APPENDIXH Title Page Format Title of ITP -fµ<$ m tS £MC XTroù oP-ßMj^C Bv fr\frecM s w&si E&.SO /J if[p Ho? A Master Thesis Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Media Arts of Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Media Arts. Date of Oral Defense fLjJSTJ 30 1 0 Date of Thesis Exhibition Department: Media Arts Media Arts Graduate Program ITP Advisors Nam Name (theo Signature Name (production Signature Coordina// tlftt£t ÇûUÏ>MAN Signati ( ?¿fe4^ Al gatfctyA-*! ¿'€>&nL&j UMI Number: 1487015 All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion. UMT Dissertation Publishing UMI 1487015 Copyright 2010 by ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. This edition of the work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code. ® ProQuest ProQuest LLC 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 48106-1346 The Miseducation ofBlack Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop Marcus Henderson ITP MA707 Professor Claire Goodman September 21, 2010 Abstract This article examines the trends relating to the production, promotion and marketing of niche music in black music. R&B Hip Hop is defined as new niche in black music. By charting the history of rap music up to this latest trend, subjects of masculinity and media as a socializing agent are explored. Black Masculinity depicted by this new genre and how it is connected to the development of youth in the black community is at the center of this discussion. Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop The production, marketing, and promotion of R&B Hip Hop music by the US recording industry in recent years, 2004 to present day, while continuing to expand upon this new and exciting market niche for black music, has come under fire from the black community for its unabashed use of hypersexual images and lyrics to sell its products. This is almost always achieved by means of negative portrayal of black masculinity and unrealistic stereotypes of sex and relationships. The critique of such portrayals strongly suggests an attempt at subversion; to bring non-hegemonic black masculinity into alignment with hegemonic masculinity to serve the interests of a white male power structure. (Hegemony is defined as leadership or predominant influence exercised by one culture over others.) Song lyrics and images of black males in R & B Hip Hop music videos are intensely sexually charged. Black male adolescents are often portrayed as sexual warriors, acting out and describing predatory conquests of black females desperate for sex. But sexual dominance over women is a western mind-set that is largely derived from the commodificaton of white masculinity. The foundation of corporate America's capitalistic structure (and by extension, the music industry) is established on commodification and the white male majority. Thus the black male is compelled to identify and perpetuate stereotypes that align with white masculinity when consuming and producing goods and services. In his book The Repressive Hypothesis in The History of Sexuality: An Introduction Vol. 1, Foucault (1990) asserted that post-industrial societies are controlled by an imposed silence on discourse and expressions of sexuality: 1 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop These are the characteristics features attributed to repression, which serve to distinguish it from the prohibitions maintained by penal law: repression operated as a sentence to disappear, but also as an injunction to silence, an affirmation of nonexistence, and, by implication, an admission that there was nothing to say about such things, nothing to see, and nothing to know. (Foucault 4) In America, commercial success dictates the cultural standard thus creating an atmosphere of repression for all expressions outside ofthat standard. Non-hegemonic black masculinity in hip-hop culture in the mid to late 90' s focused on consumption and adornment, which to the dominant culture are typically feminine interests. This focus separates black masculinity from the normative expressions of masculinity and concentrates on controlling women and displaying capitalistic success. Thus the belief persists among many black male adolescents, that ideas expressed in Hip Hop culture other than that of men controlling women, have no validity. History of the Emergence of R&B Hip Hop Culture Hip Hop is a cultural movement that began in Bronx, New York. Oppressive social conditions in the African-American, Afro-Caribbean and Latino-American communities of New York City inspired the need for freedom through creative impulse and cultural improvisation. It was this artistic expression that allowed these communities to transcend the reality of their conditions. Elements of Hip Hop culture include raping, DJing, dancing, slang, fashion and writing. Between the late 1980's and the mid 1990's in the US, particular styles ofRap began to surface. Rap music and lyrics reflected