Racism, Misandry, & Homophobia The Real Reasons Noah’s Arc Wasn’t More Successful
Since the issue of same sex marriage is a hot button issue in the United States I believe the producers behind Noah’s Arc “should” of made sure this movie had gotten a “wider” release. The quandary for Noah’s Arc is the issue of marketing the movie. How can a movie about young gay black men be marketed beyond the boundaries of the gay community? Unfortnately, I feel the issue of racism needs to be explored into the reasons why Noah’s Arc wasn’t more successful.
Of course, Noah’s Arc is a success because the television show and movie has broken down so many barriers. However, I believe Noah’s Arc deserved better. The show should of been on HBO or Showtime but it was on the American fringe gay channel MTV LOGO a few years ago.
I just found out the Noah’s Arc movie was recently released in the United States last month. According to box office mojo www.boxofficemojo.com the domestic box office for Noah’s Arc was only $482,000 dollars. I think the number is impressive given the fact Noah’s Arc did not receive a lot of media attention. Also, the movie was only released in a few cities in America.
Also remember Noah’s Arc is groundbreaking it is the first black gay television show to ever air on American television. Noah’s Arc did not receive much media attention due to the intersection of racism, misandry, and homophobia. There is still a ”fear” of gay black men in society and even within the North American gay communities. Black gay men we are often stereotyped as sex objects for white homosexual male desire or as drag queens. Was the issue a “fear” of black gay men loving each other?
It is rare in the media to see a movie about gay black men in love with “each other” and not in an interracial relationship with some white guy. It is very refreshing to see black gay love. It is a real eye opener for me because I rarely ever see gay black men or gay men of colour in love with each other.
Black gay men we encounter the deleterious hypocrisy and racism from white gays and homophobia from heterosexual black people. There is a constant tug of war with both communities wanting gay black men to “decide” which side we are on. However, race + gender + sexual orientation are all interconnected.
The television show and movie for Noah’s Arc placed black gay men in the center and no longer on the margins. Noah’s Arc demonstrates that young gay black men we are just like everyone else. The characters Noah his boyfriend Wade, and Noah’s friends Alex, Ricky, and Chance are best friends. I love Noah’s Arc because the gay male characters are not stereotypical bitchy queens or narcissistic gay men.
The black media ignored Noah’s Arc because the show deals with “black gay men”. Noah’s Arc has a special place in my heart because I feel the show relates to the life experiences of young black gay men. I give a lot of credit to Patrik Ian Polk the creator of Noah’s Arc he took the initiative to create his successful show. Patrik should be very proud of himself. I don’t know if Patrik Ian Polk knows this but he has helped so many young black gay men because we can see ourselves and not feel invisible.
Why wasn’t the cast of Noah’s Arc on Oprah? After all Oprah champions herself as being accepting of homosexuality. Noah’s Arc was an opportunity for Oprah to reach out to the heterosexual black commuinity and for a serious discussion about gay black men take place on her program. One argument is that the show Noah’s Arc wasn’t a huge hit and that’s why it did not receive Oprah’s attention. However, Oprah could of done a wonderful episode in raising awareness about gay black men. It appears Oprah only wants to have shows on gay black men when something negative occurs.
Why wasn’t the cast of Noah’s Arc on the Tyra Banks Show? After all, Tyra Banks has gay black men on her show America’s Next Top Model. The only gay black men Tyra Banks wants on her show are stereotypical queens like Miss J or Jay Manuel.
The question has to be asked why wasn’t the cast of Noah’s Arc on the cover of “Ebony Magazine”? After all, I think we are all tired of Beyonce or Rihanna or any of those other black celebrities that grace the cover of Ebony. Ebony Magazine has over 1 million readers why couldn’t Ebony publish an article about Noah’s Arc? Why wasn’t there an article about Noah’s Arc in the black youth culture magazine Vibe? Why wasn’t Noah’s Arc on BET? I contacted BET a few years ago and I only received lip service.
There are so many misconceptions about black gay men and Noah’s Arc. Noah’s Arc should be on mainstream television the show was just that good. Noah’s Arc also was not dirty or slutty like Queer As Folk. The love scenes on Noah’s Arc was very tender and not overtly sexual. I guess the “taboo” is the issue still the idea of black men being in “love” with each other. Maybe the thought of black men actually “kissing” each other is still so shocking for some people in society?
However, the Noah’s Arc movie had a limited release the question remains why? According to the information I have read the Noah’s Arc television show when it was on MTV LOGO a few years ago was a hit. I also learned that the DVD sales for Noah’s Arc was solid. Also, why wasn’t Noah’s Arc released in Toronto?
Why didn’t the Noah’s Arc movie receive an international release? I wish the movie was available in Toronto! Toronto is the most important city in Canada yet it was unavailable for Canadian fans of the show. I guess I will have to wait until February 2009 to purchase a DVD copy of the movie. Noah’s Arc was on MTV LOGO which is basically the white gay channel in the United States. The MTV LOGO promotions department obviously did not promote the program to reach a black audience. I remember when I purchased the first season of Noah’s Arc last year my sister was hooked. I also recall how “hard” it was to find the series. I basically had to investigate all across Toronto until I finally found the series. It is interesting that the white gay show “Queer As Folk” was given major media attention when it was on the American cable network Showtime. The cast of “Queer As Folk” was even on CNN Larry King. The cast of Queer As Folk have been on the cover of all the major gay magazines such as Out & Advocate. It is interesting that the gay media have basically ignored Noah’s Arc. The gay audience is a niche market.
Noah’s Arc “could” of been successful if the heterosexual black community was aware of the program. I believe Noah’s Arc might of been a real good educational tool to the heterosexual black community. Gay black men we may be gay but we are still black. We go through the exact same issues black straight people go through such as dealing with life’s struggles, the friendships, relationships, love, happiness, sadness, and pain.
I believe the producers behind Noah’s Arc should of attempted to reach the mainstream black community. Maybe the people behind Noah’s Arc did try to reach out to the black and mainstream media but were ignored? Maybe MTV LOGO did try to reach out to the black media but encountered homophobia? The issue of homophobia in black communities across North America is a very serious issue. Everyone knows about the gay preacher or the gay pianist in the black church. Everyone has a gay uncle or cousin. It is ignorant when some people say that black people don’t know about gay people. Of course we do.
I just think it is very sad that the Noah’s Arc movie did not receive a wider release! I wish the Noah’s Arc movie was released in Toronto. Noah’s Arc has a cult following and the television show and movie deserved better.