George Lucas worries Hollywood doesn’t support black films


Tuskegee Airmen attend the "Red Tails" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater Tuesday in New York City. (Mike Coppola/GETTY IMAGES)

In a series of interviews in recent days Lucas has said he himself had to bankroll “Red Tails,” a movie 23 years in the making about the Tuskegee Airmen opening Jan. 20. Lucas invested $93 million of his own money for the making and distribution of the film, according to “Speakeasy,” a blog of the Wall St. Journal.

Now he’s a principal promoter, taking his case to Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” Monday night.

Lucas blamed the reception to an “all-black cast” without any white headliners for the roadblocks he encountered within Hollywood. “It’s because it’s an all-black movie. There’s no major white roles in it at all,” said Lucas. The response he got Lucas told Stewart was “we don’t know how to market a movie like this.”

“Red Tails’’ is essentially a World War II drama centering on the fighting record of the black airmen known by their training base, Tuskegee. It stars Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo, Michael B. Jordan and Ne-Yo.

Furthermore, in an interview with USA Today, Lucas said he feared that if this film, with its strong story and lauded producer, failed, it might hurt other projects of black filmmakers.

The real Airmen have been a fount of celebrations and information for researchers, particularly in Washington, where a number still live. Their accomplishments are noted in the National Air and Space Museum and one of their training planes was donated last summer to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, due to open in 2015.

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