Author Topic: Harriet Tubman Biopic Draws Controversy with Lead Actress Not ADOS  (Read 1248 times)

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 3046
    • View Profile
Re: Harriet Tubman Biopic Draws Controversy with Lead Actress Not ADOS
« Reply #45 on: November 05, 2019, 03:08:40 pm »
I have not seen the film but look forward to it.

I"m so sick of black people whining about not getting movies like this made and when they do, they attack them with a viciousness they never apply to any other films. 

I don't think most of the people attacking this film have seen it.  They read an attack by someone and then co-sign it without seeing it. 

Part of the reaction is our ambivalence with our relationship to the history of American slavery...and the typical disappointment people have with films about the subject. 

Meanwhile the Jewish community continues to make films about the Holocaust and support them every time.

There is a wide enough range of depictions of black life for black folks to take the chip off their shoulder and deal with our legacy. And the movies about slavery are so much better than ever. 

The ADOS argument is retarded beyond belief.  Malcolm X, WEB DuBois and every other great black intellectual giant has supported Pan Africanism. A bunch of non achieving jealous scrum bums making jealous complaints about Black Brits and/or Africans achieving in America is a dismissible punk move.

As for the movie itself, I don't talk about things I haven't seen.  But I know the producer and director, and they are people of great integrity.

Show me a Holocaust movie, much less a BIOPIC where there is the underpinnings of a love interest between a Nazi and a Jew. Show me a Holocaust movie where any member of The Nazi Party is portrayed as a savior for Jews. SCHINDLER'S LIST is an ACTUAL account of a real life event so that doesn't count.

I don't mean to be insulting but do you realize the irony of YOU defending this film when you were instrumental in the making of DJANGO UNCHAINED?

"Underpinnings of a love interest", "Nazi portrayed as a savior"
What are you talking about? That wasn't in the movie I saw. 

I have no problem whatsoever embracing both DU and Harriet.

Harriet isn't rescued by White slave master in the film?

Didn't the same White slave master express romantic interests in Harriet?

That wasn't in the movie.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 4498
  • One never knows, do one?
    • View Profile
Re: Harriet Tubman Biopic Draws Controversy with Lead Actress Not ADOS
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2019, 10:25:29 am »
I have not seen the film but look forward to it.

I"m so sick of black people whining about not getting movies like this made and when they do, they attack them with a viciousness they never apply to any other films. 

I don't think most of the people attacking this film have seen it.  They read an attack by someone and then co-sign it without seeing it. 

Part of the reaction is our ambivalence with our relationship to the history of American slavery...and the typical disappointment people have with films about the subject. 

Meanwhile the Jewish community continues to make films about the Holocaust and support them every time.

There is a wide enough range of depictions of black life for black folks to take the chip off their shoulder and deal with our legacy. And the movies about slavery are so much better than ever. 

The ADOS argument is retarded beyond belief.  Malcolm X, WEB DuBois and every other great black intellectual giant has supported Pan Africanism. A bunch of non achieving jealous scrum bums making jealous complaints about Black Brits and/or Africans achieving in America is a dismissible punk move.

As for the movie itself, I don't talk about things I haven't seen.  But I know the producer and director, and they are people of great integrity.

Show me a Holocaust movie, much less a BIOPIC where there is the underpinnings of a love interest between a Nazi and a Jew. Show me a Holocaust movie where any member of The Nazi Party is portrayed as a savior for Jews. SCHINDLER'S LIST is an ACTUAL account of a real life event so that doesn't count.

I don't mean to be insulting but do you realize the irony of YOU defending this film when you were instrumental in the making of DJANGO UNCHAINED?

"Underpinnings of a love interest", "Nazi portrayed as a savior"
What are you talking about? That wasn't in the movie I saw. 

I have no problem whatsoever embracing both DU and Harriet.

Harriet isn't rescued by White slave master in the film?

Didn't the same White slave master express romantic interests in Harriet?

That wasn't in the movie.

