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Tyler Perry: 'Black Films Are Almost Extinct'

The director writes an open letter addressing the state of Black films.
Movies with an all Black cast are far and few in Hollywood these days. Director Tyler Perry should know. He is one of the few directors making movies featuring Black ensemble casts.

Disturbed by the trend, Perry took to his blog to write an open letter expressing his concern over the state of Black films in America.

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“Unfortunately, movies starring an all African-American cast are on the verge of becoming extinct,” he writes.

“That’s right, extinct! Ask any executive at a Hollywood studio why, and most of them will tell you one of two things. The first thing they’ll say is that DVD sales have become very soft, so it’s hard for a movie with an all Black cast to break-even. Secondly they’ll say, most movies are now dependent on foreign sales to be successful and most “Black” movies don’t sell well in foreign markets.”

Perry highlighted the new George Lucas film, “Red Tails,” saying both he and Lucas experienced similar problems in getting money to make movies with all Black casts.

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“‘Red Tails’ (out January 20) is an important story about, not just Black history, but American History about the Tuskegee Airmen,” he added before applauding Lucas’ relentless effort to get the film made and funding the entire project.

What are your thoughts on the state of Black films? Do you think they are on the verge of extinction like Perry suggested?