The sixth installment of the fast cars battle between cops and criminals, also has two African American entertainment stars Ludacis, and Tyrese.
I happened to see Fast And Furious 6 while waiting to see Iron Man 3 at the AMC Metreon 16 Theater in San Francisco, and while it was really entertaining, I could not help but notice that the two “obviously” black stars, Ludacis, and Tyrese, were without women love interests, whereas Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Paul Walker, had them: Michelle Rodriguez for Vin Diesel, most notably.
The constant message was that every man who wasn’t obviously black had a woman, but the black guys were just along for the ride and womanless.
That’s why I made the video about Jason Collins and if his acceptance also signaled a kind of war against straight black men. I said it in this video:
And if you consider that, and the fact that movies like Iron Man 3 had Don Cheadle as Robert Downey Jr.’s sidekick (and Terrance Howard before him), but, again, without a woman, and a pattern starts to emerge. Blade had Wesley Snipes without a love interest for three films. Morgan Freeman was just Christopher Bale’s lead exec and tech aide in the Dark Knight movie series – three films and no lover. I thought Idris Elba was going to get it on with Charlize Theron in Prometheus, but that didn’t happen either.
There are a number of movies where black men don’t have female love interests – and going all the way back to Eddie Murphy in the Beverly Hills Cop series – whereas it’s a struggle to think of a film where a white male lead or supporting actor didn’t have one. The exception to the rule here are the movies of Denzel Washington (most notably Flight), and Will Smith.
But someone on YouTube pointed to DJANGO as an example, but to me, that’s a movie about a black issue: American slavery. I’m referring to standard movies where race is not the focus, and that are not all black.
From that perspective, a number of movies that fit the sad spec come to mind.
What to do?
Considering that this pattern seems to be subconcious – in other words, the makers of these movies don’t think they’re being racist when they are – the only answer is for more people who are sensitive to this problem to make conciously interracial movies. Not just in racial mix, but in activities. The point is to make sure the black male is depicted for what he really is: as normal as anyone else.