I guess you could spin it that way. Here's what I saw:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
  • The white slave master shooting a nigger in the head for disobediance.
  • The same white slave master trying to enforce his "property rights" over Minty/Harriet. Any lust he had ain't got sh*t to do
    with romance. And she deals with him like the badass she is.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Emperorjones

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 7373
    • View Profile
Re: Harriet Tubman Biopic Draws Controversy with Lead Actress Not ADOS
« Reply #47 on: November 06, 2019, 11:52:18 am »
I agree substantially with this:
http://www.blackgirlspeaks.me/2019/11/harriet-facts-fiction/

I struggle to understand the white savior objection. And I really struggle to understand the casting objection to Ms. Erivo. She got the gig. Either she rocks it or she doesn't. That has to do with her skills, not her parentage. I thought she did well.

All in all, I say see it. Seeing a vibrant Harriet Tubman, a contender for the black history Mt. Rushmore, as a dynamic young women doing the damn thing is a good look for me. It seems to me that she's often portrayed as a grim, monosyllabic one-note character based on mostly projections around the one famous photo or her later in life, I guess.


Was Erivo's Harriet rescued by her slaveowner from Bigger Long or not? She was saved by him. That's a savior. He might not have appeared from on high like Brad Pitt in 12 Years a Slave, and the Harriet slaveowner had his own ulterior motives from what I've read, but he did prevent Bigger Long from putting a fatal bullet in Erivo's Harriet. As for the "Nazi" stuff I take issue with this description because it plays right into the thinking that led to Harriet. That our suffering, our pain isn't enough, it's not worthy enough to empathize with or sympathize for unlike Jews or other whites who have endured something, even if it's made up (think of how many sci-fi movies make white people/white characters the oppressed). From what I've heard Erivo's Harriet "deals" with the slaver with a speech.

The Nazis learned from the descendants of the Slave Power and "Lost Cause" (a term I heard that Erivo's Harriet said as well, and could allude to the "Lost Cause of the Confederacy" in what had to be a tone deaf mention, or a wink and a nod here), they long predated them. However, we can more easily see the Nazis as evil and beyond redemption, in ways we can't when it comes to American slaveowners. (But even with the Nazis, there's a movie with Amandla Stenberg Where Hands Touch, where she falls in love with a member of the Hitler Youth, so when it comes to blacks we are even supposed to forgive and understand the Nazis too). One can argue about the reality of black bounty hunters like Bigger Long, or how plentiful they were, but there's no evidence-I've seen-where a Bigger Long-like character factored into Harriet Tubman's real life, so why add this character into the film? Was Tubman's life not exciting enough as it was? (It's like adding the scarred Nazi ace pilot in Red Tails; was that necessary or did it make the film more cartoonish?) Before Long stomps Janelle Monae's character to the hereafter did she not call him a 'traitor'? Why was that line of dialogue in the film? Certainly it could fit the context of what was happening in that fatal scene, but what are the larger implications of the Bigger Long character? Does he not conform to the idea of straight black men as violent brutes, who are "The White People of Black People" as VerySmartBrothas declared a couple years ago, or simply are "terrorists" as another writer asserted? Long is a stand-in for all those who feel that straight black men are the greatest threat to black 'progress' today. His "toxic masculinity" and his love of white whores (didn't he say he wanted money for that as well?) fit white liberal/black feminists stereotypes about black men.

Also, it seemed pretty easy to find a black American to play Long, but not either of the Tubmans. As for Erivo's heritage being the cause of consternation, I've put links in this thread to show what why some people take issue with Erivo and it's not simply that she's a Nigerian Brit. She has a history of controversial anti-black comments or co-signing them, that even the pro-Harriet media can't erase, though some are trying to make light of or dismiss. While others are saying, go see the film despite it. Imagine the Jewish community, the gay community, Latino community, or others getting the same kind of exhortation to support a movie starring someone who has said something disparaging of their communities. I'm putting more articles about Erivo in here, and it's up to you to read them or not, but I would hope that you don't just accept the pro-Harriet crowd that this is just about not liking Erivo because she's not American. Also some people have issues with this film due to the Comcast Civil Rights case, with Comcast, with Focus Features as part of Comcast.