currents in the black community outside the usual purview of music entertainment. Lyrics 2 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation ofBlack Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop addressed social issues, Black Nationalism, and inner city violence. Black masculinity in Rap music was inherited from these ideologies. Conscious Rap, Political Rap and Gangsta Rap were perceived by many in the black male community as the authority on normative black masculinity in Rap music. The standards regulating black masculinity were related to the commercial success ofthe art form. If certain lyrics and images of black masculinity proved to be commercially successful it became the standard that was adhered to in Rap music. Conscious Rap was characterized by tackling social issues and was represented by groups such as Grandmaster Flash and the furious five. In the music video "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five socially conscious masculinity is depicted by images ofblack men dressed in aged, lower class clothing hanging out on building stoops, and in front of abandoned buildings inter-cut with images ofinner-city poverty, alcoholism, and homelessness. Due to its edgy social consciousness, it remained primarily underground and did not rise to achieve the commercial success its successors would go on to experience. Next came Political Rap, which was represented by such groups as Public Enemy and KRS-One. Lyrics and images promoted political masculinity identifiable by the unity ofblack men and their rebellious attitude toward systems of authority. In the music video "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy political black masculinity is depicted by images ofblack men at a political rally in black military garb positioned in a militant fashion guarding the lead artists who are dressed in everyday Tshirts and baseball caps angrily sneering and pointing into the camera as they perform their song. Black men in the crowd are also seen carrying picket signs in protest to 3 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation ofBlack Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop political issues of the time. During this time rap achieved commercial success and mainstream status. Gangsta Rap came later and outsold Political Rap. N.W.A (Niggas With Attitudes) typified this rap genre. The lyrics and images in Gangsta rap promoted violent and criminal masculinity. In the 1991 music video "Always into Something" by N.W.A (Niggas With Attitudes) violent and criminal masculinity is depicted by images ofthe members of the group dressed in black or dark clothing while wielding firearms. Images ofthe group are also seen participating in illegal activity such as murder, stealing cars, armed robbery, eluding the police, and in jail cells as a result oftheir activities. Later in this era, rival tension between rappers reached an all time high with the culmination of war in rap music between the two American coasts. The East and West Coast War was sparked by a controversy between two adversarial rappers, Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. Tupac was a west coast rapper who accused Notorious B.I.G (east coat rapper) of orchestrating his shooting while on the east coast. The incident escalated tensions among fans on both American coasts and resulted in the murders of both rappers. Due to its violent nature, external forces, (such as the policing of black masculinity and internal conflict brought about by the East and West Coast war) the era of Gangsta Rap all but came to an end in the late 1990's. Playa Rap emerged during this conflict in the mid to late 90' s and ushered in the new millennium. It was also commercially successful and brought about non-hegemonic embodiment. Playa Rap's main ideologies for black masculinity focused on consumption and adornment. Non-hegemonic black masculinity concentrated on black men's relationships with their bodies. In Playa Rap Black men took pride in their appearance 4 Marcus Henderson The Misedueation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop and physicality and rejoiced in grooming, spending money, consuming and living a good life. In the music video "Can't Knock the Hustle" by Jay-Z black masculinity is depicted by images ofblack men dressed in high class, expensive suits, riding in expensive cars, smoking expensive cigars. They are desired by beautiful classy women and are seen buying expensive jewelry for them. They enjoy fine dining and champagne, and are seen laughing, dancing, having a good time, and enjoying themselves. Moreover, Black men historically have been denied the pleasure of enjoying their bodies, since Black men's bodies were used to advance the interests of white men. The commercial success of Playa Rap would mark a time in American history whereby black men would use the celebration of their own bodies to serve their own commercial interests. In the