Instead of Making Films About the Civil Rights Era, Hollywood Has Made Excuses

From The Washington Post:

Black While familiar images of King are commonplace in 1960s montage sequences, Hollywood has yet to make the definitive King biopic. Indeed, of all the social, cultural and political touchstones of the baby boom generation — World War II, the Kennedy assassinations, the Vietnam War, Watergate, feminism, gay rights, AIDS and all manner of political coverups — the civil rights movement has yet to be the subject of a pivotal, defining feature film.

That the story of the most important social and political moment in this country’s history has gone untold in its dominant narrative art form is shocking on any number of levels (one being that among the movement’s most effective tactics was creating media images). Here is a chapter of American life whose legacy and ramifications — from Don Imus’s idea of humor to the decisions of the current Supreme Court — are still deeply, if painfully, felt. It’s a chapter filled with charismatic characters and compelling stories. It’s a chapter that — considering the ever-increasing number of bankable African American stars — seems not just worthy of Hollywood’s attention but positively ideal for a major movie event.

Ask studio executives why this is, and this is what you’ll hear: Black-themed films don’t play overseas. African American actors can’t open movies. American filmgoers don’t like dramas. Multi-character historical dramas are just too expensive.

More here.