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05 April 2010

Comments

darksun

All of this talk and after ALL of the meetings and things like this...nothing is ever done.

Procrastination_Xtravaganza

@ darksun,..how many discussions of this caliber are you used to hearing about/attending? This wasn't some backyard BBQ convo,..if discussions like these are happening all the time please do let me know.

What exactly would you like to see done? DL Chronicles on NBC prime-time this coming Thurdsay night? That's not how it works.

Ofttimes the discussion IS the happening, GI-Joe said knowing is half the battle, and damn he was right! Just the awareness of the issue sets people in motion, in ways that may not be reflected on your TV or film screen. One of the most important take home messages I got from this was the (black!) ABC exec saying essentially "be where they are." - referring to the studio execs that are going to hire you.

So if just one person trying to represent black gay characters/culture starts to get coffee at the same shop as NBC's so-and-so exec and begins to form a relationship, then this panel got something "done."

Faison

@ Darksun:

One, I can't recall a major discussion such as this on homophobia in black Hollywood that was produced by the WGA. That's major.

Two, what Procrastination said. You just demand that ABC keep Ugly Betty on its schedule or demand that Logo renews Noahs Arc. There are only a few people greenlighting projects and its extremely competitive. Also, we should applaud Patrik Ian Polk, Deondray Gossett, Quincy Lenear and Maurice Jamal for having vision and getting their work produced. It';s not easy....

whatuthink

@darksun... those discussions in your bed don't count. Bet those debates are a mouthful.

But anyway, homophobia is heavy in black hollywood and it really comes down to do it yourself type of business but the financing isn't available in abundance. The cancellation of Arc and DL was slap to our face when there should high level of diversity on gay networks. It's said that we have to even go to a gay network to even get exposure.

Also another note... majority of the black castings are asking for blacks to portray thugs and flamboyant queens. This happens even in student films here in LA.

soulbrotha

"be where they are.."

Hmm. I have mixed feelings about that. I understand the point being made and agree to a certain extent. But when networks or movie studios want to write about a Jewish family or an Italian family or young people, don't they simply hire Jewish, Italian or young people to write it? If they wanted a hit gay Black show, how hard could it be to just hire gay Black writers to get it done? They couldn't possibly be sleeping on Tyler Perry's success. They already KNOW we are there! So what is the problem? I'm not sure "being where they are" is going to do much, when they won't even keep the black shows they HAVE on the air.

And I don't have much hope when Hollywood would rather produce white bomb after white bomb than create one good Black show, gay or straight.

Michelle

@Faison -- the WGA and GLAAD did the same thing last year, with many of the same people. It was enlightening and enjoyable, but again, it feels like little really comes of these things.

soulbrotha

And may I just add that I WISH I was at that meeting! Damn! x 3

Procrastination_Xtravaganza

Interesting question Soulbrotha,..I don't work in television or film but outside of special occasions I'm not sure there are many cases where a network is just dying to make a Jewish or Italian film for no reason, and they just go find some Jewish/Italian writers to fill that void. More than likely, a Jewish person or Italian who has forged a relationship with a network exec, eventually pitches their Jewish/Italian story and presents a viable fan base or target audience and convinces them to green-light its production. Again this is only speculation, I could be way off base. Anyone more familiar with the process care to chime in?

So while it's feasible to imagine networks wanting to ride on the coattails of Tyler Perry's success, my first step as a network exec wouldn't be to go find some black gay writers for a black gay show, cause that's not exactly his movies. If Noah's Arc won an Oscar or pulled in 500 million, then yeah I could see that kind of situation you were talking about (I loved that show/movie BTW!)

Simply, there isn't enough of a demand for a black gay show for a network to actively go looking for someone to make it, however, by forming relationships with the people in power, you get your foot in the door for them to take a chance on your project, and you can only form those relationships by being where the movers and shakers are,..even if it's just daily Starbucks, it's a start.

