LGBT A Black Queer As Folk??

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by CoCo, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    hmm... or we could just get a black character or two on the actual QaF... But oops, that would be all of Em's screentime.

    [​IMG]
    In July 2003, during Black Gay Pride weekend in Los Angeles, Patrik-Ian Polk was standing in a club full of gay black men when he was struck by the thought that there wasn't a single series on television aimed at this audience. Polk decided then and there that he was going to do something about the situation. "I thought, 'I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I'm going to find a way that won't require the powers that be in Hollywood to write checks and say yes,'" explained Polk, who is perhaps best known as the writer/producer/director of 2001's "Punks," an independent film about four gay black men trying to find love in Los Angeles. "I said before I left that club that by the same time next year the show would be a reality."

    Polk's dream has indeed become a reality with the launch of "Noah's Arc," although the series isn't on television. Instead, it's available for purchase on DVD. Using his own money and funds solicited from successful gay black men eager to bring his vision to life, Polk made the series without the help of Hollywood. "There's no example to even point to that would suggest that [Hollywood] might be interested in a show like this," Polk said.

    In fact, Polk charges that even the gay white producers behind "Will & Grace," "Queer as Folk" and "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" can't be bothered to feature gay black male characters in leading roles on their shows. "You would think that gay people, having gone through what we've gone through, would be more open-minded. But the reality is, the gay community is just like America. It's just as racist. It's just as segregated. So it's not surprising that they don't [include gay black men] on those shows. They don't even think about it," Polk contended. "You would think in this day and age we wouldn't have a show like 'Queer as Folk' be completely all white."

    Polk points out that in the 1980s, it was the norm for television drama series, such as "St. Elsewhere" and "Hill Street Blues," to have at least one black character. "So it just baffles me why, from the project's inception, no one from the ["Queer as Folk"] organization, no executive at Showtime, nobody on the producing staff, nobody in the casting office said, 'Do all of these guys have to be white?' They all look like brothers. I really don't get it."

    "Hollywood is progressive, but not in terms of race," continues Polk, who has worked in development on films ranging from "Election" to "Soul Food." "I don't care anymore. Now I'm like, 'Fuck it.' We need to do our own shit because if we sit around waiting for "Queer as Folk" to wise up, we'll never see it."

    Polk poured his heart and soul into the making of "Noah's Arc," which plays like a cross between "Sex and the City" (one of Polk's favorite shows) and "Queer as Folk." The central figure is Noah (Darryl Stephens), a struggling screenwriter, who Polk swears is not based on him. Noah has just begun a relationship with a fellow screenwriter named Wade (Jensen Atwood), who has only recently come out.

    Noah's circle of friends includes Alex (Rodney Chester, who was featured in "Punks"), an HIV/AIDS counselor who has no problem keeping it real with his clients but who isn't so forthright with his anesthesiologist boyfriend Trey (Gregory Keith). Then there are Ricky (Christian Vincent), a playboy who owns a trendy clothing store, and college professor Chance (Doug Spearman), who has married Eddie (Jonathan Julian) and adopted his partner's 3-year-old daughter after only a brief courtship.

    Are any of the show's stars gay? "Our cast is about half and half -- half gay, half not," Polk says, declining to identify who was which. (He and the actors have decided that doing so would "take away from the show and the characters.")

    Polk says that over the course of the show's first season, it will explore all kinds of stories, ranging from the light (the top versus bottom issue) to heavier themes such as HIV and AIDS in the gay community. "AIDS is still such an issue in our community, and it's been proven to us that traditional methods of outreach and prevention aren't reaching our community. We don't have programming out there that can address these issues. We don't have a "Queer as Folk" that's doing storylines about HIV," Polk said. "So as long as I can [deal with HIV and AIDS] in a way that's not didactic or preachy, that's what I want to do." Episodes one and two of "Noah's Arc" will be available for purchase beginning in July through www.noahsarc.net. Meanwhile, Polk has found some interest in the series among television networks. He has had talks with the gay channel Here! TV and the soon-to-launch gay network Logo. "We'll see what happens. I would certainly consider it if anyone came to me with an offer. Anything that's going to get my show to a larger audience, I'm definitely down for, as long as creatively we can keep the integrity of the show intact," Polk commented. "In a perfect world, this show would be on HBO, and all would be right."
     
