches a fair amount of movies, a fair amount of foreign movies usually from Asian countries, But not a whole lot of of black movies. And I asked myself why the hell can't I bring myself to watch any black movies that have come out recently.

I mean given my age I was raised on Kung Fu theater and Blaxsploitation flicks and really enjoy them, I really enjoy the last great run of Black moves that came in the 90's movies from Boys in The Hood and New Jersey Drive To Blade to Movies like Gridlock'd and New Jack City (Side note: Holy Shit was there a lot of interesting movies out in the 90's) But for some reason I have a hard time bringing myself to watch any black movies now.

I think part of it is the problem of perception. I tend to think of black movies in 2 categories. 1. High minded Oscar bait. Movies like the Butler and 42. There is a place for it but not my thing generally.

2. The Big Mommas House, Maedea ect, type 0f movies. Crassly commercial and somewhat cynical, If you enjoy it, great I guess if you are into it, but once again not for me.

I think part of the problem of white audiences not being able to identify with these movies is the fact that studios are afraid to back movies where there are characters that people can identify with.

Granted there is the trope of where the white people come on and solve all of black peoples problems such as The Help and Amistad but that is another story.

I think that there is a fear among people who produce movies that they would rather not risk alienating 10 racists than appealing to 90 movie fans.

I dunno.


As a black man, I see no reason why "whites" should enjoy "black" movies: the quality of mainstream black cinema is borderline unwatchable.

Now, if you want to make an argument about how there's a dearth of films targeting the black demographic in the marketplace, you might actually have something to write about. However, the endless race-baiting the writers of this blog engage in is meant more to provoke a response and generate page views than it is to actually have an educated conversation about African Americans and cinema.


The comments section has proved the point of the article, it has proven that the empathy gap is not restricted to movies .
Just because you see a movie with a majority cast or lead black lead doesn't make it a black film they are not the ones that set the agenda/ tone of the films.
Being a minority in a country that is majority white should not preclude empathy.
I also would like to mention that the UK, America the whole world were populated by black people, Caucasians came from black people so lets get things into perspective.


WOW! I really enjoyed your article.

The comment section was even more fascinating! I like hearing others' perspectives, as long as it doesn't get into name calling and anger. I can understand P.H's comment about us living as Westerners; except for one thing. I can not give away my identity as a Black woman, even if I am mixed with Europeans genetically through American Slavery (which I am). Slavery erased the African cultural identity we had. That's done; no point in looking back .

Chris M.'s comments were quite interesting as well. Something to think about.

Andre S., your response to the comments were very much appreciated by me. It helps me to understand better. Thank you.


@Andre Seewood, I am white and I don't understand "black" culture or even what may encapsulate "black" culture. I feel like I've seen movies that would be considered mainstream that starred African Americans. Off the top of my head: Coach Carter, the Rush Hour movies, Beverly Hills Cop, anything with Will Smith in it, and I'm sure there are others I have seen that I can't think of right now. I guess my question is are these movies not considered "black"? I hope my comment and question reads as respectful ignorance because I have very little knowledge of "black" culture and only due to lack of exposure.

P. H.

You're looking at my point and injecting what I've said with your own biases.
Everything you've just said about me is assumption. I've got black friends, I've got Indian friends, I've Jewish friends, I've got polish friends. I've been in relationships with and loved people of other races.
Yes, I lived in an English town for eighteen years and met two people that were not white. It wasn't a segregated community at all, it was an English community.
You've assumed that I'm talking about racial segregation and I am not. I simply believe that it's arrogant to ignore the differences between cultures just so as to be politically correct. I believe that the whole of the twentieth century was a mistake. There was this mentality that we can forget the past, live by this myth of eternal progress; people spent an entire century chasing after the next big thing and trying to stay trendy. "Oh I'm going to be conservative. Oh I'm going to liberal. I'm going to be socialist. I'm going to be communist. I'm going to be an anarchist" The past was considered insignificant. It's like throwing out the baby with the bath water, we threw out a lot of bad ideas, but we didn't learn from them and we didn't keep the few good ideas that were there in the first place.
Culture became a thing of the past, we were all in favour of a globalized world. I think back to my childhood and England was a drastically different place. We all lived in communities, where you could leave your back door open twenty four hours a day and the only person that would through was a neighbour wanting to borrow a cup of sugar. There are a lot of good things about way we live today, but on the whole I see the break down of respect, of custom, of consideration, tradition–as tragic. I believe that culture important and I believe that it's wrong to cut ourselves off from the past. (I'm not getting my ideas out properly but I'm rushing so bear with me).
Yes, other races have contributed to the West. Of course they have. But you bring slavery as if it's something that has only ever happened to Africans. Slavery has existed for as long as civilization. It existed in Ancient Greece, Rome, Babylon, Sumeria, Egypt, China. It's easy to pick and choose historical facts to suit, but slavery isn't some huge injustice committed against black people. Slavery is a huge injustice and members of every single race on this planet have been slaves at one point or another in history.

I prefer films with white casts. You can act disgusted and say that I prefer films where blacks are on the periphery and look down your nose at me because you think that I'm being condescending, but in my experience this is the case. I have friends of different ethnic backgrounds but I have many more friends that are white British and I know many more white British people. My experience has been one where individuals of different ethnicity have been very much on the periphery, on the fringe of society and whether that's right or wrong- it's out of my control. Personally, I find white people to be more attractive than people of other races (I'm not saying that white people are generally more attractive, this is my personal taste) and so when I'm watching a film if I find the cast attractive then this will move the film up in my considerations. I could go on and on.
I also watch a lot of international subtitled films, so don't assume that my preference limits me because that isn't the case.
I'm worried that I'm not being very articulate but I'll finish by saying that, you can call me condescending for having ideas different to yours and you can imply prejudice, but that's incredibly arrogant and naive. I'm a completely open and accepting person, I'm just not somebody that worried about being PC.
I'd also like you to think about how open the west actually is. I mean, yes black people are supposedly accepted in the west— but only so long as they conform to a western pattern of living. So long as they practice a western religion, so long as they hold down a job like a westerner, so long as they soak up western ideas and act just like a westerner- completely forget and disregard their cultural heritage. The only room for acceptance of cultural difference there is is that it's deemed okay for black people to listen to "black music" and to wear "black style clothes". In effect Western society is okay with black people (and other minorities) being different– so long as the act and live and think just like us. I see that as the biggest injustice committed against black people, it's an injustice instigated by white people and reinforced by black people. I mean, the writer of this article is black (I'm assuming American) but I'd be willing to bet that this person can't tell me the religion of their ancestors (because it sure as hell isn't Christianity). I bet they can't tell me which tribes they're descended from, which language they spoke, what the traditions of their ancestors were. Africans were taken out of Africa and shipped to America during the slave trade, made to give up their tribal beliefs such as Yoruba and Candomble- made to change everything about themselves and are still expected to conform today. (I haven't been very clear but I'll elaborate later).

P. H.

I'm English. I grew up in a traditional English village (where in eighteen years there I met two people that were not Caucasian); moved to London at eighteen where I made a few friends that weren't white… I'm not racist, I'm not prejudicial and I can empathize with people of other races. The things that white people have done in the past to non-white people simply because of the colour of their skin it's despicable. It's equally despicable that the standard of beauty pushed by the west onto the rest of the world is a white one. There's nothing genetically superior about white people and I don't see people of different races as a different species or anything.

When it comes to films though I'll admit unashamedly that I prefer to see films with a white cast. There may be a lot more coloured people in America and in London but my culture (whatever is left of it) is British. That's what I respond too, that's what I relate too, that is my culture. I don't see it as racist or prejudicial that black films are a minority in the west because the west is pre-dominantly white. If you look at Bollywood cinema the actors are predominantly Indian, if you look at Nollywood cinema the actors are predominantly Nigerian. Things may be changing and their may be many more ethnic minorities in the west today and Western culture may be more open, diverse and inclusive- more cosmopolitan; but Western cinema comes from a Western civilization, a western perspective and a western vision of experience and I don't believe that there is anything wrong with that. I can understand how this would feel un-inclusive to a coloured person but it would be ridiculous if half of the films coming out of the United Kingdom, even thirty, twenty percent were made up of black casts when black people make up a miniscule fraction of the population. In England alone there are sixty- one million people; in the whole of the UK there are something like 1.8 million black people.


For me it depends on an individual movie, not whether the movie is "a black movie" or "a white movie". Though I cannot relate to what it's like being black, I can empathize with the personal struggles of an individual, regardless of the color of their skin. I won't watch Tyler Perry movies because they all look terrible, regardless of their subject matter, they all look terrible. I will give Spike Lee movies a chance if they look good, despite the fact that I cannot relate to his point of view at all. And it's very true that there was a mini black Renaissance in film in the early 90's. What the hell happened? There were some great films that did well financially, but then films started trending towards stereotypical junk.

Andre is right about most white people not liking "black movies". He would also be right if he said most black people don't like "white music". I've seen both scenarios played out for years.

I personally don't feel the need to relate or empathize with groups of people who are not like me. I just try to get along with everyone on an individual level, which is much more important than trying to understand the plight of an entire group of people.


Re-reading over the article and some of these comments, I would have to say that I am not too familiar with black cinema as a whole. It could be, as you described, a lack of marketing combined with the (or my own) racial empathy gap.

In fact the last black films that I can remember being advertised were- The Barbershop films and Tyler Perry's multiple films. Neither of which ever even began to grab my interest. I know that Tyler Perry is equivalent to Adam Sandler in the niche department (making nearly identical films, with standard plots/subplots) I can't stand that kind of cookie cutter craftsmanship. Which is not to say that none of those films are good, just not particularly interesting to me.


These comments show me we have a long way to go in this country. I mean everyone too. It's hard to have a real conversation when people get defensive and never want to hear what other people have to say. How are we going to improve and understand each other when someone tells you how you feel you bring out stats and study's to make you feel better about someone calling you out in what they feel. Nobody wants anyone to feel guilty or feel bad. Everybody just wants each other to understand but no one can be mature adults about it. You guys act like little kids in a classroom who got busted and wants to point the finger at another student. But ms.baker Taylor did it first! Grow up people seriously.



While reading the comments (I've read all 346 of them) I am reminded of those who challenged MLK and Malcolm X. Time after time, at some of the most prestigious universities and stages around the world, Martin and Malcolm were invited to speak. On numerous occasions they faced a barrage of detractors who were hell bent on disproving, refuting and/or belittling their claims. However, with the skills of masterful surgeons and unmatched vocabularie at their disposal, they slayed them all. So goes the ways of Mr. Seawood.

Week after week, Andre has taken on all challengers. So much so that I've given him the nickname of The Brown Bomber. For those who don't know, that was a name given to Joe Louis who was said to knock-out "bums of the month". Well, day after day, sometimes 3 a day, Andre is masterfully knocking-out all comers.

And, just like those who apposed Martin and Malcolm, those who frequently tried to reshape the arguments, call them a racist and feign ignorance, Andre has faced those same weak debating techniques. But again, he has laid them all to rest. Some have limped away after a small struggle and a severe case of denial, while others apparently knew they were holding a weak hand and thus decided to fold'em without a whisper of a rebuttal.

@ Andre, in the voice of Slick Rick… just another case 'bout the wrong path, straight 'n narrow or dey' soul gets cast. Knock 'em out the box Andre, knock 'em out. Knock 'em out the box Andre, knock 'em out Andre!


Its called cultural relevance. Everyone cant relate to all black people, sometimes us whites do and sometimes we dont.

Your research is extremely poor

Kenneth Kourt

This article was written in a way that defies and almost begs race-baiting. I call bull****. I, as a white person who has lived most of his life in a West African/Jamaican neighborhood, still do not like much of what is considered "black" cinema.

The reason is simple enough. I can't identify with it. The same basic principle holds true for "Gay Cinema" "Lesbian Cinema", Bollywood films, Japanese films, Middle Eastern films, Icelandic films. There are always exceptions, but God damn, I will not, nor can I identify with all of these things. I don't have the time.

