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The HBO series Project Greenlight is the most difficult show to watch. It is filled with white men who feel more than entitled; they act as if they are taking part in a prophetic art by creating a movie, about rich white men, called The Leisure Class.

Does anything look strange about this photo?

Does anything look strange about this photo?

In the last two episodes of Project Greenlight, producer Effie Brown explained that since there are no ‘people of color’ cast in the movie as primary or secondary and that there have since been no casting of a person of color as an extra in the movie, that they be sure to keep in mind not casting a person of color for ‘servant’ roles in the film. Of course a black man ends up being cast as a chauffeur, Effie stops everything, and everyone else acts like she’s wasting time. This episode was originally called ‘Hot Ghetto Mess.’

“The issue that I’m having,” Effie says while on set, “and it’s becoming an issue, is the lack of representation of people of color in this movie. I’m uncomfortable with the chauffer being a black person.”

Afterwards in her one on one interview she had this to say, “I have said on more than one occasion that I wasn’t going to have a person of color being in a subservient position… a butler, a chauffeur, these are tropes that we have seen time and time again and I think those images are done. It’s time for us to tell a different narrative.”

Marc Joubert, in his one on one interview after Effie speaks to him about finding a new actor to play the chauffeur, has this to say, “I get it, I understand it, I just don’t want to spend a lot of time on unneeded drama here.”

There are so many dynamics at work here. What I thought so fascinating about Effie’s statements over the past two episodes, of not wanting people of color in service roles, is that nearly every person of color on the show is in some kind of subservient role. Effie is not supposed to be in so much of a service role as a collaborative role, but she is constantly trying to keep a budget, is constantly being overridden by white men, and is frequently relegated to the role of ‘mad woman’. The Farrelly brothers quit the show because they cannot seem to work with Effie, and this only because the director, Jason Mann, acts like a child, going from parent to parent asking for permission, never accepting a no, until he runs everyone in circles to get what he wants. Whether that be the format on which he records the film, he presses for film over the less expensive digital option, or accepting that the grandiose car accident scene he has written is far too dangerous.

And Mann acts as if The Leisure Class, a dark comedy about upper class white twenty somethings behaving badly, is a story that needs to be told. While it is easy to understand that this is an amazing opportunity for the director, it is difficult to understand the importance and pressing nature of his staunch positions for his ‘vision.’

Why is this cringe-worthy series worth watching? Because it is the epitome of white men acting entitled and manipulating the world around them, only to get what they want. Without consideration to almost anything else and rejecting any idea of modification when confronted with valid criticism. It is worth it to see these things in action, I am sure each rich white man on the show believes they are the furthest thing from discriminatory. I am sure they believe they are equal in their treatment of the sexes and races. They are not, and I am glad that we have these tremendous struggles brought to light. I also do not want Effie to go through the rest of this season alone.

The name of the latest episode was changed from Hot Ghetto Mess to The Pivot, and HBO explained there was a ‘production mistake’ with the title. There is a trailer for The Leisure Class online, it debuts November 2 on HBO. I watched the trailer. I did not laugh once. Maybe that is only because I do not find anything funny about rich white men acting like jerks.