Happy New Year! Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! And congratulations to Jamie Foxx for winning a Golden Globe award for his performance as Ray Charles. “Coach Carter” is BN-W’s first monitored film for 2005. It’s #1 for the weekend box office and if you already saw it, then you know that it’s an excellent film. It uses the N-word but it touches on its history and why it should NOT be used, which is something that’s rarely done in film or music these days. This balanced usage is almost non-existent today – but before we expound on the “Coach Carter”details, we’d like to give you a few BN-W updates:
- Our Dave Chappelle analysis is coming. We’ve been so busy with the holidays and other non-BN-W projects that we’re a little behind schedule, but we’re condensing all (and it’s a lot) of the Chappelle info we have to make it compact yet informative.
- We don’t usually do this, but we’d like to share an interesting event that happened this week regarding the media, particularly the issue of the free METRO newspaper, which the New York Times is in the process of purchasing a minority stake in. A quick synopsis of the situation is that in 2003, during separate corporate meetings, top executives of METRO made racist jokes using the N-word as well as talking about the genitalia of Black males. This story was first reported by www.mediachannel.org (as of 1/17/05, there were five articles posted on this story). For comparison’s sake, here’s a link to the most recent information the New York Times had about the story as of 1/13/05: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/arts/entertainment-media-boston.html?ex=1106939412&ei=1&en=a0cc0911271d91b2. To get this link, w e had to actually do a search on the New York Times Web site to find this article due to not much being written about it by the New York Times. There’s a distinct difference in the amount of and what type of information is provided in both sources. Some of the other New York local papers ran more detailed articles during the past week than both the NY METRO and the New York Times.
- Memo-Z – this memo was dated 12/16/04 and it was sent out to all the individuals listed below at the end of 2004. The packet included the BN-W Historical Timeline (BN-W #10A-B) and the “Nigger and Caricatures” information www.ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/caricature/ that was first mentioned in BN-W #16. It was sent to them at the companies/law firms, which are also listed below, that represent them. Some copies were also sent to the “presidents/owners” of the companies to ensure that at the very minimum that the people who open it – from receptionists/secretaries/assistants to the people who run it – get a look at it. We figure that any agent, manager, publicist, or lawyer worth their fee will surely get this info to their client. Additionally, FYI, we tried to mostly use the formal or government names of the individuals. For example – Jay-Z (Shawn Carter), Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson), Stevie Wonder (Stevland Morris), Cedric the Entertainer (Cedric Kyles), Chingy (Howard Bailey), Ludacris (Chris Bridges), Ginuwine (Elgin Baylor Lumpkin), Free (Marie Wright), Foxy Brown (Inga Marchaud). We had to do this mostly for the rappers/hip-hoppers and usedwww.imdb.com as our main information source, but stumbled upon www.hiphoplovers.com/realnames.htmlafter we were through sending out the packets….Go figure. Anyway, see the complete info farther down in this document.
- In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, following are links to two interesting events related to history:
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/civil_war_maps [This is a brand new collection that is now available on the Internet]
www.pbs.org/unforgivableblackness/ [Boxer Jack Johnson]
The BN-W monitor shows a range (none , low [1-2], moderate [3-5], high [6-9], excessive [10+]) of how often the N-word was used throughout the film. If you missed any other BN-W monitors, just send an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and request that it be sent to you. BN-W will not usually give any content critique, so it is highly encouraged that you see these films for yourself and, if applicable, make your own judgment call on the N-word usage – appropriate/inappropriate? necessary/unnecessary? sensible/nonsensical? does it add to or take away from the film’s concept? does the N-word have to be used at all? is there a valid reason for doing so? is it mandatory for the scene(s) to be effective? what are the circumstances/situation that necessitate any use of the word? is it just thrown in for humor, fear, crime, insult? are other culturally insulting slang terms used as much as the N-word in the film? Lots of questions and a whole lot of reasons to wonder what’s the real purpose and thought process behind why these actors, writers, directors, producers, executive producers, distributors, and studios/studio heads and executives give the “greenlight” for these crews to liberally use (or allow to be used) the N-word.
FEATURE FILM(S) :
C O A C H C A R T E R
[Release Date: 1/14/05]
Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Ashanti Douglas; written by Mark Schwahn, John Gatins; directed by Thomas Carter; produced by Brian Robbins, Mike Tollin, David Gale; executive produced by Van Toffler, Thomas Carter, Sharla Sumpter, Caitlin Scanlon; studio – Paramount Pictures
NOTE : This film touched on an array of topics and issues, including the importance of education and learning, respecting adults, the powerful influence of a positive adult role model, adults taking a solid stand for something instead of doing nothing, lack of teacher/parent participation in education, the desire that youth have for discipline, guidance, and caring from adults, the all too common acceptance of low expectations, sports/popularity taking precedence over education, teen pregnancy, pro-choice, thug life, team work, and more. It even pulls you into the excitement of the winning/losing shots of the basketball games. Many reviewers of this film tried to categorize it as your typical coach film of this genre, but they’re so wrong. This film digs much deeper than most films of this type. It’s actually taking some bold steps and making some bold societal comments overall, including about the N-word usage, which usually gets no play or downplayed. The use of the N-word in this film was a little over 10 times, with about half of that being through rap/hip-hop songs.
