Celebrities

A promoter explains how Arsenio Hall was blackballed for 20 years

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by Dr Boyce Watkins

Last year, filmmaker Antoine Fuqua made statements shutting down anyone who somehow believed that Hollywood might be racist.  These remarks may have been made and forgotten by those wo are hellbent on comfortable assimiliation, but I found myself disturbed by what I was hearing.

According to Fuqua, the racism in Hollywood is hardly an impediment to one’s ability to receive opportunities: “I wouldn’t use the term racist, as much as I would say the playing field is not even in Hollywood,” he said. “But ultimately, you have to put in the work.  “It’s very easy to cry racism when you’re not qualified to do the work or your work isn’t transcending to where you want it to be. Hollywood is a business and you have to look at it that way.”

In my goal to interpret Antoine’s words in the most positive light, I believe he’s saying that, in order to be successful, one must work as hard as they can, understand the business model of the industry they are in, and ensure that their work fits the needs of existing gatekeepers and the marketplace.

What Antoine may also want to consider, however, is that there are thousands of black actors, actresses and filmmakers who work extremely hard.  In fact, I dare say they work harder than whites in Hollywood, since they know that they have to be twice as good.

READ MORE via Financial Juneteenth | A concert promoter explains how Arsenio Hall was blackballed for 20 years.