Ben

It's not Hollywood but I've noticed a lot more out black men and women working behind the scenes and on camera in news. I've seen a lot more things that matter to me show up on air and on dotcom. I'm an older white male but good-looking don't hurt me a damned bit.

Daniel

I just want to know if anyone was as offened as I by the one potrayal of the black gay image in Tyler Perrys new moive......(the queen coming out of the cake)?

Diva1961

First off I'd wish i were there just to really hear and be part of the conversation. Even if it was done once last year the questions are 1) How was the attendance? 2) Was it overflowing like this or not 3) Was this the same panel (because who you have is very important)?

Remember that to have one discussion about a topic that can be as divisive as this is just the tip of the iceberg. You have to have a series in order to guage interest. When people with money and power see/hear that time after time people are showing up and filling the meeting, then and only then do people with money/power take notice. Nothing in Hollywood, nor mostly ANYWHERE, does things move and shake after one meeting.

The fact that important issues are being discussed (prop 8 discussions, marriage discussions, DADT/DOMA discussions) can make some things suddenly important to people that weren't important before. Like M. Jamal says, there seems to be a paradigm shiift. There may have been movers and shakers who showed up for the discussion this time that weren't there the first time. They usually send their "people" the first time and have them report back to them. If it seemed to be important or the networking around it was good, then the movers and shakers slowly start to show up and this gives more authenticity to the discussion even if these people were only in the audience and didn't participate in the discussion.

Who is at the meeting is as important as the meeting itself. Also, nothing really moves fast in Hollywood unless you are at the top of the food chain. Ask most of the white owmen in Hollywood who have names and have been there for years trying to get a project greenlighted. If you are black AND gay, pu-lezze. Spike Lee's Malcom X wasn't greenlit in one meeting, even with Denzel as the lead. What makes you think something black and gay would happen in one meeting? You are really not in the business if you thought that.

A number of people are going the Youtube route. Get it out however you can and get enough hits and see if it's picked up that way. It keeps production costs down and accessibility high. One does have to find ways to do it themselves and see about getting in the door that way.

Otis

Wow, I didn't know HERE TV was half steppin' on DL Chronicles. I don't get HERE TV, but bought the DVD. My guess is straight to video is not a profitable distribution method, but I would buy season 2. We can't even get a straight Black drama on TV (how I miss SOUL FOOD), so a gay one will have to jump more hoops, but we know the talent is there.

I think Quincy and Deondray are on to something. Media production is more accessible and cheaper. Diva1961, I agree, get your project out however you can. Maybe there is an alternative to the networks and cable. A black gay Netflix anyone?

Pip

it's funny because most people (including non-black gays and non-gay blacks) don't even recognize our existence. You can be black or you can be gay but not BOTH.

It's going to take some time to change that and it seems the best way to do that is create and produce our own stories. b4 tyler perry's films there was practically 0 films with characters and stories like his. The audience was invisible to Hollywood until TP showed them that they exist and want to be entertained.

as a writer and performer, i am trying my best to get our stories heard but it's going to take some time.

whatuthink

Lets not forget TP isn't stating he's gay. His PR uses a cover with sh*t get stirred. Only positive from TP is that he hires black actors/actresses. As far representing gay, non-existent.

Kevin Perez

I want to see was a hit movie or a hit TV series about a young LGBT Puerto Rican/Latino and their struggles in this hateful, bigoted society or even better.... A TV series about a young LGBT Puerto Rican/Latino of African descent and their struggles in a hateful, bigoted society but also struggling to maintain his/her own idenity/sense of "Blackness" (not Black America's foolishness) that is looked down upon in Latin American culture but still can call themselves "Latin". I think Brazil made a film like that, you know, about a LGBT Black in the 1930s that was a drag queen.

I would also rather see a TV show about a raped, overweight, dark skinned Black woman who is lesbian, Muslim, physically disabled, living in a hostile almost White neighborhood down South in a almost segrated neighborhood, dealing a lot of BS from both Blacks and Whites whose BBF is a T sistah/brotha than have another Soul Food or a show about a Sista Brigade focusing on priviledged, heterosexual, light-skinned Black women complaining about how they can't get a good *Black* man and how difficult it is being them and how everybody in the world is trying to scew over these God-fearing women while living luxuries and the high life. It's much better than Black equivalence of of mainstream "White" dramas.