early 1990's, thepornography industry (Internet porn sites, video porn) was inspired to take hold of the opportunity to capitalize on the mainstreaming ofHip Hop. The combination of the outlaw cultures ofHip Hop and pornography brought about a new genre in pornography called Hip Hop Porn. Now music industry producers were marketing music that explicitly exploited black women's bodies such as 2 Live Crew's As Nasty as They Wanna Be and Sir Mix-a-Lot's My Baby got Back. In the music videos that accompanied both of these albums women are objectified by use of images of women dressed in skimpy clothing gyrating. This garnered as much media attention and criticism as Gangsta Rap had done; in fact 2 Live Crew were prosecuted for obscenity in 1990. Both pornography and Hip Hop were eventually policed and regulated by the American Family Association (AFA) and Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC). Hip Hop porn also offered similar fundamentals of earlier Hip Hop music such as room for 5 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop work, survival, and identity formation for black men. According to Mireille MillerYoung writing about Hip-Hop Honeys and Da Hustlaz, in (Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism) in 2007: The massive appeal ofhip-hop as a subversive, urban, youth-oriented cultural form attracted pornographers interested in expanding their markets-historically focused mainly on white men-to urban men of color. Black male adolescents became a new focus in the market place and producers of pornography and music began producing hypersexualized lyrics and images to appeal to black male adolescents. Commercial success once again dictated and validated a shift in rap music that has been an underground current in hip hop from the mid 1990's until now, giving birth to a new genre called R&B Hip Hop that has become the mainstream. R & B Hip Hop Today R&B Hip Hop is defined by its talk-singing, R&B lyrical structure, and hypersexualized content over Rap music beats. Artists such as Akon, Chris Brown, The Dream, T-Pain and J. Holiday personify it. In America then, since the 1980's perceptions of black masculinity, sexuality and relationships have often been shaped by R&B and Hip Hop music, and too many have become detrimental to the development of healthy relationships among many black males. For example, many black males use Rap music videos for "dating scripts" on how to conduct themselves in romantic relationships and often subscribe to the dating violence 6 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation ofBlack Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop depicted in the music and images. According to Trieia Rose in her 1994 book Microphone Fiends: Youth Music and Youth Culture: A Style Nobody Can Deal With: As an alternative means of status formation, hip hop style forges local identities for teenagers who understand their limited access to traditional avenues of social status attainment. (Rose 80) Normative perceptions by black male youth in sex and relationships Wanna put myfingers through your hair Wrap me up in your legs And love you, till your eyes roll back I'm trynaputyou to bed (bed bed) "Bed" J. Holiday (Back of My Lac) (2007) The lyrics above generally typify common assumptions held in inner cities, by black males about how black males view love, relationships and sex. The idea being that if you are in love with a woman your primary duty is to provide her with sex. "Fingers through your hair" sets up a gentle tone for a loving atmosphere thus drawing the link between sex and love. "Wrap me up in your leg" conjures up naked images of legs and torsos. And finally working up the body toward the head and eyes, where the final ultimate goal of an orgasm is depicted by the words "love you, till your eyes roll back". When it is all said and done the intention is culminated by the hook, "Fm tryna put you to bed (bed bed)." The young black male is depicted as sexual predator. His only allegiance is to sexual conquest and domination and his job is done. 7 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop Young black men have a negative reputation, among both blacks and whites, regarding their attitudes toward relationships with family and community. Historically, black women have lead as matriarchs of the black family unit, which has led to their positive reputations regarding their attitudes toward family. It is this history that has lead to common stereotypes of black adolescent male and female attitudes toward sex, love and family. These reputations are both part fact and part fiction. Various socioeconomic forces shape African American adolescent male's perceptions of sex, love and intimacy. In his 2008 book Relationships Between Exposure to Rap Music Videos and Attitudes Toward Relationships Among African American Youth, Yaphet Bryant asserts that that: Children are socialized by their families, schools, religion