Monday, July 24, 2023

Media First Aid Kit (Ava and C.I.)

Walk into any drugstore or look around online and you'll see that even The Red Cross offers First Aid Kits.  They're prepared, they want you to be prepared, so why is the media never prepared?  




Seems like they should have a kit at the ready to reach into so they're not always falling for and repeating garbage.


In 2020, NETFLIX offered a garbage documentary supposedly about African-Americans in film (THEY'VE GOTTA HAVE US) which ignored Diana Ross and then, in 2022, it offered serial liar Elvis Mitchell's hideous documentary IS THAT BLACK ENOUGH FOR YOU which pretended to be about African-American films of the 70s which lied about Diana.  He tried to blame Diana for the disappearance of African-American faces from film (that disappearance didn't really happen by the way) and we noted:

The 1978 film was directed by Sidney Lumet.  But he doesn't get blamed.  Diana Ross gets blamed.  Elvis tells you she was too old for the part.

Some would disagree with that opinion but, more to the point, without Diana you don't have a feature film.  And, contrary to CRAPAPEDIA and other outlets, Diana did not go around Berry Gordy to get the role.  She called Berry saying she wanted to play the role.  He told her she was too old.  He then called Rob Cohen who told him what Diana meant: The film gets made and Diana gets one million for the film.  That was more than enough for Berry which left Rob worried, he'd just been speculating and now had to seal the deal.  (Which he did.)  

THE WIZ was a musical.  Too much money was spent on it.  A director who had never filmed a musical shouldn't have been put in charge.  

But Diana delivered.  So did Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, Richard Pryor, Nipsey Russell, Mable KIng and every other performer.  

Elvis wants you to believe -- as does CRAPAPEDIA -- that THE WIZ ended Black films.  That's incorrect.  Here are a few examples from the years immediately after 1978 -- and these are just a few examples.

Again, we provide the receipts in the original piece.

Okay, White media, pay attention, we're trying to heal your bad burns.  You've had no exposure, White Media Big and Small, to actual Black History and you write and embrace garbage because you're so damn stupid and uninformed.

While White American medica has pooh-pahhed LADY SINGS THE BLUES and MAHOGANY -- the two theatrical films Diana Ross starred in -- they were big hits.

How big?

Pay attention so you can leave your casual racism behind: Diana Ross was the first.

The Quigley Poll (in business until 2013).

Familiar with it?  Of course not.  It's ranking of the top stars -- the ones whose films make money.  That's how you make the list.  You're the star of the film that makes money.  Not a member of the ensemble, the star that carries the film.

Many men and women have made the list.  Many Black actors have made the list.  Yes, we said actors.


For 1967, Sidney Poitier became the first African-American male.  Quigley defined movie star.  You were just an actor in films -- maybe a lead actor -- if you didn't make the poll proving that you actually could sell tickets.  Sidney made it for 1967, he was the top ticket selling actor of 1968 (of any race) and he continued to make the list for the following years: 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972.  1978, when THE WIZ was released?  No Black actor or actress made it from 1978 through 1980.  In fact, no Black actor made the list in the 1970s after Sidney's 1972 performance.  None.  

Richard Pryor would make the list of top ticket sellers for the year 1981.  And he'd make it for 1982, 1983. For the year 1983, Eddie Murphy would make the list and continue to be on it each year through 1990.  After falling off for the year 1991.  Louis Gossett Jr. would make the list for 1983 and Prince for 1984.  Other actors who'd make the list include Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Martin Lawrence and Will Smith.

And everyone can give thanks to Sidney for clearing the path.  Can and should.  He was a trailblazer.

Women?  Whoopi made it for 1986.

So that was the first woman?

No, you uninformed child.

Diana Ross was the first African-American movie star.  Yes, Dorothy Dandridge was popular.  And, yes, a hundred million White women are wrongly called "movie stars" from the 20th century when they never were box office.  But Diana was the first Black female movie star.

She made the list for 1973 and 1975.  She became the first actual box office star.

Yet Halle couldn't thank her at the Academy Awards, Halle listed every woman but Diana when she accepted her award.  And Halle's never apologized for that which makes most of us wonder if it was an oversight or just Halle's desire to kill Mommy?  