I don't like Jeff Dunham. I don't like Spike Lee. Which one makes me a racist? I also think that Takeshi Miike is a douche who is making bad movies on purpose. I feel the same way about Uwe Boll.

I have watched a few of Tyler Perry's movies. I don't "get it". That doesn't make me a bad person, just a person of a different taste.

I also watch and perform a lot of stand-up comedy and frankly, much of the black comedians are pandering to a specific crowd. During a set I was at and physically watching, DL Hughley said these exact words, "All y'all white people don't understand". WHAT THE HELL? Why? If I said "Black people won't get it", I'd be killed before I could run off the stage.

That's not righteous retribution. Nor is it racism. It's shitty.


In my honest opinion phrases like ´by those Whites´ and ´All we have to do is support these films with our dollars and it won’t matter if Whites like or don’t like our movies.´ aren´t that politically correct as we say in the Netherlands. As you address that the narrow definition of a Black film must be challenged, those comments aren´t in line with that. Why support new movies of it isn´t certain if they support your statement.
And as Mr. Chris M pointed out earlier, producers are businesspeople and (both black and white) make certain decisions to get the best return for it. It is quite logical. To imply that all black people should support black movies by seeing them all doesn’t works out that well, because people shouldn’t do certain actions to address issues which they do not care for if you wouldn’t addressed it.
There are more and more movies with black and white leads being released. Why should you want to narrow Black movies down with an integrated or international cast? Are they black movies when they have an integrated or international cast? If today’s movies are watched by all people of America, Europe or other continents and producers make a good living out of it, why should they change it? The interests of peoples in certain movies change all the time. Disney mad Princess and the frog, Will Smith and his son are taking more leads every day and don’t forget one of the most loved movies of the nineties, se7en with Morgan Freeman as one of the leads. I don’t think the narrow definition of a black film should be challenged, as it is already being challenged by producers when they get a ‘black movie’ script in their hands. I’m not saying that any discrimination by producers or anyone should be tolerated. But your statement implies black movies are not given an equal chance. I do believe it’s more of a question whether people actually want these movies on screen.
Furthermore, I think the tone of voice and certain phrases started the discussing about racism. You should use the words blacks and whites a little less honestly. It doesn’t underline your statement, it just makes people feel more discriminated. I’m a European and I can honestly say we don’t use the words black and white as much, so I rarely see this kind of article and I am a little bit shocked (and offended).


All white people are racist ! we all know that….


Maybe white folk are fed up of watching contrived rubbish consisting of the "demon white man" and the poor downtrodden " black man", which is a constant theme in these movies, whilst white movies rarely if ever (esp these days) play it the opposite way and portray the black man as bad (heaven forbid, we would have a crowd of disgruntled black folk playing the race/victim card). I see the idiots are out in force today, black racists whose hatred of the white man is undeniable (see comments) granted there are white racist idiots too. What I can't understand is, why black folk embrace this western system?, the same system that has kept both them and the WHITE WORKING CLASSES OF BRITAIN AND EUROPE IN POVERTY, AND SUBSERVIENT TO THE RICH, white working classes in Britain and Europe never kept slaves….FACT, we were slaves to the rich, land-owners. aristocracy, royals, centuries before any black man was enslaved. The problem is the ruling elite, they spin it to keep us all killing each other while they f**k us all over……devide and conquer, it ever fails.


Cue the angry white trolls with delusions of entitlement and still dragging the long-dead 90's meme that whites have some grievance.
Next they'll be saying there's not enough whites on TV –oh, wait…


Maybe blacks feel the need to make "black movies" because they lack empathy towards whites.


Lacking empathy? Are you entirely retarded? Maybe it's because black movies paint white people in an idiotic manner, revealing their resentment. maybe it's because blacks feel the need to put their own race on a pedestal because they feel they have to prove something. blacks are the worst racists of all. they kill more people and commit more crimes than any other race then b*tch about their plight.

Chris M.

Okay. I'm trying to wrap my head around this. First, you are generalizing that white people as a whole just do not like movies with a majority-black cast, that is inherently a racist sentiment, embodying the very definition of "racist" because you are attempting to lump all whites into a very broad category. I, myself, and I know a number of my white friends happen to enjoy a lot of high quality, so-called, "black films" because they are good movies. The Racial Empathy Gap theory only exists to those who see EVERYTHING through the lens of race. EVERYTHING is not a racial issue, despite some attempting to make it so. Mainly because a lot of so-called black leaders have a lot to gain from perceived racism in America.

There are two primary (and actually provable) reasons why films with primarily black casts do not do well. First off, they are often under-marketed, mainly because many of them are not very good. It's true. Tyler Perry has set back a number of actor's careers with his repetitive, banal and overly schmaltzy tripe. He's one of the worst filmmakers working today. Am I saying this because he's black? No. I'm saying this because it is true. For a "control" so to speak I still think a number of white directors like Micheal Bay and Roland Emerich are still worse. Also, many comedies marketed towards blacks, I find (as do some of my black friends) are actually quite demeaning. Tending to focus on marijuana, music or other things that Hollywood producers thing black people would like when they attempt to offer money up after the pitch. Yes, there is a disparity between the number of predominately white movies over blacks but it is not a matter of racism, it is a matter of demographics. Producers are businesspeople and they are going to put their money where they think it will get a return. They aren't going to invest large sums of money in a movie from a notoriously-bad filmmaker or starring a particularly-bad actor (like Tyler Perry, in both cases).

It seems your theory is white people are uncomfortable with movies that do not have white leads. Prove it. You can claim numbers, but I can give you other reasons these movies do not do well. In order to prove your theory and the theory of the Racial Empathy Gap, you would have to be able to read the minds of every single white moviegoer in America as they are watching a newly-released "black movie". You won't be able to do it, because like most accusations of race, it's loaded. Nobody can win because nobody can truly convince someone else they aren't a racist.

If you want people to see more black movies, stop writing about it and make one. Make one that is good. One that says something, one that has good performances, a good screenplay and plot. The truth is, Japanese films do well in the U.S., and they do not have all-white casts. Akira Kurosawa is the most celebrated director in the world… of all time. He was not white. Indian films are making a big rise in the American market too. I guarantee you, just based on demographics, these facts would be impossible if the theories espoused in your one-sided post were true.

I have a theory for you. It is one that HAS been proven and has been considered a sociological truth for many years. It is called confirmation bias. It means if you spend all your time looking for a specific result, you will fashion your reasoning and your actual results to fit or justify that outcome. If you go into any subject completely assuming that there is no other explanation to something besides what you assert, you have already dug yourself into a hole. I'm not saying you're stupid. I found your article to be interesting, though the logic and the attempts to find racial reasons for the failings of movies that are rarely made and are often just not good by their own merit to be offensive and more than a little racist in their own right.

white guy

What about the adult film genre? As a married white guy i love watching black on black hetro action, and indeed black on white (white women with black guys).


As long as you keep pointing out the differences between the races they will always exist.


Two issues:
1) this isn't an article about how people respond – it's an article about how American people respond. I'd guess that if you conduct the same empathy tests in e.g. the UK, you'd get a different set of data. Which relates to…
2) my suspicion is that the empathy gap is much more to do with niche culture generally than it is to do with black or white. The same thing would apply to bollywood, Chinese cinema, chick-flicks, hispanic films… etc. It's not that no one can relate to Indians, hispanics, the Chinese or women aside from people within those demographics, its just that when culture is produced specifically for those demographics then there's set of norms, jokes, day-to-day realities that people outside of that just aren't going to get, no matter how hard the viewer/reader tries.
3) The best art helps you understand yourself and humanity better. Most "black movies" aren't art, they are entertainment – just like chick-flicks and bollywood and an-explosion-a-minute films.


It s not like white people are easy to get along with. Imagine having to live in a country with a bunch of airhead white people who sprout out hate at any moment because it is encouraged by the entire race. White people are like the barbaric people with the advance of technology. Because they hold guns so they never have to develop any empathy. In that case segregation with equality s good because then you don't have to deal w the people you don't really like. They can afford to hate us because it doesn't compromise their status or finance in the society.

delayne mims

All white people are racist !

White boy in a black world

Actually, black movies typically all have the same plot (i.e. gangsta, racist, stupid comedy, and maybe a love/ cheating story and sprinkle in a little HIV). If there were more creative black directors maybe there would be more white people watching them. I enjoyed Friday, Boys in da hood, some others. But, when you seen one, you seen them all.


sorry, but this is bullshit :)


KEV IRON EYES CAINES is right, stop with all this NIGGER love. The main character's violent actions were excused because he was a "hot-head." Fuck that, everyone should be responsible for their actions! I'm sorry but if he did not want to get shot then maybe he should have cooperated with the police and not put up a fight. I am done with all this white guilt the jew controlled media is pushing on society. The dude was a NIGGER and had it coming because he was acting like a NIGGER. If he acted like a sane human (and not burning his lips on a crack pipe) and complied with officers he would be alive and in jail because he was probably holding drugs. FUCK HIM!!

Kev Iron Eyes Caines

I'm gonna say right now Shadow and Act Is one of the most RACIEST websites Ive ever had the misfortune of visiting. This is nothing short of a BLACK NAZI supremacist power struggle. You want the white hate to go away ? Well this is how not to make that happen !! Thats OK say you don't care what the white hate groups are doing, they care what you are doing So who is cheerleader this crap now?


Shut up you dirty NIGGER!

Kev Iron Eyes Caines

Did it ever even Accrue to you that the White people you picked out of this audience with your own two eyes may not even have been white? Please tell me what are your genuine certified black person credentials? That qualify you or any other black person of the same, to look at judge , and specify the race and origin of ancestry of a person simply by looking at them???? Lets test this notion that's a commonly used black word right? notion , ok I look at our President, and I say to myself, that is a half whit half black person. Right? And I would be CORRECT, now as a black person does that piss you off ??? We know his Mother is WHITE we are not sure of his fathers ancestry , and don't say otherwise cause you would be guessing.. We know he was Raised by a White family by all WHITE people and was love and educated… Oh yeah we allso know Jessy Jackson called him a NIGGER when he thought the mic was off. Now I have stated facts , so am I a raciest or a loving American that just wants to live my life and see my children prosper and grow along with what I think this nation is capable of. ???


I am white……and like a lot of "black" movies and could probably think of some I don't like, same as any other "genre" movie. Like Eddie Murphy movies, Samuel Jackson movies, Forrest Whittaker, James Earl Jones, Halle Barry, Denzel Washington, several other actresses whose names escape me at the moment….Ohh Queen Latifah is one. Chris Tucker and Ice Cube in Friday……..the list goes on. I think the article and research is probably restricted to a narrow sample group for these statistics, but that is my opinion. I think people make wayyy too much out of color and not enough out of behavior and morality. I like good movies…. black or white……or in black and white or color. A good movie is a good movie.

Brian K

It seems people have forgotten this:


Uhmm, maybe I don't watch enough movies to have any kind of substantial opinion on the subject but I've definitely seen plenty of "black" movies as defined in the article and enjoyed them quite fully. I've also seen quite a few black movies that I've turned off from the outset. Despite the fact that there ARE black films that I would certainly leave a theater in the middle of watching, there are also such "white" or "asian" films in existence, and I'm not entirely sure that that has anything to do with an "empathy gap"… I'd suggest a more mundane lack of interest. Anyway, you're free to do what you will with that personal account, but here's a short list of black films rated as either "good" or "bad" using my own personal tastes as a deciding factor. Maybe you can read something into it.

Hotel Rwanda – Good
Do The Right Thing – Good
Malcolm X – Good
Friday – Good
Boyz N The Hood – Good
Life – Good
Meet The Browns – Bad
Shottas – Bad
Paid In Full – Bad
How High – Bad
Woo – Bad
Norbit – Bad


Whites don't like black movies because we get more than enough exposure to the 'vibrant, culturally-enriching diversity' in daily life, without having to pay to see more of it. Why see a horror movie when I can just drive through Detroit?


