Black films don’t travel

“I always call international the new south, ” says House Party director Reginald Hudlin (also the current entertainment president of BET Networks). “In the old days, they told you black films don’t travel down South. Now they say it’s not going to travel overseas.” — from Michael Cieply‘s N.Y. Times piece about the legend of films with African-American casts, backdrops and storylines being weak overseas. It’s a situation that “may” be changing, Cieply says.

  • Calling it a “legend” implies that it isn’t true. It’s not prejudiced to point out a fact – black films don’t play nearly as well overseas as they do here.

  • FWIW, my immediate thought was that Jeff meant to type “legion”.

  • ymmv

    I dislike the suggestion in the article that international audiences have racist tendencies because movies with black lead actors or urban themes don’t do as well overseas. Race has nothing to do with it, it’s just that urban themes and stories are too particular to a segment of American society to travel across international boundaries. Why is anyone surprised that a movie like Barber Shop didn’t do well in Europe or Japan when it even had trouble reaching white audiences in the US? The reason why Denzel Washington and Will Smith are bankable stars abroad is because they make movies for a general audience, the reason why Ice Cube and Martin Lawrence don’t have much succes overseas is because their movies are aimed at black audiences first.

  • Pelham123

    Why does Martin Lawrence have success ANYWHERE?