When it comes to the real Harriet Tubman's 'grim' countenance, when you consider what she went through, you expect her to be cheesing? Her gaze was steely and that's something I don't think Erivo can pull off. Further, when you look at pictures from the 19th century how many people do you see laughing or smiling in them?

http://thegrio.com/2019/11/05/melissa-murray-byron-allen-supreme-court/

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/byron-allen-v-comcast-supreme-court-race-case-could-reshape-bias-lawsuits-1245950

http://deadline.com/2019/08/byron-allen-comcast-civil-rights-lawsuit-supreme-court-filing-reaction-doj-donald-trump-1202671369/

http://thegrio.com/2019/08/20/byron-allen-donald-trumps-department-of-justice-and-comcast-are-working-together-to-destroy-a-civil-rights-law-in-the-u-s-supreme-court/

http://thegrio.com/2019/10/29/opinion-antonio-moore-on-comcast-lawsuit-and-their-subsidiaries-company-releasing-harriet-film/

http://thegrio.com/2019/09/24/killer-mike-demands-black-people-stand-with-byron-allen-in-supreme-court-fight/

http://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/michaelblackmon/harriet-kasi-lemmons-criticism-white-savior

http://variety.com/2017/film/global/amandla-stenberg-where-hands-touch-sony-1202438599/

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/02/where-hands-touch-amma-asante-backlash-interracial-world-war-ii-1201782138/

http://www.vulture.com/2019/01/amandla-stenberg-nazi-love-story-where-hands-touch-what-the-hell-happens.html

http://madamenoire.com/1040755/cynthia-erivo-harriet-tubman-controversy/

http://www.huffpost.com/entry/harriet-tubman-movie-cynthia-erivo-conversation-black-americans_n_5da4f8a1e4b0058374e7a690

http://madamenoire.com/1095434/janelle-monae-popeyes/

Our "Harriet" even co-signed this:
“Perhaps we put voting booths at every Popeyes location ?” she wrote on Twitter. “While we wait on that sammich you can register and vote @popeyes holla.”

People who saw her tweet, aside from controversial actress Cynthia Erivo who said it was “not a bad idea,” were pretty annoyed, reminding her that Black voter turnout has made a major impact in recent elections. Black women, specifically, were the highest percentage of voters to turn out to try and keep Donald Trump out of the White House, voting for Hillary Clinton. Not only that, but her comments overlook the reality that voter suppression efforts are still a big issue around the country:


http://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/popeyes-chicken-sandwich-lines-are-not-excuse-replay-stereotypes-about-ncna1046871

http://thegrio.com/2019/11/06/antonio-moore-on-harriet-black-men-stereotypes/

http://verysmartbrothas.theroot.com/straight-black-men-are-the-white-people-of-black-people-1814157214

http://madamenoire.com/842761/because-harasser-is-just-not-enough-why-i-consider-calling-black-men-terrorists/

http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/brute/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Cause_of_the_Confederacy


Why Sci-Fi Keeps Imagining the Subjugation of White People

Why Sci-Fi Keeps Imagining the Subjugation of White People
Noah Berlatsky

As much as the genre imagines the future, it also remixes the past—often by envisioning Western-style imperialis...



« Last Edit: Today at 05:51:44 am by Emperorjones »

Offline Emperorjones

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 7373
    • View Profile
Re: Harriet Tubman Biopic Draws Controversy with Lead Actress Not ADOS
« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2019, 12:04:49 pm »
I have not seen the film but look forward to it.

I"m so sick of black people whining about not getting movies like this made and when they do, they attack them with a viciousness they never apply to any other films. 

I don't think most of the people attacking this film have seen it.  They read an attack by someone and then co-sign it without seeing it. 

Part of the reaction is our ambivalence with our relationship to the history of American slavery...and the typical disappointment people have with films about the subject. 

Meanwhile the Jewish community continues to make films about the Holocaust and support them every time.

There is a wide enough range of depictions of black life for black folks to take the chip off their shoulder and deal with our legacy. And the movies about slavery are so much better than ever. 

The ADOS argument is retarded beyond belief.  Malcolm X, WEB DuBois and every other great black intellectual giant has supported Pan Africanism. A bunch of non achieving jealous scrum bums making jealous complaints about Black Brits and/or Africans achieving in America is a dismissible punk move.

As for the movie itself, I don't talk about things I haven't seen.  But I know the producer and director, and they are people of great integrity.

A few things here...

