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Fear of a Black Planet

By Brian Prisco | Lists | October 15, 2010 |

By Brian Prisco | Lists | October 15, 2010 |

In all the history of film and television, the President of the United States has only ever been played by a black man seven times (technically, eight). In all seven of those representations, only twice has the president not been undergoing some sort of national/worldwide/intergalactic disaster. Granted, usually when any man plays the president, its usually some kind of disaster film, but even then, most them get to be action heroes. Harrison Ford made Gary Oldman get off his plane — Air Force One — and Bill Pullman suited up to duke it out with the aliens in Independence Day. But the black prez rarely get a chance to throwdown.

In the two films where the black president takes office and there’s not a national emergency, both presidents take office only after Whitey dies. In Head of State, Chris Rock is Mays Gilliam, an Alderman nominated only because the muckity-mucks figure he’ll be a shoe-in to fail and how in their right mind would the American public vote a black man into office, chuckle chuckle choke holy fuck this movie was made in 2003. In 1972, James Earl Jones became the first black president on either screen, only because he was the president pro tempore of the Senate and both the Pres and the V.P. died in a ceiling collapse.

But when disasters weren’t snuffing the white man, and a black man managed to make it into office, here were the five results:

1. Dennis Haysbert, David Palmer & D.B. Woodside, Wayne Palmer — “24”

The constant looming threat of terrorism overwhelmed this program. David Palmer eventually gets assassinated, and his younger brother ends up in a coma after an attack.

2. Tiny Lister, President Lindberg — The Fifth Element

The universe is doomed to be wiped out by a vast apocalyptic doomsday cloud, but only if Korben Dallas can use magic stones to save the day. Lindberg does nothing but sweat and look cross-eyed.

3. Morgan Freeman, Tom Beck — Deep Impact

A comet is going to strike the earth, and its up to Morgan Freeman to deliver the unfortunate news that they knew about the comet all along and that they’re only going to be able to save a million people because their first plan to blow up the comet done fucked right up.

4. Danny Glover, Thomas Wilson — 2012

As the world ends with every weather related special effect Roland Emmerich could find, Danny Glover decides to avoid the Freeman debacle and go down with the ship, perishing in the first wave of disasters.

5. Terry Crews, President Camacho— Idiocracy

Only retards and morons can elect a black president, and that’s only because he’s a big violent meathead who blows stuff up and can beat everyone up.

To my knowledge, there haven’t been Asian or Latino presidents (and only three female presidents — in “Commander in Chief,” Kisses for my President, and, again in “24”) because even fiction can’t go that far. But rest assured, should there be, something will probably get fucked up.

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