The Red Tails movie got the highest endorsement possible a week before it even opened when President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted a White House screening that included a group of Tuskegee Airmen.
The George Lucas film about an all-black squadron of World War II fighter pilots was treated like a an STD by the Hollywood establishment — or better yet, treated like the soldiers were when they returned home to the horrors of Jim Crow — but it was certainly given a full-body bear hug by the First Family and Tuskegee, Ala.-raised radio legend Tom Joyner. The Fly Jock was, in fact, in Atlanta to promote the movie and, with Walmart, gave away hundreds of paid tickets to see the show at an area theater.
Everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Taraji P. Henson to LL Cool J to Spike Lee have come out in force via social media to promote the film and implore African Americans to flood the theaters in their home town:
“WAKE UP!” roared filmmaker Spike Lee on Twitter. “We Gotta Mobilize To Show Up This Opening Weekend For RED TAILS. Ya Dig? Sho-Nuff.
“I hope u’all support the film
#RedTails this wknd,” Oprah tweeted before adding: “Talk to George Lucas all about it on NEXT CHAPTER this Sunday.”
Taraji P. Henson posted this up her weekend plans which will be punctuated with the movie: It’s a
#RedTails weekend!!!!! Who’s gonna see it? I am sooooo excited!!! @jason_bolden and @AdairCurtisare my dates!” said the Academy Award-nominated actress of the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Then Henson added, “RT @KeriHilson: RT @IngaNandiwillis: Before the Tuskegee Airmen, no African American had become a U.S. military pilot. #RedTails
This tweet came from actor Lance Gross: “Support Red Tails!!!!”
Martin also warned theatergoers to check the ticket stubs when they make their purchase to ensure that the movie gets its proper credit numbers-wise.
Former ESPN and current “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, herself the daughter of a Tuskegee Airman, fawned over what her mother is doing in preparation to see the film: “YES!! My mom is going to see it today in Mississippi with some students! So proud & happy! RT
@Cyn90: #RedTails is TRENDING!!!”
Even the mayor of Newark, N.J. chimed in: CoryBooker: So awesome. I will try. RT @dtogilvie: Newark’s own Michael B. Jordan is in the movie “RED TAILS.” I hope u go c it this wkend, Mr. Mayor!”
Lastly, Roland Martin added a stern order to urbanites who run into someone trying to hawk unauthorized versions of the film:
— terry shropshire