Lucas: H’wood Wouldn’t Back All-Black War Movie
Star Wars creator George Lucas says Hollywood studios refused to back his new film Red Tails – about World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen – because the cast was all black.
Lucas made this remarkable and revealing statement to a stunned Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s Daily Show Monday night.
For those who’re not familiar with their story, the Tuskegee Airmen were a squadron group of black fighter pilots who fought in WWII, but segregated from white forces.
Lucas told Jon Stewart he’s been working on the film for 23 years. He made it with his own money, but he went to the studios for advertising and distribution.
“I showed it to all of them and they said, ‘No. We don’t know how to market a movie like this.’”
When Stewart asked why, Lucas said “It’s because it’s an all black movie. There’s no major white roles in it at all. It’s one of the first all black action pictures ever made….And they don’t believe there’s any foreign market for it. That’s 60 percent of their profit.”
Lucas says the studios’ reaction was even more amazing, considering the message he wanted the film to convey.
“I wanted to make it inspirational for teenaged boys. I wanted to show that they have heroes, they’re real American heroes, they’re patriots that helped to make the country what it is today…. they were real heroes.”
And Hollywood said, “No.”
(Here’s a clip of Lucas on the Daily Show)
Lucas ended up taking Red Tails to a company outside Hollywood for advertising and distribution. Remember this the next time you see or hear some movie star or film director saying Republicans or the Tea Party are racist.