  2. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    It seems to me that gay television is moving in baby steps. They're already testing the limits of social acceptance by tackling the subject (although, by being in the media so much, homosexuality seems to be gaining some ground). However, because these shows are focusing on one marginalized group: gays, it's easily overlooked that the marginalized group within this marginalized group: gay minorities, are being largely ignored.

    Even most regular TV shows in the mainstream (except for those on UPN ;)) rarely have more than the minimum of minority characters required to meet the quota. It's bound to happen eventually that gay minorities come into the forefront of the entertainment scene, but it may be a while before they're able to build the support necessary to establish and sustain anything more than a tiny cult following.

    That's just my take on the situation. On whether or not it happens any time soon, I honestly really don't care that much. Being a minority myself, I rarely see minority characters in the mainstream portrayed as anything other than stereotypes. If that's the only way that minorities can be portrayed to make them acceptable by the masses then perhaps it's best they're left out altogether. If the mainstream can't get it right, then hopefully the gay community, being more sensitive to marginalized groups, will do them greater justice once they enter our niche of the media. Can you imagine an asian gay on TV? Think William Hung with an 800 SAT math score, saying "I know kung fu" in broken English with a lisp.:rolleyes: Or a black gay? Think Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier doing the movie critics on In Living Color in the early 90's (I believe that's where the 3 snaps came from?).

    In any case, I'm not in a rush to see gay minorities in the media. Like I said earlier, baby steps. Until then, I'm perfectly content to watch Queer Eye and Will & Grace sans minorities.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2004
  3. QUEEN BLUE

    QUEEN BLUE Guest

    Well there was Dijon, like the mustard, on Queer as Folk for like 10 minutes. They should pick up a black gay boy or 2.
     
  4. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    yea, I luv QaF and all, but they can use a lil spice in the mix...add a lil extra flava. I don't think an all black QaF-ish show would do it for me, unless it had a whole different concept.
     
  5. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    So, I've been trying to get my hands on the DVD's for a year. No bite. Seemingly, they pulled all of the copies because networks started sniffing around... They got picked up by a network (which, they won't say (yet)) and they start production of the completed series in Feb 05. They are scheduled, seemingly, to air in the summer of 2005.
    Web -> http://www.noahsarc.net/

    Trailer -> http://www.noahsarc.net/noahs_arc_temptation_island_trailer_hifi.wmv

    Cast ->
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. BalkanBabe

    BalkanBabe Guest

    OMG... can someone say yum? ... wait.. i can !!... YUMMMMMMM!!!!! :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :yum: :yum: :yum::yum: :yum:
     
  7. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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    Wait, there have never been black people on the regular one?
     
  8. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    ...definitively three times, but arguably seven.
     
  9. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Soooo, this show premiers Oct 19th at 10pm.


    -EDIT- On LOGO...
     
  10. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Anybody with Direct TV wanna up it for the rest of us?? :x:
     
  11. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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  12. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

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    I keep missing it... but I want to check it out
     
  13. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    I'll admit to really loving the show. Patrik and I actually talk a lot, and so I'm pushing for either longer episodes or a longer season. 12 30-minute episodes just doesn't do it for me.
     
  14. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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  15. jordan04

    jordan04 The seeds of love have taken hold, and if we won't

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    I'm so pissed Ricky stole my haircut. Yes... it looks a little better on him but, whatever.
     
  16. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    ...don't tell me anything abut it! I have not seen it, and will not until I get back to the States at the end of the month, speed to your brother's house, and have a marathon... You should come!
     
  17. Faghot

    Faghot We had one foot on the gas& one foot in the grave, OT Supporter

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    I like QaF, so hopefully this show is good.

    Actually, i'm more addicted to The L Word than anything. :run:
     
  18. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    The L Word is HOT! Just wait till you see next season's cast...:yum:
     

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