Article is on point. Did any see the backlash from the little black girl playing in Hunger games?


I'm white and I hated Soul Plane. It was offensive, disgusting, not funny, presumptuous, arrogant, extremely "eye-rolling", and just plain weird. If that's black cinema, then I'll stick with "white" movies that don't grosse me out..


I'd like to see an article about how race roles and stereotypes are still prevalent in black films today. Minus most of Spike Lee's work, I still see many unfair stereotypes in black films(not all mostly black cast movies are black produced, directed, and distributed, and unfortunately the ones that are are usually terrible "rap-crime movies" produced, directed, and distro'd by rappers and/or they're record label/production company. Ex: state property 1 and 2, hot boyz, Shottas, etc…


I taught a writing class at a homeless facility for over 2 years. Most of my students were black, as is my wife. I am white. The majority of my students despised Tyler Perry movies. One of them even compared them to what he called "bug-eyed Step-n-Fetchit" movies. When I was growing up, it didn't matter to me if the movie starred Clint Eastwood or Richard Roundtree or Jackie Chan. What mattered, as still does, was the acting, dialogue & plot. It is up to the writer and director to create a movie that an audience can relate to.

Andre Seewood

It would be interesting to consider this article in light of actor Shemar Moore's comments about," Black movies may alienate others."


I hated Soul Plane


White have fragile self esteem, inferiority complex





I think when you use terms like "the vast majority of white people" that's problematic. There are issues with black film distribution before white people even have a chance to see the films, which is a form on institutionalized racism in and of itself, yes- but are we placing white audiences and produces into the same category? If given the opportunity and more funding and publicity I think some black films would thrive. I also don't think it's necessarily fair to act as though white people have nothing to do with black films, when often white people (if you'd like to refer to them monolithically from producer to consumer, across geographic regions and generations) have some involvement in black films. And to the commentor who said that white people don't like Fruitvale Station- I'd like to know how you came to that conclusion?


Am I still banned from S&A – I'm not, okay good. ;)

Best way to change this, is to abolish racial categorization in general. The sooner this system is abolished, the closer we will get to human equality.


As a 24 year old white woman:

I usually do not watch movies with an all black cast.

My reasoning isn't because of an lack of empathy, but because of cultural differences.

Movies that are based on race like civil rights movies make me feel like I don't belong watching it. I am from New Hampshire, and too young to have experienced the civil rights movement. A civil rights movie to a white person usually is like watching a movie where people like you are the bad guys, mostly because of your race. Neither myself or my ancestors had anything to do with the civil rights movie, so I feel like I don't belong watching. I also would honestly be afraid that I would risk violence by going to a civil rights movie in theaters, by being the white person invading black space, and the feelings that the movie brings out.

Some movies with all black casts I have a hard time following or understanding the jokes or language, just because I am not part of the culture.

I do not having a problem watching a movie with a mostly black cast though. Usually science fiction movies and stuff I don't care, because the plot is something more universal, that I don't have to be a part of a certain culture to understand. Comedy and movies about crime are kind of hit and miss.

I do like shows like Fresh Prince, Family Matters and Movies with Will Smith, Morgan Freeman and so on though.


This is a blog post on indie wire and people are like "let's have a serious intellectual discussion" and I'm like "lol".

Perry Painter

White female perspective/ramblings : I have noticed the severe lack of roles given to black actors. Why are there so many terrible, unwatchable white writers making white movies with white only casts, getting produced and making all of us mad that we wasted our money at the theatre! There is plenty of room for replacement and other voices!! Do we need anymore mediocre mostly white bank heist movies? I can't think of a good reason why any one other than white people could not play lead detective, jealous husband or wife, astronaut, molecular chemist…. It does bother me and what also bothers me is that it would seem black screen writers obviously are not able to have their voices heard more in hollywood, that there is a lack of variety and different genres within black film. Most whites I know love variety. One day an artsy fartsy avant garde movie, one day a horror movie, next an action movie, good futuristic science fiction, (such as After Earth and Star Wars, more of that please), good girly movies. More on girly movies, since I am a girl. Above, you mentioned Waiting to Exhale. I read Terrry McMillans books when I was 17 and worked at a bookstore. Great books and almost good movie except for the fact that Whitney Houston is a great performer/singer, but a bad actress. Why would anyone cast her when there are many other black talented struggling actresses out there?– I know, it sells the film. I liked Bodygaurd with Whitney and Kevin, but it could have been A LOT BETTER, not because of some racial empathy stuff, but because it was hard to buy the fact that an attractive talented women would fall for a dorky guy like that. Come on!!!! Also, she is a bad actress!!!!!! I know, she helps sell the film. Replace both Kevin and Whitney with other actors and more believable in those roles. Black, white, red, yellow, doesn't matter, and you have an excellent movie not a good/ok movie. She was slightly better in Preachers Wife, but next to Denzel it's got to be hard. Anyway, these movies are really more for women, my husband would never watch any of these, no matter what color the cast. White people do spend a lot of time discussing and dissecting an actors skill and talent, no matter what the race.
In the end, you can't come to the ballgame fully prepared and expect to win the game. It takes practice, and practice in the film industry is not something black screen writers, actors have been allowed to have. It is such a shame because there is talent everywhere and we are all missing out!! "If you build it, they will come", but I have no advice on getting through the red, I mean, the "white tape."

Chris Boykin

So simply and clearly stated that you could only argue with it if you're in denial about institutionalized racial prejudice and biological altruism.

Sterling Cooper

White folks don't like black movies because black folks talk loud in the theater.

Prof Waller

And by the way, I must say that a disturbing number of the responses here are either ignorantly missing the point and the full remifications of Seewood's analysis or deliberately ignoring the point ( for instance, to claim that not many Black films are 'good' anyway is quite ignoble, inasmuch as the analysis Seewood offers just might be a way of explaining WHY not many are 'good'–although the statement by Mix Master Ronnie D, is wrong on its face–there are dozens and dozens of Black films and 'White' films with strong Black performances and Black protagonists or central Black anti-heroes, "Black Orpheus," "Brother John," "Killer of Sheep," "Training Day," and "Malcolm X," to name some, so WTF?? "GOOD"? What are, 14 years old up in here?) Again, A Black filmmaker, intellectual and film critic such as Seewood, isn't taken as seriously as he should be. I bet if some NPR film commentator were to say the same things Seewood is saying, the same people commenting here would at least be willing to suspend their snarkiness if not suspend their disbelief.

Prof Rayfield A. Waller

This speculation on empathy deficit is a wonderful model to apply to all sorts of daily, common sense experiences of Blacks in America, a highly 'economically stratified society' as WELL as a White supremacist society, in which the interstices of the assumptions of race and class create a constant frisson around the deficit. In other words, the model can be used to explain much more than the subject at hand, responses to Black film.

Certainly, responses to everyday enactments of citizenship such as the 'White' responses to Black public intellectualism, to Black public authority of all types, and even to Black presence and Black movement and interaction in public space in the United States, can be explained with this model (these 'responses' are the ones that we all know very well and must confront daily, responses such as incredulity, anger, fear, suspicion, resentment, and the deficit of trust). As an anecdotal example that is an experience quite poignant to me (and quite illustrative of my 'predicament' in America, being situated in a society that in every way negates me either aggressively or in the subtly passive way Andre Seewood's model exposes–as the simple unwillingness to suspend disbelief– I, as a university professor, scholar, journalist, and writer can cite dozens, many dozens of moments of a range of 'White' responses to my presence from confusion to disorientation, to anger, to outright violence and the threat of violence.

E.g., my frequent experience in acting as if I am 'the professor' on campus very often occasions my causing these 'White' responses in students, colleagues, and in the authorities on campus simply by walking into my classroom (whatever current classroom). The first day of a new semester is always the sticking point: unless I take extraordinary steps to alleviate the 'White' response (such as wearing conservative attire, verbally announcing myself as I enter a crowded classroom with loud utterances of heraldic phrases such as 'Good morning, students!', or such as arriving much earlier than students do so that when they enter they will see me already seated in the position of the professor at the front of the room behind the authorized 'professor's desk'), I will frequently encounter disbelief, confusion, even incredulity. The more so with the various and sundry 'security' guards and camps police who are forever following me, surveilling me, scrutinizing and even challenging me as I key into my rooms, key into my own office, walk into a building or navigate a given campus after dark. This has happened to me in three states, on nine campuses, over twenty years that I have been a university professor. It has happened to me in twelve additional states at twenty academic conferences and in the official conference dorms, halls, and hotels I have frequented, and even once occurred when I was announced to present a conference paper, rose from the audience, walked onto stage right past the conference director, and took to the podium as he gazed past me, wondering where I was, turned to see me at the podium, and insisted, "it's too late to set up the recording equipment, we're in the middle of lectures, Professor Waller must be late."

Why do I keep putting "White" into quotations? Because as Seewood's insightful piece mentions, the position of the 'White Gaze' (to crib Laura Mulvey) is not necessarily only Anglo. I frequently encounter these same reactions from Black students (particularly Black female students), Black 'authorities, Black colleagues, Black co-workers, and Black audiences. The unwillingness to suspend disbelief and to 'buy a ticket' to ride or to view (spectate at) whatever I am directing, conducting, piloting, or presenting, is an American trait, that many Blacks, being thoroughly Americanized (i.e., conditioned to corporate capitalist class conceits), whole-heartedly participate in. I note, for instance, that both a minority of Whites given to a love for minstrelsy, and as well a critical mass of Blacks given to mass mediated self-hatred, do assiduously patronize the offensive darkie comedies of hacks such as Tyler Perry while remaining either ignorant of, or indifferent to the artistic output of Bill Duke–the reason for which of course is equal (or who knows, perhaps unequal) parts the bigotry of the American 'movie' industry, of Black audiences, and of 'White' audiences.

The recent criminal efficacy of a bag of skittles in hand for a Black youth who is immediately suspected of ill doings, is only the latest example of how this market model can be applied to social space and Black bodies themselves, but my primary point is that Seewood's article puts a finger right on the pulse of the wellspring of the 'White' American imaginary, which limits, confines, and regulates Black artistic production, distribution, and critical response–limits the Black body of work, just as it limits, confines, and regulates the Black body itself.

As Tony Soprano would say, "It's a very difficult situaaaaaation."


I don't think it is a bad thing if whites don't like black American films. Black Americans spend about 1 billion dollars on film a year. This market is big enough. Black film-makers and distributors should just focus on getting more black people to watch all black productions. They also need to start making better films. While Hollywood uses a lot of clichés, black American films are worse. They are too predictable and are have too many racial stereotypes. I don't think films are validated by the number of white people that enjoy them.

Ronnie D.

@Andrew_Seewood, you seemed to leave out the fact that there aren't many GOOD black films, and the ones that ARE good, are generally viewed by a mass audience, especially white people eg. Precious, soon Fruitvale Station.



bernice bowling

Tyler Perry Rocks, and so does Kingdomcome, The Secret Life Of Bees, The Help, So yes white people like Black movies ! I could have named more but there was way too many.


I love black people movies, thank you very much. There actually much better then white people movies. Most of the people I know like black movies.

Parris Moore

There is an inherent problem with this argument, race as a reality in modern society. Homo sapiens sapiens is what we are as humans, and yes we have different skin color, facial features, cultures, languages and such, but that does not designate us as different species or race!
I have won almost every major film festival in the world from a movie I produced in Africa! "Kinyarwanda", it is a story about peoples lives during genocide, their struggles and their triumphs. "Kinyarwanda", has done well in Japan, Europe and America and was named the 6th film of the year 2011 in the US by "Roger Ebert"! It is a movie about people folks!
So called "Black" films are a specific genre that some people enjoy and there are many who don't, including gasp, African Americans! I do not believe European Americans have any less or more taste when it comes to specific genres; that being said, I do believe the future of media is Intra-Cultural, if Hollywood wishes to thrive!

