By: Melvin Walls
Roland Martin intentionally rocks the film, movie, and entertainment world by informing and educating viewers watching the Roland Martin Unfiltered Digital Daily Show, by Speaking earnestly and subjectively regarding the famous hit series in the 90s (Living Color, Roc, and South Central). He asked the viewers and co-host panel to guess who owned the network that funded those classic hit Black entertainment shows, in his straightforward and rhetorical Q&A response, he answered unapologetically; that the entertainment vigilante was the Founder of FOX legacy media giant (Rupert Murdoch) who launched in the autumn of 1986.
On the Roland Martin Unfiltered Daily Digital Show, Mr. Martin provides an “Master Class” episode in his own right regarding the rise of the streaming platform called “Tubi”. The one-time CNN contributor slams FOX Entertainment for baiting the Black American audiences who have supported shows like Living Color, South Central, the present-day entertainment entity called “Tubi”, which manages a multi-million subscriber-based streaming portfolio, that provides a place for independent movie creators and film producers to display their craft and digital niche. It’s worth noting that “Tubi” has over 74 million active users and subscribers who indulge in movies and streaming content on any given day, also it is essential to point out that Mr. Martin is very absolute regarding the bait-and switch tactics of legacy media giants like FOX Entertainment Studios that maintain their wealth from grasping the attention of black audiences during events like the Superbowl, with advertisements from the National Football Association (NFL) and its sponsors; funneling the revenue obtained from blacks to political lobby groups like the Republican party. Although Roland Martin has been known to appear and contribute storylines for CNN shows like Anderson Cooper’s (360) segments that are fueled by the opposition i.e. the Democratic party and its activist. He is independently speaking on this topic at hand from an unbiased perspective, and experience.
Roland parallels the ties between the great success of FOX Enterprise and their sister affiliates to Black Owned media entities, talents and or companies while emphasizing that the money and revenue acquired for the actors, actresses, directors, producers and black content creators; that have made their careers, likeness, and personal brands; Empowering programs for but not limited to Living Color, Roc, and South Central were just the foundational pawn pieces for Rupert Murdoch and FOX media groups to land huge contracts with the National Football Association (NFL), and other mainstream platform partners while paying cents on the dollar to the actual black talent that propelled the media empire(s) and their brand. What’s very imperative in Rolands’s critique of “Tubi”, and the other entertainment platforms that the average black American audience supports; is to have an “Understanding of the media infrastructure” and who is funding the mainstream ideologies and their agendas behind the scenes, while neglecting the Black American movement, and their economic deprived communities.
Mr. Martin attests that TV-One (Black Owned) celebrated its 20th annual birthday last week on Martin Luther King (MLK) day, he emphasized that he was the face of TV-One since its launch. The TV-One empire was founded by (Cathy Hughes) who indeed is the second richest and wealthiest black woman in the United States after (Oprah Winfrey). Roland also lands a major blow towards entrepreneurs and media executives like (Elon Musk) acquiring free speech platform X (formally known as Twitter), Matt Walsh and his employer the Daily Wire, due to their known dislike for the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) policies. Martin also breaks down history in regard to the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN); stating that it previously had a 50/50 split in the diversity of talent and media contributors, but soon after the success of the network she sold her stake back to Discovery. Roland stated there are few to no premium shows airing on the (OWN) network, which in his perspective the only popular content being displayed consists of reality shows that portray classless and “raunchy” episodes that are being targeted at and about the black community, using terms like “Tent Pole” which defines building other content and shows around a spotlight and marketable program.
Roland later educates the audience regarding the difference between the infrastructure of “Black Media”, “Black targeted Media”, and “Black-Owned Media”, stating that audiences often get entangled in the “Black targeted” category accumulating between 90 to 95 percent of entertainment revenues which in turn is funneled back to the legacy entities and their affiliates.
Roland sounded the alarm for actresses like Taraji P Henson while comparing a story that Tyler Perry provided regarding Cicely Tyson in which he gave compensation for one day of work that totaled ($1 million) due to being undervalued in her previous years of acting. Martin stated that Perry has set the marketplace scale for black actors and actresses to be fairly paid; he strategically and intentionally points out that Black fraternities, businesses, and organizations that rent out huge theatres to watch movies made by i.e. the legacy entertainment corporations. Martin mentioned films like “The Color Purple” which made history this previous Christmas day of 2023, it grossed between $18-25 million dollars while totaling $58 million in ticket sales and counting. Although the number seems beneficial to the black actors and actresses, Martin strongly advocates that most of the revenue will be funneled to major platforms like (Warner Bros. Discovery, and Warner Media).
In Conclusion, what Mr. Roland Martin has preluding to and emphasized is if those same black fraternities, businesses, and or audiences would support the “Black Owned” businesses instead of “Black Targeted” media groups that as a collected people; we could, would and will build residual black wealth for generations, instead of being naive to the digital platform infrastructure and funneling processes that fuel corporations like FOX, Disney, Warner Bros. and yes even platforms with the name “Tubi” that ultimately trickles little to no benefit for Black Talent and their respected communities.