First off, RH, I've been a fan of your movies and I wouldn't be a fan, or as much of a fan, of the Black Panther character, if not for your comic series. But I take some major issues with what you've said here. First off, I find it insulting that you describe (black) people as 'whining' for 'movies like this'. To me, that kind of condescending response is one I've seen from black elites who are frustrated when black folks don't get with their program, of their white elite allies and friends. It's so easy to display frustration with black folks in a way that is never done with other groups. But I digress, who are the people who whined about 'films like these'? First off, there's been a noticeable weariness when it comes to movies about slavery to begin with, so where as the clamor for another slavery film, even one supposedly about Harriet Tubman? Show me the widespread groundswell for it. You said yourself there is an ambivalence about slavery movies already. IMO, people want to see movies where black people are winning, living well, and there was no backlash against Hidden Figures in comparison, even though it took place in the Civil Rights era, which is also a cinematic era that I think black audiences have become numb to, though not as much as slavery, when you consider the success of Hidden Figures, The Butler, The Help, and Green Book (though I would contend here that white people also supported those films).

Second, for 'movies like this' I would assume here you are talking about films that depict our history in positive lights, well the contention here is that this film does not do that. That this film inserts fictional characters into the real life story of Harriet Tubman to push anti-black narratives while also lessening how brutal slavery really was. So how many of these 'whiners' were asking for films that distort our history? If anything, the criticism of this film is consistent with the demand to portray our history more accurately as well as positively.

There are critics of this film who haven't seen Harriet-which is not unusual (you don't have to have seen D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation or Gone With the Wind to criticize those films)-but there's also people who have seen bootlegs and there are scenes online of the film that people are also referring to. One could say that just seeing a scene leaves the criticism open to seeing things out of context, but I see some of these scenes as contradicting people who claim that the black bounty hunter was not a villain and that Harriet didn't get saved by her white slaveowner, both of which clearly happened in this film. And do you also take issue with people who have seen the film and back up the criticism of it?

When it comes to Holocaust films, I would argue that Jews support those films because they control the story/filmmaking process in ways far greater than with Harriet and most other films about 'black history' that come out of Hollywood. Those films reaffirm Jewish humanity and don't stoke gender divides. How many of the Holocaust films have Jewish bounty hunters working in league with the Nazis? How many of those films depict a 'complicated' relationship between Jews and Nazism, or want to show a 'complicated' or complex portrayal of Nazis? How many show how the 'corrupting' influence of Nazism also made villains on both sides? JoJo Rabbit, written and directed by Polynesian Jew Taika Waititi has gotten some criticism from some because they felt he was making light of Nazism, and were those people as wrong as Harriet detractors are to voice their concerns?

Standing up for accurate portrayals of historic icons and our history is dealing with our legacy. The idea of supporting anything with black people in it is avoiding demanding better. There's a thirstiness and deep well of insecurity for many of us that we will take whatever Hollywood gives us because some black folks are on the screen or involved. They know that, so they are content to give the bare minimum. As they are to also minimize the horrors inflicted upon our ancestors, which they've been doing since the dawn of cinema. From what it appears that is still happening with Harriet. If Harriet is the best depiction of black history that Hollywood offers then I'm fine with seeing no films about our history from Hollywood. We shouldn't be expecting Hollywood to accurately tell our stories anyway-especially if we aren't in full control of the process.

When it comes to ADOS, the icons you mentioned have all been gone from us for over half a century now. The idea that we just keep doing what we always did when there's not much proof it still works-if it ever did-makes no sense. Show me where Pan-Africanism works, where are the tangibles today from it? The anti-ADOS crowd also ignores the xenophobia practiced-unfortunately-by some Continental and other Diasporic Africans against Black Americans. It's okay to dump on us, but when we push back, that's not fair. Why should black Americans support a film starring a woman that's said xenophobic things about us? Why should we reward someone who has insulted us, and looks to be doing so again, with Harriet?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 12:16:54 pm by Emperorjones »

Offline Curtis Metcalf

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 4498
  • One never knows, do one?
    • View Profile
Re: Harriet Tubman Biopic Draws Controversy with Lead Actress Not ADOS
« Reply #49 on: November 08, 2019, 12:19:18 pm »
I agree substantially with this:
http://www.blackgirlspeaks.me/2019/11/harriet-facts-fiction/

I struggle to understand the white savior objection. And I really struggle to understand the casting objection to Ms. Erivo. She got the gig. Either she rocks it or she doesn't. That has to do with her skills, not her parentage. I thought she did well.