Parris Moore

There is an inherent problem with this argument, race as a reality in modern society. Homo sapiens sapiens is what we are as humans, and yes we have different skin color, facial features, cultures, languages and such, but that does not designate us as different species or race!
I have won almost every major film festival in the world from a movie I produced in Africa! "Kinyarwanda", it is a story about peoples lives during genocide, their struggles and their triumphs. "Kinyarwanda", has done well in Japan, Europe and America and was named the 6th film of the year 2011 in the US by "Roger Ebert"! It is a movie about people folks!
So called "Black" films are a specific genre that some people enjoy and there are many who don't, including gasp, African Americans! I do not believe European Americans have any less or more taste when it comes to specific genres; that being said, I do believe the future of media is Intra-Cultural, if Hollywood wishes to thrive!

Mr. Jones

I myself don't care for most "black" movies. They are mostly poorly written. With stereotypical caricatures of black people, also let us not forget that there were quite a few great movies made starring our people. They simply stopped making them even though they made money.

This Guy

The very fact that there is a classification known as "white" and "black" movies shows why whites don't like black movies. They are publicly called black movies, while "white" movies are not known as that but simply, movies. White people make up a majority of the population, so it would be unusual to see a cast of primarily blacks, without the movie's INTENTION to write towards a near-solely black demographic. From my experience, most "black" movies are based on stereotypical racial roles, rather than the development of a character. These movies are not written to gain support of mass audiences, and this is the fallacy of these type of movies. One of the few movies that doesn't heavily play on race, while creates a decent movie is Coming to America. I think it's easy to blame the audience for what is clearly an intentionally "black"-driven movie, as typical generalities go, on the part of the writer and director of a given movie.


Its not that white people dont like "Black movies" its that Most of the time these black Movies dont deal with white life or these black movies are written in a such a way that the white audience wont like it. Also Black movies are marketed towards blacks. I disagree with the research about how our brains only relate to our own race and not others. White people can watch a Will Smith movie and be just as moved as if they were watching a white super star. Its marketing, its about the script, the plot, and just good taste. I am black and i personally hate most "Black" movies because the marketing is so horrible and the movies are just so coonish, with the ultra saturated color posters and glossy faces its almost sad. But on the other hand i could watch the most low budget , horribly written, movie like Killa season , or State property.


Well written article … I look forward to reading your book.


Provoking article. My non-academic opinion is that people surround themselves with things they identify with. It's why I didn't take an interest in golf until Tiger turned pro, it's why in the 90s the number 1 sitcom for Whites was Seinfield while the number 1 for Blacks was Martin, it's why CNN goes crazy when a blonde girl disappears, it's why Blacks don't picket when an illegal immigrant is killed on the border, and it's why in my undergrad school the different ethnicities tended to cluster together (AAs with AAs, Nigerians with Nigerians, Whites with White, Indians with Indians, Pakistanis with Pakistanis, Mexicans with Mexicans, south americans etc…)

So I said all of that to say that White people do not flock to Black movies because they don't have to; They can see similar stories and plots cast with White actors. If there were enough Black sci-fi, horror, drama, and comedy flicks, we most likely would not spend any money on the White films.

I don't understand why we (African Americans) have such a hard time accepting this reality.


Why come Wesley snipes new movie never hit the commercial or even seen on television. I didn't know nothing about this movie until I Google Wesley snipes 2013. I didn't even know he was out of jail until I saw a short clip on the news. I was looking forward to Wesley snipes comeback since I always been a big fan of his. So what he messed up, that's life and all people mess up. At least he didn't kill anyone right?


I hope you do not believe or are suggesting that the racial empathy gap is something innate. Because it is not. It is the result of decades, no, centuries of brainwashing by the American media. We saw the same thing with Kenneth and Mamie Clark's doll experiment, and again decades later when Kiri Davis did it. It's as Malcolm X said: “Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind? Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to so much so that you don’t want to be around each other? No… Before you come asking Mr. Muhammad does he teach hate, you should ask yourself who taught you to hate being what God made you.”


I get that none of us can escape our own inherent racial bias including this author. Interesting points in this article (the power structure of American film making, how or why define "black cinema") are mucked up with the author's own bias ("…whites and other ethnicities"?). I have no idea what percentage of films that get pitched, get produced. I have no idea of how many project leaders in film are black and whether those numbers are at odds with representation in the general populace. Another interesting/informative view would be to look at the economics of audience (evidence shows that the black population is poorer than the white) This article poses a question, but doesn't go far enough to answer it.

If you want a great layman's view of the science behind our inherent racial bias, read Malcom Gladwell's Blink.

Are these movies "black"?
– Keep The River on Your Right
– Beasts of the Southern Wild
– Ganja and Hess


I enjoyed reading the article and many of the comments. I concluded, now is the time to create something different. Although your article says that we cannot create another 4 stages a movie goes through, surely something else can be created. We are in a time where everyone was riding horse and buggy and Henry Ford came along with the Model T.
With the internet and openings to markets worldwide, there has to be a way to get quality films out to the public without going through the regular segregated routes.
As an artist, it may not be for you to think on this. Business people with a mindset for change have to come together to create a different way. What was the world like before Google, Yahoo, Netflix, etc.? They created something different and set a new standard!
Let's work to set a new standard and get your films to the world!!! There is hope!


Honestly I couldn't get past the 3rd paragraph. So stereotypical. As a white woman my favorite thing to watch when television fails me with these horrible reality shows is re runs of Bernie Mac on Netflix, he never lets me down.
The only thing I can't stand in "black movies" is the use of the "N" word and portraying such ignorance in the use of such derogatory words when your ancestors fought so hard to rise above what the white man wanted them to be seen as.


I enjoyed your article. I know some people are upset because this is a frank discussion of race, but another example (though it's not a movie) is the Cheerio's commercial, where the biracial child discusses something with her mother, and then the father is seen only at the end. This enraged internet trolls so badly, that the comments section had to be shut down on YouTube (where the video received support but also tasteless insults).

Sadly, there are still some people, who would rather not see those of color on film. When Helmdall was cast using an actor of color (Idris Elba) there was backlash, but thankfully, also support. When Rue from the best seller The Hunger Games was cast as a black child, again, there was backlash but this time a popular internet site did a screen grab of of the comments for all the world to see. What was so amazing, is that in the book, Rue is described as being brown in complexion, and the author had envisioned the character as someone of color. The same opportunities do not exist for those of color as for whites. When people mention Denzel and Will Smith, they fail to note how many white actors can be mentioned which dwarf naming two black actors. Will and Denzel and even Morgan Freeman have succeeded in spite of the odds. But to have only three or four top black actors, and even woefully less minority females working competitively in film is part of the issue your article addresses, in a way.

And what was a serious affront was when Quvenzhane Wallis was called the c word by someone at the Onion who tweeted during the Academy awards. Why was she called that? I don't know. But it occurred just after her name was mentioned as a nominee and she smiled into the camera, making a muscle pose. Apparently this was enough to have grown adults "like" this tweet several times over in agreement with such a vile, sexual word being attributed to a child of 9 years old. I bring up these examples to show it's not just the films that some white people won't see, but its also those who play the roles that some have issues with, especially when the role is filled by someone of color.


This article it is more about making things right, A WORD WITHOUT PREJUDICE; ONE RACE, HUMAN KIND.
Whether we realize it or not, it is difficult for us to detect if we harbor certain prejudices in our heart. “The heart is more deceitful than anything else.” Thus, we might deceive ourselves into believing that we are tolerant of people of all types. Or we might rationalize that we have a valid reason to hold a negative view of people of certain groups

If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that deep down we all harbor varying degrees of prejudice in one form or another. “People judge others by what they look like.”
therefore the real questions should be " WHERE DID THIS IDEA OF DIVERSITY STARTED AND WHO STARTED IT ALL?"


Interesting. I could be fooling myself, but to me it's all about the movie.

For instance, even though I am a white female from an upper-middle-class family, I loved Boyz n the Hood. I certainly can't put myself in the characters' shoes, but who could deny that the movie's emotional power? More recently, I loved Pariah, for the same reason.

On the other hand, it seems to me that the vast majority of Hollywood fare – black, white, or otherwise – simply isn't all that engaging. There's a huge quality gap between, say, Tyler Perry's films and Spike Lee's. The same holds for films made by whites, but because there are so many more of them (and more of us white people) there are many quality films with white protagonists that aren't necessarily art-house cinema.


The point of the article and Hollywoods test market research bears this out is that non blacks especially whites by and large don't go to all black cast films in general regardless of the concept…

here's a question: WHY HAVEN'T WE SEEN A WILL SMITH/DENZEL WASHINGTON buddy film yet? How about a Jamie Foxx/Halle Berry romantic comedy?

How about an ensemble with Sam Jackson/Morgan Freeman and Jamie Foxx??

These actors are all top tier award winning actors yet you rarely if ever seen any of the combined together in the same film…You'd think Hollywood would be scrambling to put these guys together in a film but it hasn't happened even with white american's most beloved negro actors.

Hell in the early 90s we saw the combo of Wesley Snipes and Denzel just as they were coming into their own and Spike put that together in Mo Better Blues…and you didn't see that combo ever again not in thriller or action or comedy…nothing.

I could pitch you a concept but it doesn't matter because under the way hollywood operates it wouldn't get greenlit unless one or more major characters were white or its budget was reduced to below 50-40 million in any case it would be marginalized..

My husband is hispanic

This article is extremely racist, you are basically blaming white people for all your problems. I know plenty of white people who watch black movies. And I know plenty of Hispanics and blacks who actually respect white people. Get rid of your victim mentality maybe that will help you get somewhere in life.

Tamir Yardenne

I'm an African American filmmaker. I believe in a multiracial cast. Diversity rocks! If you stand with me like our page.


Scrap this thesis its bold statements and not academic and go research cultural relevance. I actually cant believe you say you watch "white" films because you have to… Hahaha


I cant believe you blame white people in 2011 leaving the screening of a film made in 1964 after they have seen the main attraction of the event. Its not about black and white, we just dont want to see those films anymore, we make superhero movies now. Stop seeing the world in black and white. Im from south africa, here everything on TV is black,we even have BEE, so stop complaining and just wanting this and that and and accusing white people of enjoying their culture and not yours and go make a black movie that white people can enjoy.


This is a bit of nonsence n i got lazy too read this who article but i really didnt have too since the title explained it all. I am a white girl who mainly owns black comedy! N i understand it all and enjoy colored movies very much! Like Chris Tucker , Martin Lawrence , Eddie Murphy , the dudes who created White Chicks , espically Tyler Perry , etc. Not all white people dont enjoy " Black Movies " -.- there better amd way more funny and entertaining in my opinion


Brother Andre,

I found this article very thought provoking. And I will be sharing it with some of my friends. Having said that, I have another point which I feel is not being addressed here.

Whatever anyone's personal take might be, FILM is an art form to me. This is likely obvious to nearly all of the regular readers of S&A, but I say this for a reason. I have to remember to always consider arguments like these from a place of artistic integrity so I hope you can all at least feel me even if you don't agree.

As a filmmaker and visual artist, I have always been a person who was interested in reading or watching films about the lives and creative processes of a variety of artists throughout the multitudes of artistic genres.

The most consistent attribute that I was able to derive from studying many artists who were/are considered as creating groundbreaking work is that they were completely self absorbed. They shut out the world. They worked and worked until they were to distill the raw materials of their ideas into something as true and precise as they were capable of creating. I loved reading the Steve Jobs autobiography because he said something that I said to many of peers who were critical of the concepts, ideas, and issues I wanted to address in my films. Paraphrasing, he said that people don't know what they want till we give it to them. I love that shit. It may seen counter-intuitive because the personal your work is, the greater the clarity of your vision, the greater the clarity of your vision the more likely it is to become transcendent.

I am not making my films for my family, my friends, for white people or other cultural groups, not even for black people. I love my people. I hope to be able to put forth a collection of images which can inspire black people in particular and even other people overall, but I make my films for me. I don't know any other way to work. Because something deep inside of me compels me to follow some barely visible path. A voice which literally won't let me sleep if I don't follow. To search for the thing that I only I can bring to the world because I am the only me that will ever exist. I hope that what results is a film that will be proudly considered a black film but which I hope can also transcend that term.

