Has the movie “Think Like A Man” been banned in France, as many American websites are reporting?
According to sources at Sony Pictures U.S., the answer is “Non!”
“The movie was never planned for release in France,” said an executive inside Sony’s publicity department, who asked that her name be withheld.
In other words, you can’t “ban” or “cancel” something that was never slated for release in the first place.
Which is not to say that “Think Like A Man” hasn’t fallen prey to the traditionally low expectations and racist assumptions of movie marketers that keep Black American films from overseas markets — namely that Black movies don’t “play” or “translate” overseas.
In the last two days, a number of American websites including BET, The Root, TheYBF, GlobalGrind, TheGrio, and our own HelloBeautiful have picked up the story — namely that the successful Steve Harvey-inspired movie was nixed by French officials for lacking “diversity” (meaning: “Too Black”). The narrative seems to have originated with blogger Fabienne Flessel on Global Voices; who got the word from French blog PeopleBoKay; who in turn credits this Facebook page as a source for the information.
In an e-mail to NewsOne, Flessel said that she had “no official word” of any ban or cancellation, but that her post was “a relay of what the French-Caribbean blogosphere has been buzzing about,” based on “only the bloggers’ opinions and experiences; some of them saying that they saw ‘Soon in your theater’ posters and received the usual [responses of] ‘We don’t [know] when,’ or ‘Eventually, it seems unlikely.’
“As for this post spreading over the American web,” Flessel continued, “it seems that most websites insisted on the word ‘cancellation’ used by a blogger, instead of focusing on the question of the frustration and unfairness felt by French bloggers from African-descent… of not being able to go to the movies to watch a movie with an African-American based cast.”
According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, the only international territory in which “Think Like A Man” has been released is South Africa.
The Sony rep added: “Given the success of ‘Think Like a Man’ in the U.S., France and other international territories are being considered for release.”