Happy Halloween! So, I randomly decided to share with you three of my favorite scary movies featuring either an all-black cast or a black actor/actress as the main character. Now I haven’t seen many of these, and you probably have your own favorites, so if this is the case, please share them in the comments below!
1 . Blade
Go ahead and wipe the dust off this VHS you probably still have tucked away somewhere in storage. I was six years old when this movie first came out. My mom wouldn’t let me see it, so I did what any other kid my age would’ve done, watched it with an irresponsible adult relative. When I was younger, the blood and vampire love scenes were almost too much for my sheltered adolescents to handle, and it was my first time seeing a black man in a scary movie who wasn’t the first person to die.
2. Vampire in Brooklyn
I saw this classic 1995 horror comedy for the first time last month. After I was able to turn a blind eye to the horrible graphics, this movie was actually pretty good, and Detective Justice added some nice eye candy to the cast. 😉
Although not technically a horror film, Thriller is arguably the best music video of all time and Halloween party favorite! I remember my first time watching the full Thriller music video, I was glued to the TV, mouth open, waiting to see what would happen next. And now, thanks to Wii’s Michael Jackson, the Experience, I am proud to announce I have mastered the Thriller dance… 😀
If you plan to go out to celebrate Halloween, rather than get your adrenalines pumping with a good horror film, have fun, be safe and DON’T take candy from strangers! Oh…and steer clear of the racist costumes that you are bound to run across!
In the midst of the “Black-ish” hoopla, I decided to see what headways my brown brothers and sisters were making on primetime TV. I was pleasantly surprised when I found two new shows, “Cristela” and “Jane the Virgin,” premiering this fall. Both shows are centered on the lives of two Hispanic women and their families. Why was I surprised? Well, when’s the last time you saw a predominately Hispanic cast on TV other than the “George Lopez” show? In the time that it probably took you to answer that question, I was able to do some digging and figure out why there seems to be a sudden interest in producing minority shows.
Here’s what I found:
Recently the FCC has been under pressure by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (pictured above), and other law makers to increase media diversity in programming, ownership and executive leadership roles. As a result, Comcast, one of the largest broadcasting and cable companies in the world, has stepped up its diversity initiatives.
Since Waters and her buddies from the Black Caucus have demanded the FCC commit to increasing diversity, Comcast has brought us “Black-ish” the first major network comedy to revolve around a black family in almost 10 years and “Cristela,” and “Jane the Virgin,” two shows centered on Hispanic families.
Comcast is also giving minorities the opportunity to own networks. Since Comcast’s new found commitment to diversity, Revolt, P-Diddy’s music network, and El Rey (owned by Robert Rodriguez), a network targeting second and third generation English-speaking Hispanics, has emerged. As for my Asian-Americans…they still have some work to do.
Although Comcast thinks it’s a good idea for TV to reflect American demographics, some Americans are overwhelmed by the number of minorities flashing across their TV screens. Some have even requested a show called “White-ish” be created to balance out “Black-ish.” From this response, I concluded some people need a TV reality check.
Let me try to break it down for you.
“If you look at shows now that seem to lack diversity, they actually feel dated, because America doesn’t look like that anymore. People want to see what they live, and they want to see voices that reflect the America that they know.” – ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee (source: mysanantonio.com)
“What disenfranchises people is not having a sense of belonging. We are 18 percent Hispanic in the U.S., but on TV, we [minorities] represent only 5 percent of major roles. Behind the camera, it’s like 2 percent — and I’m one of those percentages!” –Robert Rodriguez , owner of El Rey (source: hollywoodreporter.com)
“You know, being a maid is fantastic [reference to “Devious Maids”]. I have many family members that have fed many of their families on doing that job, but there are other stories that need to be told. And I think that the media is a venue to educate and teach our next generation:” – Gina Rodriguez, lead actress from “Jane the Virgin” (source: mysanantonio.com)
When minorities demand their own shows and networks, we aren’t attempting to separate ourselves from the rest of America. It’s about wanting to feel like we belong. It’s about adding our page to the American story and having the opportunity to broadcast it to the world.
“Cristela” primers on Friday, Oct. 10 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC and “Jane the Virgin” premiers on Monday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. on CW.