Both “Girlfriends” and “The Game” creator, Mara Brock Akil and comedian, TV pioneer, resident “Old Man Who Doesn’t Care What YOU Think Anymore” Bill Cosby both gave their takes on how Barack Obama’s presidency would affect the number of African Americans on scripted television.
Naturally, the recently screwed over, but resilient Akil and the “screwed over in the past,” but once highly successful Cosby had very, very different outlooks.
“(T)hese people are stupid,” (Cosby) says, referring to network bosses. “Look at how NBC is struggling. You would think they would make some changes and be talking about trying to get another ‘Cosby’ kind of show. But they would probably die before putting another show on about a black family and black pride.”
Brock Akil, however, has a bit more hope for the network that also aired the groundbreaking show “Julia” (1968-71), with Diahann Carroll; and “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1990-96), with Will Smith. NBC recently bought from her a script based on a book by Nick Adams called “Making Friends With Black People.” It’s a buddy comedy that focuses on the state of race relations in the U.S.
“In our pitch to NBC, we referenced Obama,” says Brock Akil. “We talked about how he has gotten us to the table to talk about race in a meaningful way and it’s time to continue the discussion. So our new president has already had an impact.”
(Source: Kansas City Star)
You know what? They’re BOTH right! The executives are idiots, but TV is always changing! The sun will come out tomorrow! And hey, does this mean Akil will get another shot at producing a new show? Bully for her!
Now, would someone give Kasi Lemmons a break? What’s the point in being a brilliant filmmaker if you can’t get one or two “money jobs” to pay for your pet projects? She’s obviously beyond “hack” level as a competent director. They couldn’t have picked HER to make the stupid Twilight sequel? She might have actually rendered the damn original watchable for me.
I mean, “Eve’s Bayou” totally could have been about vampires. Totally.
Or maybe she doesn’t want to do genre films for the cash?
What am I saying? Black people are desperate for work in Hollywood. OF COURSE she’d take a non-shitty genre fiction job to pay for the next “Caveman’s Valentine.” I get wanting to be an artist, but no one should have to be a starving artist. There must be some sappy Reese Witherspoon Rom-com she could shepherd until the next great vanity project comes along.
That said, once again, Barack Obama is not some magic salve you can wipe on your TV show pilot and get it magically green lit.
Or is he? I wonder if I can get the president to “lay hands” on my laptop? Someone has to buy my romantic comedy that I wrote to star nothing-but-Negroes — all-based on the Snob family — and a hot Asian American guy, and turn them all into white people named “Becky” and the hot Asian dude to Taye Diggs. Gah! Taye Diggs!
What am I saying? That part is totally a Will Smith-worthy thing to rewrite-and-ruin. (Dream big, little Snob!) Will, call me. I’ve got a rom-com you can butcher for cheap! You and the wife could actually star opposite of each other, but … warning, you spend the first 100 pages of the script fighting and Jada would be the “star.” Is that cool?