Candyman star Colman Domingo praises the film’s director, Nia DaCosta, for her handling of Black trauma: “You never see a Black body being brutalized”
Colman Domingo, star of Candyman, has praised the film’s director for not focusing on Black trauma in the upcoming horror reboot. The Fear the Walking Dead star appears in the Jordan Peele penned reboot of the cult horror franchise alongside Aquaman’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and WandaVision’s Teyonah Parris. A spiritual sequel to the original 1992 film of the same name, Candyman returns to the Chicago’s Carbini-Green Housing Projects of the original film -now a gentrified suburb filled with luxury condos- where Abdul-Mateen’s visual artist Anthony discovers the truth behind the original killings after a chance encounter with Domingo’s long-time resident William.
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Originally slated for release in July 2020, Candyman has been pushed back several times but is now set for release on August 27. It represents the third horror film written by Peele with the actor, who is known for his comedy roles, having personally directed his previous two efforts – 2017’s Get Out and 2019’s Us. This is DaCosta’s first time helming a horror movie, however she previously directed the animated Candyman prequel short that released in 2020. She is also currently on-board to direct the upcoming Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels which will star Candyman’s Parris as well as a returning Brie Larson.
In an interview with The New York Times, Domingo discussed his disdain towards stories that focus on Black trauma in Hollywood. He described being “exhausted” by such stories and argued that they create a narrative in which Black communities are only perceived as victims. In particular, the actor praised Candyman’s director, DaCosta for not making the brutalization of the film’s Black characters such a focus of the highly-anticipated horror film. Check out his full statement below:
“I’ve been a proponent of saying I’m really a little exhausted with stories that are focused on Black trauma. That perpetuates a narrative — that’s the only way that the world sees us, as being abused and victimized. I love what Nia DaCosta has done in Candyman, which is that you never see any of the trauma onscreen. You never see a Black body being brutalized.”
Colman also highlighted the increase in awareness in Black culture and voices within Hollywood and the steps being taken towards creating a more inclusive environment for Black actors. In the wake of a year that saw numerous social justice protests, especially in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement, this seems to be a trend within the industry towards becoming more socially conscious. Colman gave the example of how some of the stylists on Fear the Walking Dead took time while on filming hiatus to learn how to properly style Black hair, whereas previously he would be ignored.
The treatment of Black characters within the horror genre has been a notable issue for for decades. While the original Candyman film is considered something of a cult classic among horror fans, it has understandably received criticism over the years for its racial undertones and the way it perpetuates harmful racial stereotypes. Chiefly, the way the film has been accused of demonizing Black men by continuing a harmful tradition within Hollywood in which Black men are constructed as inherent threats to White women. It is these harmful elements that the creatives behind Candyman hope to rectify in the upcoming reboot. Viewers will have to wait until Candyman’s release on August 27th to determine whether this new take on the franchise will do the series justice.
Source: The New York Times
- Candyman (2021)Release date: Aug 27, 2021
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