Tuesday, January 15, 2008

‘The Boondocks’ vs. BET

Saber-toothed satirist Aaron McGruder is fixing to chew up on BET in the January 28th episode of “The Boondocks.”

The shit seems to be personal; McGruder goes after his old show-business mentor, filmmaker Reginald Hudlin (BET’s current programming chief).

McGruder mocks him with a character named “Weggie Rudlin,” a Harvard-educated shuck-and-jive artist who takes pride in ripping off “all the shitty reality shows MTV did five years ago.”

(Ouch.)

This episode, titled “The Hunger Strike,” has Huey Freeman boycotting BET.

I have no idea what the personal beef is about. Not only is Reggie Hudlin a credited executive producer of “The Boondocks,” but he and McGruder collaborated (along with illustrator Kyle Baker) on a 2004 “comic novel” called “Birth of a Nation.”

Regardless of the backstory, this episode is bound to be talked about. Here is a 2½-minute preview:

21 comments:

Dan Coyle said...

Apparently Hudlin had no involvement past the pilot with The Boondocks but still has producer credit.

MacGruder has always had a beef with BET, so he may have seen Hudlin's decision to take over the network (which I believe happened after they completed to the pilot) as some sort of betrayal.

Or maybe he just really, really, hates Hudlin's run on Black Panther and the Storm marriage like a good chunk of Marvel fans did.

Undercover Black Man said...

Dan: I'm a lot of different kinds of nerd. But I'm glad I was never a comic-book nerd!

Michael Fisher said...

Who is the dead guy on the table supposed to be?

Mes Deux Cents said...

UBM,

Wow, The Boondocks actually has a plot. I've been misled; someone told me it was just 22 minutes of the N word being repeated over and over.

Edshugeo The GodMoor said...

I'm a comic book nerd of sorts. I'm enjoying Hudlin's run on Black Panther.

I do hate BET, but I've done so before he took it over.

odocoileus said...

*I'm a lot of different kinds of nerd. But I'm glad I was never a comic-book nerd!*

This is so wrong on so many different levels.

We may have to pull your Culture Industry License.

Or send you to reeducation camp.

(Where you would be summarily beaten if you could not, at a moment's notice, explain the difference betweeen blue Kree and regular Kree, for example.)

Stan Lee is god, and we are merely his servants. Amen.

Okay, so I haven't really kept up with the Marvel and DC cosmologies since I was in junior high. My heart's in the right place though. More than I can say for some folks. Mm hmm.

DeAndré said...

It's nice to have something to look forward to. I came across this clip in recent days and was nervous there was some behind-the-scenes battle going on that was keeping me from a fresh episode.

Glad all's well.

Wanda said...

I've heard that McGruder and Hudlin were pretty cool, but like Dan said McGruder's always criticized BET. This is just the first hard satire that he has done. Even during the first season there were a couple of jabs.

David, don't sleep on the comics okay? The only Marvel comic I read is Marvel Zombies, but the Walking Dead is the best!

Bklyn6 said...

I'm really enjoying season two. I'll be on the lookout for this episode.

I like that there are lots of cultural references, some of which go over my head, like the ones in "The Story of Thugnificent".

Dan Coyle said...

David: Hudlin's Black Panther run has been distinctly average: what really got fans knickers' in a twist was the sudden declaration that Storm and Black Panther had been in love with each other all these years, were always meant to be together, and should get married like RIGHT NOW.

Andy said...

Hmmm, interesting.
I checked out the first season via. Netflix and was moderately amused, the wife didn't dig it much. I have a soft spot for the animation style. I'm not sure why though.

As for comic nerds *alert alert*. That's me. I wasn't big at all on the way they got Storm & BP together, but they often do decent things in really shitty ways, so what else is new? It brought lot of attention to two characters _very_ deserving of it, so I think in that respect it was a good thing.

justjudith said...

bet is pretty horrible. and everybody knows how outspoken aaron mcgruder is so none of this is shocking. i do wish bet would evolve though. it is tired...

i don't read comics but whatever happened to spawn??

The Pop View said...

As for the comics nerds thing, I thought it was bad for nerds to pick on other nerds.

This blog cites an L.A. Times article that says Hudlin and McGruder had a “creative and personal falling out.” This 2005 interview with McGruder includes this answer:

* * *
Uh, we don't have a partnership anymore. Reginald Hudlin left the show at the end of the Fox pilot. He is now running BET, and I have not spoken with him in over a year. We have a contractual obligation to give him a credit.
* * *

Anyway, McGruder has always had a hate on for BET, and with plenty of reason. That said, this seems like a pretty specific, personal and mean-spirited attack on the executives, especially Hudlin. But, you know, funny.

As for Spawn, it and its spin-offs are still being published. Al Simmons, one of the few African American superheroes -- and wouldn't you know it, he has to wear a mask all the time! Talk about an undercover black man...

Dan Coyle said...

Pop View: not only does he have to wear a mask all the time, he's stuck in the body of a white guy, last I checked. His face is horribly scarred but when he uses his powers to heal himself he comes out blonde haired and blue eyed. But the series has gone through so many iterations maybe that's changed.

Undercover Black Man said...

Thanks for dem links, Pop View.

Bklyn6 said...

Al Simmons, one of the few African American superheroes -- and wouldn't you know it, he has to wear a mask all the time!

John Ridley must have a thing for undercover brothers. He wrote the screenplay for "Undercover Brother" (and "Three Kings"). And in his graphic novel "The American Way" one of the superheros in a black man who wears a helmet to protect his identity. The story takes place during the cold war and civil rights movement. So, it's rather questionable whether America is ready for a black superhero.

I don't read "comics" but, I really liked this graphic novel.

Comb & Razor said...

Or maybe he just really, really, hates Hudlin's run on Black Panther and the Storm marriage like a good chunk of Marvel fans did.

can't blame Hudlin for that, though... that's all Quesada!

Comb & Razor said...

RE: bklyn6--

yeah, i had kinda noticed Ridley's penchant for Black men hiding in plain sight, even some of his other work.

there's a lot one could read into it...

Dan Coyle said...

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2008/01/16/116-curious-cat-asks%e2%80%a6/#comments

This is a really interesting discussion of the flaws in Hudlin's take on Black Panther's home country of Wakanda as opposed to the Wakanda of Priest, the previous critically acclaimed but extremely low selling BP writer (though without the sales boosting events, Hudlin's BP often slides back down into Priest's numbers)

Bklyn6 said...

yeah, i had kinda noticed Ridley's penchant for Black men hiding in plain sight, even some of his other work.

there's a lot one could read into it...


That's really interesting! (I don't think I'm very familiar with his other stuff.) Maybe he's riffing on Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" paradigm?

justjudith said...

^^lol, sad but true point, pop view. thanks!