Friday, July 14, 2006

Interview with BET Entertainment President, Reginald Hudlin

This is an excellent interview piece. It starts off talking comics, but if that's not your thing, skip to the bottom where they talk straight-up B.E.T.

I've covered one of my favorite comics-related statements, from the interview, in an earlier blog entry. Here's one related to Hudlin's position as head of B.E.T. Entertainment:

For all the complaining about the films made depicting blacks in Hollywood and the way we're being depicted onscreen, when people step out on a limb and make movies like Akeelah and the Bee or The Gospel, we don't support those films. On the flip side, Big Momma's House II grossed about 70 mil. Why do you think that is?

RH: The PBS effect. Everyone says that they don't like to see sex and violence, and that TV shows should be less exploitative and more educational. But when programming like that is offered, from PBS to Pax, viewers don't tend to show up. People don't like to admit that are a bundle of contradictions, but they are. This is not a "black" problem, this is a "human" problem. Of course, programming that doesn't have sex and violence has to rely on pure craftsmanship to entertain. So the bar is higher for it to break out and connect and move an audience.

Lastly; a lot of very well intented programming is just badly made; so when the audience doesn't support it, people think that's a rejection of positive values. And of course the converse is true - people enjoy morally dubious entertainment because often it is very well made!

Check out the rest and let me know what you think.


Remnants of U said...

I think the emphasis on what a movie grossed and the reporting of that fact, sometimes makes people go see movies too. Also, marketing plays a BIG role in what movies gross as well. "Big Momma's House" started advertising months in advance, and had people waiting for the movie to come out.

"Akeelah and the Bee" on the other hand didn't start marketing so early, or so much. When I mentioned it to my friends, the most common statement was, "Oh, I thought it was a cartoon about a bee." This movie became more popular after it came out, and word of mouth was its advertisement.

Also, "Big Momma's House II", "Superman", they were sequels, or based on a well known character. Finally, some of the well intentioned movies don't have a big budget to make the movie, so I think that adds to why it may have been badly made. No budget, less experienced actors, etc.

I could say soo much more and expound more on each point, but this is just a comment on YOUR blog. LOL Maybe I will address it in my own blog. But I have a very busy week coming up, so I am not even sure if I will post anything.

West said...

Hey, remnants.

I thought they were implying that, even considering their marketing resources, that movies like Akeelah and the Bee were all but ignored.

Some of it comes from a dearth of choices, but a lot of it comes from what we choose to support... which is why someone like Tyler Perry, who "shouldn't" have been able to make it, is a multi-millionaire.