In Hollywood, Black Lives Really Don't Matter

2139 words - 9 pages

"The Academy Awards’ snub of ‘Selma’ says more about the film industry than the film" -- Willie Osterweil

Why does prejudice still exist in all facets of the media today? It seems as if prejudice has always been linked to Hollywood, but when will it ever end? There are so few successful African- American actors in Hollywood and the ones that are successful have gone through tremendous difficulties just to get to where they are now. African- Americans have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to cinema in the past. They have been forced to come together to create their own type of cinema where race is not a factor. Minorities continue to go through struggles as actors. African- Americans are still facing tremendous adversity in the world of acting. There is prejudice in Hollywood towards African- Americans mainly because white actors are thought to be better than black actors. Blacks are believed to have little or no place in the acting business.

As a result of prejudice, African- Americans were forced to create their own cinema and theatre productions in the early days of acting (Thompson). They had to create their own acting communities just to become respectable actors. “Black-owned theaters, music clubs, and movie houses began to emerge, and the ubiquity of stereotyped images of African- Americans spurred films aimed at countering them” (Thompson). As the influence of black cinema rose, those against its growth tried to halt the theatrical progress that African- Americans were undergoing by making films that countered the black cinema culture. The force of prejudice is what caused African- Americans to create their own cinemas, but when they begin to do well and succeed, there has to be a counter to the success they have to keep them in check. “D.W. Griffith’s technically groundbreaking but empathetically racist film inspired a wave of lynchings in the U.S.; it was also partly- though only partly- responsible for a number of black- made films , or ‘race movies,’ whose characters and storylines worked to refute popular stereotypes of African- Americans”(Thompson). The goal of movies such as this is to suppress the African- American culture by inciting hate and violence. But movies like this can only push African- American actors to get the theatrical equity that they so truly deserve. African- Americans had to create movies countering racist films aimed at suppressing blacks by releasing cinemas that displayed that blacks did not behave as those racist films portrayed them to behave. These movies were produced by an African- American crew, written by African- Americans, casted by African- American actors, and created for African- American audiences (Stewart). They created beautiful masterpieces which were not acclaimed at the time due to the racist society that was present.

As there was prejudice in the past, there is prejudice in the present. “In most sci- fi movies, why does the future look so...

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