4 Years In

In the Fall of 2011 I sat down in front of my computer armed with an idea and plenty of time on my hands (I just finished a film and was, shall we say, unemployed at the time). From that, was the start of FilmSwag. The blog celebrated it’s 4th birthday this past weekend. My baby is slowly growing up.

Since the blog has begun, I’ve been amazed at the ever evolving deep pool of roles that people of color have been getting in television (more so than film) these last few years. One of my early articles covered the fact that Taraji P. Henson openly complained that she was not featured in any of the ads or promos for the CBS series “Person of Interest.” Four years later, it’s safe to say Taraji has had the last laugh thanks to some show on Fox.

It hasn’t just been more roles either, but whole families coming into the fray. Two of the more well known shows “Blackish” and “Fresh off the Boat,” aren’t just shows with families that happen to be black and Asian, but make a point to tell the narrative through the perspective of those characters. In order to tell these stories, you need to have writers who are familiar with everyday colloquiums and norms of a particular culture. These shows reflect that.

As for the future of this blog, I’m working on some upgrades and new content. I do admit, I haven’t posted much this year, but I haven’t forgotten about you guys, the readers, and I will continue to try and put good material out there. Here’s to another 4 more years at least. Peace.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Black Actors Missing in Action

It appears even the most prominent of black actors and actresses have a hard time getting recognized for their roles in TV and film. Such was the case last month for Taraji P. Henson of the new CBS show Person of Interest, who took her beef to Facebook and let the world know what was up:

     WOW!!!! TV Guide is NOT including me on the cover with my cast memebers……..I am the female lead of a 3 member cast and I’m not included on the cover!!!!!! Do you see the shit I have to deal with in this business…..I cram to understand!!!!”


We cram to understand too, Taraji. The fact that Taraji P. Henson has not been prominently featured in the ad campaign for this show is puzzling indeed. Clearly it can’t be her credentials. Afterall, Ms. Henson has been nominated for an Academy Award and an Emmy. Also, as she notes, she is the lead female actress in a show that revolves around three people. Let’s take a look at some of the posters for Person of Interest.


Now while Taraji does appear in one of the posters, it’s worth noting that the middle poster is the one CBS chose to promote the most. Here are two versions of the trailer. The 1 minute trailer and the 30 second trailer that was shortened for TV purposes:


In the first trailer we get a ‘blink and you might miss her” glance at Taraji and in the second and shorter trailer Taraji is nowhere to be found. People of color being left out of promos is nothing knew, but the fact that it continues to happen -and to an Academy Award nominated actresses no less- is just a damn shame. I’ll have more on this topic in a future post.