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Effie Brown, Matt Damon, & Me.

16 Sep 2015 | Categories: Blog | Posted by: TastyKeish

I promised myself if I got my website together I would share more of my thoughts about things I encounter on a daily basis. Fun stuff, events, not so fun stuff like micro-aggressions against women and Black people. Two communities I am 100% a part of.

Knowing that about myself. That I am a Black Woman that lives in a world and culture that is vast and huge, I can not with good conscience allow someone from outside of my community dictate to me what I should consume as my media intake, what Black characters should be represented and how. Nor will I denounce those prevailing stereotypes to distance myself and become part of “The New Black” (ie: Pharell & Raven Symone).

There is immense power in the boardrooms of America. Power that we don’t have because we are not in those boardrooms. So,the people that are- White, often heterosexual males, make decisions on representations of People of Color daily. In music, in congress, in HOLLYWOOD. Especially Hollywood.

So when I saw that film director Effie Brown (who is a Black Woman that directed Dear White People ::insert irony here::) raised concerns about a White pimp character and a Black prostitute character and about diversity on the crew of films, I knew I wasn’t crazy when I  went on my “how-dare-you-tell-me-what-to-do-with-my- media” diatribe a few weeks ago on twitter. Matt Damon (Project Greenlight Executive Producer) basically talked over her about how the diversity in the film making process needs to be in the casting of characters and not the crew. Read that again.

Here’s how I took that:

Go head and put more Black, Asians, Latino, etc folks in the movies to shut folks up and keep the decision making to us White guys. 

He doesn’t even know he said that shit. He doesn’t even realize he thinks that shit.

And there’s the rub.

(Some-A Lot of- Not All) White folks get pleasure out of telling you the marginalized group “how to”. How to do better, make better films, music, media, food choices as if they didn’t have a hand in the way the current system is structured to fail People of Color on all levels.

Which takes me back to my diatribe, again. 

I engaged a post on FB about Saana Lathan discussing how she feels sad about the lack of diversity in the Hollywood boardroom. I agreed with Saana and then I was basically told by the poster of said thread that if Black People had supported a certain other movie that will remain nameless- then other Black movies would have a better opportunity to make it through.

Here’s how I took that:

If you want more Black movies, then let me as a White Person tell you that it’s your fault since you didn’t support a shitty Black movie, now not even your good ones can make it to the silver screen. Take what we give you. Then give us your money for it. And maybeeeee, just mayyyyybe we’ll let you have something a little bit better.

Which, for the 3rd time brings me back to my diatribe. You can read it here. These are all tweets, so please excuse the fast and furious nature of my typing and the typos. Effie Brown gave me a reason to share: 

See more on:
Matt Damon inadvertently demonstrates why Hollywood isn’t more diverse
http://www.vox.com/2015/9/14/9325989/matt-damon-diversity-project-greenlight

Matt Damon’s staggering meritocracy lie: What his “Project Greenlight” blow-up with Effie Brown really shows
http://www.salon.com/2015/09/16/matt_damons_staggering_meritocracy_lie_what_his_project_greenlight_blow_up_with_effie_brown_really_shows/