Tag Archives: Alyssa Rosenberg

What Exactly Is ‘The Best Man’ Sequel Trailer Saying?

In a piece I wrote two years ago for the homie Alyssa at ThinkProgress in which I discuss what I think The Best Man sequel, The Best Man Holiday, should address, I said that Malcolm Lee should center the film around Nia Long’s character, Jordan Armstrong.

Looks like that is going to happen.

However I also said:

…the [original] film hinges on the fact that a total slut like Lance Sullivan is such a chauvinist that the very idea of his bride having a sexual past sends him into a blind rage and makes him question whether or not she’s worthy of him. It’s a film that continues to suggest that driven career black women are unworthy of love. Career woman Jordan Armstrong (played by Long), is the only woman to end the film alone, even as the stripper with the heart of gold and the emasculating shrew each end up with a man.

So the question this trailer raises for me is whether Jordan’s choice to date a white man is an outgrowth of the fact that in Lee’s mind careerist black women are unworthy of love from black men specifically or something less troublesome. In other words, did she have no other choice but to date a white man or not?

I don’t want Jordan’s choice to be a reaction to black men’s inability to appreciate everything that she represents – an independent, career-obsessed woman. I think that lets black men off the hook for their anti-woman retrogressive beliefs about what a “good black woman” is supposed to be.

As much as I love the original film, I still believe it was a terribly unfair and dangerous subtext to suggest that Jordan couldn’t have a career and love. To suggest in the sequel that the only way she could have both is to date a white man would just continue to reinforce the belief that black men’s sexist assumptions about black women are entrenched and intractable. If the film goes that route it would be incredibly dangerous, irresponsible and unfortunate.

There’s a way to tell this story in a way that doesn’t do this. I just am not sure that Lee will do that.

Racializing Male Violence: Chad Ochocinco and VH1

My good friend Alyssa has a post up about VH1’s decision to pull Chad Ochocinco’s reality show with his wife, Evelyn Lozada, after reports of Ochocinco beating up his wife.

But in comparing Charlie Sheen and Ochocinco, Alyssa makes the wrong conclusion:

Johnson is hardly a money machine like Charlie Sheen, so the decision to drop him isn’t as painful to the network as it would be for the networks of the world to collectively and permanently turn their backs on that particular member of the Estevez clan. But still, it costs money to shoot a show and then shelve it. I’m glad that for now, VH1 isn’t interested in peddling that fantasy, and is willing to take the hit on the show.

I get that Alyssa is trying to make what she probably thinks is a larger point about VH1’s willingness to take a financial hit. But she fails to actually interrogate why it will take that hit — race — and in doing so, gives VH1 more credit than it deserves.

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Russell Simmons and His Delusions of a Post-Racial World

Via Alyssa Rosenberg, hip-hop legend Russell Simmons in The Hollywood Reporter drinking the “post-racial” Kool-Aid:

Post-racial America is coming. Sure, it’s true that many executives who live in Beverly Hills don’t live in one — yet. But many aspire to it and thirst for it in the programming they consume. Hollywood has good intentions but no sensitivity. It clearly have no real understanding of how America is evolving.

Someone needs to take the pin out of the Hollywood bubble, just as they have done within the music industry and the advertising world.

This is utter fucking nonsense.

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I Spent the Week at Alyssa Rosenberg’s Crib on ThinkProgress

My friend, Alyssa Rosenberg, asked me to guest post on her blog on ThinkProgress this week.  I accepted and it was a really effin good time.  Her commenters are awesome and spending time at her crib really forced me to step my game up. I think I did ok.  

What do y'all think?

The Nature of Evil

I thought about this line from Alyssa on a recent episode of Bones:

The show made a much bigger deal of those coping mechanisms and the characters ultimate concern for the humanity of the victims in earlier seasons, but I suppose that point being sufficiently established, they've kind of moved on from it.

…while watching last night's episode.

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