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8 Things the Sony Hack Revealed About Racism & Bigotry In Hollywood

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Hollywood Denies Role in Racism

When the hackers, “Guardians of Peace,” broke into Sony’s servers, hundreds of thousands of the entertainment network’s private emails became public.

In the most recent email, an unnamed executive lamented that Denzel Washington should not star in anymore of their movies.

“I am not saying ‘The Equalizer should not have been made or that African-American actors should not have been used. I personally think Denzel Washington is the best actor of his generation. I believe that the international motion picture audience is racist — in general, pictures with an African-American lead don’t play well overseas,” the person wrote.

“But Sony sometimes seems to disregard that a picture must work well internationally to both maximize returns and reduce risk, especially pictures with decent size budgets.”

By shifting blame to the international audience, the unnamed producer who sent the email to executive Michael Lynton ignores the fact that Sony and other U.S.-based studios have contributed significantly to the global spread of racist attitudes directed at Black people. President Barack Obama unintentionally confirms this while praising Hollywood in a speech at a DreamWorks fundraiser, saying:

“Hundreds of millions of people may never set foot in the United States, but thanks to you, they’ve experienced a small part of what makes our country special. They’ve learned something about our values. We have shaped a world culture through you.”

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No Matter How Famous or Acclaimed, Black Actors Are Devalued in Hollywood

Though the author of the aforementioned email says that in his or her mind Washington is the best actor of his generation, that is not enough to make up for his Blackness.

“Casting him [Washington] is saying we’re OK with a double (referencing baseball terminology) if the picture works. He’s reliable at the domestic [box office], safe, but has not had a huge success in years,” the producer wrote.

“I believe whenever possible the non-event pictures, extra ‘bets’ should have a large inherent upside and be made for the right price. Here there isn’t a large inherent upside.”

African-American economist Boyce Watkins wrote on the subject, “It’s unfortunate that an actor as successful and talented as Denzel Washington must endure such a scathing and unfair critique. Based on what we’re reading, it seems that Denzel’s only mistake is being born with black skin.”

What people are saying

7 thoughts on “8 Things the Sony Hack Revealed About Racism & Bigotry In Hollywood

  1. Cool article I've been wait for the sony memes but I'm disappointed so far. I mean it's a pretty comical situation. I like obamas reaction to the emails acting like he didn't even hear anything. That's how you play the game. Crying out, stirring up hate, waiting for apologies, or for 40 acres and a mule is not progressive. We must have our own agendas that we live for so even if we find out they hate us it's not stopping nothing or just because we not accepted it's not stopping nothing. And then we won't be angry, we will always be focused, and we will actually expect opposition. And that's why I like obamas reaction cuz u can't make no one like you or stop being a racist, but u still gotta be cool and accomplish the mission.

  2. Patricia Colbert says:

    President Obama is too intelligent to let a bunch of clowns get to him. He acted exactly as I expected him to react. Anybody with an IQ such as these two deserve to be fired. Ignorance has no place in this day and time. Time is running out for people such as they are.

  3. Bruce Christopherson says:

    The same people that wrote these e-mails and those who defend them and Obama himself would be calling for them to be fired and drummed out of society in general had they been known to be Republican or in any way right leaning but since we are talking about liberal progressives who are big fund raisers and donors on the left……

  4. All these big shot Jews in Hollywood you would think would show more sensitivity. Never-the -less Black Hollywood will give their racist innuendos a pass because they got the checkbook and negroes are scared to show their indignation. We shall overcome someday…ay, ay, ay, ay!

  5. Chris Do says:

    "the new black, baby!" not "the new black baby."

  6. D Oliver Martin says:

    That is why I don't do the movie thing..someone else's story, nah! I got my own to tell.

  7. E. Joyce Moore says:

    I actually checked movies with primary casting of Black actors. They ALL did well internationally, so that is at best a myth, in reality a lie.

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