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Whoopi Goldberg Speaks Candidly About Color Purple Blowback

Oral history recorded for posterity so no sugar-coating. She is kind of all over the place but its interesting observations....

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by Anonymousreply 3106/10/2021

I agree with her. That was a stupid boycott.

She should have won Best Actress that year, and Oprah should have won Best Supporting Actress (Oprah never gave a performance like that again).

by Anonymousreply 105/06/2021

Spike isn't happy that Spielberg made a better black movie than he could ever make.

by Anonymousreply 205/06/2021

Whoopi is much more alive here than she is on the View, and the only times she has appeared energized on that show is when she's talking about acting. She needs to leave the View, get her ass back to LA and get some streaming show.

by Anonymousreply 305/06/2021

Spike Lee's "how dare he!" B.S. bullied Norman Jewison out of directing "Malcolm X", but in this case Spike actually "put up" and directed it himself.

by Anonymousreply 405/06/2021

Well, I for one, LOVED "The Colored People" - it was an important milestone in cinematic history!

by Anonymousreply 505/06/2021

We have Eliza Doolittle on the phone to talk about the famous movie "The Colored People with Money". Thank you for joining us Eliza.

by Anonymousreply 605/06/2021

Mish Shelie

by Anonymousreply 705/06/2021

Yeah, I remember the blowback. There was definitely a kerfluffle over the depiction of Black men in the book--spoiler: Alice Walker was not a fan.

Spielberg got some excellent performances out if his cast--career bests for a lot of them.

by Anonymousreply 805/06/2021

One of the best movies ever, a favorite of mine I can watch over and over.

by Anonymousreply 905/06/2021

This is so disingenuous. Once Spielberg was interested there was no way John Singleton or Spike Lee could have gotten the property--so saying "Why don't you make the movie?" is a bit like saying "If you don't like the royal family, why don't you move into Buckingham Palace."

And to claim that the film had to avoid depictions of lesbian characters because it was 1984...also not exactly true.

by Anonymousreply 1005/06/2021

Why didn't Spike or John make the movie before Spielberg, surely as real black men they were aware of the novel prior to Jewish man?

So the movie includes the depiction of a lesbian character, now less people go to see it and less people are able to have their minds changed on race and it delays the overall education on civil rights. Things aren't always black and white, even if social media has lead people to believe they are.

by Anonymousreply 1105/06/2021

"You ought to bash Mr. ________ head open. Think about heaven later."

by Anonymousreply 1205/06/2021

[quote] Alice Walker was not a fan.

It might be more accurate to say she had mixed feelings about it. She has her own hangups and issues but yeah, Spielberg telling her his favorite movie was Gone With The Wind probably didn't set her at ease.

The book she wrote about the process of the movie, The Same River Twice, is very interesting. And apparently, the way it was done for the musical is closer to what she'd originally envisoned.

She did appear in this, though.

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by Anonymousreply 1305/06/2021

Writers NEVER like the movie versions of their work. Hell, Steinbeck didn't even like John Ford's movie of The Grapes of Wrath.

by Anonymousreply 1405/06/2021

But Steinbeck did like the adaptation in 1939 for OF MICE AND MEN.

by Anonymousreply 1505/06/2021

Against my aesthetic judgment, I enjoy "Color Purple." Whoopi was as great as the bad material (the last 1/5) allowed her. The Best Supporting Actress worthy wasn't Oprah, who gave a mannered, rather clumsy performance, but Margaret Avery. Alas.

As for writers never liking movie versions of their work, GB Shaw famously permitted a "happy ending" to PYGMALION but acted out being highly insulted that the Americans could presume to "award" him with anything concerning his work, as if a man of his stature were to be besmirched by anyone thinking he possibly could care about it.

by Anonymousreply 1605/06/2021

R11, ummm The Color Purple was not some small press book that found an audience. It was a major listing from a major publisher. It was an immediate best seller. It was a Pulitzer Prize winner.

So no, it was not a book that black people would have known before white people.