That's why there would be no film of THE WIZ without Diana.

She was the first African-American actress to be a box office star.  And, sorry Pam Grier and others, she was the only African-American actress to be a movie star in the 1970s -- because movie stars sell tickets, millions of tickets.

The media didn't know that because CRAPAPEDIA didn't tell it to you and because, as White workers in media, you didn't care enough to do the actual work required.  You just applauded a lie and let it go unchecked.

Why do we need Black History?  Because the truth gets eradicated without it.  And, as we saw this week, it's not eradicated by accident.  It's eradicated by the likes of Ron DeSantis.  While educated adults see slavery as the horror it clearly was, Ron sees it as a forerunner of trade schools.


Here's a little more truth for you: THE WIZ didn't bomb.  

Yeah, yeah, we know, CRAPAPEDIA says it did and they cite 'sources' -- if you're willing to buy the bad books that are not online -- who'll tell you the film only made $13 million in ticket sales.  Go to THENUMBERS.COM and you'll see it made $20 million in 1978 (it was released in October of 1978) and it would make another $2 million in 1979 -- that's all domestic.  The international figures were not released.

CRAPAPEDIA lies, "THE WIZ proved to be a commercial failure, as the $24 million production only earned $13.6 million at the box office."  They lie.  

They just can't stop lying.  In 2015, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER noted, "The $22 million production grossed $21 million domestically." THR is a million short on the box office.  They do get the budget right: $21 million.  


A budget of $21 million and ticket sales of $22 million (in North America alone) is not a bomb. 

And that's before overseas ticket sales.  Michael Jackson was not yet a THRILLER but he was a huge music star based on his solo hits such as "Ben" and his work with The Jackson Five and The Jacksons.  Richard Pryor (who played the Wiz) was a big star overseas.  Lena Horne and Nipsey Russell also probably brought in ticket sales and, of course, Diana who was an international concert star by this point.

Again, it earned $22 million in North America alone.  That same year, SAME TIME NEXT YEAR was one slot ahead of it on the moneymakers for that year and it's not considered a bomb.  THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY, THE EYES OF LAURA MARS, DEATH ON THE NILE, THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL and others all rank below it and are not considered bombs.

Well, Ava and C.I., it had a budget of $22 or $24 million and it only made $22 million in the US and Canada!

Yeah, that's our point.  It sold $22 million in tickets in North America.  It was a big ticket seller. 

Why do they lie?

Because it's a bigoted world.

A film in the same year didn't do well at the box office.  MOMENT BY MOMENT starred Lily Tomlin and John Travolta directed by Jane Wagner who also wrote the script.  And audiences weren't interested in it.  But that was the end story.  The end story was, "OMG IT'S THE WORST FILM EVER! OH WOMEN CAN'T DIRECT! OH! OH!"

Film editor Verna Fields (JAWS, WHAT'S UP DOC?, THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS, AMERICAN GRAFFITI, DAISY MILLER, PAPER MOON) said in real time, "To be honest, I don't think MOMENT  BY MOMENT would have been perceived as such a failure if it had been by a male director, of it it had been the story of a middle-aged man having an affair with a little cutie on the beach.  Nobody ever talks about GOIN' SOUTH being a major failure for Jack Nicholson.  Nobody ever talks about Paul Newman and THE DROWNING POOL; it died, and they let it die.  They wouldn't let MOMENT BY MOMENT die. [. . .] Women aren't allowed to fail, you see."

Exactly.  It stopped being about a film and became a bigoted morality play.  And that's even more true of THE WIZ. 

Easy to forget today, but Berry Gordy film productions, were real productions.  They weren't shot on the cheap or on the fly.  When PARAMOUNT tried early on to do LADY SINGS THE BLUES cheaper, Berry bought back the film and put his own money in it.  We have every reason in the world to celebrate the Black filmmakers that pulled off the hat trick of turning B-films into something memorable.  But let's not forget the heroes like Berry Gordy who argued that African-American audiences deserved first class productions as well.  There would be no BLACK PANTHER, all these years later, without the Berry Gordys, so let's give a little damn credit where it's due.

