Lee Daniels…The Sellout

Lee Daniels…The Sellout

So Lee Daniels admits to being a sellout on national TV for the sake of your entertainment…interesting.

I posted the above statement on Facebook yesterday & as expected I received mixed reactions.  Some people told me “everybody has a price”, “selling out is what makes you compromise your character”, blah blah blah.  All interesting to read, but still blah at the end of the day.

Obviously I’m not in the show business & yes I am aware that there are probably certain demands placed upon entertainers for the sake of generating money, but how far would one be willing to go to “sellout” to the point they actually become comfortable with acknowledging that they are selling out on national TV simply to keep steady work coming in?  Well, apparently Lee Daniels has absolutely no issues with that as you heard in the above video clip.

Empire

As of lately, damn near every Black TV show that has hit the boob tube has faced some type of backlash or criticism from the Black community in regards to how Black people are portrayed.  Empire is no different.  I for one do not have an issue with the show Empire.  Truthfully, I’ve only watched the first 2 episodes to date & found it somewhat entertaining, but I’m not a big fan of watching TV, so I’ll just play catch up if & when it appears on Netflix.  But regardless, I’m not one of those people out there demonizing the show for promoting damn near every Black stereotype known to man like others have…

I do not subscribe to the thought that Black entertainment MUST strictly show only Black people in a positive respectable manner as if we are trying to mask over some of the ignorant ass knee grows & their niggatry within our ranks.  I fully believe entertainment aimed directly towards Black society can & is fully capable of having a healthy balance of quality respectable shows & a healthy dose of ignorant shit.  That is ideal in my mind.

When it comes to Lee Daniels in regards to his success in Hollywood especially as it relates to the hit TV show Empire, I have to take a step back & rethink some things since he has blatantly stated he’s fine with being called a sellout so as long as it keeps him in working in Hollywood.  The problem I have is, where is Lee Daniels willing to draw the line?  Empire is a product of the Fox corporation…the same people responsible for bringing you the likes of Bill O’Reilly & Sean Hannity.  Fox is owned by a man named Rupert Murdoch whom, according to Dr. Boyce Watkins, is a card-carrying member of White supremacy.  Rupert Murdoch is also the same person who stated this…

rupert

 

So when I hear Lee Daniels stating he’s willing to sellout in order to have his work shown in the theaters, it really makes me wonder as to what lengths is he willing to go in order to pursue success.  After gaining further insight as to who Rupert Murdoch is, then hearing Lee Daniels state he’s willing to sellout at all costs in order to be successful, then watching Empire portray every classic Black stereotype….has this brotha truly sold out?  Is Lee Daniels really directing a TV show because he wants to display a new type of Black entertainment or is he simply doing this to entertain those in the dominant society high above him who have certain views about Black society because they are putting money in his pockets?

Is Lee Daniels putting on a minstrel show for some Scooby snacks?

Surely there are tons of you out there whom will vehemently disagree with me because one of the leading characters “Cookie”, played by talented actress Taraji P. Henson, is your girl…and that’s all cool.

But let’s NOT ignore the fact that Lee Daniels unapologetically stated he has absolutely no issues with selling out in order to provide you all with entertainment.  So to that I ponder, how desperate for entertainment are you if the person providing you the entertainment is willing to compromise his standards about his own people in order to earn a check?

Light skin dude with an opinion
  • Gil

    What are your thoughts on what Lee Daniels stated in regards to selling out?

  • Tony Muhammad

    Gil you stated in the first paragraph “I posted the above statement on Facebook yesterday & as expected I received mixed reactions. Some people told me “everybody has a price”, “selling out is what makes you compromise your character”, blah blah blah. All interesting to read, but still blah at the end of the day.”

    With that acknowledgment you should not wonder why commenters are not sharing opinions on the subject matter.

    My opinion is Black Americans need to have their own entertainment production and entertainment distribution business. Then our people in entertainment as actors, directors and producers would be more accountable to our group.

    Lee Daniels (FOX) show “Empire,” display’s some harsh truths and realities of the Black American experience. Its not all nice and royalty like romantic Afro-centric individuals would like to admit. Black people as a race has dirty laundry like other races of humanity. Still all in all…I chant TOO BLACK TOO STRONG…Including Lee Daniels.

    • Gil

      “With that acknowledgment you should not wonder why commenters are not sharing opinions on the subject matter.”

