It's about our community and our spirituality!

A Face Synonymous With Failure

To say Eddie Murphy made some box office bombs is an understatement.  The greater percentage of films with him as the major attraction have been less than stellar box office hits.  For every 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop, Boomerang, and Coming to America, you’ll have a Vampire in Brooklyn, Beverly Hills Cop II & III, The Klumps, Bowfinger, and Holy Man.  Eddie Murphy’s flops have been pretty spectacular.  The Adventures of Pluto Nash and Meet Dave were about as entertaining as a persistent case of toe jam.

And while I’m complaining about Eddie Murphy let me give a shout out to that crap of a film called The Haunted Mansion.  I’m happy to say that I never saw the entire film.  But while waiting for something else to come on the tube, I caught the final minutes.  Supposedly, Mr. Murphy’s character spent the entire film trying to get his wife back from some spiritual realm.  And at the end when he does get his wife back he stands idly by as his wife plants the most intimate of kisses on some white guy who stole her in the first place.  He risked his life and family to get his wife back, and then just stands by cracking lame jokes as his wife sucks face with some white guy from her previous wife.  This movie was totally ridiculous and confirmed Mr. Murphy’s willingness to play the role of a black man being emasculated by a white man.

Eddie Murphy movies are dumb.  Eddie Murphy movies are lame.  And Eddie Murphy movies are big financial risks.  But believe it or not, there are bigger box office actors who have an even worse record than Mr. Murphy.  According to Forbes, when it comes to Hollywood’s most overpaid stars, Mr. Murphy comes in a relatively paltry fourth.  For every dollar Mr. Murphy was paid, his movies earned $4.43.  Will Ferrell easily topped the list with every dollar he got paid returning three dollars.  Second was Ewan McGregor with his films giving up $3.75 for every dollar he earned.  And rounding out the top three was Billy Bob Thorton giving four dollars for every dollar he earned.

But when it was time to pick an actor as the image to draw people to read the story, when it was time to select the face of who will be the person to associate with being overpaid, when it was time to pick the actor whose face will appear with the headline, Mr. Murphy was the one given the honor of top billing.  Was it just a coincidence that Mr. Murphy was the first black actor on the list?  Ice Cube was another black actor that appeared on the list and he came in at number five returning just $4.77.  But it was the image of Ice Cube that was selected to appear in the introduction to the countdown that web surfers would click through.  But that’s just supposed to be another coincidence I’m sure.

Is the fact that Eddie Murphy is on the list more interesting than the fact that Will Ferrell is on the list?  Are we to believe that the fact that Eddie Murphy appears as number four is more interesting than Tom Cruise appearing on the list as number six returning $7.18?  Is Mr. Murphy more interesting than Drew Barrymore making her debut at number seven or Leonardo DiCaprio coming in at number eight?  Rounding out the top ten was Samuel L. Jackson at number nine and Jim Carey pulling up the rear.

Normally, when somebody tops a list, their face is the one associated with the list.  If we were to see a story about a beauty pageant and somebody was to pick a photo to go along with it, it makes perfect sense to pick a picture of the winner.  What sense would it make to pick one the contestant that came in at number four top billing?  Or how about the FBI most wanted list?  They don’t give the number four most wanted guy top billing.  When the FBI do their list they give top billing to the guy who earned top billing.  It’s not rocket science.

Will Ferrell earned his spot as the most overpaid actor in Hollywood.  Therefore, he earned to be the face most associated with this story.  He deserved top billing.  I’ve never seen a movie featuring Will Ferrell worth watching and it appears not many other people do so either.  Talladega Nights, Semi Pro, Step Brothers, Land of the Lost, and somebody keeps giving this man money to come back and do this kind of thing again?  Is anybody really surprised to see him at the top of this list?  What’s surprising is that somebody wants to try and spare him the humiliation of being known as the face of the worst investment in Hollywood.

But then again, seeing how somebody wants to make a black man the face synonymous with Hollywood failure, it should be no surprise at all.  We all know how much easier it is for America to accept a black person as the face of failure.

Saturday, January 2, 2010 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Racism, Thoughts


  1. Have you seen Elf? It is a holiday favorite at our house. We don’t gather expecting high brow entertainment. Trust me with four kids finding a movie that first brings everyone into the same room at the same time is a major feat. It is silly, movie line quoting kind of flick that we enjoy every year. Wouldn’t be the same without Will Ferrell. Anyway you might want to give it a try. Might like it.

    Comment by ellen | Sunday, January 3, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the feedback ellen,

    I have to confess that I’ve never seen Elf. The only Will Ferrell movie I’ve ever had any interest in seeing was Stranger Than Fiction. His rather juvenile humor seemed to be toned down significantly. It was a decent film. But for the life of me I can’t remember how it ends and I’m usually pretty good at remembering movies and television shows. If I ever get the gumption to see another Will Ferrell movie I will make it Elf. Thanks for the suggestion.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, January 3, 2010 | Reply

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