1.15.2012

"Red Tails" Movie to Honor Tuskegee Airmen; George Lucas Talks About Barriers to Getting all-Black Films in Hollywood


Let’s be honest: When George Lucas recently appeared on The Daily Show to talk about his new film Red Tails, the challenges he says he faced in getting this movie made in Hollywood is not new revelation. I thought it was the norm.

With an all-Black cast, Red Tails is a project that he personally financed and has been working on for 20 plus years to honor the Tuskegee Airmen. According to the trailer description, "World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program are courageously waging two wars at once -- one against enemies overseas, and the other against discrimination within the military and back home"

Lucas outright said that studios in Hollywood would not back it mainly because “it’s an all-Black movie; There’s no major White roles in it at all,” he said on The Daily Show.

I picked up the February issue of Ebony magazine that features the entire Red Tail cast on the cover. Lucas told Ebony, “Nobody ever done an all-Black action picture. You have Will Smith in a White man’s movie, and that’s OK. That was a big jump to get the lead actor to be Black. But when everybody in the movie is Black, that’s a whole other genre.”

Actor Nate Parker told Ebony that this movie is “unprecedented, in the sense of having a group of Black men who are empowered, make decisions themselves and are the determining factor in the outcome of the film.”

Ebony also unveils a racially charged incident involving several of the cast members while they were dining at a restaurant in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, where filming took place in 2009 for about five months. While shooting in the Czech Republic, the actors underwent a "boot camp" program, during which they lived in similar conditions as the actual Tuskegee Airmen. All hell broke out when some yelled “White Power” at them at the restaurant. Read more about this by supporting Ebony magazine.

Yes, I am planning to go see it because I think a movie like this is important. It hits the theatres on January 20. Here’s the trailer below. Are you planning to go see it? If you do please come back and let me know your thoughts.