and peers, which are traditional socializing agents. Media is a fairly new socializing agent that has become highly influential over the last four decades. (Bryant 359) Jewel L. Harris Jones claims in her 1998 book Urban African American Adolescent Parents: Their perceptions of Sex. Love, Intimacy, Pregnancy, and Parenting: Among many assumptions regarding black male youth the only fact is that African American male adolescents are extremely sexually active. (Jones 834) Attitudes toward love, sex, intimacy and family are often misconstrued: Though young black males are extremely sexually active, they typically do not define love and intimacy through sexual intercourse. (Harris, 834) Additionally, it has been portrayed that black males are frequently unwilling to take responsibility in their children lives: 8 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop This is also false, in fact adolescent black males are close to their children and families and desire to participate and in their lives. (Harris, 836) The lyrics above are typical of many that confuse ideas of sex, love and intimacy, and culminate to send out a false message that suggests that young black males in the real world should automatically associate love with sexual intercourse. This false message has negative consequences on behaviors in the black community. Unhealthy relationships, unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and in some cases death from jealous scorned lovers have been blamed on this misconception on how to behave. The portrayal of sex and relationships in the media Dominant society has its own hegemonic ideas about the masculine identity regarding sex and relationships. These ideas are based on a white patriarchal power structure. This ideology is embedded within the media and reinforced by it into the social conscious on a persistent basis. Hegemonic masculinity is constructed from the perspective of a white male elitist position of institutional power and engages in objectification, sexual domination, conquest, and repression of women and subordination men. Black men have had no choice but to identify with white males when consuming media. When it comes to dating and relationships, sex, love and ideas about family the black man has had to extrapolate from the ideas available. However this hand-me-down masculinity is not a good fit. To be more precise it like wearing a pair of shoes a size too big. Antonia Randolph emphasizes this in her book Don't Hate Me Because Fm Beautiful. 2006: 9 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop Black men can be examined from an intersectional lens, which is insight from two different identities. Black men enjoy privilege as men but are disadvantaged as blacks. This creates a distinctive experience with masculinity, which cannot be collapsed into either identity. (Randolph 201) Hip Hop culture gave birth to rappers and has taken the black male identity into mainstream popular culture. Black men have become the focus of this cultural movement: Each asserted the right to write - to inscribe one's identity on an environment which seemed Teflon-resistant to its young people of color; an environment which made legitimate avenues for material and social participation inaccessible. (Rose, 84) Hip Hop has manifested a clear distinction in masculine ideas between black men and white men. Masculinity from the perspective of black men is made visible through rappers and though very similar to the dominant culture, it is not the same: Rappers cannot promote hegemonic masculinity because of black men's institutional lack of power however, can at different points in time. Overall rap's masculinity is normative and rappers define themselves to it and it contains ideology to which men outside of rap aspire. (Randolph, 201) Connection between media exposure and attitudes toward sex and relationships among African American male youth African American youth is in fact influenced by various psychosocial variables including media. There has been a switch in the black community from family and 10 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop church to media and peers as sources of values and culture. Media is now considered a socializing agent, particularly in urban communities where both parents are usually working. Rap music tends to be the mainstream entertainment for most urban centers. Rap music and rap videos are highly influential as a means of expression for African American youth. JJ. Arnett, in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood: A Culture Approach (2001,) suggested that, on average, teenagers watch approximately 15 to 30 minutes of music videos a day." Connections have been made between rap music and videos and black youth behavior through current research. Previous researches have claimed that repeated exposure to negative or stereotyped gender role images in media influences viewers' attitudes: Black adolescents