How Bob Johnson uses the billions black people made for him

After years of marignalzing black people at BET (Bootleg Entertainment Television), Bob Johnson has moved on to create a film production company; Our Stories Films.  It is supposed to be a place where black people actually have the power to green light a movie.  Read this excerpt from the article:

Our Stories’ objective is to release family-friendly comedies with African American leads in the $10 million to $15 million budget range. Many have probed, “Why just comedies?” It’s a valid question. African Americans are more than just laughs. Yet it’s also easy to comprehend the company’s business strategy. In recent years, comedies featuring African Americans have been some of industry’s most successful. From the Wayan’s brothers Scary Movie hits, the Barbershop franchise, Martin Lawrence’s Big Momma’s House franchise and the Tyler Perry films, urban comedies make money. Family-friendly films can also stock at Wal-Mart once they go to DVD. Plus, Johnson has never wavered about who he is first and foremost—a businessman.

Sighhhhh- It’s so sad to see a black man sell out his own people for profit; espeically after he all ready made a fortune off of us from BET………. 

Johnson hired Tracey Edmunds to head up the company.  You know Tracey Edmunds; the sister who was married to Babyface and brought us the movie Soul Food.  After she sucked us in with such a great movie, she punched us in the face with the bootleg reality show College Hill; which instead of showing the positive aspects of back youth pursing higher education at HBCUs; she opted to show the most dysfuunctional misguided people she could find. 

Well the first movie these 2 trailblazers gave the green light to was ‘Who’s your Caddy?’  Here is a synopsis of the movie:

Superstar rap mogul C-Note runs into fierce opposition when he tries to join the super stuffy Carolina Pines Golf & Country Club. Undeterred, C-Note gets the brilliant idea to buy the land adjacent to the golf club’s 17th hole, which he cleverly leverages to gain membership. C-Note’s crew wreaks havoc as they bring their larger-than-life style to the club. As the club’s hoighty-toighty leadership desperately tries to revoke C-Note’s membership, our hero realizes that his family’s honor–and secret record-breaking golf history–is at stake. As he takes on the fight of his life, C-Note pulls out all the stops to bring down the club’s backwards establishment and welcome them to the 21st century.

Sigh………..

This was the first movie Johnson and Edmunds gave the green light to?  Are you kidding me?

Even when we have the power to green light our own movies, we get it wrong. Was this supposed make a lot of money?  Johnson said that he would make comedies that cost between 10-15 million dollars because that’s what black folk like to do; laugh laugh laugh (even at our expense it seems if we follow his formula).  Well guess what?  ‘Who’s your Caddy?’ debut at #10 and only pulled in only 3.5 million dollars!!!!

Tracey Edmunds said that she wants to make sure that they produce films that show black people in a positive light?  Really?  And who’s your Caddy was the best way to do this?

Bob Johnson is a complete sell out.  He can’t use the excuse anymore that BET showed rap videos and infomercials 24/7 to make money for his then struggling black cable network; he is a billionaire now!!

This would have been a perfect chance for Johnson to highlight the stories and movies of black film makers who actually have something to say, but you opted once again on the side of making money and it didn’t work. 

Black people are tired of being marginalzied and typecast in music and entertainement; especially when the culprit is one of our own.  We all saw what happened to Imus, and the show Hot Ghetto Mess on BET; black people are not having it anymore.   

Since Johnson is a business man first, and is obviously in it to make money at our expense, I decided to hit him where it hurts; his Pocket!!  I opted not to waste my time or money to see his movie.  And from the looks of it; other black people didn’t waste their time as well.

