Once again, Black men in Hollywood are doing THEE most, and not in a good way.
I'm sure y'all are aware of Showtime's newest miniseries, "Guerilla", that premieres this Sunday. Written by "12 Years A Slave" screenwriter John Ridley, it tells the story of the Black Power movement in Britain, centering on an interracial revolutionary couple of a Black man and an Indian woman. Sadly, previews of the series have left everyone asking "Where the Black Girls at?", because apparently, according to Ridley, it's more important to fetishize interracial relationships because he's married to an Asian woman, than to get historical narrative correct and not throw Black women under the bus via erasing us from our own history.
And after dodging justified questions on why Black women were erased from the series, then flat out saying that he "cannot entertain a dialogue about whether the lead character in this show should be black or Asian"(which wasn't asked, at ALL) and getting emotional and admitting he chose a NonBlack Woman of Color for the lead because his wife is a NonBlack Woman of Color, Ridley has responded in a subsequent interview with this:
The criticism takes Ridley by surprise because he never thought of Black women in the first place.
As you can see, Ridley tries to take the easy way out of being held accountable for Black Women erasure by using the old "if you don't like what I'm doing, make your own thing" defense mechanism. What he doesn't know is that by erasing Black women from historical narrative, he not ONLY perpetuates misogynoir, he also shows himself as a cooning "Ascended Black", just as he did with that clickbaity "essay" he wrote for Esquire back in 2006, where he claimed that it was time to leave those welfare queen and hood niggers behind, with their/our 15 baby mommas and gun toting or whatever Republican racist trope he's internalized and accepted as truth about his own people over the years. And we all know that most Black men who accept that White Supremacist definition of us, will do everything they can to separate themselves, to show White society they're not like "those niggers over there". That often includes distancing one self from Black women and aspiring to have access to White women and NonBlack Women of Color (just like White men), especially those cooning Black men who achieve the level of success Ridley has. Ridley projects this problematic nonsense and his want of putting his interracial relationship with his wife on a pedestal at British Black women & all Black women's expense via our erasure. And on TOP of that, he has the unmitigated gall to dismiss criticism and justified concern and anger by telling folks to "tell our own stories".
Ridley is telling us that not only does he not want to tell just OUR stories, but the WHOLE DAMN STORY. We cannot trust our men to get historical narrative correct if they insist on erasing us at every turn, except to be filler parts as sex workers and traitors to the Black Power movement.
And you know what? Ridley is free to tell whatever story he wants. That doesn't mean that Black women have to watch and support it, and given the dismal view numbers Guerrilla's series premiere pulled, many Black women, such as myself, made the very same choice. It's really unfortunate, because if the series had not went out of its way to perpetuate a colorblind narrative at the erasure of Black women from our own resistance movements, Black women women would've come out in droves to watch. If there's one thing, you can always count on Black women to support media and goods that cater to and do right by us. And if you DON'T do right by us, well....YOU know the rest of the sentence.
I would advise John Ridley to fetishize his Asian wife on his own time, and NOT when it's time to write shows and movies , especially shows and movies that are based on historical FACTS and where Black women are an integral part TO that history.