use television as dating scripts and for relationship guidance and in rap music women are depicted as sex objects that deserve no respect. (Bryant, 357) Music videos in general portray stereotypical gender roles and rap music videos are more likely to be sexist as women are depicted as sex objects: Rap music videos are related to acceptance of negative attitudes toward malefemale relationships due to black adolescent females being more accepting of dating violence. (Bryant, 358) Black males are influenced by "power imagery" in rap music videos. Attitudes toward violence are related to attitudes toward power. During adolescence dating becomes important and adolescents may use rap music videos as a model. Adolescence is also the period where viewers of rap videos become influenced by stereotypic images: Rap music videos emerged as the only significant predictor of adversarial attitudes toward male-female relationships. As time spent watching rap music videos 11 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop increased so did adversarial attitudes toward male-female relationships. Increased levels of adversarial attitudes toward male-female relationships were linked to acceptance of negative images of women in rap music videos. (Bryant, 374) Understanding how media influence attitudes about various issues among African American adolescents is significant. Non-normative masculinity in playa rap Playa rap is a genre of rap that began in the mid 1990's and succeeded political rap and gangsta rap of the late 1980's and early 1990's. Playa rap's focus is on spending money and living an expensive and high-class lifestyle, which is considered to be a traditionally feminine interest. Randolph says that the pleasure that Playa rappers take in their body resists both hegemonic masculinity and White supremacy and Black men have historically been denied the pleasure of enjoying their bodies and have had it used to advance the interests of White men: We are informed that if repression has indeed been the fundamental link between power, knowledge, and sexuality since the classical age, it stands to reason that we will not be able to free ourselves from it except at a considerable cost: nothing less than a transgression of laws, a lifting of prohibitions, an irruption of speech, a reinstating of pleasure within reality, and a whole new economy in the mechanisms of power will be required." (Foucault, 5) Playa raps focus on sensuality and is a reclaiming of the autonomy of Black men's own bodies. American culture's ideology has denied black men recognition of their minds and over identified them with their bodies: 12 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop Black men although at the center of black masculinity promoted in rap music but are not entirely the author of it and face particular vulnerabilities due to race and gender that influence their relationship with their bodies. (Randolph, 211) Sensual pleasure is represented by asking the audience to imagine being featured and enjoying expensive meals, which is also another non-hegemonic aspect defying the convention that men should be serious and not overly concerned with pleasures of the body. Music videos became the perfect forum for displaying the sensuous and glamorous pleasures of playa rap. Playa rap can also be read as promoting hegemonic goals and traditional male power through the comparison of it to pimps and as providing an alternative model for achieving economic success and illustrating the fruits of this unconventional and illegal way to win at capitalism. (Randolph, 211) Playa rap's primary goal is to assert the worthiness of their own looks and taste to serve the interests of black men. There is a need in playa rap to be perceived as attractive or at the very least not repulsive. Gangsta rap's previous violent masculinity showed black men's vulnerability to dominant society's influence imposed by the censorship wars in music even though Gangsta rap promoted hegemonic masculinity: Normative masculinity previously expressed by gangsta rap was shaped by what would sell and promoted hegemonic masculinity with the aggressive masculinity constructed by gangsta rappers and when the dominant culture influenced this form of masculinity it indicated Black men's lack of power. (Randolph, 212) Playa Rap serves the interest of Black men through promoting non-normative black masculinity. It includes some hegemonic masculine ideas in the forms of 13 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop dominance over women and gays. But more so, it entails black men's relationship with their bodies as something to be proud of and celebrated as well as finding pleasure in the affluence from engaging in this non-hegemonic masculine identity. Playa rap has also made visible a struggle for control over the art form of Rap, which is now a mainstream and lucrative industry. Political Rap of the mid 80's was the first symbol