The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Has the 100 Million Barrier Been Crossed?I

I report, you decide...


(for those who have joined us recently, and not been subjected to my ravings on the subject, I use the lack of non-white male sex in movies as a measure of unconscious cultural racism. The standard: at least a PG-level love scene: kissing, sinking out of frame to a fade is quite enough. Dissolving to an afterglow cuddle is nice too. Of course, buck-naked wild sex would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath. The film has to make above 100 million domestic. There, that about covers it...)

109 million dollars. Earned by "Couple's Retreat." actually kinda has a love scene with a black man. Now...he's not the lead, and every movie I counted in the over-100 million category WAS sex with the lead. However, it would be less than honest not to note that Frankie Faison actually got laid.

What to make of this? The rules would seem to be slightly more flexible. The following rules might be useful:

1) Make the black man fat. He cannot be reproductive competition for the white males.

2) He cannot be the lead. The lead must get laid as well.

3) The sex has to be played for laughs. It cannot be sensual and affectionate.

But despite those reservations, a bit of a threshold has been crossed. Note that, strictly speaking, "Traffic" features a scene where Michael Douglas' drug addict daughter is being (raped?) by a black drug dealer. I refuse to even acknowledge that would be too disturbing. But that means there are two films above 100 million with non-white male sex. In neither case is it the lead (that ain't Chow Yun Fat bustin' moves in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"). So while by one definition the line has been crossed, I think it's reasonable to say "The star" or "the lead" since that's the way I'm counting it in every other case. But I did want to have at least a minor celebration...hell, I'll take what I can get.


Scott said...

You expected it to be incremental, right?

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