Or a movie about LBGT Blacks and Puerto Ricans in 1960s and 1970s New York City 'cuz that was probably the era where LGBT of color have such a rich history, that it's often downplayed.

Of course any of the above, previous suggestions would probably not only piss off Middle America but probably people in Black, Latino communties who want us visible only to be their scapegoats and whipping boys.

Doug Cooper Spencer

From someone who was part of putting this event together, let me first say that Demetrius Bady was the brains and the producer of the event. I know, because he and I started working on this over a year before it took place. It grew out of a conversation he & I had and we both decided it was worthy of making into a major event.
THE EVENT IS ONLY PART OF A FULL DOCUMENTARY that is being produced on the same subject. I'm so happy to be a part of this major film project as well as the event in L.A. It was a phenomenal night,and Maurice is right, IT WAS PACKED TO THE RAFTERS. Right now as I type this, my hubby, Greg, who was the photographer for the event is editing the photos to be used in the documentary. SO FEAR NOT, THAT NIGHT WILL CONTINUE IN THE FORM OF A FILM ON THE SAME SUBJECT. ATTENTION: FUNDING IS STILL BEING SOUGHT SO IF YOU KNOW OF ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO HELP WITH FUNDING FOR THIS PROJECT CONTACT DEMETRIUS BADY AT: [email protected].. Again, I am so honored to have been a part of this project from its inception and the long nights when Demetrius and I sat up and put this project forth based on Demetrius' vision. STAND BY FOR MUCH MORE.

CC

What should have also played a major part in that convo was creating a Black/Latino LGBT version of here! or Logo network. Seems like that will be the real way to go, since the white gay networks keep cutting us out of the equation at a whim.

BLAQQ

Can we get actual footage of this panel discussion somewhere? I would really like to hear the whole conversation that took place.

Jim

“I would also rather see a TV show about a raped, overweight, dark-skinned Black woman who is lesbian, Muslim, physically disabled, living in a hostile almost White neighborhood down South in a almost segregated neighborhood, dealing with a lot of BS from both Blacks and Whites, whose BBF is a T sistah/brotha, than have another ‘Soul Food’ or a show about a Sista Brigade focusing on privileged, heterosexual, light-skinned Black women complaining about how they can’t get a good *Black* man and how difficult it is being them and how everybody in the world is trying to screw over these God-fearing women while living luxuries and the high life.”

LOL. Kevin, you’re adorable.

I, too, am quite over stories about the “problems” of spoiled (and ignorant and not-very-bright) upper-middle class professionals on whom money seems to magically pour down like rain.

Key

There will be a followup to the discussion at the Los Angeles black pride this 4th of july weekend. This will be a much bigger discussion panel I am told, and they planning to bring in much bigger hollywood black men and women to this controversial discuss. I think they may be having Wanda Sykes and Monique in the panel

Don Charles

Unfortunately, Maurice Jamal has co-opted the ignorance of the White Gay media, referring to LGBT-affirming projects as "queer". What a demeaning, retrograde way to talk about Lesbians, Gay men and transsexual people. I hope there wasn't a lot of that going on at this seminar. Those who adopt the language of the oppressor when talking about themselves reveal their internalized self-hatred, and nothing torpedoes struggles for liberation and independence more effectively. Audre Lorde says it best: "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house"!

Kevin Perez

LGBT folks using the words "queer" or even "fag" is no different than many of you and Latinos would saying "nigga" (or even "niggah"). I don't like it but I don't complain about it.

By your logic, does that make Black people self-loathing when they refer to one another as a "niggah"?

Kevin Perez

And when the f**ck did calling one another a "queer" become a "White gay thing". There aren't POC who use the terms queer, fag, and flamming queen and that aren't self-loathing.

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