Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Is It That Hard Out There for Black Actors?

Today while I was watching my usual Sunday night Fox line-up, I saw a new commercial for Verizon Wireless. Nothing too exciting about the commerical really. It starts with three Verizon store employees shutting down and exiting the store and . . . hold up, wait, is that Flex Alexander playing one of the Verizon employees?

You can see the commerical below . . .

I was seriously thrown for a loop. That was Flex Alexander. Flex was the star of One on One which ran for five years on UPN. He was a marvelous stand up commediane. He even starred as Michael Jackson in a VHI movie.  He was one of the actors that many within the Black community looked up to because, well, he had "made it."  In this commercial he doesn't even have a speaking part.

After seeing this commercial, I immediately had a flash back of last Christmas when I saw T. C. Carson (Living Single's Kyle Barker) singing in a T. J. Maxx commercial.

Yes - that was Kyle Barker singing in that commercial. He wasn't even the main actor in the commercial.

I had mixed emotions while watching both of these. Should I be excited because atleast these men that I looked up to are still working and booking gigs? Or should I see these as an example of the struggles of black folks trying to survive in an industry that has not been kind to them?

To both of these men I say, "make your paper boo!"  I ain't made at cha.  Although it is discouraging to see them have to take parts that are so minimal (I would even go so far as to say far beneath them), I do understand that we're living in a tough economy and bills still have to be made.  So instead sitting on their pride and turning down roles, these men are still getting out there and making money.

I'm looking forward to seeing both these men in their glory again.  I still have much respect for them. 


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