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©AP / Taye Diggs
© AP / Taye Diggs
Actor: Studios set double standard for black films
By LYNN ELBER , AP Television Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Taye Diggs says Hollywood studios hold African-American films to a frustratingly separate and unfair standard.

Whether a studio decides to proceed with a black-oriented film can depend on the success of other movies with primarily African-American casts, even if the projects are unconnected, said Diggs, who starred in "The Best Man" romantic comedy and its sequel.

In a recent interview, the actor said he and others who worked on the "Best Man" movies are eager to start on a third. But its fate is tied to how other black-oriented films, including the upcoming "Think Like a Man Too," perform at the box office, he said.

"Unfortunately, the business is such that as far as studios are concerned, they judge one quote-unquote black movie on how other 'black' movies have done, even if they have nothing to do with each other," he said.

That's "ridiculously" frustrating, said Diggs, 43, whose movie credits include "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and "Rent." He stars in a new TNT drama, "Murder in the First."

"We've definitely come a long way. But we've got a long way to go," he said. "It's too bad we can't do well on our own merit when it comes to the studios. They don't like to take risks and, unfortunately, we're still considered a huge risk, even though I don't think we are."

"The Best Man Holiday" grossed more than $70 million in North America last year and was profitable, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak.

Universal Studios, which released 1999's "The Best Man" and its sequel that included stars Diggs, Morris Chestnut and Sanaa Lathan, declined comment.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
79Comments
Jun 7, 2014 6:38PM
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Sort of like how they do everything.  They look at comps and decide if it will work.  That does not sound racist which is the underlying unspoken sub text.  Every potential film is judged by how similar types and audience orientations do.  That is how they do it whether it is a film about soldiers or drug runners or black folks.  If other similar genre and cast films do poorly then you chances are much less.  Taye if that bothers you brother suggest you save up your money and do your own film and just look for a distribution deal.  Not everything has an insidious racist sub text!

ali gator     chomp     chomp    chomp

Jun 7, 2014 7:07PM
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When there's a potential audience of only 10% of the population of course they are reluctant to back black movies.

 

And it's not racist, it's about money, period.

Jun 7, 2014 7:02PM
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Get over the race thing already. My god if anything, the one thing Americans seem to be infected with lately, other than American exceptionalism is the worship of anything black. I mean our entire culture is just about dominated with worship of all things related to blacks and their subculture, with film maybe less so, but it is pretty much the truth. The article is also dumb in that Hollywood has its bean counters run the numbers of certain genres of film, do the marketing research, etc. The bottom line is the film industry is corporate, and profit is everything. They aren't going to bankroll a film with a ton of $$$$$$$ if the odds say the turnout to see the film isn't going to make for a big profit.
Jun 7, 2014 7:05PM
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I mean seriously now. Blacks make up  only 12% of the overall US population, so do you think most whites, latinos, or even asians are going to see a movie that is geared towards a culture that on a personal basis isn't going to really connect with them? The movie industry is just that, an industry where the name of the game is to get the butts In the seats.
Jun 7, 2014 3:23PM
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Wow................never happy are they?
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