BN-W Monitor Coming Soon: “Assault on Precinct 13” [Laurence Fishburne, Ethan Hawke]; “Are We There Yet?” [Ice Cube, Nia Long]; “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” [Kimberly Elise, Steve Harris]; “Hitch” [Will Smith, Eva Mendes]; “The Honeymooners” [Cedric the Entertainer, Gabrielle Union]; “King’s Ransom” [Anthony Anderson]; “The Pacifier” [Vin Diesel]; “Beauty Shop” [Queen Latifah, Ice Cube]; “An Unfinished Life” [Jennifer Lopez, Robert Redford]
Also Coming : DVD Monitoring; Quarterly Music Monitoring; Dave Chappelle
MEMO TEXT : “ Plain and simply, we want to ask a favor of you all. We’d like to request that you read the attached material, primarily to add to your already vast world knowledge, and then share it with those who hang out with you, work for you, and the many fans who admire and follow you faithfully. If you’re unable to read it right away, please copy and pass it on to a young person, one that will read it, understand it, digest it, share it, and, most importantly, continue not using the N-word at all and/or work on stopping the excessive and gratuitous use of the N-word that’s on official overkill right now – and that’s primarily due to lack of historical knowledge on the word’s origins. We’re firm believers that knowledge is power and that when you know better, you do better. Onward and upward!”
Yolanda Adams; Mark Alexander; Debbie Allen; Kunitake Ando; Anthony Anderson; Michael Eugene Archer; Nick Ashford; Jeffrey Atkins; Erykah Badu; Howard Bailey Jr.; Tyra Banks; Charles Barkley; Angela Bassett; Jennifer Beals; Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon; Derrick Bell; Andre Benjamin; Chico Benymon; Halle Berry; Billy Blanks; LaTanya Blige; Mary J. Blige; Lisa Bonet; Ed Bradley; Wayne Brady; Neal Brennan; Chris Bridges; Calvin Broadus; James L. Brooks; Jerry Bruckheimer; Joe Budden; AJ Calloway; Sway Calloway; Tisha Campbell-Martin; Geoffrey Canada; Nick Cannon; Shawn Carter; Dave Chappelle; Don Cheadle; Kenneth Chenault; Lyor Cohen; Sean Combs; Malaak Compton-Rock; Alicia Augello Cook; Camille Cosby; William Cosby; Tom Cruise; Vondie Curtis-Hall; Carson Daly; Tommy Davidson; Clive Davis; Johnathan Davis; Rosario Dawson; Wendy Day; Robert DeNiro; Loretta Devine; Robert Diggs; Michael Clarke Duncan; Charles S. Dutton; Michael Eric Dyson; Michael Ealy; Marian Wright Edelman; Tracey Edmonds; Aunjanue Ellis; Omar Epps; Donald Faison; Laurence Fishburne; Antwone Fisher; Alphonse Fletcher; James Forbes; Vivica A. Fox; Jamie Foxx; Morgan Freeman; Henry Louis Gates Jr.; Nona Gaye; Richard Gere; Mel Gibson; Tyrese Gibson; Danny Glover; Whoopi Goldberg; Jeff Goldblum; Cuba Gooding Jr.; Stedman Graham; Kelsey Grammer; Earl G. Graves, Sr.; Macy Gray; Talib Kweli Green; David Alan Grier; Eddie Griffin; Hill Harper; Mya Marie Harrison; Cornell Haynes Jr.; Karim Dule Hill; Paris Hilton; Djimon Hounsou; Whitney Houston; Reginald Hudlin; Warrington Hudlin; Albert Hughes; Allen Hughes; Paul Hunter; Nobuyuki Idei; Mo’Nique Imes-Jackson; Isley Brothers; Artis Ivey Jr.; Curtis Jackson; Janet Jackson; John Jackson; Larry Jackson; O’Shea Jackson; Eve Jihan Jeffers; Dwayne Johnson; Robert Johnson; Kimberly Jones; Orlando Jones; Quincy Jones; Tamala Jones; David E. Kelley; Gayle King; Larry King; Regina King; Dan Klores; Beyoncé Knowles; Matthew Knowles; Boris Kodjoe; Leonard Kravitz; Cedric Kyles; Eriq La Salle; Sanaa Lathan; Stan Lathan; Martin Lawrence; Joy Leary; Debra Lee; Spike Lee; Kenny Leon; Robert Sean Leonard; Jennifer Lopez; Derek Luke; Elgin Baylor Lumpkin; Inga Marchaud; Tracy Marrow; Duane Martin; Steve Martin; Marshall Mathers; Bernard Jeffrey McCullough; Aaron McGruder; Benny Medina; Shemar Moore; Stevland Morris; Timothy Mosley; Eddie Murphy; Prince Rogers Nelson; Mike Nichols; Gil Noble; Reggie Noble; Brandy Norwood; Dana Owens; Al Pacino; Nicole Ari Parker; Paula Jai Parker; Richard Parsons; Antwon Patton; Rosie Perez; Mekhi Phifer; Jason Phillips; Renee Poussaint; Tyrone Powers; Theresa Randle; Phylicia Rashad; Usher Raymond IV; Carlton Ridenhour; Julia Roberts; Leon