Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chris Rock Pulls A Steve Harvey: Stop Stealing From Black Women!

I knew it!!!

Rock is being sued by filmmaker Regina Kimbell for copyright infringement for swiping her film My Nappy Roots with his insulting "make fun of black woman hair angst" rip-off. I hope she has a good lawyer. If he can't get the case dismissed outright he'll probably seek to settle it with a non-disclosure clause attached.

Why is ANYONE surprised? Black men pushing out or outright hijacking black women creators of stories that are supposedly of benefit to us is all the rage these days apparently. Tyler Perry did it to Nzingha Stewart with For Colored Girls. Now here comes Rock with the uppercut! One can argue about access and clout and financing and blah blah blah but the BOTTOM line is these men are out to make money at our expense - and can't even be bothered to come up with an original concept themselves. They think they have the right to sell our stories back to us through their flawed perspectives while erasing us from participating in the first place.

As long as we FOOLISHLY support these parasites we will continue to be fed off of!

Kimbell showed (why Regina why?) Rock her 2005 documentary in 2007 and he's taken her idea and run with it. Allegedly. Much in the same way Harvey is being sued for plagiarism by author Sharon P. Carson over her book, "Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man". Yes it's the same title - but her book has actual empowerment themes. His watered down version doesn't even compare. Rock's nearly 1.5 hour MOCK-U-MENTARY cracks jokes against black women throughout the entire piece - because being chased by a giant ball of hair is so funny.

Nor does his documentary address the core of the issue why so many women suffer the effects of a colorist and sexist black community. He claims it's supposed to be "good" for us but actions speak louder than words. So many black women question their worth because of the self-hate and subjugation of weak-minded black men. It's due to women having to navigate through a patriarchal society where male approval carries a lot of weight. It's because these men as a collective choose to opt out of their blackness wherever they can and ridicule us at every opportunity. Still so many black women are ignoring the obvious. It's due to the lack of boundaries being set and the "go along to get along" mentality.

While it's true hair care products and their ilk is a billion dollar industry so is the porn industry. So is food processing. So are many other industries that seek to chip away at our self-esteem or make us question our worth. The bottom line is intact families with confident parents who want their children and have a solid spiritual practice and values wouldn't be so easily assaulted by some faceless corporation and its interests. Turn off the tv. Don't read that magazine. Stop funding those that tear you down. Remove the oxygen from the leeches and they'll wither away. Don't put race construct above your elevation and thriving. It's all business to them and as long as you are willing to hand over your hard-earned cash they'll take it to bash you with. So the cycle continues.

Other groups of women are assaulted with similar messages yet their communities are not in the state of decline like the dead black community is. They still have a culture that uplifts the women in the group (racial construct). The focus cannot only be sent outward to blame others (i.e whites and racism) for what is at its core an internal problem of hatred of the things that make us uniquely black. It goes from labeling women with certain skin tones as being undesirable to longing for hair that blows in the wind with ease. It goes from some women proudly announcing how they don't "need" a man to the expectation from some men that they should work, cook, clean, raise children, provide sex and other resources all without benefit of marriage. We've been railroaded and run over. Aren't the miles of tire tracks across our backs enough? Instead of seeing the forest for the trees and GETTING OUT too many black women remain, clinging to totems of a by-gone time and battle and belittle each other instead.

More and more are getting it though. These "famous" men couldn't really have that many career opportunities if they have to constantly steal borrow ideas from the black women. If we cut them off they wouldn't have a career in fact - or at the very least would NEVER pull the crap the do. For all their "jokes" there's always certain people they never offer up for laughs. It wouldn't be tolerated. Hollywood (and the corporate world) may be harsh but nobody likes a low-down dirty dog who can't properly compete against other men and shifts their focus to fighting women for crumbs. Oprah may need to reevaluate her ability to stay neutral as this is 0-for-3 to giving unfettered access (and her "sanctioned" blessing) for these projects.

Speaking of that - where is all this "black love" for BLACK WOMEN?! This hijacking of our ideas and cannibalizing the purity of these projects for some messed-up version is going to continue as the bottom-feeders continue to get more desperate. Black women who have creative skills are going to have to get way more business savvy, social media acclimated and STOP ASSUMING ALL BLACK MEN HAVE OUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART!!

They don't.
The proof is in the pudding....and it's dried up and rotten.


Tyler Perry Will Botch For Colored Girls


Anonymous said...