Also, if the usual patter of the time was in place, the rights were probably already sold before the book came out. And they went to the highest bidder who then controlled who would be hired (or have the rights re-sold to). So most the rights holder wanted the biggest name so that they could get the biggest return on investment.

by Anonymousreply 1705/06/2021

[quote]Once Spielberg was interested there was no way John Singleton or Spike Lee could have gotten the property

Singleton was only 17 in 1985 and didn't direct his first feature until BOYS 'N THE HOOD when he was in his early twenties.

As for Lee, would TCP have been a blockbuster hit had he directed it? TCP was #4 film of the year, after BACK TO THE FUTURE, RAMBO II, and ROCKY IV.

by Anonymousreply 1805/06/2021

People forget how much the African-American community detested TCP. I believe that is why it went home empty-handed despite 11 Oscar nominations. The Academy likes to stay away from controversy, so when prominent black figures strongly objected to the movie, they decided not to disturb that hornet's nest. Of course, now black people think that the Academy was being racist for not awarding TCP, because the AA community now embraces the film. Go figure!

by Anonymousreply 1905/06/2021

Don't kill the messenger, just sharing some observations....

In many ways TCP was considered radical for its time. Black leaders in the 80s were concerned with looking very respectable and proper (readL whatever makes white people comfortable) in a way that today, young black leaders would reject as "respectability politics."

I don't know that it was radical, but as with Toni Morrison and other authors, these ideas and thoughts, these stories, were new and emerging from both a literary pespective and an academic one.

40 years later I think culturally these ideas and stories are more familiar to us, and not seen - as so many stories in the 80s were - to be A Representation Of All Black People Forever. We understand now that this is a universal story, but also these people in a time and place.

by Anonymousreply 2005/07/2021

(sorry, just getting around to this thread now after saving it weeks ago)...

I've written this in other threads. Listening to everything Whoopie said, only further validates my idea that now would be a great time to do a remake. But instead of a feature film, make it a 6-hr miniseries. That way it can be entirely faithful to the book, and bring the story to a whole new generation of people. Have Oprah produce it for her OWN Network, she can hire someone like Ava Du Varney to direct, and I bet Spielberg would not only give his blessing but would executive produce. Whoopie could have a cameo of some sort.

by Anonymousreply 2106/09/2021

Only in Hollywood could bland dreck like THE COLOR PURPLE be considered controversial. The only things I remember are the ridiculously drawn out knife/cutthroat scene and the ridiculously out-of-tune "Keystone cops" scene (a classic instance of Spielberg's reliably bad taste).

by Anonymousreply 2206/09/2021

You know his being a white Jew also set them off.

by Anonymousreply 2306/09/2021

How about let Ang Lee direct it? You know how the blacks love Asians.

by Anonymousreply 2406/09/2021

TCP is my second or third favorite lesbian ensemble flick after FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL KILL.

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by Anonymousreply 2506/09/2021

[R23] True enough, but Caryn Johnson (Whoopi's real name) certainly knows how to play the white liberal Jews like a violin.

by Anonymousreply 2606/09/2021

Margaret Avery was the most luminous presence in that movie. The final scene always reduces me to tears when the sisters are reunited after Mister repents of keeping them apart. The movie had its flaws , but the relationship between Celie and Nettie is gorgeous. Whoopi Goldberg was outstanding, and Oprah was serviceable. Danny Glover I thought was a small miracle in that role.

by Anonymousreply 2706/09/2021

[quote] Whoopi Goldberg was outstanding, and Oprah was serviceable

I suppose some people would service her for the money.

by Anonymousreply 2806/09/2021

Just like Nikole Hannah Jones, Spike Lee is a BOTTOMLESS well of grievances.

by Anonymousreply 2906/09/2021

Fuck Spike Jones - he would have ruined TCP if he'd gotten his short little hands on it.

by Anonymousreply 3006/09/2021

R22 black activists objected to it mainly because the film was written/directed by white men and they thought the black men were portrayed as buffoons and/or sexual predators. Some also didn't like the hints of lesbianism that remained in the movie. In short, they thought that TCP was one big minstrel show perpetuating stereotypes of African-Americans as incompetent clowns and sexual deviants.

by Anonymousreply 3106/10/2021
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