All in all, I say see it. Seeing a vibrant Harriet Tubman, a contender for the black history Mt. Rushmore, as a dynamic young women doing the damn thing is a good look for me. It seems to me that she's often portrayed as a grim, monosyllabic one-note character based on mostly projections around the one famous photo or her later in life, I guess.


Was Erivo's Harriet rescued by her slaveowner from Bigger Long or not? She was saved by him. That's a savior. He might not have appeared from on high like Brad Pitt in 12 Years a Slave, and the Harriet slaveowner had his own ulterior motives from what I've read, but he did prevent Bigger Long from putting a fatal bullet in Erivo's Harriet. As for the "Nazi" stuff I take issue with this description because it plays right into the thinking that led to Harriet. That our suffering, our pain isn't enough, it's not worthy enough to empathize with or sympathize for unlike Jews or other whites who have endured something, even if it's made up (think of how many sci-fi movies make white people/white characters the oppressed). From what I've heard Erivo's Harriet "deals" with the slaver with a speech.


Ok, here's where I get off this ride.

I'm not disputing or endorsing any of this discussion; I'm just not interested.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Emperorjones

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 7373
    • View Profile


Offline Curtis Metcalf

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 4498
  • One never knows, do one?
    • View Profile
Re: Harriet Tubman Biopic Draws Controversy with Lead Actress Not ADOS
« Reply #52 on: Yesterday at 12:14:34 pm »
http://thegrio.com/2019/11/08/opinion-dont-believe-the-hype-real-black-men-do-stand-up-in-harriet/


Kudos for posting this EJ. You have shown yourself as someone open to input and evidence throughout your HEF membership. If/when you see the movie, I'd be happy to engage in some dialogue on it.

I'm in substantial agreement with that review from The Grio, FWIW.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline stanleyballard

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1819
    • View Profile
Re: Harriet Tubman Biopic Draws Controversy with Lead Actress Not ADOS
« Reply #53 on: Yesterday at 02:36:59 pm »
I have not seen the film but look forward to it.

I"m so sick of black people whining about not getting movies like this made and when they do, they attack them with a viciousness they never apply to any other films. 

I don't think most of the people attacking this film have seen it.  They read an attack by someone and then co-sign it without seeing it. 

Part of the reaction is our ambivalence with our relationship to the history of American slavery...and the typical disappointment people have with films about the subject. 

Meanwhile the Jewish community continues to make films about the Holocaust and support them every time.

There is a wide enough range of depictions of black life for black folks to take the chip off their shoulder and deal with our legacy. And the movies about slavery are so much better than ever. 

The ADOS argument is retarded beyond belief.  Malcolm X, WEB DuBois and every other great black intellectual giant has supported Pan Africanism. A bunch of non achieving jealous scrum bums making jealous complaints about Black Brits and/or Africans achieving in America is a dismissible punk move.

As for the movie itself, I don't talk about things I haven't seen.  But I know the producer and director, and they are people of great integrity.

Well with all due respect - disagree with your points here.

Saw the film and speak from experience on it and others who researched Harriet Tubman deeper than I like Dr. Claude Anderson - another true mentor and hero who wrote “Black Labor, White Wealth” and more has similar negative things to say about this horrible film.  Harriet Tubman herself would not be happy with this mockery of her life - with good reasons.

Furthermore, Samuel Jackson  -possibly the most successful Black actor here in America stated publicly that ADOS or Black Americans should have played the lead in Get Out and other films because we bring a nuance and skill to our history here that other so called Blacks cannot understand or embody - we are not all one tribe or nation.  Hard facts.  Malcolm X understood ADOS before this era and Harriet risked her life for us specifically to be free - we still don’t know we are often house slaves.

Honestly this movie insulted any so called Black who is politically conscious or has read the authorized biography of Harriet Tubman.  It is propaganda and given the fact that so called Blacks in Nigeria and Ghana sold us to Caucasians and also owe us raparations.  Really  not surprised that house slaves made this shameful mockery of a movie.  No passes here.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 02:42:26 pm by stanleyballard »