I am so glad you posted this!

I saw this this morning and I believe he stole it. I hope he gets his backside handed to him. As well as Harvey.

IP cases well I suppose all law cases are difficult and lengthy so they are not to be entered lightly.

She probably showed him the project thinking he would assist her in some way with distribution, funding etc..

There are a few batty women who are taking up for this crud already.

Harold Michael Harvey said...

This is a Hard hitting piece. It is about time some one takes on the giants of comedy who strive by gather material on the culture and passing it off as fun and games.

The Harvey Journal

Vera B. said...

I also think that we need more black women business owners because we do the most purchasing in our community. Look at the hair business, very few of those dollars are going back to the black population. I think it's outrageous considering how much hair and hair care products our people purchase. If more black women had the know how they would become owners.

Someone online once said, they said it more than once actually,running a business isn't really that hard black people just don't have the brains to do it and that's why Asians are able to come in our community and sell to us. Someone really said this. I think it's the women of our community that will make or break it and it's important that we succeed because we can't depend on the men. Then the Chris Rocks and Steve Harveys would be eliminated but we'd haft to support each other.

When u say, an internal problem of hatred of the things that make us uniquely black. I agree completely.

What ever happened to the Steve Harvey case?

loryn said...

You know, I said this with Steve Harvey's book and I'll say it with this too

Let me see the film before I write the man off as a woman-hating monster.

I think we should see the products before we form such a negative opinion

However, I DO think it wd have been different movie if a woman was behind it or at least starring in it.

Like even if Chris Rock put his money behind it I wd have rather seen Wanda Sykes actually star in the film.

Gloworm said...

Wow, can't believe all the hatin' going on here. You are accusing Chris Rock of stealing Regina Kimbell's story even though he was already working on his film before he allegedly asked to see her script? Have we heard his side of the story? And why are you pitting Black women against Black men? There's an awful lot of generalizing going on. There is nothing new about this story. I have a friend who made a movie about the same topic 12 years ago. It's called Middle Passage N Roots... look it up. I guess she should sue Chris Rock AND Regina Kimbell. Or Iyanla Vanzant might want to consider suing you for using the name "Act of Faith" in your blog title. Let's hear the facts before we all start jumping to conclusions.

Anonymous said...

The Misses,

There are Black owned salons and product manufacturers. The question is are BW buying?

There have been many stories about how badly Korean store owners treat their BW patrons and yet BW still come back to give them their money - despite the treatment.

BW know that black store owners and manufacturers are being knocked off and muscled out, but they still choose to purchase from the Koreans.

Anonymous said...

Loryn, why are you defending Rock and Harvey? Why is is so important to be fair to them vs Ms Carson and Kimbell?

Have these men consistently proven themselves to be good allies to BW?

The precedent has already been set. Look at their attitudes towards BW. Look at the way they handled the material.

If you want to see the original products you can go to either one of their websites. It is there as plain as day.

Anonymous said...

I'm not ready to say that Chris Rock is automatically guilty. He very well may be but it's erroneous to say so just off someone filing a lawsuit.
I'm going to need more proof before I make that assessment.
Also how do we know that Perry hijacked Stewart? was it Perry who did the hijacking or Lionsgate who probably wants to make as much money as possible off having the rights to the film? he could have conceviably turned it down but they would have just went to another big name producer/director(probably a white one) in order to get the most exposure for the film.

Nia said...

Faith said:
"Black women who have creative skills are going to have to get way more business savvy and social media acclimated..."
I agree 100%, and that's something I have been striving to do lately.

Also please check out the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association. I find the information they offer very useful, and I agree with what they are trying to do. Here is the link:

Unknown said...

The crazy part is that this happens more often than not to people from all stripes.

BUt i think Faith brings up a great point (over and over): these stories belong to certain people to tell.

As much as I hear my wife and her friends discuss issues with beauty and hair, I DO NOT have the experience, the knowledge, etc., to speak on it let alone make a film about it.

I also don't have the right to tell women what they need to do to get a man.

There is however a wonderful on line doc about Koreans and others muscling in on AA hair products. I have to dig it up

Unknown said...

got it

Anonymous said...

@ Gloworm

"even though he was already working on his film before he allegedly asked to see her script?"

This means nothing.

An idea can't be copyrighted. Execution of that idea can. If there is an overwhelming percentage of a product (film, book, TV show) that is similar to another in the treatment of the material- then that is infringement.

