George Lucas bemoans lack of movie funding due to lack of black heroes in film.

George Lucas bemoans lack of movie funding due to lack of black heroes in film.

Tell us something we don't already know, Lucas!

During a recent appearance on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” movie director George Lucas discussed the pending release of "Red Tails," a movie about the famed Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black group of pilots that fought in World War II for the segregated U.S. Air Force.

Lucas bemoaned that he's been working on the movie for two decades and has never been able to get financial backing in Hollywood because the cast is all black.   Lucas ended up financing the movie himself and couldn’t even convince most studios to help him market it.

“It’s because it’s an all-black movie. There are no major white roles in it at all,” Lucas said.

This reminds me of when Danny Glover disclosed recently that he could not get a film made about Haitian revolutionary Toussaint-Louverture because it lacked “white heroes.”

Lucas said he wanted to make a movie for black male teens, so they could see heroes that looked like them and weren't being bossed around by a white person.

Forgive me, but is this the same George Lucas that made Darth Vader white after having the character voiced by a black man (James Earl Jones) for decades? I know Luke Skywalker, his son, was white, but it's frickin' Star Wars...we were already suspending logic. Genetic incongruence would hardly have been the weirdest thing on-screen.

The main thing that enraged me about this interview was how Stewart and Lucas both dismissed this as "funding green,” saying it was a business decision to not fund the all-back movie because it wouldn't be profitable.

Sorry, but such lazy acceptance and endorsement of the status quo is disappointing.  Why not lead a challenge for society to view black heroes as universal?  Does anyone find it strange that white moviegoers need white heroes in order to support a movie? Asians, Latinos, African-Americans don’t have this luxury or narrow-mindedness. They have been embracing "universal heroes" since Hollywood's inception.

Is there nothing about an ethnic hero that is universal?

To me, it is the height of cultural egotism to think that all heroes must mirror the superficial and physical self. Don’t we identify more with a hero’s traits of fearlessness and daring?

 

Sources:
Newsbusters
AFP

Photo Credit:  Newsbusters & Internet Movie Database