Actor Taye Diggs says the future of the “The Best Man Holiday” sequel is hanging in the balance as Hollywood studios wait to see how other “Black” films will perform before moving forward with it.
While Hollywood has made progress, there is still a lot of work to be done to diversify the film industry.
Diggs says films with a predominantly African-American cast or production team are lumped together by big studios that predict one film’s future success on the past success of other “Black” movies.
“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 told the Associated Press.
In other words, the world of Hollywood views “Black” films as a genre of its own, even when they are categorizing films with completely different story lines.
“We’ve definitely come a long way,” Diggs added. “But we’ve got a long way to go. 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.”
In November 2013, “The Best Man Holiday” grossed an impressive $70 million in North America alone.
According to the studios, however, that isn’t enough to prove a substantial following for the film.
Despite the overwhelming support that it received, studios still perceive it as a risk based on other films with predominantly Black actors that have not performed as well.
“That’s ridiculously frustrating,” Diggs said.
Diggs pointed out that this is a double standard because films with predominantly white cast members are not compared to other films in the same fashion, nor does the future of these films rely on the success of another unrelated movie that just also happened to feature white actors.
Universal Studios, which released the 1999 “The Best Man” as well as the sequel, has not publicly commented on what Diggs had to say.
Meanwhile, Diggs is still pushing forward on the small screen.
The veteran actor stars in the new TNT drama “Murder in the First.”