Anonymous said...

"Or Iyanla Vanzant might want to consider suing you for using the name "Act of Faith" in your blog title."

Titles can't be copywritten.

Now if Faith had written a book that had this title and it was very similar to the one that Iyanla Vanzant wrote then that would maybe be a case.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Aphrodite: I saw your earlier comment on the other thread and realized you would not have seen today's post yet. We'll see what happens, but as I said legal cases are tricky. That's why we have the court of public opinion!!

Harold Michael Harvey: Welcome and thanks for the kind words. It was meant to be hard-hitting because we have so many hard-headed people who wish to remain in the Matrix. It's nice to be reminded there are some black men who can read, comprehend and not make it all about themselves. - As you may see below others are not as collected as you are.

The Misses: Good point about the business ownership but as you may have noticed collectively blacks don't support other black businesses, particularly African Americans. It goes back to the desire to escape blackness thing. Also even I'm not going to blindly support a business owner due to race. I want to know what they're giving back, if they're helping clear a path for other black (or even if that help is limited to certain inter-ethnic support) AND whether that person is supporting black women with my money. So we'll see. It's a multi-tiered issue.

loryn: You can choose to spend your resources any way you see fit. You could also buy Ms. Kimbell's documentary AND Ms. Carson's book if you're going to do a proper evaluation and comparison. Further, why is there a caveat regarding having a comic in a documentary about what should be a serious evaluation in the first place? That's also part of the problem.

This isn't a JOKE and we should not be held up for ridicule. Don't you get it that this just denigrates black women as a whole and drags down our public stock? That keeps black women from exploring all their options as they remain in a narrow black-focused construct instead of seeing themselves as global citizens with the entire world at their feet!

If you don't support these endeavors at elevating black women and still wish to blindly support any black man even after he's publicly shown apathy for us as a collective what are you doing posting here? Since you disagree why keep coming back to further debate the issue. Your ideology is still that of one stuck in the DBR Matrix.

And here come the DBR/No Value/Low Value Whiners:

1. This is NOT a black man's blog (for excusing, defending or uplifting) so if you come here be prepared for the truth not your version of what's acceptable. We do NOT grade on a curve here with regards to behavior of the COLLECTIVE.

2. Learn to READ and COMPREHEND. I was very specific in speaking of the collective instead of individuals with the exception of those I'm specifically referring to: Rock & Harvey & all you trolls and whiners.

3. If you don't like what I wrote write your own blog post about it or move on - nobody cares about your lack of agreement. Stop whining and complaining about what black women discuss on black women blogs. It's pathetic! Rapists don't have a problem raping, thieves don't have a problem stealing, and you excusers and deniers will continue to tell someone it's not raining in the middle of a thunderstorm.

4. You are free to DISPROVE my position at any time. Though I doubt you'd even heard of Kimbell or Carson and you most certainly didn't review their work before rushing off to defend and deny the THIEVES. Of course you can't disprove anything as these cases are still pending AND you don't know what you're talking about anyway. EVEN IF they both lost you'd still find some sort of excuse for them. --NEXT!!

And as for the title of my the blog, I am allowed to use it and that is such a stupid comment. Titles are not subject to copyrights and your extreme ignorance is showing - not a surprise there.

Also Vanzant is not the only author to title a book Acts of Faith. Paulo Coelho, Eboo Patel and a few others also have books with this title. I've read them all and they're brilliant. Please go somewhere and buy yourself a clue!

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Brother OMi: Thanks again for a) related material b) not being a jerk. You are my male commenter touchstone.

Nia: Thanks for the info.

Aphrodite: You responded faster than I could. Thanks again.

Gloworm said...

@ Aphrodite

My point is we don't know whether he infringed on her material or not. I haven't seen the movie or her script, so freely admit that I don't know. But to assume the worst of him because someone who had a similar idea is suing him is premature IMHO. Yes, he had the means and connections to actually get his film done. Doesn't mean she can't still make her movie eventually. If he did steal her work, I hope she wins her suit. I'm just wondering why she showed him her script in the first place. We see these lawsuits all the time. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie regardless.

Oh, "Act of Faith" is not just the title of one of Iyanlla's books. It's also been the branch of her company that produces seminars and workshops.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Gloworm: This is the last comment I am allowing from you. This level of IGNORANCE will not be tolerated. Clearly you didn't even bother to READ the blog post.