This is why I hope that everyone who sees my films can find something relevant and compelling in them but I also won't lose a single night's sleep if they don't. If I allow the idea that I should be writing and directing based around formulas which sell or I write with the purpose of not alienating certain groups of people I can no longer call myself honest or an artist but rather a hack, which is the lowest form of life as far as I am concerned. So although the question of why white people don't like black movies is interesting as an intellectual exercise. It has literally no impact on my filmmaking process. What does worry me, however, is that I often feel that a considerable amount of black filmmakers are not nearly self absorbed enough.


I love how the person who wrote the article says how black people don't get major roles in movies.I guess they never heard of will smith or Wesley snipes, or laurence fishburne, or samuel l jackson, or ving rymes or ice cube. Yeah no black actor has ever had a major role in a summer blockbuster or had a successful acting career.


I'm black and I don't listen to hip-hop or watch gangsta movies. I was raised upper middle class and the poverty stricken films don't interest me. I enjoy well written, well acted stories of humanity. More black people should make movies of people instead of trying to make the blackness define it.


Me being white, it depends of what type of film the "black movie" is. I love action films and will watch almost anything from the blaxploitation period, because the action was top notch and I like the visual aesthetic. The stars of the genre were cool – Pam Grier, Jim Kelly, Richard Roundtree. Also funk sounds great – it's soulful music. I think most white audience are accepting of historical dramas about black leaders and influential people, such as 'Malcolm X', 'Ali' and 'The Hurricane'. White people loved a lot of Spike Lee's early work, despite his somewhat contemptuous view of white folks – whatever – I don't care – he's a great filmmaker.

The "black movies" I tend to shy away from are the comedies. I just don't get the humour – like 'Friday'. I don't like 'Hip Hop' culture either. I think the music is derivative and ignorant. Therefore, I don't like anything that centres around that particular black 'counter culture'. I can't relate to it at all. It's not really about whether or not you relate to skin colour, it's about whether or not you relate to the culture. And 'Hip Hop' culture was designed to piss off white people. White people aren't supposed to like it – it's black culture's version of punk – it's meant to grate on white folks. But, amazingly, a lot of white people liked it – not because they particularly related to it, but because they were just following a trend.
Hollywood should definitely cast more black stars in films aimed at the general market. I agree that it's pure racism that they don't. If they did do this, I don't think you'd find that white people wouldn't go. It's when Hollywood makes black movies for black people that white people usually don't want to see them. It's all about culture.


Thank you for an excellent, well-thought-out, deconstruction of how race plays out in Hollywood.

At the heart of your thesis, I believe, is an element within the subconscious of most white's that blacks are not human beings with which they identify. And none of us gravitates toward anything with which we don't identify. I think that's even more true for movies than television, which is more intimate, consistent medium. So, it was easier for white audiences to identify, for example, with "The Cosby Show," of the eighties because the family joined other American families, on a weekly basis, in their homes.

What draws audiences to the cinemaplex is a little more complicated based on numerous variables, the most important being time and money, which is a HUGE investment for people who have busy lives. … And just as Hollywood is looking overseas to reach new audiences, black filmmakers also need to be able to reach new audiences in order to be financially successful. And the way in which blacks are often depicted (in stereotyped fashion) in white films, in terms of cultural understanding by overseas audiences, also creates a problem when it comes time to distribute and market a film like "Think Like a Man."

I won't go on, but you've certainly given everyone a lot to think about and process.


I think the key mistake in this article is assuming "a vast majority of White people don’t like Black movies". The vast majority of white people I know love Friday, Boyz in the Hood, The Best Man, Stella Got Her Groove Back, Menace II Society, House Party, Bad Boys, etc. The issue that needs to be addressed isn't how to get white people to like "black" movies, it's how to get white people to go out to see those films in the theater because very few of the white people I know who saw those films, actually saw them in the theater. You need to get that money to the box office to boost the likelihood of studios wanting to make more. Unfortunately, this article actually works against that by sticking with the narrow definition of "black" and "white" movies. You can't begin to discuss solving the problem when you're working with the definitions that are the core of the problem to begin with.


I can't get past being offended by the headline to read the article. I didn't know there was such thing as a "black" movie, or "white" movie. I don't even quite understand what that means. How does your stereotyping of what white people like or dislike and categorizing movies help anyone? Please explain?


If the author's problem with "white people not liking black films" extends past his personal bias, then I assume he'd rather diminish racial divides in media than reinforce them. Therefore: How unhelpful is it to say "the vast majority of white people don't like black films. It completely misses the point.

I agree that *people of other races, not just whites* don't like black films because they themselves are preoccupied with their own race (not necessarily racist). But, the author chooses to ignore a solid chunk of *people of other races* who don't like black films because black films are a cynical cash-in on the existing (specifically American) cultural divide between black and whites.

In the 70s, black film played a controversial role in the industry — both negative (exaggerating racial stereotypes) and positive (affirming a sense of black power). These days, black media creators don't make overtly "blaxploitation" style films, but the underlying filmic structures are not much different.

The creation of media that is solely "black" is on one hand necessary, and on the other hand extremely cynical. Cynical because it assumes that people (of any race) aren't enlightened enough to make race a non-issue. Of course, people making black films acknowledge the fact that, yes, *in the real world* people choose/create media based on their race.

Blaming whites for not liking movies that were *specifically created* for blacks is a bit daft. It's also just as dangerous to encourage blacks to like films that were created specifically for their race.

Instead, let's hold the producers, filmmakers, and writers accountable. They're the only ones capable of fixing the problem.


I'm a 43 yr. old white guy who watches anyone of the Friday movies when they are on. Must of seen them atleast 50 times. All whities are not stuffy.


Is the definition of "black movie" that the author uses — "a majority Black cast that situate Whites, if any, in peripheral or non-influential roles" — really the definition on which this criticism is based?

It seems from the rest of the article that what the author is actually decrying is that most white Americans don't seem terribly interested in watching films that are essentially social commentaries on the past or present experience of black Americans. I don't find that surprising. Many comedies aimed at black American audiences employ a significant amount of cultural/racial humor that white people in a mixed audience in particular would find difficult to enjoy even if they found it funny. Dramas, meanwhile, tend to emphasize brutality in racially segregated worlds (even when those are set in the present day) and provide little opportunity for the average white viewer to identify with the situation.

Many of my friends liked 8 Mile. They also liked White Men Can't Jump. Both of those movies had predominately black casts, but they offered a plug-in role that gave white viewers an easier way to identify with the story. The appeal of that is not so hard to understand… is it?


My comment was deleted?!!! Smdh.


"All we have to do is support these films with our dollars and it won’t matter if Whites like or don’t like our movies."

Our movies? The author exhibits the same type of preference for a specific race of characters, yet admonishes "Whites" for the same thing.

Personally, I'll keep watching GOOD movies, whether the leads are white and Hispanic (Spring Breakers) or black (Fruitvale Station) or fish (Leviathan). I'm not going to watch a shitty Tyler Perry movie to support "our movies", and I'm not going to watch a dumb superhero movie if the hero even if the hero shares my race and my favorite food.


I guess I'm the exception because I'm white and I love black movies, some are even one of my favourites.

Brandon Judell

What about gay films? Asian films? Hispanic films? Are "whites" flocking to them?

The problem here with this well-written, provocative article is that the research is not there. Are all whites the same? What about age, economic class, education, religion, locale?

Jim Sheridan

Jim Sheridan here Andre even though you call me Bill Sheridan. That is OK no problem. It is very interesting to equate empathy with "suspension of disbelief". At their roots all movies have a spiritual or belief system inherent in them. That is why European movies never play outside of the "city States on the coasts" and never play in middle America. So I believe that the Red and Blue American political system hides a religious difference that is at the heart of American Cinema and that is only overcome when the movie is upper aspirational and based on British Royalty which always plays in heart of America. I feel like there is a very interesting conversation I would like to have with you on all of this. Interested?
Jim Sheridan


This is a topic that has interested me for a long time. While there are, of course, exceptions, in general: White people love black music. White people love black fashion. White people love black style. White people love black comedy. White people love black athletes. White people don’t love black film. White people don’t love black novels. Why?

I think it boils down to two things: humanity, and identity.

The difference between the last two above (film and novels) and the rest is that they involve storytelling, and the act of storytelling forces the viewer or reader to grapple with the humanity of the central character—and many white people struggle to see us as fully human, sad as it is to say. To sit quietly in a dark theater and watch a story play out on screen that has a black protagonist is to take that character seriously—and another thing white people have struggled with, related to the humanity issue, is to take black people seriously. That’s why comedians like Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and others, can amass such a large white following. They’re brilliant and talented and have serious points to make underneath the comedy, but the laughter allows white audience members to assure themselves it’s just comedy. A black dramatic film allows no such outlet.

The identity issue, in my opinion, works this way: black music is participatory—you can sing along, you can dance to it. Same thing with everything thing else above, really: fashion, style, the in-the-moment back-and-forth of comedy, sports… When white people “love” these aspects of blackness, they’re able to do so while retaining their own identity at the same time. But sitting alone reading a black novel, or sitting quietly, motionless, in a movie theater watching a black film requires a certain amount of submission, and willing submission, at that: you must momentarily vacate your identity, as it were, and allow the identity of the characters on-screen or on the page primacy over your own identity. Again, you have to take them seriously in order to even want to do that.

Seewood is right about the Racial Empathy Gap: to ask whites to view black film in large numbers is to ask them to take black humanity seriously in ways that goes against several hundred years of American life. Tall order.


What an absurd topic. You either have a serious chip on your shoulder or your are race-baiting for the heck of it. Which is it?

The Baroness

It's true – there are many Caucasian people (and non-black people in general) who have no interest in black narratives or narratives cast with a black actor which way whatsoever. This is a reality I've seen with my own eyes, said segment of the population just does not relate to it. There's also a very small pocket which fetishizes particular black films also for a myriad of reasons.

Personally, I love great films and great acting. I house an extensive collection which encompasses silent films, classics, cult classics, foreign, arthouse, documentaries. As a younger woman I enjoyed Spike Lee's films but as I age, and I become more literate in the art of acting, directing etc I have realized that though Spike's films have cultural relevance overall he isn't that strong of a film-maker especially when he wrote, directed AND acted in the film (e.g She Gotta Have It, Do The Right Thing, School Daze in particular). I decided to re-watch the 8 or so films of his I own after several years of not revisiting them and was quite bowled over exempt 'Get On The Bus' which is the greatest ensemble he's ever managed to get on screen, Bamboozled, Crooklyn (more for the soundtrack) and When The Levees Broke.

But the beautiful thing is that the "black film experience" doesn't start nor end with Spike though he is the face most aligned with said narratives. From 'Stormy Weather' to the 'The Best Man' to 'Love Jones' there are many great stories both commercially and independently available to viewers who just want to tune into. Yes we have the Hugh Brothers, John Singleton and a myriad of low-cost straight to video installments depicting "hood" narratives. But we also have gorgeous film-makers like Ava DuVernay who is working on relevant themes outside the "niche" that seem to solely propel a black experience – poverty. One element I feel that is really missing from many films with black narratives and/or casts are strong LOVE relationships. Despite the proclaimations of pockets of the community, there are millions of black couples, both straight and gay, who share deep love. I would like to see more balance in presentations. But in many ways it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't cycle. No matter what a blackfilmer presents, there will always be someone crying that it's not '"real" enough or depicts bla-blah-blah in a negative light. The more deeper I get into films from an artistic POV versus just a passive consumer the more I realize folks just gotta STOP pandering to ANYONE – both black and white audiences. Just make the films you want, fuck the criticisms or BS, they come anyway. Art is art, and though we're all very aware of the many carictures created over the years to propel white supremacist ideologies just say fuck it and make the art and the characters the way you see fit. I'm willing to pay for tickets and buy blu-rays for great art, whether from Park-Chan Wook to David Lynch to Almodovar to again, Ava Duvernay if they continue just to create narratives that genuinely coil from their creative and soul places. But if the story sucks, whether "classic" or not, I'm walking the eff out and nothing is going to coerce me to stay even if folks want to assume my "empathy" rating. Because sometimes, one man's classic is another man's trash.

