More Captain Obvious than Sgt. Rock

An old friend once asked if we thought the music industry was racist. We replied that, in our humble estimation, the biz cares only about one color: green. After all, how else do you explain Caucasian-run major labels that had no problem releasing records made by African-American artists denouncing “white devils”; seemingly concerned only with the financial bottom line? In other words, as long as the music was selling those so-called militant rappers could call their record company patrons—and other of the same ethnicity—whatever epithet they felt like.

Having a couple of our songs placed in a few indie films is pretty much the extent of our involvement in the film business—Hollywood experts we are not. But it stands to reason that an art by committee industry in which the final product is often focus grouped to death, would be all about maximizing profits. Which is why we were a bit confused by Chris Rock’s much talked about essay in the most recent issue of The Hollywood Reporter, in which he states the film business is “a white industry”, which largely hires its own, and that black and brown folks are a minority. Also, water makes things wet.

Of course, African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics are not as visible as Caucasians in Hollywood—we’re not as prevalent in overall numbers in American society either. Rock also states that he thought he'd never live to see "black movies making money" and "expected to make money on the same scale as everything else." So, what’s the problem? Now, if Hollywood would rather NOT make money than hire black and other minority folks, then we’ve got a ballgame. Otherwise...