Haters Gonna Hate: Stepin Fetchit
Hatin’, the most despicable act a so called critic can perpetrate, in the Hip Hop era, has become a plague upon the Black entertainment industry. From C. Delores Tucker denouncing the late Tupac Shakur’s “profane” lyrics; and subsequently suing the latter’s estate after his untimely demise (The act of a true hater), to South Park pitilessly ragging on Kanye West and Tyler Perry, Haters are all around us. Do not be mistaken though, Hatin’ is nothing new; its been around since the very beginning of what may be called “Black” Hollywood. Stepin Fetchit, arguably the first black movie star, was relentlessly hated on by many within the Black Intelligentsia of his time.
Stepin Fetchit, originally named Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry (his parents knew their Presidents), made his first Hollywood appearance in the film In Old Kentucky. He was cast, in what would become his signature role, as the “laziest man in the world”. It was this role which brought flak upon Perry (Fetchit) from the NAACP and other black leaders at the time, as they claimed the role perpetuated a negative black stereotype.
While the black political and academic leaders of the time were complaining, Perry was busy becoming a millionaire; all the while breaking down racial barriers in Hollywood. As for the Black entertainment industry, Perry did more than the NAACP could ever scheme up to open doors for black entertainers. I think it safe to say, that without Perry there wouldn not even be a Blallywood.com today. Beyond what he did for Hollywood, Perry was also a contributor to the Chicago Defender, a newspaper primarily for African Americans, which pushed for black equality.
So, Haters, please back up, quit complaining, and let the true innovators do what they have to do.