Tower Heist – Mediocre


BN-W Snapshot
Tower Heist

BN-W Says…Mediocre

Yes, n-word used at least 3 times, including as “niglet”…

The movie is mildly entertaining with a literal and figurative “payback” concept for the average working person to a Bernie Madoff-type crook.   But there’s nothing new, different or exciting about its presentation.   Additionally, Eddie Murphy’s a throwback to his 80s films with absolutely nothing unique and no evolvement whatsoever; in fact, it’s more of a backslide.   He presents what, unfortunately, seems to be the stereotypically expected behavior for a Black man in film these days (criminal/hoodlum/foul-mouthed womanizer) – even an Oscar-nominated one who some might expect more from considering he’s also one of the producers of the film.   Alas, Murphy disappoints once again based on how he chooses to play the character in this film as well as his senseless choice to unnecessarily use the n-word.   As we noted in the BN-W Snapshot of Kevin Hart’s Laugh at My Pain, Black men have got to “represent” better than this if they ever expect REAL respect in this industry – not just superficial respect through production credits, a job title, and a hefty paycheck.   And getting the hosting gig at the Academy Awards does not always represent respect. Brett Ratner, as the director of this film and producer* of the upcoming Oscars, knows that very well.  [*Update: As of 11/8/11, Ratner has resigned from this position after making a gay slur.  Academy President Tom Sherak writes “words have meaning, and they have consequences” – wouldn’t it also make sense if they applied the same “consequences” theory to racial slurs instead of allowing the n-word use to run rampant in the entertainment industry?]

In BN-W eNewsletter #76  we did a monitor of Murphy’s film Norbit, which was released in February 2007, and in it was this quote from an interview his former wife, Nicole Murphy, did with Essence magazine:   “We have five beautiful, healthy Black children who are in a position to see the world.   I wanted them to see Egypt, go to the pyramids, go all across Africa.   He didn’t.   ‘It’s too far,’ he’d say.   This was a major clash – it just didn’t work for me anymore, and I was becoming miserable.”   This statement helps explain (1) what might be a lack of pride at Murphy’s core; (2) why he’d probably never take or create a positive role such as one about the African multi-genius and the (real) father of medicine, Imhotep ; and (3) why it is so easy for him to use and abuse the n-word so senselessly, needlessly, and recklessly.   Do you think Brett Ratner , Ben Stiller  or Judd Hirsch  – all of whom acknowledge their Jewish heritage – would use the derogatory racial slur “kike” senselessly, needlessly, recklessly or excessively?   Would Hollywood even allow them to?

Although this “Snapshot” is longer than usual, our readers might find this side note very interesting and should carefully follow the links because they show how Hollywood and the media, such as the New York Times, accept and help perpetuate the difference in how the use of these two derogatory racial slurs are marketed/treated.   Michael Jackson used “Jew me” and “kike me” in his 1996 They Don’t Care About Us song with subsequent versions having altered lyrics or “loud, abstract noises partially drowning them out.”   See examples below through the links to the lyrics and videos (the unedited one is still available…for now):


Brazil Video Version
[see 1:22 and 3:54 marks with drowning noises]

Prison Video Version
[see 1:08 and 3:40 marks with drowning noises]

Video – Unedited Lyrics
[see 1:12 and 3:44 marks without the drowning noises]

Now, take note of how Lil Wayne and Jay-Z, two of the biggest acts in the entertainment industry, are allowed to go in on the n-word by reading the lyrics from their songs below:

Lil Wayne


Now, do you think it’s by accident or by design that Eddie Murphy, Kevin Hart, Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, and others like them are allowed to swim in and push the self-hatred, disempowering, and the dehumanizing process the n-word has perpetuated in their historical existence for centuries while Brett Rattner, Ben Stiller, Judd Hirsch, and others like them are not allowed to promote or push a word that is detrimental to their historical relevance?   Who’s really in control and who’s just collecting a paycheck?   Who’s media savvy and understands the importance of image and who’s just the pawn being played for a fool albeit one collecting big money that won’t go beyond one generation?   Think about it…

Contact Information

Eddie Murphy
c/o Willliam Morris Endeavor Entertainment
9601 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills CA 90210
(O) 310-285-9000
(F) 310-285-9010

Ben Stiller
c/o ID PR
8409 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood CA 90069
(O) 323-822-4800
(F) 323-822-4880

Gabourey Sidibe
c/o UTA
9560 Wilshire Boulevard 5th Floor
Beverly Hills CA 90212
(O) 310-273-6700
(F) 310-247-1111

Brett Ratner
c/o CAA
2000 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA   90067
(O) 424-288-2000
(F) 424-288-2900



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