Retro Quote #7: Fred Williamson on Blaxploitation

"Who was being exploited? Certainly not me."
- Fred Williamson

The fact is, while socially progressive groups criticized blaxploitation movies as racist, hundreds of black actors and filmmakers were getting paid, and paid well. And not only were they benefiting financially from these movies, they also were finally in control - they were driving this bus, not paid to sit down. I mean, if Fred Williamson (possibly the smoothest and coolest human being currently living on this planet) was being exploited, then I want to be exploited too!

Sure, these films were often violent and dealt with harsh subject matter like drugs and prostitution, but what's the matter with that? I guess the high-minded critics would've been more comfortable had they all been more like Singin' in the Rain. A quote from director Oscar Williams says it all:

"Why wasn't Death Wish seen as "whitesploitation"? How come only the films for African-Americans were singled out as being sexist and violent?"
These films weren't, as a general rule, portraying African Americans in a negative light. Take for instance, Willie Dynamite. He's a drug user and a pimp - but he finds a way out and reforms his life. These critics screaming "racism" were focused on the drug using and pimping, when there's a very positive message that goes completely under their radar.

Plus, who's to say they these movies had to be brimming with positive African American role models? This attitude stifles creativity and makes their characters one dimensional and predictable.  I mean, admit it, the bad guys are always more interesting, anyway.

Morgan Freeman as a wise judge, a wise president, a wise deity, etc., etc., blah, bla-blah. Enough already! I want to see him in his next movie poppin' caps and laying women like there's no tomorrow! Freeman as the Godfather of Harlem, Black Caesar - now we're talkin'!


  1. Right on!

    If I'm wrong for liking Black Caesar better than American Gangster- which both tell the same tale of Bumpy Johnson's rise to the Shogun of Harlem- then I don't wanna be right.

  2. I think one of the best things about those movies was the music. Some great soul and R&B not like the so called "music" hip hop they use for every damn movie now.

  3. I can't get over the "ae" ligature they use in that Black Caesar poster! I'm such a nerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd!