2013 is going to be incredible, if for no other reason than because this will undoubtedly be the year the cultural discourse shifts from simple discussions of "race" or "racism" to the majestic land of "how we talk about and react to race in mixed settings." While ideas of a "post-racial" society are but a single cute step below thinking the world was going to end on December 21 on the "awwww, that's cute" scale, what we are in 2013 is post–"race and things typically associated with a single race existing only within that racial silo." Finally.
As 2012 came to a close, a few things in the media's racial-discourse sphere took place that hinted the cup was set to runneth over. In December, we had a black sports commentator call a black quarterback essentially "not black enough," and the result was supporters of all races coming to the defense of the Third Griffin, telling this black commentator that he had no right to define what was black. And then, to top it off, he was reprimanded by his superiors, many of whom are white. Bonkers. In the past, passing judgment on a matter like this, whether against or in favor, could really only come from other esteemed blacks, because who else had the right to comment on what was "black" and what was not? That, as was made evident, is no longer the case.
Looks like Eddie Murphy, post Tower Heist, is not quite ready to head back into the warm embrace of crappy family comedies: He’s now attached to play Marion Barry, the troubled former Washington, D.C. mayor who served six months on drug charges in the early nineties, for an HBO biopic that would be directed by Spike Lee. If this doesn’t work out, though, Murphy might just move into a more traditional latter-day Eddie role, quite possibly as a fast-talking rug salesman who accidentally inherits a wacky orphanage? Grade: A [HR]
HBO has given a pilot order to Da Brick, a drama about a young boxer growing up in Newark, New Jersey (a.k.a. “Brick City”). Loosely based on Mike Tyson’s life story, it’ll be co-produced by Tyson and Entourage’s Doug Ellin; John Ridley is writing the screenplay, and Spike Lee will direct the pilot. Doug Ellin describes the project as ‘‘Entourage meets The Wire," which might have just made some people very angry. Grade: B+ [Deadline]
James Franco has dropped out of his upcoming Broadway debut Sweet Bird of Youth, Tennessee Williams’s play about a gigolo who seduces an older actress to get his show biz break (Nicole Kidman remains in the cast). “From now on, it’s only projects with monkeys for me,” Franco did not add. Grade: D [EW]