P.S. Here are reviews from some of the people who actually took a chance on this movie:

Garbage
by free2rummage

Well to all those people who think it’s only white people who hate this movie think again. I’m black and I think this movie was garbage. Tired old jokes. . .fart jokes? Blinged out rappers causing trouble? Aren’t we beyond this? This was Soul Plane on a golf course. Nothing else. It will only appeal to those people of any color with the simplest of intelligence. This would have been funny 20 years ago when gangsta rap first burst on the scene, but even 50 cent today knows how to conduct himself not only on the stage but also in the boardroom. FYI. . .to those who loved the movie and think people hate it because it’s a “black” movie – the writers and director of this movie were all white. It’s just a bad movie period. We can do better. . .LOVE JONES, BROWN SUGAR, ATL, LOVE AND BASKETBALL, SOUL FOOD to name JUST a few.

Really really bad
by mhreview
 
 
If you go see this one, be ready for crude comedy. Rap superstar C-Note runs into big time opposition when he tries to join the super stuffy Carolina Pines Golf & Country Club. Not to be denied, C-Note gets the brilliant idea to buy the land next to the 17th hole, and try to gain membership. Bottom line, you have to be in the mood for crude, raunchy, bad comedy with tons of negative stereotyping. Not worth your money…skip it.

WTF?!?!
by raptor22_02

 
Honestly, watching the previews for this was awful enough, but actually getting dragged to this pathetic, land based, version of soul plane was damn near capital punishment! The ony reason I didn’t rate the direction a failure was because if I was the director I would have killed myself. This guy actually lived through it all. The plot you ask? Black guy doesn’t get his way, finds a way to weasle his way into a golf club, finds out he’s the next tiger woods, and shows whitey how to keep it real through blasting rap music and attching spinners to a golf cart. Someone should have taken a club against “C-note”‘s head and ended the world’s misery. If your looking for a reason to finnaly kill yourself, watch this movie. Trust me, it’ll make you loose all faith in mankind.

Level of Ignorance
by davidfamilyman
 
You can tell by the grammar and spelling used by the people who gave this movie positive reviews the level of ignorance it takes to enjoy this movie.

Entertaining my A**
by pailoong

 
I went into this movie with a group of friends with a certain expectation. I knew it wasn’t going to be comedy gold, but I thought it would at least provide some material for contextual humor at the bar. God, was I wrong.
This movie is nothing but light banter interspersed with hundreds of “oh no he di’n” moments that barely pass for a movie, let alone entertainment.
This kind of movie only appeals to a certain group of people, and that’s not a racist comment about this being a “black movie” (what does that mean, anyway?). Anybody in their right wouldn’t see this movie and I have a dream that one day, all of God’s children will be spared this kind of drivel.

What chu’ talkin’ ’bout cracker?
by monaymonroe

 
Yes, my title is catchy isn’t it? Just like this movie. Matter of fact, the movie could have used the same title I used for this review. I don’t understand why anyone would make this kind of feeble entertainment unless it’s used to recruit new members for the KKK. Am I to understand that BIG BOI of Outkast, “Big Worm” from FRIDAY and Brian from EVE wanted an acting job so bad, they would settle for playing the roles of the “jive talking negro”? And the rest of the cast, they saw this as a good idea to partake in? Why does Hollywood think it can bank on Hip-Hop stars lack of intelligence and choice of ignorance? Why does Hollywood believe that the only way to reach a black audience is through black musicians? I wonder, in 2008 are we still “singin’ an’ dancin” for “mister”? How come Musicians who chose to be actors never seem to take the job seriously? How come Hollywood refuse’s to make more entertaining movies? Does Hollywood even take itself seriously? Apparently not. I know I’ll never be an actress since all the good roles aren’t even in the movies anymore. I don’t know when Hollywood will decide to rely upon good ole’ fashioned talent again but when they do, I’ll be right there.

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11 Responses

  1. What makes BET so sad is that there is absolutely no balance. It’s all cooning, all the time. I have more respect for companies like Lion’s Gate. They backed the Tyler Perry films, but they also backed Akeelah & The Bee, Eve’s Bayou, and Hotel Rwanda. They’re known to take a chance on projects when a lot of others say no. I remember when all they did was make straight-to-video b-movies, now they’re a major contender. BET never went beyond the infantile stage.