Kimbell's documentary was already finished. Rock viewed hers while he was making his. Since you now admit you don't know what your talking about don't come back here until you have something of substance to offer. This is reading 101 and you FAIL.

This post has nothing to do with Vanzant either and I have neither the time nor the inclination to go through rudimentary concepts with you.

If someone is going to DISAGREE at least have some facts to counterbalance and not nonsensical jibberish or obfuscation topics.

I'm not publishing any more of this nonsense.

The title of my blog is Acts of Faith In Love and Life by the way.

Anonymous said...

No problem Faith, :)

I wonder why all these BW have a need to be "fair" to Rock and Harvey. No thought about Carson or Kimbell at all.

It takes me back to all the conversations that Evia had on Muslim Bushido about some BW needing to be fair to those who are devouring them.

BM like Perry, Rock, and Harvey are not protecting/helping/uplifting BW. And so many BW see what they have done as "positive".

They are thieving and on top of that they have adopted the methods of their oppressors in Hollywood.

I think back to the films that were by whites showing what they thought black people were like i.e. visions of happy negros singing soulful spirituals while picking cotton in the fields - tap dancing and playing the fiddle for master - usually whites in blackface.

Perry and Rock are doing the exact same thing in my mind sans blackface.

I hear Perry wants Oprah, Halle Berry, and Beyonce Knowles as actresses in For Colored Girls.

I could maybe see Berry, but with TP producing and directing...

Then Oprah - a two time convicted murderer of black classic novels as an actress...

And Knowles - Jesus please be an acting coach 'cause we need good diction and Stanislavski right an actress - it will be a hot butchered mess for the Gods!

"Also how do we know that Perry hijacked Stewart? was it Perry who did the hijacking or Lionsgate ....he could have conceviably turned it down but they would have just went to another big name producer/director(probably a white one)."

It doesn't matter. It is morally wrong on so many levels.

It is interesting that peeps would more than likely never stand for whites etc telling BM's stories. But this is supposed to be ok because its not that bad - at least he is black.

That is not good enough.

This line of thinking reminds me of Black folks who say well you should not rail against hip hop artists for the violence and woman hatred they spew or the videos they make. You should be po'd at the labels and execs.

Well, I was never raised/led to believe that white execs were my comrades in the "race" struggle therefore there is no expectation for them to be obligated to me; to defend me, my image, and well being, but I was led to believe/indoctrinated that BM (who most of these artists are) were.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Aphrodite: Just in time I have an exchange with a black woman on Twitter who is soooo outraged that I'd dare to question the random black male sacred cow that she's appointed herself guard dog and soldier to slay any black woman that would dare question the motives of these men:

Anyway I should not engage with trolls but the lack of insight amongst the masses still astounds me. Agree or disagree but don't deny that this MOCKumentary is being watched by whites and that they're laughing at it - and us because it's been served up just like Amos N Andy.

Aisha said...

Brother OMi said:

"BUt i think Faith brings up a great point (over and over): these stories belong to certain people to tell.

As much as I hear my wife and her friends discuss issues with beauty and hair, I DO NOT have the experience, the knowledge, etc., to speak on it let alone make a film about it.

I also don't have the right to tell women what they need to do to get a man."

Thanks for pointing this out Brother OMi! I've been saying all along Chris Rock is not the right person to do this documentary. He has a lot of nerve, actually. It's irritating me more and more to see him on shows such as Oprah, The View, etc acting like some sort of spokesperson for Black women and their hair. Please!

I'm actually beginning to view this film as a travesty and I haven't even seen it.

Anonymous said...

That exchange was sad Faith.

Mess and hate? Is that the best she could come up with?

I think she should write Ms Kimbell and Ms Carson and express those sentiments to them if that's how she really feels.

BM don't have to be accountable for anything - wow.

I have competing feelings about BW like that. I think they need to snap out of it. At the same time I feel provoked.

BM have no right to control images of BW or discuss our issues especially concerning racism and sexism.

This feels so evil. I get what you were saying in your post about the sudden appearance of "championing" by the evildoers. It is because they want to control it and keep us under their thumbs.

And they are making money from it to boot - that is exploitation plain as day.

Karen said...

Further proof that the BC is not salvageable.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense would see that there is nothing good about this PERIOD.

Again, so-called "comedians" earning top dollar at the expense of AA BW and most will PAY to be used and abused. Well, my hard-earned money will not be spent for this trash. The Film trailer was enough. It was so far removed from any type of "documentary" handling of the subject.