      ^^Yet I’m reading your thoughts….fascinating how this works.

      I agree Black society needs its own entertainment & distribution businesses no doubt & it’s enough of them in the industry with money & influence to get it popping…but I doubt it will ever happen b/c too many in Black society are more concerned about getting the dominant society’s approval & pat on the head vs starting for & doing for self.

      • Tony Muhammad

        I ain’t afraid of no ghost, lol. You don’t scare me, nor does your writing ability to take Lee Daniels comment or statement out of context. He sarcastically responded to people saying he was a sell out.

        Furthermore, he stated in the clip you provided “If that’s what “they” call it, I am a sell out.” I don’t consider his statement an omission in agreement to the validity of being a sell-out.

        • Gil

          If you heard sarcasm in his voice even with his chuckle, then I’m inclined to question if you too are waiting for a Scooby snack.

          I know what you “thought” you heard & I know what he stated as evidenced by the video, but once you apply critical thinking to look a little further into who is really bank rolling this project combined with the bank rollers philosophy on people of color…if you still come to the conclusion that this is merely “sarcasm”…then may want to enlighten your mind into the wonders of how those within the dominant society who practice white supremacy get down.

          Sure it’s entertainment, but let’s not pretend like every image you see on the TV regardless of what show you are watching that there isn’t some ultimate approving authority giving the thumbs up or thumbs down as to what will be displayed & how it will be displayed when it comes across their network. Please let’s not be this naive to how the game goes.

          • Tony Muhammad

            Do you recall TV shows / movies such as, Dallas, The Sopranos, The Godfather series, any number of daytime soap operas tv shows, and the list goes on and on.

            Capitalist capitalize on social taboos making them into tv and movie dramas for viewer’s taste for experiencing real life, fantasy and myths socially deemed acceptable, unacceptable, just my imagination, or what could be if.

            The TV Show Empire comprises all the qualities that attract average common folk that want a moment or hour of escape from their personal realities.

            Common Black people in particular know for a certainty they may never personally experience the flash and drama of the various roles portrayed in the TV show Empire.

            Its make believe designed to simply attract viewers away from other non-consequential entertainment in its particular time slot.

            What makes the TV Show Empire different from any other TV show aired on regular television. An almost all Black cast stands out which brings attention and scrutiny from so-called wannabe social-liberal Black advocates and little wish I was Malcolm X’s.

            Like I said before in this feed, whenever Black people control their own in the entertainment industry we will have true leverage in what movies and tv cast our kind. Until Black artist stop playing roles that seem to embarrass Black highbrows and people like me who advocate Black Power—Too Black Too Strong, its a free for all until Black Unity and true independence is achieved.

            Gil you talk like you don’t have any kind of business arrangement with White folk. I surely don’t other than investments. They only let us go so far. So what Lee Daniels is a few steps ahead. He still is Black.

            We need to focus more on the commonalities our group share than knocking each other down. Let White people do that they have more experience in destroying Black men and women. Peace

            • Gil

              I don’t have a problem with the show as I’ve stated in the article. I just have a problem with a portion of what he said in regards to him pursuing success in Hollywood. You interpret it one way & I another….& that’s all good.

              Further I agree with you on Black society eventually getting its own thing popping.

              Thanks for the words fam.

        • Johnny Silvercloud

          Lee Daniel’s “sarcasm” seemed to have a passive-aggressive shade to it. Just saying.

  • Nehes Ba’a Rayay

    At least Lee Daniels is honest about being a “Sellout” for your Entertainment. Watch all of the offers open up to him that’s detrimental to our “Image” on these Shores. #ThisIsAnObviousSetbackInOurSunCycleAge

  • I hate that Lee Daniels sees himself as such. I personally am not of fan of him either. Great work from a weird guy. Regardless, he has a great opportunity to reach many across culture and race lines to educate many and highlight issues on multiple subjects and entertain at the same time. I am an avid watcher, and I am thoroughly entertained. The next season will show it’s endurance after it gets pasts trying to wow us with shock value each week.

    If you are really into the hip hop culture and overall black consciousness, you can see the occasional nuggets of insight thrown in there to make one think. For those who think that Empire only highlights our (black people) worst stereotypes, let’s do more to change those stereotypes (replace with more positive) instead of fussing at those who only show how they perceive us. Those that look for subliminal messages…think about this. Subliminal messages only attract the weak-minded. Most of us can see the entertainment and move on to building our own empires.

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