of Black male pride that promoted non-normative masculinity. Rap however was not immune to dominant cultural influences: The next step was commercial success of certain genres and this was where it was learned that certain expressions of black masculinity outsold others. First it was political rap that created the standard of black masculinity then came gangsta rap, which outsold political rap with spectacle of black aggression. Its demonization in the media made it even more commercially successful. (Randolph, 206) Gangsta rap upheld hegemonic masculinity. Playa rap presented non-normative masculinity, which asserted itself away from hegemonic masculinity thus giving black males control in affirming their own ideas of masculinity and ultimately benefiting financially from this power. Hip Hop porn betrays the playa: Non-hegemonic masculinity is dominated by pornography Through Playa rap, Hip Hop culture was enjoying affluence for its practitioners and audiences alike. Young Black men were finally able to promote music that spoke of affluence and desire and benefit from it without serving the interest of white men. The marriage between Hip Hop and pornography industries has provided yet another shift in 14 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop normative masculinity in hip hop. Hip Hop Porn seems to be a new genre that gives black people a venue of sexual expression as well as a place to make money and also participate in the economy: It seems that pornography and hip hop merged in the early 90's and seem to be exploiting each other; pornography exploiting hip hop in order to expand black sexuality or use black sexuality to expand into new genres; hip hop using porn in order to exploit their subversive messages on to the screen or in the music. (Miller-Young, 262) Hip Hop Porn not only employs blacks but it also gives them a space for identity formation and self-representation, hence the hip-hop sexual icon is shaped: There is a sexual economy of illicit eroticism; how the black male sexual identity interacts with black female sexual identity. There is a new market place that exists in the genre where the sex act is the actual currency and the feminine and masculine identities are hyper-sexualized as a result of the marginalization of those identities in the white power structure and the US political economy. Hip hop femininities and masculinities are subject to the market concerns of a white power structure thus laying the ground work and foundation for these hip hop identities to be reconstituted in this hip hop porn genre; so they are kind of given a new life in hip hop porn (Miller-Young, 263). Black men in Hip Hop have begun to fashion themselves into sexual icons. The black hyper-masculinity is an attempt to subvert constructions of white masculinity or to rebel against it. Though it started out as another site of rebellion and representation, it has later begun to challenge non-normative black masculinity: Both industry workers in Hip Hop and black pornography are trying to challenge the stereotypes of representation and trying to come up with their own representation of 15 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop themselves in order to recreate themselves, the only problem with that is that it is one dimensional and could they actually be falling into a bigger trap in doing so? (MillerYoung, 266) In the late 80's and early 90's porn and Hip Hop began to infiltrate the mainstream at the exact same time actually Hip Hop was a little earlier and inspired the adult entertainment industry. The massive appeal of Hip Hop culture is what attracted porn interest into expanding their markets beyond white men into black men: An imperative was established: Not only will you confess to acts contravening the law, but you will seek to transform your desire, you every desire, into discourse. (Foucault, 21) In 1990, producers ofthe brand new Hip Hop porn were tapping into marketing to young black men: Performance of Hip Hop celebrity or pimp or player is a way that black men have been able to redefine themselves in some kind of symbolic iconic type idea of power that this type of masculinity is a mode of sexual self-rendering and self-recognition. It's a way of empowerment. It's a way of empowerment to use your sexuality and masculinity to redefine themselves in a fantasy of entrepreneurial empowerment and sexual prowess and power over women and other men. (Miller-Young, 274) R&B Hip Hop & Hegemonic Representation: Objectification, Hyper sexuality and Repression. White pornographers after seeing the success of how black men consumed the images of black women wanted in on the piece of pie and wanted to expand beyond their 16 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop traditional white consumers of black images so they could move into a new market demographic. Hip Hop Porn paved the way for R&B Hip Hop a new genre of music in Rap music. R&B Hip