See yall at the cinema.

See you at the theatre.


always find things to complain about

what is a black movie, what is a white movie, if blacks wanted to make black movies there is a huge continent called Africa with many countries and rich people , why don't they make movies over there with all black casts and let black people support the black movies?


Very interesting. ArtMattan Films have been very actively presenting a more diverse Black Experience. Using the expression Afro-Centric films ArtMattan Filma have been released in several US cities. One of those films La Playa D.C., a film about Afro-Colombians in Bogotá opens in Brooklyn today. The Pirogue/La Pirogue, a film from Senegal is still in the festival circuit and will open in Toronto in August. Other titles released by ArtMattan Films are: A Dios Momo, Uruguay, Otomo, Germany, Denying Brazil, Made in Jamaica, Jamaica and many more.


Often the problem is that many of the so-called Black films tend to portray the experiences of the characters as specifically race-based, to the exclusion of other races, and often state this explicitly. It is no wonder then that many whites may feel alienated by this kind of self-segregated storytelling. The fact that the majority of films in this country employ white protagonists to tell their stories does not mean that they are meant to portray an exclusively white experience, even if some may choose to view it that way.

The belief of many blacks that portrayals of power and the exercise of agency are predominantly related to white experience says more about their self-image than about reality. It points to an ongoing cultural masochism that seeks to define the black experience in the narrowest possible terms, primarily and overwhelmingly defined by victimhood and powerlessness, seeking to downplay or outright deny the successes of the black middle and upper classes, including the significant social changes of the last fifty years. The problems that continue to disproportionately plague many black communities to this day are often presented as justification for that line of thinking.

Eric Holder is right about one thing. We certainly don't like talking about race. And even worse, when we do, it's often disingenuous and patronizing. The ideas touched on in this article only hint at the cultural divide that continues to dominate race relations in this country. The Zimmerman trial was just the latest spectacle. Nobody is going to cure social ills through the dissemination of racist bile like the "Whiteness" studies that pervade the nation's universities. Honesty is what's needed in this discussion, which often entails self-criticism.

The Corrector

Correction: The director of "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" is JIM Sheridan not BILL Sheridan.

Correction: The correct title of Michael Roemer's film is "Nothing But a Man" not "Nothin' But a Man"

En.Riched Sturgis

This is a great topic. I was just talking to my friend about this topic a few weeks ago. Movies with predominantly black actors or black main characters can not relate to a mass audience if it doesn't portray them in a low-class environment, or lacking authoritatively, and even then it struggles. That is why you see majority of filmmakers maintaining the direction of gangster, family, relationship, or historical movies as it pertains to black cinema. Trying to step out of the box of the previously mentioned is almost like Russian Roulette for black cinema. For example, AFTER EARTH was a movie I really wanted to see. It wasn't in theaters long enough for me to see it. I feel that because is starred black characters and it was sci-fi drove the majority of people away. It just drives home the Racial Empathy Gap idea even more and as a black writer, I feel that it's daunting and discouraging to feel like you're kept in a box before you start writing.


A white friend of mine said he turned off DO THE RIGHT THING after twenty minutes, turned to his girl and said "why do Black people make movies like this? "

That's a true story.


Interesting reading…keep 'em coming…

Gwendolyn Dunbar

First off, I don't know who reccommended this article to me, but I just started reading it because I love to read and figured someone passed this on to me, incorrectly under the assumption that it would interest me. By the time I arrived to the middle of the article, I became extremely bored because quite frankly, I just have to tell you that I don't give a fuck if white people don't like, as you call them "black movies," but as for me, I like all movies, black, white, asian, japanese, chinese, whatever, as along as it is a good movie and have a good story line, I'll watch it. What does occur to me after arduoulsy getting through this boring ass article, the question I would like to ask you the author is: Don't you have anything better to do with your time and your life other than stir up racial bullshit? The climate in this country right now is terrible and this nation is divided over racial BULLSHIT and this bullshit that you've put out, does not make matters any better. Why don't you go take a bath, or dig up the fucking yard, or burn yourself with a damn cigarette, if you don't have anything to do because you really need a life. Really; and to whoever sent me this shit, please don't that again.

Marilyn Ferdinand

Since you're hung up on designations, here are mine: white, Jewish, female, and a boomer. Among my top 5 directors is Melvin van Peebles, and SWEET SWEETBACK is one of my favorite movies of all time. Also a fan of Spike Lee, Charles Burnett, and Kasi Lemmons (as a director especially), to name but a few. Parse that for me if you can.


I just saw 'Pacific Rim'. A black man is the main character, and he's a leader in the movie. Another important actor is Asian. I thought about that in the context of this article. What kind of movie would it be? It's a futuristic movie – does it need to be categorized racially? Will whites be able to identify with Idris Elba as a leader? Maybe being British gives him a pass; I don't know.


Speaking for my 'white' self, it seems that 'black' movies like the ones Tyler Perry makes are geared towards individuals who relate to the experience of growing up in America black. Since I'm white, and I never grew up black, I don't relate as well as the target market.

I also don't get those Christian movies about white guys who have problems and solve them by praying. Or country music. What the fuck is wrong with that crap? Is it mandatory to mention an American model of car in your lyrics?

Anyways, I came here because I liked Black Dynamite on Facebook and they posted this article on their feed. I'm probably not the problem when it comes to white people who don't like black movies.


How about we stop calling them "Black movies"? I think in large, that segregated term alienates other ethnic groups and makes them feel like its not for them, that they may not get it or understand. We don't hear the term "white movie", or "Italian movie" etc. Being accepted as equal must begin without labeling as separate. I've never heard F. Gary Gray labeled a "Black Director", Denzel Washington a "Black Actor". There's 2 categories in my book. Good movies and bad ones.


Don't know what you are talking about. This cracker loves black cinema. I just don't care for Tyler Perry movies.

The Heppest Cat

I think this article is terribly misleading. Some "black" movies do poorly because they're simply terrible movies — anything made by Tyler Perry, most of Spike Lee's recent films, Red Tails, etc. Hundreds of terrible movies by people of all races get rejected by audiences for, well, being terrible.

Other "black" movies get critical praise, box office success, or even both, as many have pointed out in the comments, by those who are not white because they connect with them regardless of race.

The main people to blame here are studios who don't give wider releases to wonderful "black" movies like Fruitvale Station and Gimme the Loot and instead unleash garbage like Meet the Peebles. Because general audiences have been made to think of "black cinema" as Tyler Perry dressed as a grandma or Martin Lawrence or Eddie Murphy in fat suits, why would you expect them to see more "black" movies?


Another lively discussion from my favorite blog. We must tell stories that engage all races…no, I don't think so. If other races are involved in the story, then I would guess fine.

If the only reason whites will go to the movies is to see movies like 'The Help' and 'The Butler', then there is a definite problem. I'm eagerly anticipating 'The Slave.' Not!


This is one of the most insightful articles I have ever read on "Shadow and Act". Job well done Andre! I'm looking forward to sharing this one with colleagues so we can continue this discussion. Thanks so much for taking time to research and articulate what many African Americans within this industry feel, but have trouble doing. Excellent Work!


I am white and if the movie looks good it could be fucking purple aliens I dont care as long at it looks like a promising movie.


I think it's going quite the opposite. There is a little joke among filmmakers on how to get into Sundance? put a little black girl eating cat food in your movie, and if you want to win have her transgendering. White audiences are more than willing to embrace black films. Fruitvale station, beast, pariah? This all coming from the Sundance hype engine that has overly embraced race and gender and encourages diversity. For every black film that makes it there is a number that doesnt but that is filmmaking in general. Even SAG makes it benefecial to cast women and minorities. Things are getting a whole lot better in the film world and if you don't see that your the blind one.

Miles Maker

This is easily the Best post I have ever read on Shadow & Act.

We absolutely MUST diversify. We must tell stories that engage all races, despite the film having a leading cast of color. It's almost as unreasonable for a Black film to have no significant white characters as it is for a white film to have no significant Black characters. Of course this notion is challenged depending on the story your telling, but I'm referring to stories in general in our complex multicultural (although NOT post-racial) world.

One of Will Smith's strategies over the years is to star in roles that white Actors would leap at the opportunity to star in–simply because in the case of Will Smith, the character just so happens to be Black. The skin he's in is incidental and inconsequential to the story.

When we diversify our story offerings as a Black film movement we will make it very difficult for the powers that be to put their finger on what a Black film actually is–making it extremely difficult to pigeonhole our films in a niche box. When there are more than enough of us producing films in all genres, we'll experience wider market acceptance and broader freedom of creativity.

Create what your heart tells you to create. If you're inspired to make a movie with an all-Black cast without a white character in sight, by all means do it and do it well! However let's also support Black filmmakers with diverse casts and yes even Black filmmakers making movies with white leads and embrace them in the fold of Black film (i.e., Tim Story, Antoine Fuqua, Steve McQueen, et. al.) as they are nonetheless Black storytellers. Let's also support white filmmakers telling stories with Black leads as well. We must overcome our pretentious approach to Black cinema to conquer the perceived stigma of Black film.


I don't think the divide is always racial. Sometimes it is just cultural.
It seems to me that movies with a majority African American cast (black with a lowercase b) that predominantly/singularly express African American culture (Black with a capital B) are usually the films that speak less to non-African American audiences.
Ray is a good example of a black cast movie that crosses the genre of Black film and thus reaches a wider audience.
By the way, this discussion could easily be expanded to include questions such as 'why westerners don't like eastern movies', etc
And you'll find the same thing: it's not always racial, sometimes it's just cultural.
There are Asian films I totally get with, while others leave me puzzled. (This coming from a non-Asian)


More obsessing about what caucasians are thinking/doing/feeling. Lovely.


What I love about this discussion is it has gone the same way it usually does when suggesting racism. Let's list ten blockbusters with black stars out of the hundreds that have been released in the last couple of decades to proof this theory is wrong. Let's blame black movies for not being good enough. Cause shitty white movies never do well, right?

I'm losing hope that there could ever be a serious discussion about race in this country. It's like what Malcolm X said, "If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there's no progress. If you pull it all the way out that's not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven't even pulled the knife out much less heal the wound. THEY WON'T EVEN ADMIT THE KNIFE IS THERE."

Sorry, white people, the knife is fucking there. Y'all have a problem. I know it's hard to swallow, but lacking empathy for other human beings is a big fucking problem. Denying it won't make it go away.


Just race baiting here when the sad truth is too many "black" movies are lousy. Any body see the trailer for the Best Man Holiday? Where's the black Silver Linings Playbook? Unfortunately lesser work gets the Hollywood push while Middle of Nowhere remains so.


Or, black films just suck. I've watched foreign movies with asians, africans, and arabs and I empathized with all of them. "Black movies" in the US are just another crappy product from Hollywood.

Danny Dean

The fault lies with "black movies"or more precisely this author's misunderstanding of what a movie is. First, I would like to laud your attempt to be "scientific"although hastily abandoned for anecdotal "evidence". Then I would like to point out that Aristotle states that drama must have Catharsis or emotional release. Movies are not simply men working to achieve a goal, because who would pay to just watch somebody work. This is essential because the empathy gap principal states that, "When individuals experience [similar] pain, they appreciate the suffering of other people who also feel [that pain]. However, when they do not experience this pain, they underestimate the distress that exclusion can evoke." This means that the black movies you so vaguely refer to are at fault because they have failed to tap into a universal emotion. I also find it disconcerting that you make it a white black issue as if these are the only 2 audiences of significance. Do Asians like black movies? Do Hispanics? Do Indians? Perhaps your carnival Barker-esque headline should read "Why Do Only Black People Like Black Movies".

