Paul Mooney made his bones writing for “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.” To say the man is a militant lover of Blackness is to understate who he is. Though this might be a hard listen for many, I do believe he brings up many issues that we are not comfortable talking about. He recently gave an interview to the Miami New Times and brought up some issues that we avoid talking about, but really get to the heart of how race is treated in America.
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?
As someone who has been involved in film since the seventies how do you think Black film had evolved from then to what it is today?
It’s the same, it’s just done undercover. It’s still the same – exploitation. White producers like UPN (you pick a negro), any negro you want; they just do these little Black films to get this money so they can produce some stupid White films, cause they love producing stupid White films — even if it fails they’ll keep doing it. Theyll keep that person a star even if it fails.
They like doing their little dumb stuff and they also see White on White as okay like from The Wizzard of OZ wicked and what’s the other thing about going to see the wizzard of some stuff. All that White stuff, that’s okay. When we steal from them, like when we did the Wiz it’s like on sacred ground. The Wiz didn’t do well those White folks did not like The Whiz. You know we were treading on sacred ground you know. You remember? See so you know it doesn’t go but they can steal from us and say it’s theirs like that little dumb Ellen that’s on that little talk show. She stole um — young people don’t know it but you know that dancing that’s before her show that comes from The Flip Wilson Show.
Yeah she stole it. Never said she stole it; little thief but go ahead.
I just want to have a little bit of fun here
Who cried about her dog. I’ll steal her dog and her cat. But go ahead, cause I don’t care about no damn dog, cause I remember when White folks used to sic dogs on us during the civil rights german shepperds and such. I didn’t see them protesting then. And I’m a human being. I’m their species. They was back there saying sic ’em.
To finish reading and listening to the interview click here.