• Classic Moments In Black Cinema: Black Acting School in “Hollywood Shuffle”

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    Robert Townsend in Hollywood Shuffle

    When Robert Townsend’s Hollywood Shuffle was released in 1987, it was a hard time for African-American actors in Tinseltown.

    The blaxploitation genre of films had largely died out and were largely looked down upon due to their depictions of African-Americans.  However, the types of roles that African-Americans were getting in the post-blaxploitation era of the early 80s, were just as bad.   Robert Guilliame was still playing a servant in “Benson.”  Nell Carter was a housekeeper in “Gimme A Break.”

    In Shuffle, Townsend brilliantly skewered Hollywood’s treatment of African-American actors, most notably in the “Black Acting School” segment of the film.

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