Spike Lee aims for controversy once again as he criticizes Hollywood's portrayal of African-Americans as well as pointing the finger at the black community's complicity in the process. Fed-up black writer Pierre Delacroix (Wayans) comes up with a series idea for a fledgling TV network as a form of protest--a modern day minstrel show complete with performers in burnt cork blackface. Fully expecting the show to fail, he hires struggling street performers Manray (Glover) and Womack (Davidson), changing their names to Mantan and Sleep 'N Eat (a reference to '30s and '40s black actors Mantan Moreland and Stepin Fetchit). The show becomes a surprise hit but also riles a militant black group, resulting in chaos in the lives of Delacroix and his assistant Sloan (Pinkett). The feel of the movie sways toward melodrama halfway through, but the wry observations of the artistic treatment of AfricanAmericans ring eerily true. Don't say it couldn't happen these days.
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Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 135 minutes.
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