Hop is a hybrid of both rap music and R&B music. It leans more toward the Rap music genre due to its predominantly male foundation and male dominated themes. Hip Hop porn assisted in evolving Playa Rap into R&B Hip Hop and once again the goal was to utilize pleasure as a way to rebel against the oppressive social structures. Cathy Cohen asserts in Deviance as Resistance: A New Research Agenda for the Study of Black Politics, 2004: When people practice deviance new identities, communities and politics emerge and combine and transforms into a consciousness of resistance. (Cohen, 43) The problem with this resistance is that it isn't a resistance at all. R&B Hip Hop employs ideas of objectifícation, hyper sexuality and repression in its lyrical content. This evolution from Playa Rap has brought non-normative black masculinity into alignment with hegemonic masculinity. The ideas that separated non-normative black masculinity from hegemonic ideas have been replaced with powerful sexual themes. R&B Hip Hop does not embrace the alternative embodiment of pleasure within one's own physicality but instead finds pleasure with the sexual domination of women: Now She An Animal, I Got Her Sex Game Right I Taught Her How To Talk To Me While She Take Pipe & Opened Her Up & Showed Her What A Real Nigga Like I Told Her I Don't Usually Do This, I Don't Fuck On The First Night Cause After I Beat Ya Baby I'm Liable To Fuck Up Ya Whole Life I Gotta Train Her, Now She Suck Me With Ice 17 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop / Call Her My LiI Bust It Baby Cause She Keep It Tight Whenever I Tell Her To Bust, Aint Gotta Tell Her Twice Whenever I Wanna Get OffShe Know How To Get Me Right "Shawty" Plies (The Real Testament) (2007) In the R&B Hip Hop lyrics above, Plies exemplifies in a very direct way that his pleasure is derived from the sexual conquest and domination of this woman. This is also mainly typical of repression of not only the woman as the object of desire but also the black male. By adorning all the pleasure being derived from her conquest, his pleasure from celebrating his own sensuality also disappears, thus reinforcing the hegemonic masculinity idea that men should not be overly concerned with their bodies. The rebellion instituted by Playa Rap's celebrating one's own physical appearance appears to be over and the victor is not the Playa. Hyper sexuality of young black adolescent performers is a mainstay in R&B Hip Hop. Capitalizing on the fact that young black males are highly sexually active. The negative characteristics of male adolescents in the black community are being exploited by anyone who is willing to perform it: Here we are all alone in this room (oh) And girl I know where to start and what we gonna do (yeah) I'll take my time we'll be all night girl So get ready babe I gotplansfor me andyou It ain't myfirst time but baby girl we can pretend, Hey lets bump and grind girl tonight we'll never end "Take You Down" Chris Brown (Exclusive) (2008) 18 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop These lyrics typify most of what black male performers sing in this new genre. It is an attempt to commodity the verbalizing of the assumed sexual prowess of adolescent black males. Verbalizing such stereotypes is the trend of this art form. Repression is the by-product of this new trend. Young adolescent males are no longer celebrating pleasure derived from embodiment and appearance. Due to Hip Hop Porn and the emergence R&B Hip Hop embodiment has been negated by hyper sexuality. Black masculinity has now been assimilated into the dominant culture and hegemonic masculinity: This new persecution of the peripheral sexualities entailed an incorporation of perversions and a new specification of individuals."(Foucault, 42) Black males internalize a negative, thinking they are making a positive, and actually fall into a bigger trap Now my wife she won't stop blowin' myphone up Every Bitch conversation they keep throwin' tha Jones up. (They Lien) It makes it hard im tryna show her Iv grown up But deep down inside she know I will never give them ho's up She talk marriage butya boyfroze up, coldfeet Man she know im in love wit' these cold streets So imflowin' threw tha night, just left my bitch house Im going home to my wife, as I live this double life [Woman singing] 19 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop I'm in love.... With a thug I'm in love... With a GanGsta, Yeh [X2J "I'm In Love With a Thug" Jim Jones (Harlem: Diary of a Summer) (2005) These lyrics demonstrate the belief system that epitomizes R&B Hip Hop. Jim Jones' characterization of women as bitches is now an accepted epithet. References to women as "bitches" and "hoes" continue to be a source of controversy. These types of lyrics easily influence young black men and many believe have been "brainwashed into thinking this to be the acceptable way to behave towards women. The line "I will never give