  2. I agree with you in regards to Bob’s new venture being just another way to marginalize black folks. He knows what makes money. The ignorant black folks in PG and elsewhere flock to go see these types of movies over and over again. I’m surprised no one had a basketball in their hand. Anyway, Bob is more than just entertainment though. He owns urbanedexpress which is a college loan outfit. He also owns several hotels throughout the US and Mexico. You gotta give the man props, he is a smart business man. Most goverment types don’t understand business.

  3. Mista Winky:

    Most government types don’t understand business? And you had to bring up PG County didn’t you. This has nothing to do with Prince George’s County

  4. You are right nativeson, I live in Prince George County and this movie has nothing to do with who sees it.

    The movie was horrible and if anyone enjoyed the movie it says something of their intelligence. Everything about the movie was LOW! Low-blows, low jokes, etc. Please do not go see this movie because if we do go producers will continue to think that we are interested in this type of mess: low comedy about black/white that has no purpose.

  5. PG county was used as a point of reference. Of course it had nothing to do with that place. I have a question for you though, what responsibility does Bob Johnson have to put out socially concious movies about Black America?? Does he owe that to us and why?

  6. The world owes us nothing and no one owes anyone else anything either. However, you would think that Mr. Bob Johnson who claimed that he started BET to cater to “us” and enrich our lives (remember Teen Summit, BET Nightly News, etc., etc.?) would actually live up to his words.

    If Bob Johnson had never claimed that he wanted BET to be a positive vehicle in the African-American community, I wouldn’t even be jocking his style. Hell, I’m for him making his money, honey. We all know that’s why he sold out to Viacom. But you are mistaken if you think that being a “smart” businessman means lying and duping others to get where you wanna be.

    Personally, I could care less. I’m never paying to see another low-budget comedy flick based on race again. I also don’t watch BET and I hope it burns in hell.

    It’s just business as usual….

  7. Lisa:

    you stole my thunder! That was going to be my response to Mista Winky

  8. No problem.

    Like I said, I have no qualms w/ Mr. Johnson. I think that when he first started BET his intentions were modest. However, later the dollar signs looked better when compared to uplifting and empowering the Black community. It was all about uplifting himself. In the end, he made his profits under false pretenses and he is still making money by selling out. But like it was so kindly brought to our attention, Johnson doesn’t owe us anything…even if he has said countless times he was going to give it to us. 🙂

    LOL. suckers!!!!!!!

  9. Lisa I could not have said it better. When Bob johnson first started BET, he claimed it was supposed to be a one stop shop for black entertainment, movies and news. Then all of suddent the money started looking good to him and he decided that his main goal was to expand his profit maring no matter the cost; which was in some part at our expense. Mista Winky, I have nothing against a brother making money, but not at the expense of marginalizing his own people

  10. well said. & i’m loving this site. dont even remember how i stumbled upon it. its now bookmarked.

  11. WOW, where should I begin? So many great points. Before I begin, I am NOT for Mr. Johnson and his new production company.

    Let’s step back for a minute and examine Mr Johnson reasons for his current position in simply “making money” off of the “Black Culture.”

    Tavis Smiley (When he was on BET)
    Video Soul
    Teen Summit
    BET Jazz (The old one)
    BET NEWS (? <—- will explain later)

    What happen to the shows? WHY did they get canceled?
    I tell you why. In the words of the late great jazz icon, Betty Carter, “Until you loved a love you had to loose, You don’t know what love is.”

