A series featuring my favorite underemployed blacktors and blacktresses.
I’m not going to admit that I came up with the term “blacktors and blacktresses.” Anyone who closely watched “In Living Color” back in the ’90s would recall a David Alan Grier skit where he played the host of a black awards show that was basically an exaggerated version of the Soul Train Awards mixed with the NAACP Image Awards, only it gave awards for best scared black man in a police show and Whoopi Goldberg was nominated a ton of times as she seemed to be the only black woman getting steady work in the ’90s.
Which brings me to my point. I am a lover of film and television. I own an insane amount of movies from the eclectic and high brow (Julie Taymor’s “Titus” and the film version of “Marat/Sade”) to mob movies (“Goodfellas,” my personal greatest film of all time) to sci-fi (All three “Terminator” flicks, “RoboCop” and “Starship Troopers” and I’m a “Trekkie”). So I get frustrated that there are so few quality films with black people in them and the few there are always either triumph over racial adversity flicks or the most depressing films ever. (Don’t get me started on why I try to avoid watching “Glory,” it always suckers me and I end crying through the whole damn thing EVERY TIME!)
So this is my occasional shout to Hollywood to give a favorite sporadically employed actor something decent to do other than making extra scratch doing plays and teaching at The Learning Annex or maybe managing a Barnes & Noble.
Please Hollywood, give these people a job. (Or a better one than they have now.)
Current Job: She played “Jane” in the 2008 indie film “Meet Market” and is playing Casey Spandeau in “Black Water Transit,” a big budget crime/drama pick also starring Laurence Fishbourne, Evan Ross, Stephen Dorff and Brittany Snow. It is currently in post-production for a 2008 release.
Claim to fame: Her wicked standup comedy, her Dartmouth degree, E!’s “Talk Soup” and her one-off as the first recurring black character on “Friends” in the show’s final season.
Why she should be more famous than she is: She’s funny, she’s smart, she’s tall, she’s pretty. Really? What’s the problem here? Does Hollywood have something against tall, beautiful black women? And what was up with that stint on “The Ghost Whisperer?” I was glad she was getting a steady check, but then, boom, her character is axed. (Possibly as part of that black actor Holocaust that started pre-writer’s strike with Isaiah Washington’s foot-in-mouth moment of hubris and is still going, claiming the jobs of Jesse L. Martin and Gary Dourdan … although Gary might have been high at the time.)*
If … wait, not if but … WHEN they make Barack Obama the Movie Aisha should be somewhere at the top in the running to play Michelle Obama. Right there with other super tall under utilized black actresses like Gina Torres. While I think Gina’s the better actress, Aisha actually looks a little bit like Michelle. Or like Michelle’s super hot cousin once removed. Either way. Michelle has great comic timing and frank, cool attitude. Aisha was born cool.
Other things I’d gladly take Aisha on: Any cop procedural show, “Grey’s Anatomy” (You own me another hot black doctor, male or female, Shonda!), or her own show on a viable network. Not some backwater burg like the CW. I’d also like to see her a big budget Will Smith production. Aisha looks like she was made for a summer blockbuster action/comedy. I’m talking to you, Mr. Smith! Hook-a-smart-funny-sista up!
Or something where she stars opposite Jamie Foxx, but nothing with Eddie Murphy. Poor Gabrielle Union. Did anyone go see her in “Meet Dave?”
That said, make this happen, Hollywood!
*Down thread someone mentioned that Aisha left “Ghost Whisperer” of her own volition, which is, like, cool with me because the show was gawd awful. I was also informed that she’s been on “24,” which, alas, I did not know because I didn’t start watching “24” until season three or four.