As far as I am concerned he and those like him need to sit down. They are not qualified to tell our stories....

BTW, I don't see them running out to make movies wrapped up as comedy while attacking Becky... SMH.

Anonymous said...

"It's irritating me more and more to see him on shows such as Oprah, The View, etc acting like some sort of spokesperson for Black women and their hair. Please!"

Just flip the scenario and insert random white guy in Rock's position and Black men in BW's position.

"I'm actually beginning to view this film as a travesty and I haven't even seen it."

Its exploitation. It started with the bodies of BW and now its moving on to devour more.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Aphrodite: Ugh I know between dealing with the true DBRs, the men that like to assume they're enlightened and wonder why I'm "picking on", "rushing to judgement of" and the "I need to see the bloody glove" or the "why you talkin' about Chris/Tyler/OJ/R Kelly" types we get the black women who will fight you for shining a light in dark places.

I'm thinking of Khadija's blog as well and like her I won't be posting about any of these situations much longer. I didn't enlist in "save the dead black community" service or martyrdom. I have to keep my own eyes on the prize which is self-elevation and choosing a partner and environment of uplift. Also in maintaining my divestment plan.

All of those people who don't heed the warning will be swept up in the great Flood of Depravity. More black males will continue to annihilate each other, more children will be lost and more women/children will be left to the predators.

These things are so obvious, the writing is on the wall and people still want to walk around with blinders. It's been 3 months for me since I stumbled out of the DBR Matrix and I will not go back!

The economy is going to get worse and it'll be even more difficult for the black collective. Black teens have the highest unemployment (and never-employed) status in the country.

People want to defend Chris Rock or any of these MILLIONAIRES, making them even richer they can go right ahead. I hope they'll have someone to support them and listen to their sob stories as more people go under, as more black women are told they're not good enough and more people figure out the president is NOT going to rescue them!

Onward & Upward for those that choose to see.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Karen: It's Oprah-sanctioned so it's all good, right? Apparently Rock has gotten unprecedented media access per a few high powered PR pros. He was on the View, Tyra, Mo'Nique, Wendy Williams (on Fri), Leno and a bunch of other venues.

There's plenty of black women being fattened up for the collective image slaughter, thinking they're going to a party....

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

I'm done talking about this ya'll. On to tomorrow's Good News post!

bwdb said...

I also hope justice will be served...On the same token, my hope is also for BW to begin standing up for themselves...More specifically, begin taking control of their own creative interests....


This is not hating...It's current events...Obviously by the preponderants of evidence, there is enough to goto trial...Your friend who named a movie or Iyanla Vanzant has nothing to do with this discussion...Stop derailing!

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

CW: Ok one more comment - you are correct in assessing that bw MUST stand up for themselves. I'll add that they also need to stop blindly supporting any random bm as well but I think we can already surmise that. Suing Rock is Kimbell's way of standing up for herself - just like Carson's had to do with Steve Harvey. Ntozake Shange already sold the film rights to Lionsgate so there's little she can do regarding Perry - except to publicly denounce him. After all of the grief she's suffered at the hands of disgruntled black males mad for having their mistreatment exposed I don't think she'll be inclined to go through that again.

Unknown said...

I know you're 'bout done with this topic; just wanted to say I enjoyed it. I too am sick of these bm making a profit from us--and I used to like chris rock. I'm rethinking a lot of things lately. Thanks.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

To the filmmaker who sent me the link: I'm not providing a spotlight for ANY male focusing on black women's hair for profit and definitely not a white male - no matter how good your intentions may be. This is a topic that should be closed to mass consumption and should only be told by black women for black women.

Sharifa: That's ok. I haven't closed comments - yet. My blood was boiling yesterday though. I'm doing a follow-up post because Rock was on Oprah today and I got some more info about My Nappy Roots. I was also approached by another filmmaker. Divesting is an absolute necessity. I have to constantly evaluate whether I've had enough distance emotionally from the DBRs and their dirty work. Thanks for stopping by!

sTellaS said...

I am certain if a female black comedian were to put black male pathology on display in a comedic documentary she would be scorned.
Hair is the least of the problems facing the black "community".
Black males have shown their disdain for our skin, hair and features,(provided those features weren't Eurocentric)for years. I would not be spending one red cent on any Chris Rock projects in the future.

By the way,Great Blog.