|Paul Mooney: PaulMooney.blogspot.com|
Back in the '70s, Paul Mooney dug up nuggets of comedy genius as a writer for shows like The Richard Pryor Show, Sanford and Son, and Saturday Night Live. In 1987, he opened for Eddie Murphy's Raw tour. He invented In Living Color's Homey D. Clown, and played both Negrodamus and the guru from "Ask a Black Dude" on Chappelle's Show. So, why isn't every TV addict in America groveling at the man's feet? Well, like Dave Chappelle explains in the introduction to Mooney's recent memoir, Black Is the New White: "Why isn't Mooney a mainstream star? ... Paul Mooney was too black for Hollywood!"
See the cut for a conversation with Mooney about racism, The Beverly Hillbillies, and President Obama.
New Times: What does it mean to be too black for Hollywood?
Paul Mooney: That's so funny. What does it mean to be too black for Hollywood? It's self-explanatory. Hollywood has certain kinds of blacks that they like. You know better than I do. You watch TV. You know who your favorite is. I mean it's like there's a certain thing that works. And I don't fit that comfort zone. I'm too on the edge. I'm too arrogant. You know, I'm from the South ... Too uppity. You can just name the ones they're so into, from Tyler Perry to Tracy Morgan.
There are still plenty of movie people peddling black stereotypes. I guess Tyler Perry's probably the most massively successful. Have you even seen any of his movies?
Of course I've seen his movies. That Precious ... Him and Oprah both should be taken out and horsewhipped. I mean, what Christian would read that script and say, "I have to put this up on screen." That Precious was The Color Purple 2. I was offended by it. All black males are offended by it. Listen, if you have money and you have fame, but you don't have any confidence in your blackness, then it's all for nothing. You know, Hilary Clinton could say she was a woman and running for President. And Sarah Palin could say she was a woman and running for Vice-President. But Obama couldn't say, "I'm black and I'm running for President." It couldn't come out of his mouth. He couldn't say that because, if he did, he'd lose votes. Do you understand what I'm saying?
(click here to read the full story on the Miami New Times website)