White audiences react to 'Best Man Holiday' 'race-themed' headline

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The Best Man Holiday brought in $30.6 million this past weekend, surprising box-office prognosticators who had predicted the $17 million film wouldn’t generate more than $22 million.

USA Today set off a social media frenzy Sunday when they tweeted and published a headline that read, “‘Holiday’ Nearly Beat ‘Thor’ as Race-Themed Films Soar.”

After considerable backlash on social media, USA Today changed the headline to “’Holiday’ Nearly Beat Thor as Ethnically Diverse Films Soar.”

In an interview with theGrio, the film’s director, Malcolm D. Lee said, “to call The Best Man Holiday a ‘race-themed’ film is extremely limiting and downright ignorant and tiresome.”

“I think people are fed up with being categorized as separate and apart from what mainstream movies are categorized as. The notion that there’s a ‘black movie,’ ‘urban movie,’ or a ‘race-themed’ movie makes the film sound like it’s not for anyone but the people that look like the actors in the poster. It’s extremely limiting… I think it’s ignorant and it’s tiresome at this point. The movie was enjoyed by African-Americans, but it’s a movie that can be enjoyed by all races,” he added.

TheGrio caught up with white moviegoers in New York City’s Times Square to get their reaction to The Best Man Holiday being labeled as a “race-themed” film and to see if they plan to check it out in theaters.

Follow theGrio.com’s Entertainment Editor Chris Witherspoon on Twitter @WitherspoonC