    In other words, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Bob had a dream that he would create this Black network for and about us but NO ONE CARED! Once upon a time, BET had great shows but WE didn’t invest. We didn’t tune in enough. Somehow, looking at it from a business side, the numbers wasn’t there enough to sustain. Mr. Johnson needed money. Then there was a shift in the Hip-Hop culture. And that’s all she wrote. Hip-HOp just blow up!Whatever MTV did, BET did. Why? because it was working for them over there at viacom. MTV catered to the youth – young adults/ early thirties people, and so was BET! SO, like any other business man, Jonson probably said, WHY re-create the wheel? After all, Mr Johnson had a dream that he would create this huge Black Network and every Black people and every people of color would join hand together join money together and support! After all, we got the lasted sneakers, we have the hottest rims and let’s not forget about the video games. But did we really support the new Black network? I guess not. So bob had another dream- let me make my cake and run with it. And so he did, hence, out with the great BET shows and end with the low-budget, let me use my next door neighbor VHS camera to save money shows was created. Oh and let me get the pumps and hoes in on this deal too cause they don’t really care about exploiting themselves anyway. And there you have it folks BET gone BAD!

    BOb Johnson then tried to fool us by appointed a Black asian woman in place and sold the company to Viacom which took over made a bigger mess. They even tried to fool us again with BET J which use to be BET Jazz. Just when I begin to be hopeful, they put, the christies on air. They also put, “My Model is better than your model”(Huh? there we go with the ghetto names…lol), and for the grand finalie , BET J shorts and Black Stories?? All of the shows are very low quality. I consistently have to adjust my volume and if I see another talking head on Black stories I’m going to kill myself.

    The ONLY thing good on BET J is the Jazz shows. I strongly believe, we can do better than this. I believe the only way we can do better if we have higher standards and INVEST in the independent filmmakers and emerging new Black Filmmakers with some serious quality work. We need to move away from settling people.

    How many people saw the Dorothy Dandridge story? Executive produced by Hallie Berry. Get my point?

    ABOUT THE CADDY MOVIE
    I too didn’t go see the “caddy” movie. Why? because when I saw the trailer, I knew it was going to be another bafoon movie. Bob is playing it safe. I had no idea he was making “Our Stories Films”(ourstoriesfilms.com) into a comedy production company.- This is all we need right now. “Our Stories Films” is such a powerful name. It’s sad that their films will not reflect positive images of Black folks. Maybe the other company, Our Stories Productions (ospfilms.com) will do use justice. However, it is an independent company so I don’t know how much backing they will receive, let a lone make quality films. We will see in time.

    I will end on this, there was a time where Black folks use to make a big deal when they saw a colored person on TV. It was very important to support. Now, you are told to go see the Black movie the first weekend it comes out. Support- Black Films (Fist in the air)! Support Black Films! I say, support POSITIVE, NON- STEREOTYPICAL, HIGH Quality(Still can be low in cost but High quality) Black Films with depth and great storytelling.

    Personally, comedy is not where we need to be as a race right now. It’s not funny that we make up less than 30% of a race of people in the US and of the #0% Black race, just about half of us have HIV/AIDS. Let alone , other major health issues like heart conditions, cancer, diabetes. It’s not funny People! How about this so called war? Have you seen the commercials lately? they all target people of color, particually Black and Latino people. If you are in the Brooklyn area like Fulton , Eastern Parkway, Atlantic, or even Harlem, The Bronx- you will see lot’s of army recruits in the train station. Guess what? They get paid an extra $1000 to bring you in and another $1000 if you sign up to the army. I’m not saying we can’t have a sense of humor but, ain’t nothing funny right now but Black people. The joke is on you. Take the blue pill (LOL)

    As for the BET NEWS, I never really looked at it as a “real ” News show. It seem to me that they just recycled what was already being played on the local news channel. What was truly going on in your hood? Who was behind the lenses? Who was in-front of the camera “Reporting the news back to the studio? Good try but it just didn’t fool me. I wanted to see the BET NEWS van on the scene getting “The Truth.”

    Yeah, Bob Johnson had a dream, however, I cannot say it was deferred. Why, because I can see the good things that came out of it. ie: TV One and all the grass-root Black networks out there. Let’s go and support GOOD Work of us.

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