A group of Black soldiers who rescued a drowning marine at Iwo Jima
Director George Lucas says it took 20 years to get his latest film made, “because it’s an all-black movie”.
Speaking on The Daily Show, Lucas said he had to self-fund Red Tails, the true story of a group of African-American pilots who fought in World War II. He claimed major film studios would not back the movie because “there’s no major white roles in it at all”.
“I showed it to all of them and they said, ‘No. We don’t know how to market a movie like this,'” he said…
It features several well-known names – including Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr, Terence Howard and R&B star Ne-Yo – and shows how the pilots were segregated and kept on the ground for most of the war, until they were called up to fight for their country.
The real-life airmen featured in the drama were given a Congressional Gold Medal by then-President George Bush in 2007. ..
Lucas’s comments echo those of Spike Lee, who criticised the lack of black faces in Hollywood war movies in 2008.
Speaking about Clint Eastwood’s movies Flags Of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima, Lee said: “He did two films about Iwo Jima back to back and there was not one black soldier in both of those films”.
“I know it was pointed out to him and that he could have changed it. It’s not like he didn’t know…”
Lucas insisted that Red Tails was nothing like preceding war films, including 1989’s Glory which, although it starred Denzel Washington, featured “a lot of white officers running these guys into cannon fire”.
The more things change – the more they stay the same.
Movie moguls are like Congress-critters. If we’re lucky they’re only a generation or two behind the public.