Also, bigots will be bigots.

I apologize for readability. I wrote this on my cell.


I strongly disagree with the notion that we really should care whether whites who can only empathize with other white faces like Black films. It is other Black people that we need to be reaching out to and on two levels. The first level is to get Black people themselves to embrace the various different types of Black experiences without meeting it with so much judgement and, frankly, with far higher standards than we assign to non-Black films. What I see happening often is Black folks themselves limiting the type of Black films they will see and then getting mad and criticizing all Black filmmakers about a lack of originality.
On the second level, what about the diaspora? Why do we continually beat our heads against the wall attempting to attract audiences that are not interested in the product and ignore, if not downright SEPARATE ourselves from audiences that would love to see Blacks, particularly African-Americans, on film? This is a simple thing they will teach you in any business course. You find your audience for whatever product you have, hone in on it, and market to it. So really, I find it quite puzzling how some spend so much time dwelling on what we already know, which is that majority Black casts not in stereotypical roles are generally not going to draw a large white audience. Isn't it useless to waste time and resources marketing to an audience that is not receptive to it? It is better to create a rabid fanbase (a la Twilight etc.) to be your advocates, than to use your marketing spend trying to CONVINCE a group to see your film.

I'll wrap by saying African audiences would absolutely love to see Black films, and as you should know unless you are living under a rock, Nollywood is growing. Why not market there, find distribution channels to get our films there? This is what I am trying to do, and I welcome anyone who is interested to get in touch.


What you should be asking is why a lot of white people like black movies that play to sterotypes instead of black films that don't, the answer is it's all about power and racism, that's the real issue. The thing black people miss is white people don't care about black films that plays into sterotypes making money because these films means nothing when it comes to the art of filmmaking and showing different films of black people in other words showing our humanity making the films spill over in society that will change things of how we are perceive. I'm a black man when I see white films or foreign films I judge the film as do I like the stories or is the film entertaining. This is what hurt black films we worry to much about trivia stuff instead of just making films and telling the stories we want to tell. The people you are talking about Andrew Seawood is never going to like blacks film because of their racial hangups, its that simple. So lets stop having these conversations about why racist white people don't like black films, F them. I don't cater to racists who judge black films by color instead of the stories or is it entertaining.

Brian Steinberg

I like the authors point about the representation of African Africans with regard to status and class, how we don't see many rich African African characters in Film.

Take Will Smith's movies and the "Jobs" his characters had. Almost all are working class. Only Enemy of The State has him playing lawyer.

Men in Black Series (a Cop/Agent)
Bad Boys (Detective)
Independence Day (Pilot)
I, Robot (Cop)
Hitch (Match Maker?)
Hancock (Homeless alcoholic super hero, who does a stint in prison?)
Banger Vance (Mysterious Caddy)
Enemy of the State (Lawyer on the Run)

We do see a wealthy Africa American Family in The Fresh Prince, but The Fresh Prince himself is from the rough streets of West Philly where we see him doing graffiti and getting beat up on a basketball court in the intro of each show.

And take Eddie Murphy.

In Coming to America we see Eddie Murphy born into and surround by extreme wealth (in some far off land…that is not America). Then the movie jumps to seeing him in a crappy apartment in queens and working fast food for most of the film.

Beverly Hills Cop (Detroit Cop)
48 Hours (Prisoner)
Golden Child (Missing Person Detective)
Trading Places (Homeless)
Harlem Nights (Illegal Casino Owner, probably wealthy)
Nutty Professor (Professor)
The PJ"S (Janitor)
Shrek (Donkey Side Kick?)
Doctor Dolittle (Doctor)
The Distinguished Gentleman (A hustler)
Bowfinger (Himself a rich actor, and his intern twin brother)


Which explains why Joe Piscopo became such a massive star after he left SNL and Eddie Murphy vanished into obscurity.

White Boy

I will watch a movie as long as it has decent reviews. I loved "The Bodyguard" "Waiting to Exhale" and I see almost everything that has Denzel. What I don't like is when there is a "SLAP WHITEY DOWN SCENE". Not all "Black Movies" have them but when they do I get upset. One of the biggest problems I had with a "Slap" Whitey is "Boomerang". It was a film that did not need a moment like that.


I do wonder about Tyler Perry's realization that Lionsgate-the company he practically built-has not afforded him international release of a single one of his films, but arranged 60 territories for Now You See Me.


White people don't like "black" movies because frankly, they suck. Tyler Perry is not funny. The wayans are played out. It is a case of not liking bad movies, not not liking black movies. White people like blade, will smith blockbusters, Some Eddie Murphy movies, jackie robinson, passenger 57, etc… Madea is not funny, making fun of white stereotypes is not entertaining to whites as making fun of black stereotypes would be to blacks. Retails could have been good but fell into the racial stereotype cookie cutter made for blacks movie. Remember the titans was the most blatant "every single character is a stereotype" movie I've ever seen. Anyways, I'm rambling, but bottom line, if movies are good, white people will watch them, regardless of the race of the leading characters.


Wait a minute, didn't the article ask why "white people" don't like black movies? Or was this article merely the author's rhetorical point of view? I mean, I didn't read the post because how can a black man speak for white people?

However, I did peek at the first two paragraphs. UT OH, there it was, all I needed to read was in the following:

"This study found that the degree of mental activity when White participants watched non-White men performing a task was significantly lower than when they watched people of their own race performing the same task. In other words people were less likely to mentally simulate the actions of other-race than same-race people."

Case closed, nuff said, what's new? Well, of course I have to add my opinion.

Since the inception of these United States and the importation of black Africans, whites have seldom if ever willfully engaged in the activities of the black man. In many case it was against the law to fraternize with the colored race. Even in the twentieth century, separation was expected and enjoyed (by the dominating race) in theaters, schools, sporting events, churches and night clubs. So now, here we are waxing poetic on the ways of white folks and their taste in movies. I mean, what has changed?

Granted, laws have been enacted (and changed) which forbids certain forms of discrimination, but no laws have been written, or can be written, that speaks to an individual's feeling and emotions. NO laws can be written that will force me to love you and/or feel comfortable being around you.

I am suggesting that whites have habitually stayed away from us and our activities unless they are using us for personal gain and personal satisfaction. Consequently, as with any habit, there's an entrenched comfort zone that's hard to break away from. In respect to their habit of staying far and clear of our movies, why should they change? Really, most habits, in general, are only kicked or layed aside when someone's back is against the wall, and then they have to find a serious "need" to stop doing that which makes them feel good.

In short, I can't speak for white folks but I know they don't need black movies.


Damn, Seewood. Who taught you punctuation? A grown man should not be writing run-on sentences. White people are not gonna like that, either.


Racial Empathy Gap? This goes a long way to explain why an all white jury of 6 women saw themselves in George Zimmerman but not in Trayvon Martin. The sad truth is that white people often do not perceive black people as fully human. That is, they perceive blacks as less than whites and so it's easy to go from there to devaluing the life of Trayvon Martin. Since racism is the belief that one race is inferior or superior to another, it's racism pure and simple.

But that's not the worse part. The worse part is the racism practiced by African Americans. Witness their calling each other the "N" word. And "N" is someone who is stupid, dumb and lazy and they call each other that at the blink of an eye. Witness how they talk about "good" hair, meaning stringy hair–more like white people–than kinkly or strong hair–more like black people. Witness how many black women dye their hair orange, red, blonde and otherwise–hair colors that are natural to white women but unnatural to black women. Witness how some blacks even dehumanize other blacks (attach a less than value to them) by calling other blacks "monkey", etc. Among blacks, slavery ended in 1865 but mental slavery lives on.


I like the piece and the studies mentioned. I would say, however, the Nothing But A Man story don't really support the debate at hand. It's a great film, definitely one of the best black films I have ever seen. But the fleeing audience, as you mentioned were sometimes people from that Civil Rights era, they probably saw the film, loved it, maybe saw it a dozen times, but didn't care to sit through it again that particular time. The others, well, I don't know. Maybe they didn't connect to the story as you said. Regardless, I don't think the Nothing But A Man experience was a good example.

But I would say this about black films. I have had this conversation with my white friends and they pretty much say what TOM is saying: "Whites are usually portrayed as nerdy or hicks, and the humor is built around race, not around actually being funny." Some had complained that whites in black films are portrayed too negatively, always about race and how "the white man" is keeping "the black man" down. Unfortunately, they are correct for the most part. I'm even tired of seeing these type of white characters in black films, especially when the storyline doesn't require them.

Outside of black films, the Racial Empathy Gap can be seen in all walks of life. Look at the George Zimmerman verdict this past weekend. The juror had more empathy for Zimmerman than she did for Trayvon Martin who she was convinced was nothing but a violent thug. If Trayvon Martin was a regular run-of-the-mill white teen under the same circumstances, she and her jurors would've empathized with the deceased and found Zimmerman guilty.

The challenge to me is getting people to recognize the humanity in others outside of their race, no matter the differences.



Brilliant. Superlatively brilliant.


I think about Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman just to name a few of very few. The reason they are able to attract a diverse audience, particular Whites though… Every Blockbuster I can think of that the three have starred in, the supporting cast are mostly White, which also includes the extras.
Why do Black People like White Film? You are correct, we don't have much of a choice… actually we do, but we don't (LOL). Black Folks have grown accustom to watching White film, and we don't really see race, we just see an entertaining film. In some cases depending on the quality of the Black film being shown in the theaters, a black person/couple still may choose to watch the White Film, sometimes it's about quality.
Why should Blacks care if Whites don’t like Black Movies? I personally don't care, and don't think we should have to accommodate White Folks when it comes to us making film. It ain't always about White Folks… sure they have a lot of spending power, but chances are if it ain't Will, Denzel, Morgan…. they probably don't care to watch anyway.
Somewhat off the subject. "Think Like A Man", I believe if it wasn't for Steve Harvey's current boost in popularity amongst White Folks, I personally do not think the film would've done as well as it did. It would've done good because Steve has a broad Radio listening audience, but not as well without his White fans. JMHO


Speaking as a young white woman living in Northern Europe, what I want to see is based on whether the trailer looks interesting, I like the people involved in the movie or it has got good reviews. I want to see Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Fruitvale Station, 12 Years a Slave and Best Man Holiday. Not sure whether FS and 12YaS would be classified as black movies by that definition since they contain non-black in important roles. However, not everyone is interested in watching these movies here which is why I think that kind of black-white division is rather pointless. Just because I have the same skintone as some middle aged man in Tennessee or some teenage girl in Italy doesn't mean we want to see same movies.

If you are a big star, your movies will most likely get distribution here regardless of your skin color. Will Smith and Denzel are extremely popular and Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry used to huge back in the days. If you are more unknown, it depends whether the movie is a studio blockbuster or gets awards attention. Most black movies don't even get distribution here and neither do white indies with no A-list names which is why people don't see them. To be honest, there are much more movies with black people shown here than movies from Russia, Italy, Spain or France with white people in them.

I think it's a mistake to reduce the fact that 'black movies' don't sell abroad to white people don't want to see them but I guess it gets the writer more attention and takes less work.


Stupid people like stupid movies and smart people like smart movies, and sometimes smart people like stupid movies as well. That's all there is to it. Most of my legit white friends would list "Nothing But a Man," "Killer of Sheep," "Blue Collar," "Monsters Ball," etc. etc. etc. as good or great movies for various reasons. Most of the lame white people I know would walk out of a well-made "black" movie not because they don't identify with it but because they have shitty taste in movies. Thinking Tyler Perry sucks does not mean white people don't like "black" movies, it means that any person of any race should be embarrassed at how much of a caricature Tyler Perry makes people out to be. You make decent points in your section about why black people should care about the disparity, but your analysis in the first section is lazy, and your analysis of why black people sort of have to go see "white" movies is obvious stuff we already know; you could have cut that whole section and saved us all time. Indiewire, you gotta up your game on articles, this was weak sauce.


