An absorbing and harrowing look at a cutthroat industry culture that runs on raw ambition and hidden shame.


AppBLACKation Rejected


A Hollywood consultant’s scathing report on what he sees as Tinseltown’s race problem.

Racism has always pervaded American life, but as Johnson recounts in his first book, it has adopted new and insidious forms in recent years, particularly in Hollywood, where he worked from the early 1990s until quite recently. He describes an industry in which black actors are chastised for turning in performances that read as “too refined,” in which a TV network executive won’t hire a black musician because “he scares me, and I’ll deny I ever said that if I have to,” and in which, regardless of race, all participants “seemed to get off on degrading anyone below them.” Johnson tells these anecdotes as asides to his own story: that of an aspiring writer in Los Angeles who can’t catch a break. After arriving there from the Midwest, Johnson discovered that “Blacks had their areas, and so did whites, much like Chicago.” The movie business is segregated, he charges. White executives guard their turf through employment intimidation, he writes, and the search for “like-minded people” often means further marginalizing the already marginalized. Johnson explains that young black filmmakers do get opportunities to work, but if those projects fail to live up to expectations, their creators aren't provided with second chances. Johnson writes with grace and intelligence. At times, he seems to set down harsh facts against his own instincts: his temperament is somewhat conservative, and had the episodes he recounts been less egregious, he may not have felt the need to record them. The reader curious to know how an idea becomes a script and then a property and then a movie or a television show will find a step-by-step insider account of the process here, one chronicled with unhappy wisdom but without bitterness. “They played the game dirty and used undetectable discrimination tactics to beat me and other blacks right [off the playing] field,” Johnson writes toward the end. His engrossing story should make readers sorry they did: Hollywood would be a better place if he was still a part of it.  

An absorbing and harrowing look at a cutthroat industry culture that runs on raw ambition and hidden shame. 

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9969046-0-5

Page Count: 338

Publisher: My Day in Court Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2020

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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