Speaking at a diversity panel last week, Effie Brown — who produced Dear White People, as well as Jason Mann’s Project Greenlight movie, The Leisure Class — acknowledged the power of Black Twitter in raising and proliferating diversity issues that have shown up on this season of Project Greenlight:
“Black Twitter is real, and that’s what I told HBO. You know what was beautiful? Black Twitter showed up, and so did everybody else. These things, people can turn on a drop of a hat, but everybody kept really strong with that. [Social media] is a big call-and-response, a new millennium call-and-response. You can’t do something shady right now and think that nobody’s gonna hear about it.”
To get a sense of just how “real” Black Twitter is, one needs look no further than the response to last night’s airing of The Leisure Class on HBO. The show itself has been generating a meager 150,000 live viewers or so this season, and I suspect the film itself didn’t fetch many more than that. In spite of that, #TheLeisureClass was trending on Twitter last night.
Why? Black Twitter.
And they were brutal to Jason Mann and his film, for good reason. It was terrible, but it wasn’t just terrible, it was terrible for all the reasons that Effie Brown highlighted during production, although much of her feedback was ignored by delusional director Jason Mann, who eschewed criticism in favor of his own stubborn vision. Rather than fight to improve his story, Mann fought to shoot on film instead of digitally, and when Brown and others alerted him to his weak female character, he ignored them in favor of reshooting underexposed scenes.
It was a disaster, and Twitter took Jason Mann to task for it last night. I don’t often celebrate piling on, but I hope Mann was checking in on Twitter last night, because he desperately needed the reality check.
Here’s a sampling of the brutal reactions:
It's odd they fought for a car crash at all; they already had a trainwreck. #TheLeisureClass— Jason Folks (@Jason_Folks) November 3, 2015
I now understand why Ben Affleck didn't have more notes for Jason. He wanted to see a movie worse than Gigli. #TheLeisureClass— Dhaval (@dpmsocial) November 3, 2015