Speaking from the point of view of a white male, but more importantly as a lover of all cinema, the point at the end of the article is the main point for me. If black filmmakers and storytellers didn't have to go through these creative-stifling channels of the big studios for financing and distribution I think we'd be seeing more Fruitvale Stations and less Big Momma's Houses. That would be good for both black and white audiences. White audiences are also prevented from a choice of quality "black films" in this regard. Racism and empathy are certainly part of any equation in this day and age in America, but I think there are enough white audiences (especially, the under 50, coastal audiences) that have no problem empathizing with black characters on screen. The problem is more about the limited characters we're given access to. Americans only get a handful of black prestige films to choose from every year. For every Fruitvale Station or 12 Years A Slave or Middle of Nowhere there are dozens of Tyler Perry type films every year. I think the author is right, the only way to change that is to create a new path for visionary and authentic black voices that are allowed to express a myriad of stories and characters not only defined by race. I'm an optimist, but I believe white audiences want to hear those voices too. I know I do.


"Nothing But A Man" is my favorite film of all time. I will not write a thesis on why whites don;t like Black film. My short answer is that film is an escape from reality. To many Blacks are reality and thus the vacuum discussed in the subject matter.

I do agree with the narrow definition of Black film is handcuffed by low budgets and derivative subject matter. Would love to see other genres explored like sic-fi, anime, horror, biopics etc.

He's Murried

Perhaps no black actor has ever dominated white Hollywood films as Sidney Poitier did in 1967. He starred in three box office smashes (which included the best picture winner and one of the also rans). He was the number one box office star of 1968. It seemed as if black artists had arrived at a state of parity which had nothing to do with tokenism. Despite some fine work in the early 70s in "Sounder" and "Lady Sings the Blues", black films did not really gain momentum again until the 80s ushered in a new diverse generation of talent. The dilemma in current cinema appears to be financial. Art house movies will find an appreciative audience and awards but they are not as lucrative as the big budget blockbusters that fill seats. There are more black superstars who appear in hit films but their characters are not distinctively black. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The small independent film continues to provide the opportunity to explore the deeper richness and variety of the black cultural experience.


I meant * as a mother (the juror) still couldn't humanize Trayvon Martin

Jon Flores

Tom, the purpose of the article wasn't to elaborate on what a "black movie" is. The author defines that from the beginning, then lays out his argument for why white people don't like black movies.

Debate his arguments, but not his definition. That's within the author's right and privilege to set so that he can make his case.

Thanks for giving me (another white guy) something to think about!

Kia Barbee

Think black independent filmmakers are doing a fine job of leading the way back to a similar resurgence of well thought out, enjoyable stories with great characters who aren't too stereotypical of anything.


That was an interesting read. Studying film in college we had to write film journals and I'd write about an array of films some were foreign and plenty with black leads…films I thought were very different from genre to content to execution. My professor told me to be open/diverse in film selections. My classmates had not written about films with any person who wasn't white unless it was a 1 or 2 foreign films or "Do The Right Thing". This was like 5 years ago. I wasn't ready I guess to really challenge my professor on what that meant…how were my classmates choices that had so many films in the same genre or time period. When I looked at their facebook or myspace list of favorite movies I'd see several people list 50 or some films and none feature black people aside from "Do the Right Thing". I thought then, how is that possible. It's not like their list was highbrow and they couldn't find a black film 'good enough'. What confused me most was that several of them liked rap music, one was a 'hip hop purist'. Their musical selections include rappers who were very culturally hip hop and it included rappers who said 'nigga' a lot so I don't think they'd be squeamish to here it in film. They were listening to rappers like Nas and Wu Tang Clan members whose rapped about living in the innercity and being broke and drugs and couldn't find appreciation for something from "New Jack City" to "Paid in Full"?

It's something I've also thought of as it relates to white and black humor. I know why certain white comedies are considered funny but I don't laugh. But comedy is more subjective in the sense that you want it to feel real to you and white doesn't mean universal.

I've thought a lot about white empathy for blacks during the Trayvon Martin case, especially last night listening to a juror be interviewed. She called George Zimmerman "George" the whole time. Never by his full or last name. She also said "he said" and "he felt" a lot although they only heard from him on the video not in a court room. She trusted him. She sympathized with him. She said "his heart was in the right place". As a mother she still couldn't humanize with him. White people can get engrossed in a fantasy world or a foreign film with a different language but some won't humanize blacks. She's not overtly racist so this isn't a 'problem'. But I was thinking how that kind of attitude is formed so young.

Reading this article I'm easily reminded of "The Hunger Games". SPOILER ALERT if you haven't watched it or heard the controversy…
I read the book and saw the character of Rue as black. The movie came out, she was black. All of a sudden all over twitter, tumblr and other blogs there are teens , majority white and Asian who were upset and angry that a black actress played her because they thought the she was white when reading. Her words, actions, her sweetness and quietness and her death is the same from the novel to to movie and these kids, teens, and young adults said it was "less sad", they "couldn't cry" like they did when they read it because they thought she was some young white girl. Now I see the term "Racial empathy gap"

Vanessa Martinez

Great piece.

Adam Scott Thompson

"Three card monte." I like that. Interesting read.


As a white man, I don't define "black movies" as movies with a predominantly black cast. That can simply be a movie. For me, a black movie is something like Undercover Brother or almost any Tyler Perry movie. In those sorts of films, it seems the movie is more about portraying a stereotypical black attitude than actually crafting a story. Whites are usually portrayed as nerdy or hicks, and the humor is built around race, not around actually being funny. A movie like, for example "Ray" is just a movie, that people of any race should enjoy.

Andre the black giant

I love the main actor in tropic thunder! What’s his name?


Heya just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the
pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I
think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show
the same outcome.


As a white woman, I like to watch GOOD movies, regardless of the skin color of the cast. I like some of the Tyler Perry movies. Mostly, since most of the “black” movies today are based on race, I would prefer not to watch them. I don’t see any reason to make anyone of any race look like buffoons or to make white people look like they are keeping the black man down. I am a big fan of older movies, like Cabin In The Sky, which is really a good black movie. I also liked the movie Pipe Dreams, with Gladys Knight. I want to watch movies with an actual plot, not just an excuse to mock, berate, or guilt any race of people simply because of the color of their skin.


I am wondering why Hollywood goes out of its way to cast black people as the “good guys” and white people as “bad”. The myth that most serial killers are white is perpetuated by hollywood, when actually, black serial killers abound. The constant “Aryan Brotherhood ” thug. Never a black gang member thug. Too non PC.

Rollo Lawson

Your anecdotal evidence is what’s known as “projecting”. Did you consider those older white people didn’t stay to watch the entire movie because the Civil Rights issues make them uncomfortable or to feel white guilt? Many black movies go out of their way to include racial/racist overtones in their films, why would anyone want to watch movies that make them out to be bad people?! Even for films that don’t have racial overtones, the acting is often bad and so is the directing and rest of the production, but blacks will often watch a bad movie because the actors are black and whites won’t. Do you think Denzel Washington or even Sidney Poitier would have mainstream success without white viewers?! What about Sam Jackson, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby, Will Smith, Jamie Fox, Chris Rock, and all the black actors starring in 70’s sitcoms?! Do you think Blackish would be on the air if whites didn’t watch it?!
I suppose all the Italian mafia movies are so popular because whites are able to empathize with mafiosos, huh? Star Wars was a blockbuster because of alien empathy. There’s so many more variables involved than just the race of the actors.
So stop your projecting and stop keeping racism alive.

Rollo Lawson

I suppose because I’m apparently the one person in the world who can’t watch Tom Selleck, I must be unable to empathize and suspend my disbelief for mustachioed men; despite being able to watch Sam Elliott, and being fully-bearded myself.


Black movies are terrible,they are badly produced and directed..its not a racial bias,im not american.


…Okay, so I’m new to this site…but is every article here racist like this one? Or was this just written by someone who happens to be racist?


    Agreed. Plus what the hell is going on within the comments? I am now dumber for reading this article. I’m even more dumb for reading the comments. Oh, and I’m black. I don’t like white films, or black films, or any other race films. I like good films. Sometimes I like bad films too. In all genres. If someone is looking for the race of the director, writer, or actors, that’s their problem. If someone is writing for a specific race, then that’s their target market. Other than that, what the hell is going on with this article and comments??


Films with a majority black cast are generally of three types:

* Comedies that are infantile and puerile. ( Tyler Perry films, Martin Lawrence films)

* Films immersed in Black culture unfamiliar to anyone but Blacks.

* historical dramas that show Blacks being oppressed, enslaved, mistreated, denied justice. “Look how evil Whitey is.” films. ( 12 Years a Slave, Roots, Hidden Figures, Fences, The Help, The Butler, Color Purple. )

Andrew Morris

racist myths and sick sterotypes this article should be taken down a complete fabrication of the truth of the world full stop stop talking to racists or stop listing to their outdated and sick concepts and beliefs

Jim Johnson

What makes a movie black? The framerate? The color grading?
“Black movies” were written and created for a target audience: Black people. There’s a reason why many White people don’t enjoy them.


1. Black situations in some movies might be hard for some people to relate to. 2. Some black films are anti-white. Why watch a movie that is anti-you? 3. Quality, budget. There are few really good movies and fewer blacks in position to contribute to making a good movie.




What kind of asshole wrote this article????


So it turns out I hated Big Momma’s House, because I’m racist.

Not because it’s fuckin drivel.


Black movies have no real depth, they are all cliche if they are not about THE MAN holding them down, then they are about Baby Momma Drama, how to make a quick illegal buck, drug dealing, scamming people, rap music hip hop dance films (acting like Blacks are the only ones who can rap or dance lol The Japanese are way beyond perfecting those skills, or even Black film makers remaking of films like Annie, Steel Magnolias, The Wiz ( aka The Wizard of Oz), The Karate Kid, oh come on, these remakes really did suck and its time political correctness was put in its place with the critiquing of these flops. Most Black people seem to have the notion that they somehow have to out do White people to prove they are worth something, grow the hell up life is bigger than a chip on the shoulder. Its funny how Blacks don’t have a chip on their shoulder about Black slaver owners owning their own Black people in America and even fighting in court to make slavery legal in America, and it was WHITE people who stopped slavery in America not Blacks, just some “keepin it real” historical facts for you.

Mark Nord

I am a white male 49 years old and I enjoy many black movies. However the reaso that whites do not like many black movies is the underlying message is always about how blacks are victims of racism. Two good examples are “The Butler” and “Selma” In the instance of “The Butler” They took the life of an honorable man that rose to the very height of his profession as the head of the household at the White house. A butler to rise to that position is remarkable, it is a one in a million position. The man came up through the racism of the 50’s and 60’s , was honored by 6 presidents and had a remarkable astounding career. But in the movie they made his wife an alcoholic and his son a civil rights activist. In the movie they portrayed the presidents he served under as treating him with racist behavior. All complete lies that dihonored the man his family and his career. For the purpose of promoting white racism against blacks to a younger generation. They presented the movie as a historical film when it was just a way to show blacks as victims of racism from whites. The family of the man refused to sign off on the script. It did not win an academy award and the black film makers were upset. The same issue with “Selma” the movie showed LBJ as being an adversary to MLK , when in fact they were friends and allies in the civil rights movement. Again it did not win any awards because it was judt a black victim of white racism presented as historical fact but was a lie. I loved the “Friday ” movies they were funny as hel and did not have to be about racism. White people are not going to watch films that are purposely created to propagate the victimization of blacks by whites. Nor are these movies going to win awards, The Butler and Selma could have and should have won awards, but they made it about racismchanging factual history to conform to the message of racism. The awrds turned their backs on the distorted message. Thus making the black film makers angry not understanding that their message of racism was the factor and not racism against them. That is the problem most black films and rhetoric is about how blacks are victimized by white racism. It seems to be the thing to promote racism. Whites just are not going to recieve films that falsely paint them as bad people. Not only that these films are made so that blacks leave the theater feeling animosity toward whites. It is like going to see a Nzai proaganda film

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