The film studios have so little interest in all-black films that even Hollywood royalty like George Lucas struggled to find a distributor for his latest work, Red Tails. Lucas didn’t mince any words when explaining to Daily Show host Jon Stewart the source of the problem:
“It’s because it’s an all-black movie. There’s no major white roles in it at all. It’s one of the first all-black action pictures ever made.”
Lucas spent 23 years making the film, which is based on the true story of a crew of African American pilots who fought in World War II and helped start the civil rights movement. “I financed it myself. I figured I could get the prints and ads paid for by the studios and that they would release it,” he explained to Stewart. “And I showed it to all of them, and they said, ‘Noooo. We don’t know how to market a movie like this.’ It’s not green enough.” And by green, Lucas means profitable.