Robinson; Chris Rock; Stan Rosenfield; Diana Ross; Tracey Ellis Ross; Kelly Rowland; Joel Schumacher; Martin Scorsese; Jill Scott; Nicole Seligman; Afeni Shakur; Earl Simmons; Valerie Simpson; John Singleton; Bob Slade; Tavis Smiley; Dante Terrell Smith; Ian Smith; Jada Pinkett Smith; James Todd Smith; Will Smith; Wesley Snipes; Chris Spencer; Jon Stewart; Howard Stringer; Elinor Tatum; Astin Taylor Jr.; Susan L. Taylor; Jesse Terrero; Henry Thomas; Rozonda Thomas; Billy Bob Thornton; Gina Torres; Guy Torry; Robert Townsend; Aisha Tyler; Blair Underwood; Gabrielle Union; Mario Van Peebles; Melvin Van Peebles; Courtney B. Vance; Mark Vincent; George Wallace; Charles Warfield; Malcolm Jamal Warner; Denzel Washington; Isaiah Washington; Tionne Watkins; Damien Dante Wayans; Damon Wayans; Keenen Ivory Wayans; Marlon Wayans; Shawn Wayans; Diane Weathers; Cornel West; Kanye West; Bernard White; Robert Wiesenthal; Bruce Willis; Michelle Williams; Vanessa Williams; Mykelti Williamson; August Wilson; Bryce Wilson; Oprah Winfrey; Philip R. Wiser; Jeffrey Wright; Marie Wright; Michael Wright; Andre Young
40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks; 60 Minutes; 60 Minutes II; Abrams Artists; Aftermath/Interscope Records; Air America Radio; Amen Ra Films; American Express Company; Amsterdam News; Anonymous Content; Anthem Entertainment; Apollo Theatre; Art/Work Entertainment; Baker Winokur Ryder [New York/California]; Barnes, Morris, Klein, Mark & Yorn; Benderspink; Black Diamonds Entertainment Inc.; Black Enterprise; Black Entertainment Television (BET); Black Family Channel; Bliss Life Records; Bloom Hergott & Diemer; Blue Stone Entertainment; BMG Entertainment; Bragman/Nyman/Cafarelli; Brillstein-Grey Entertainment; Brookside Management [New York/California]; Children’s Defense Fund; Comedy Central; Creative Artists Agency (CAA); Dan Klores Communications [New York/California]; Dave Chappelle Show; David E. Kelley Productions; Disturbing Tha Peace Entertainment; Dolores Robinson Entertainment; Doubleday Books; Doug Chapin Management; Ebony Son Entertainment; Edelstein, Laird & Sobel; Edmonds Entertainment; Emmis Communications – 98.7 KISS FM and HOT 97 (New York radio stations); Endeavor; Essence Magazine; Esterman Entertainment; Evolution Talent Agency; Fletcher Asset Management; Free4Life Foundation; Geffen Records; Gersh Agency [New York/California]; Handprint Entertainment; Hansen, Jacobsen, Teller & Hoberman; Harlem Children’s Zone Inc.; Harpo Studios; Hertz, Goldring & Lichtenstein; Hidden Beach Recordings; Hirsch Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer et al; Industry Entertainment; Inner City Broadcasting Corporation – WBLS (New York radio station); Innovative Artists; International Creative Management (ICM); Interscope Records; J Records; Ken Sunshine Consultants PR; King Management; KSA PR; LaPolt Law, P.C.; Leverage; Management 360; Management, Inc.; Mosaic Media Group; Mundy Lane Entertainment; Music Television (MTV); Music World Entertainment; Nancy Seltzer & Associates; National Visionary Leadership Project; Nelson, Felker & Levine; Oprah Magazine; Paramount Pictures; Paul Kohner; PMK/HBH [New York/California]; Principato Young Entertainment; R.L. Byrd & Associates, Inc.; Rap Coalition; Riverside Church; Rogers & Cowan PR; Ruff Ryders/Interscope Records; S. Graham & Associates; Screen Partners Inc.; Sony Corporation [New York/California/Japan]; Sony Music Entertainment; Sony Pictures Studios; Stan Rosenfield & Associates Ltd.; Stevland Morris Productions; Stone, Meyer & Genow; StyleWorks; Tencer & Associates PR; The Brokaw Company; The Daily Show with John Stewart; The Firm; The Ludacris Foundation; Time Warner; TMT Entertainment Group; Tollin/Robbins Management; Universal Music Group; Untitled Entertainment; UTA; Vibe Magazine; Violator Management; WBAI – 99.5 (New York radio station); Wallman/Ridinger PR; Warner Music Group; William Morris Agency (WMA) [New York/California]; Wolf/Kassler/Van Iden PR; Writers & Artists Agency; Ziffren Brittenham Branca Fischer Gilbert-Lurie