David Alan Grier Stars In ‘The American Society of Magical Negroes’ Trailer [Video] | lovebscott.com

David Alan Grier Stars In ‘The American Society of Magical Negroes’ Trailer [Video]

Just as “The Blackening” parodied the horror movie cliché that Black characters are killed off first, the “magical Negro” trope is now getting its own satirical take.

via: Vibe

Starring Justice Smith, David Alan Grier, An-Li Bogan, Drew Tarver, Michaela Watkins, Aisha Hinds, Tim Baltz with Rupert Friend, and Nicole Byer, the movie explores a secret society of magical Black people who dedicate their lives to a cause of utmost importance: making white people’s lives easier. It was written and directed by Kobi Libii.

“Watching you walk through a room full of white people is the most painful thing I’ve ever seen,” details the trailer. “That’s why we fight white discomfort every day. Because the happier they are, the safer we are.”

The inspiration for The American Society of Magical Negroes comes from Libii’s desire to create something different than existing films.

“It all sort of starts with the Magical Negro trope. I’m sure you’re familiar with it, but just to define it on my own terms, I think of the Magical Negro as a kind of stock Black character; a Black best friend character who is only focused on helping the white hero,” Libii explained to Njera Perkins at BET.

“They don’t really have an inner life, and they don’t have their own things going on. They’re just relentlessly focused on helping this white character grow in most cases, and I always thought that was so funny. For whatever reason, the idea that there’s a white writer who pictures the thing we do in the morning is getting up and trying to help them. I found it so absurd and incorrect and funny that I wanted to blow it out and criticize it, but also use it as a way to talk about other stuff. What it’s like to grow up as a Black person in this culture and some of the wild and fantastical things we have to do to survive. To me, that’s the origin story of the film.”

According Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania, the Magical Negro term was coined by Spike Lee and the trope has long existed in film, theater, and literature.

“They don’t get a chance to have a storyline,” Thomas explained on a 2017 episode of the NPR Code Switch podcast. “They don’t get a love interest. I think it’s a rather cynical way that Hollywood and mainstream publishing have responded to calls for greater diversity. We keep seeing magical characters of color who don’t provide an adequate or accurate representation.”

The American Society of Magical Negroes premieres at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival before its theatrical debut on March 22, 2024. Executive producers on the project include Mike Upton, Oren Moverman, and Leonid Lebedev, with Libii, Julia Lebedev, Eddie Vaisman, and Angel Lopez producing.

Watch the trailer below.

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