Some people like to say that THE WIZ was the most expensive musical ever made up to that point.  Some like to say that.  In real time, some preferred to say it was the most expensive Black film ever made.  And they were carping about that in their bigoted ways before the film ever got screened.  They were gunning for it from the beginning.

And they've been allowed, these racists, to write the history of it.  To the point that a lying race traitor like Elvis Mitchell will come along decades later and insist that African-American cinema was destroyed by a Black woman named Diana Ross. And CRAPAPEDIA will repeat the lie as well.  Because 1979 never happened, right?  And CALIFORNIA SUITE starring Jane Fonda, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Maggie Smith, Walter Matthau and Elaine May never opened two months later, at the end of 1978, and never sold $42 million worth of tickets in the US and Canada, right?

THE WIZ did not destroy Black film making.  It didn't even destroy Diana Ross' film career.  You could argue racist Sue Mengers helped destroy it as she constantly undercut Diana's chances at various studios to pimp her friend and client Barbra Streisand (1979's THE MAIN EVENT was supposed to star Diana and Ryan O'Neal; Sue also wanted Barbra in THE BODYGUARD and trashed Diana when she was up for that role as well -- long before Diana decided she didn't want to make the film).  Robert DeNiro wanted Diana to co-star with him in an early 80s film.  There were many offers.  Diana had her heart set on a film about Josephine Baker and spent years trying to set that up as a film and then years trying to set it up as a cable movie.  She also, of course, spent time with her non-stop touring, her endless recording, her TV specials and her TV performances, her Central Park concert and the raising of her five children.  

It would be really nice if you White journalists and your White media outlets would correct the record.  Because facts are facts.  And we already have CRAPAPEDIA, we don't need more of it.  Most important, Diana Ross turns eighty next year, so can we get history right and ensure she gets her flowers while she's here with us?


And can you maybe grasp, before you next write about a prominent African-American, that there is history that just do not know and haven't taken the time to research.  


When Natalie Cole passed away, you exposed yourselves yet again.  While one of us covered the death at Ruth's site, you White media corporations couldn't grasp that Natalie, a Black woman, had a career out of the pop chart world.  She had success you didn't recognize because you didn't feel the R&B charts were important enough to factor in.  So you repeatedly and wrongly cited EVERLASTING (1987) as her comeback when, in fact, it was DANGEROUS (1985) that returned Natalie to the charts -- the BILLBOARD top fifty R&B album charts and the BILLBOARD top forty R&B singles ("Dangerous" and "A Little Bit Of Heaven" were top forty R&B, "Secrets" and "Dangerous" were top forty dance hits with "Dangerous" rising to number six and "A Little Bit Of Heaven" made it to number eleven on the adult contemporary charts -- that is what is known as a comeback).  Because it wasn't the pop charts (aka The White Charts), too many of you treated it as though it did not matter and didn't need mentioning.  You are not the norm and as soon as you accept that, we can all have a more honest world.

Going to CRAPAPEDIA to learn about an African-American person is a big, big mistake.  Take it out of your media First Aid kit immediately.

Next up, still on race, stop talking to White people about what is and is not racist.  

Last week, boy singer Jason Aldean's video got dropped from TMC.  And we had to hear from one person -- one White person -- after another about how it was not racist.  That's MAGA club secretary Jonathan Turley, that's everyone.  FOX "NEWS" even chipped fossil Pat Boone out of stalagmites so he could proffer that Aldean's video wasn't racist.  

The song was not written by Aldean.  He's not a song writer.  He's never written or co-written any hit that he's had.  They let him strum along on his albums but do not let him play lead guitar.  He's a product, not an artist. 

The video was banned for racism.  Jason The Limp Dick wanted the world to know that the footage in the video is actual news footage.

And what's your point?

That doesn't change the fact that you're targeting African-Americans in your video.  We don't see any of the violence carried out by Proud Boys in your video, do we?  Or of the January 6th attack on DC?

No, we don't.  

You didn't direct the video because you're not smart and you're not an artist.

The media should have immediately grasped that.  Instead, the puppet's been able to move its lips as though it's a real boy.

If African-Americans are saying something you made is racist?

The first thing you need to do is shut up and listen.

