George Lucas Couldn’t Make a Movie with an All-Black Cast

A week ago today, George Lucas appeared on The Daily Show to discuss Red Tails, which opens in theatres this coming weekend. Since Lucas is promoting the film, one might mistakenly call it “his film,” and he certainly seems to claim ownership of it (at least in the interview below). However, Lucas is one of four producers; Anthony Hemingway directs, and John Ridley & Aaron McGruder share writing credits.
Red Tails tells the story (at least a portion of it–Lucas alludes to a prequel and sequel) of the Tuskegee Airmen–a group of heroic Black pilots in World War II–who aren’t really as well known here in the U.S. as they should be. 
An action movie centering on a group of men, and targeted at teenage boys, isn’t typical terrain for Bitch Flicks. However, it’s shocking and remarkable that Lucas claims he couldn’t get this project of the ground because it stars an all-black cast and studios didn’t see a foreign market for the film.
Watch the Daily Show clip:


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George Lucas
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Many people in the United States like to imagine that we’re a post-racial society, and are quick to point out our current Black president and a handful of Black celebrities as evidence. But when one of the biggest and most powerful names in Hollywood can’t get a studio interested in a movie about a group of heroic Black military men, we should all be reminded that racism is alive and well, and that it remains institutionally embedded in our culture.
Going to see a movie in the theatre is, in some way, a political act. Where you choose to spend your movie dollars influences the kinds of movies that are greenlighted in the future. And, in our age of hyper-capitalism, the opening weekend means everything. 
Here’s the official movie trailer:

Red Tails opens this Friday, January 20th. Will you go see it?
  • Thats crazy that it took so long for George Lucas to get this movie produced, I was already planning to go see it but now I’ll defiantly be at the opening weekend

  • This is a film I was already excited to see in the theater, and seeing Lucas on The Daily Show reminds me just how important it is that a film like this does well opening weekend. I know Hollywood catches a lot of flack for how they don’t push “black” films, but I hope Red Tails succeeds and forces them to look at this genre of films in a new light.