red tails

Rules Were Made to Be Broken…

…or at least to find workarounds…

One of the most important Oreo rules is that we do not fraternize with other of colors.

Be the only one in a crowd and you add just enough color to make things interesting. You provide a resource for people to ask all those questions they know are annoying, so they realize it’s in their best interest not to ask an RBP never got to ask before. You give people an out when they’re accused of living a sheltered life. You add a touch of surprise and joy when you karaoke to Carrie Underwood instead of Queen Bey. You are a precious gift. Like saffron or a unicorn. Doing your golden unicorn thing.

Show up as two of a kind and you look like a gang. Date another black and you’ve gone from being interesting and worldly to just being predictable. Start pairing up with other of colors and you run the risk of commiserating about society’s structural inequalities, making plans to attend an August Wilson festival, wondering if you do spend too much time and money erasing all the ethnicity out of your hair, and forgetting every single one of your favorite frittata recipes.

So as a young Oreo, you make a promise to never even look twice at another member of the tribe and all is good and right with the world.

Except for days like today when you accidentally watch a trailer for Lee Danile’s The Butler.

I know, I know. Dangerous territory here. It’s a slippery slope from checking out what skinny Forrest Whitaker is up to to thinking to yourself: “I don’t know, maybe Precious based on the novel Push by Sapphire isn’t so bad,” to saying aloud:  “Sure, there are some problems in the denouement, but Madea does make me laugh,” to screaming: “Fuck it, break out the fried okra, let’s put on a do-rag and watch Roots!”

Also dangerous: One Mr. David Oyelowo who stars in this film.

david2

Those eyes. That jaw line. That smirk. Goddarn that smirk. Goddarn it right to heck!!! That way that suit hangs on that shoulder. That…accent?

Fortunately, I hadn’t snapped to my senses and turned off the TV, so I heard a snippet of a soundbite and it turns out he sounds like this:

He’s British! That’s about as far from being an RBP as you can possibly get. The Queen’s English isn’t in the same vein as Ebonics. It’s not even in the same hemisphere!

(…I think..geogrraphy wasn’t my strongest subject)

This star crush might be safe after all.

Watching that preview and invoking the knowledge of Tyler Perry definitely wasn’t, safe however. So please excuse me, I’m going to catch up on my Downton Abbey reruns and practice some Monsters and Men for my next karaoke night.

What do you think? Should I sandwich Mr. Oyelowo in between Hugh Grant and John Slattery (happy birthday to him today, btw!) on my celebrity freebies list? Who are your celebrity crushes? Let us know in the comments!

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For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

[Insert Star Wars Reference Here to Provide Segue into Talking About George Lucas*]

When I was about 10, my parents, in a misguided effort to instill some sort of ethnic pride in me, told me I was related to Booker T. Washington.

That would have been awesome had it not been a total lie. I am not related to Booker T. I am however, related to an actual hero—a fact my parents neglected to mention until we were literally standing in front of a picture in the Smithsonian and my mom more than casually said: “Oh, there’s your Uncle Andrew…Did you wanna get lunch?”

Turns out, my Uncle Andrew was one of the Tuskegee Airmen–the pilots who are the subject of George Lucas’s latest film, Red Tails.

This is his picture…the one that’s in the Smithsonian…no big deal…just the Smithsonian.

This is him. As seen in the Smithsonian. Museum. You know, that big one.

No big deal.

Anyhoo, I had the opportunity to hear Lucas speak about this film months and months ago at work. He’s also been doing the requisite publicity tours lately and I caught his appearance on The Daily Show where he repeated a sentiment he’s been touting since I first heard him talk about Red Tails last year.

Lucas has been talking about how the big studios in Hollywood didn’t want to pay for the production or promotion of this film because it was an all-black action movie and they a) didn’t think it would play and b) didn’t know how to market a blacktion movie like that in the first place.

Not the droids they're looking for.

When I heard him say this, I was shocked!!

I mean, Lucas should have known better. Of course a movie like this is doomed! I mean, sure, it’s got huge, awesome fighting sequences, war, drama, amazing special effects work, a compelling not-yet-over-told story and nostalgia. But it also has black people in it. And as we’ve learned from movies like these, these, these, these, these and these, unless it’s a man in a fat suit, putting black people in movies just doesn’t make sense.

And Hollywood is totally faithful to its pattern of not putting out films with elements that have been proven not to work. Just look at some recent big budget flops.

Mars Needs Moms In this animated, boy-centric, action flick based on a book of the same name, a chore-phobic kids goes a a planet where there are no women to make sure life doesn’t fall apart due to lack of laundry.

  • Budget v. Box Office: $175 million/$38 million
  • Notes: Think how much worse the movie would have been if when they went to the Uncanny Valley, they came back with a little black kid to play the lead and not a little white one. The title wasn’t “Compton Needs Crack,” after all.

The Green Lantern – Ryan Reynold wears Spandex and saves some segment of humanity.

  • Budget v. Box Office: $325 million/$219 million
  • Notes: Again, at least it wasn’t a black dude…like it is in the comic books. I mean, the Black Green Lantern? You wouldn’t even be able to see that.

What’s Your Number? – Anna Faris believes she has had too much sex.

  • Budget v. Box Office: $20 million v. $6 million
  • Notes: Just think what a travesty this would have been if one of the leads were of color! They wouldn’t even be able to call up a number because their phones would have been cut off.

Conan the Barbarian – I’m sure this movie is about something, but I was distracted by the 14-pack.

  • Budget v. Box Office: $90 million v. $49 million
  • Notes: “Conan the Blackbarian?” I don’t think so. I mean, a Blackbearian sound adorable. But a big black guy running through towns brandishing weapons? Um, I spent way too much money to live in this gated community so I don’t have to see that.

Prince of Persia – Didn’t realize Persia was in the OC.

  • Budget v. Box Office: $200 million v. $90 million
  • Notes: Very similar to the Conan casting problem. Even though Persia is a country populated by brown people, if you give one of ’em a big weapon–even if it is a scimitar–you’re just asking for trouble.

Clearly there are some things that just don’t work in movies. And that’s why there are only a few hundred movies coming out in the next few years that feature things like animation, white kids, motion capture, novel adaptations, superheros, white guys, New York, white gals, over sexed 20-somethings, contrived ticking clocks, singles who are totally oblivious to the fact that the person of their dreams is standing right in front of them, epics, horses, weapons, big CG crowds, Los Angeles and gigantic budgets.

Though all of those elements are consistently present in movies that do terribly, it’s really just good science to run a few more test cases just to be sure.

No need to figure that shiz out for black folks, though. Totally obvious they can’t make a movie work.

For an equally disturbing trend in TV, click here.

Are you related to anyone awesome (apart from your awesome self?). Do you wish you were? Tell us about your family history in the comments!

*Seriously, someone help me out with the Star Wars references. I’ve never seen the movies.

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For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!