As bad as we think Jason Aldean is (and we think he's pretty damn awful), we don't believe he intended to be racist.  But, guess what, he was.

The video is.  The song's borderline but the video actually is.

And instead of you huffing and puffing about what you claim to know, you need to learn to listen, you stupid idiot.

And that goes double for the media.  Applause to BILLBOARD and ROLLING STONE who got it right from the very start and applause to Sheryl Crow who stepped up immediately to say 'not cool, not acceptable.' 

Aldean is not an artist.  That's reality.  He can't even write a song -- and when he presented himself as a songwriter from 1995 to 2004, his career had one failed showcase after another.  Only when he agreed to record songs written by other people did a label finally stand by him.

He and his ugly wife have repeatedly made repugnant statements.  

So when you make a racist video, you better believe people are going to call you out.

And shame on any media outlet that doesn't want to address the reality of the video -- both the footage selected and the infamous courthouse used as a backdrop.

It is a racist video that exists to incite.  Don't kid yourself.  It's promoting violence against Black Lives Matter protesters.  When you take those lyrics and put them on top of footage of BLM protests and then highlight/sport a courthouse that was home to a lynching, that is what you are doing.  You have provided that context and the only thing Jason Aldean needs to be saying is, "I hear you.  I didn't get that context.  I'll reshoot with a concert video instead.  I am sorry for the video and sorry for not listening when people were expressing outrage."

Now let's note a YOUTUBE video.

It's okay, Katie Halper.  It's okay.  You can come out from under your desk.  Those 'scary' (independent) women aren't going to hurt you.  It's okay.

See, Katie's afraid.  Six women in one discussion video.  That's more women than she has on her program in a whole month.  And the women are African-American as well causing further panic for Katie.

Poor Katie.  It took us calling her out for non-stop ignoring African-American woman to get her to finally invite Margaret Kimberely on THE WHITE WHITE WHITE KATIE HALPER SHOW.  She did though.  Once.  She did it once.  We coaxed and criticized some more but Katie could only do it once.

And so right now her White White brain is in meltdown over the fact that Olayemi Olurin could bring five women -- five African-American women -- on her show for a discussion.

How'd she do that, Katie?  How'd she do that?  Want to go for a walk, need to go make pee-pee?  Did it get you too excited, Katie?  C',mon, we'll get your leash and take you for a walk.

It's All White Media Big and Small that just can't leave their Whiteness to the side but have to constantly lean in on that privilege.  And they're harming in the world in the process.  You can make the world a better place, you have that power.  Or as Michael Jackson and Diana Ross sang in "We Are The World," "It's true we'll make a better day just you and me."

But you have to own your power and you have to use it.

Where have you been in 2023?  So many of you wasted everyone's time declaring Tucker Carlson a victim.  The vicious race baiting, homophobic, misogynistic liar lost his job at FOX "NEWS" and instead of taking to the streets in celebration, many of you joined frauds like Glenneth Greenwald and claiming this was a free speech issue.

Those of you who weren't lamenting the firing, were largely just silent.  If you don't use your voice, only one side is being heard.

MAGA club social secretary Jonathan Turley -- when not advising that infamous legal team for hate merchant Lorie Smith -- egged on a boycott of Bud Light and then Target and now is trying to do the same to CMT.  CMT has banned Jason Aldean's racist video.  This is about free speech!  Huh?  You have no Constitutional right to appear on CMT.  But you were calling for Bud Light to break with Dylan Mulvaney.  She had no, in your opinion, free speech rights.  You attacked her, Turley, you went after her and Bud Light.  You're hoping your attack on CMT lands -- because your attempt to get the Target boycott going flopped.  

You're garbage, a paid whore for the fright-wing.  And shame on the people who aren't calling you out and shame on the media that has failed to update whatever is their smart phone equivalent of a Rolodex because Jonathan Turley of 2023 is not the Turley of the 90s.  He is a hate merchant and should not be identified as anything else.  He's gone over to the right wing and the media needs to stop presenting him as part of the left.  He's not.

You are distorting reality when you pretend.

Update your first aid kit because we're all suffering from your badly sourced and poorly compiled 'stories' and 'commentary.'

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }