John Ridley, Idris Elba, and Tyrese Gibson are all in the sunken place
There’s not enough fine or success in the world to save hoteps from the sunken place. And Idris Elba, John Ridley, and Tyrese Gibson are evidence of that fact.
I recently learned about the new mini-series Guerilla, Showtime and Sky-Atlantic’s six-part show about the British Black Power Movement in the 1970s. The show is executive produced by Idris Elba (Luther) and written by John Ridley (12 Years A Slave and American Crime). Apparently, this was a long time “passion project” of Ridley’s. He was excited to be able to partner with Elba to bring this story of Black liberation to life.
Why is this an issue? Well, because even though the story is about the Black Power Movement, it manages to have no leading Black women. None.
Rather than cast a Black woman to lead the series, Ridley made the choice to hire Freida Pinto, the Indian actress best known for her role in Slumdog Millionaire (2008). She plays one half of an interracial relationship with lead Black male actor Babou Ceesay (Rogue One and Luther).
Then, on April 6, while promoting the show in London, audience members questioned Ridley and Pinto about this oversight. They were concerned that Black women’s roles in the 1970s UK Black Movement had been erased.
According to Screen Daily, Ridley said,
To me, everything that you’re saying is exactly why that decision is so important. The fact that it’s difficult to accept someone, even though they are of colour, of being with us…
The audience members were still confused as to why no Black women were leading the show since it was not an accurate representation of history. Ceesay and Elba were visibly rattled by the comments with Ceesay asking, “Wow, really? You know this because you read about it?”
The audience members explained that their parents were a part of the movement.
Visibly upset according to Hollywood Reporter, Ridley responded by saying,
The things that are being said here, and how we are often received, is very equivalent to what’s going on right now in the world. My wife is a fighting [sic], my wife is an activist, and yet because our races are different there are a lot of things we have to still put up with.
Essentially, Ridley was upset that his Asian wife has to fight for Black people but can’t get all the credit. So, he decided to make a show where an Asian woman is the literal face of Black liberation in the UK. Makes sense.
At some point, after becoming so overwhelmed by mere questions, Pinto started to cry. This made headline news as everyone rushed to blame Black Lives Matter UK activists for literally asking questions. But, they weren’t activists. They were just concerned people wondering why an Asian woman was cast as the lead in a movie about Black Power, a movement they knew intimately from their own parents.
After reading about the ways that Ridley was contorting himself to justify the erasure of Black women in his show, I realized that this is par the course for Elba and Ridley, both. Elba frequently stars in films where his love interest is non-Black. In his hit Law & Order style show Luther, every two of three love interests where white and the other was non-descript ethnic, but definitely not Black. The only Black woman on the show was frequently angry, shady, and virulently obsessed with Elba’s character. Ridley’s Oscar winning movie 12 Years a Slave featured Black women as sex objects and the classical White Savior narrative. Of course they would come together and conveniently overlook the contributions of Black women to Black liberation.
Then, just a few days later, I heard about singer Tyrese Gibson’s comments about “aggressive promiscuous women” who he thinks are putting on miles “down there.” Apparently this negro is a gynecologist now. He must have leveled up in educaion from Junior Hotep to Hotep Supreme after marrying a Black adjacent woman.
“Because I’m gonna tell you all right now, and this might be harsh. Sluts, skeezers, hoes, tramps and overly aggressive promiscuous women, they are never without a man because they don’t have no standards. They ready to have sex with any and everything that want to have sex with them. But when you are single, and you actually love yourself, you know your value and your self worth you hold out until God sends you whats yours.”
“So sometimes they be talking mess to women that are single but I have a respect for them because if you’re single and you might say, “I’ve been single for a couple years,” what ever the case may be, you actually holding out because you have your value. You have women that are active out in these streets, they going to lunches and dinners every night. Private planes, mega yachts, it’s cracking. They’re never without. However, it comes with a cost, you gonna put a lot of miles on yourself down there, come on.”
He went on to explain that, “this shit is tight but its right. I be having real conversations. I can’t help myself.”
What in the entire Get Out fuck? Why do negroes still think that “putting miles” on a vagina is a thing? Vaginas can deliver 13 pound babies and still bounce back. These ashy penises are not going to break them.
This is Hotepian Logic and it is the reason why we can’t have nice things.
Shortly after, Gibson took to Instagram to post an “apology.”
View this post on Instagram
My mother taught me better than this….. lesson learned in life you will learn that It's not always "what" you say, it's the "how" we choose to say it. For the record I'm far from a misogynist, a male chauvinist or flat out mean….. My intentions were there but my delivery fucking horrible…. And clearly all the way off…. And for that I sincerely apologize to all of the ladies… Even after this apology…. Some may likely decide to NOT forgive me…. Time and consistency heals all wounds…. Although I've been consistently for years speaking on these topics and some of the same words in my message, I have never experienced what I am experiencing right now. – I've been getting dragged and feel the heat from my poor choice of words and approach to my messages, trust me….. Please accept this as my sincere apology for my poor choice of words – Shit gets real when it goes from a social media dragging to my own wife giving me the side eye and coming at me, even she's not happy with the way I've conducted myself…. it's crazy how non-public figures can say and do some really dumb shit and it will stay amongst your family and friends or local in your hood…. When you have been an entertainer for 15+ years the whole WORLD is literally watching you grow up & learn, bump your head, make mistakes and evolve as the world watches…. This is a real lesson learned… This is not just a regular IG post for me. I want to truly say that I'm sorry, I'm not APOLOGIZING in an effort to be politically correct, I apologize as a man first for the things that I've recently said about choices women have the right to make, for the terms that I've used and the way I've come across. I was raised to think and feel certain ways, and I'm learning new things that combat those messages. I am not perfect or all knowing, nor am I the one to claim to be. I've learned things through experience which I share, and through these last couple of weeks, I've learned a lot through this well deserved internet dragging…… This is about a man owning up to his actions, taking responsibility, recognizing how to do better, and actually doing better. Ladies you deserve better…
The problem with all of this is that what Tyrese said cannot be said in any nicer way. Being a cisgender heterosexual Black man and commenting on the ways that women choose to use their bodies can. never. be. said. correctly. Why? Because shut the fuck up Black men. That’s why.
If the sunken place can be seen as a metaphor for the abyss of white supremacy under the cloak of pro-Black ardour, Ridley, Elba, and Gibson are certainly deep up in that bish. And, while I lowkey want to tell these men to get out of there, I am honestly happy that they have outed themselves as Hotepian Wizards.
They are Sunken Place Extraodinaires.
Hoteps of Rank.
Whatever they are called, they can catch me at the intersection of Nevah Again Road and Nawl Boulevard. I’m done. Frankly, we all should be done with supporting Black men who continue to erase, harm, abuse, intimidate, and control Black women.
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