them ho 's up" highlights that there is an assumed and accepted tradition of infidelity that not only black males, but also both adolescent black females should buy into. The alliances made in male-female relationships are now to be construed according to black "street" lifestyle. This street lifestyle is analogous to self-absorption where it is all about self-fulfillment even at the cost of another person that is claimed to be the object of someone's love. Narcissism is often the consequence ofthis kind of self-fashioning. R&B Hip Hop is narcissistic in nature and has become the new deviant objective: The realm of sexuality embeds complex power relations however sexual practices and representation are rich with possibilities for self-actualization and empowerment and that are what deviance is all about. (Miller-Young, 286) Black male adolescents have recreated themselves according to hegemonic masculinity and lost site of non-normative masculinity. They are trying to take a negative and turn it into a positive but it still comes off being portrayed as a negative. This has had 20 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop an adverse affect in the black community and how adolescent black males come to define them selves and more importantly form healthy relationships: In light of all this capitalistic white supremacist depiction of black sexualities and histories and negativity that's been born out of this relationship it's important that we come up with our own subjectivities or ways of being and blackness and sexuality that are healthy for us. (Miller-Young, 287) Dissenting Voices It is a critical issue in the black community that male-female interactions begin the healing process. It is important that black music genres of any stripe do not send out messages that promote a one-dimensional agenda. Adolescent Black men are in need of guidance. Music and Music Video are not enough to guide black men through the complexities of dating. Neo-Soul is a subgenre like R&B Hip-Hop; it's a hybrid of 1970's influenced soul music with influences from jazz, funk, hip-hop, and house music. Its emphasis is a polar opposite to R&B Hip Hop, focusing on cultural and political matters. Neo-Soul leans toward lyrical substance, and real instrumentation, thus the artists and its audience tends to be underground. This movement began in the early 90' s including artists such as Eric Benet, Maxwell, and D'angelo garnering mainstream exposure. Since 2000 and the mainstream interest in R&B Hip Hop the neo-soul genre has gone further underground but continues to live. Artists such as Music Soul Child, Raphael Sasdiq, Raheem DeVaughn, and Anthony Hamilton are continuing to create 21 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop music with non-hegemonic masculine lyrics and concepts such as emotional availability and vulnerability. Online radio and pirate radio outlets continue to focus on underground up and coming artists in this genre. The success and current survival of the Neo-Soul genre and its artist show that diversity still does exist and there is a market for it. Playa Rap's previous success shows that non-hegemonic black masculinity is also marketable in the mainstream. The Whitemale power structure personified in the leadership of the major record labels in recording industry are threatened by these facts and benefit from the subversion of non-hegemonic black masculinity through R&B Hip Hop. They are as equally threatened at the advent of the Internet's platform for exposure for self released Indie Talent. It should be the responsibility ofblack musicians and producers to buck the recording industry system, and create music and images in R & B Hip Hop that challenge narcissistic self-indulgent behaviors and create a more positive art form that serves the black community, not undermine it. 22 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop WORKS CITED Arnett, J.J. Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood: A Cultural Approach. (2001) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Brown, Chris. Take You Down. Exclusive. Jive, Zomba, 2008. Bryant, Yaphet "Relationships Between Exposure to Rap Music Videos and Attitudes Toward Relationships Among African American Youth" Journal of Black Psychology. 34 (2008): 356 Carpentier, Dillman Francesca, Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, Andrée Blumhoff "Naughty Versus Nice: Suggestive Pop Music Influences on Perceptions of Potential Romantic Partners" Media Psychology.9: 1.1-17 (2007) Cohen, Cathy.2004. "Deviance as Resistance: A New Research Agenda for the Study of Black Politics." Du Bois Review I, no. I: 27-45. Foucault, Michel The History of Sexuality: An Introduction Vol. L: The Repressive Hypothesis Vintage Books. Random House NY. 1990 Holiday, J. Bed. Back of My Lac. Capitol Records, 2007. Jones Harris, L Jewel "Urban African American adolescent parents: Their perceptions of sex, love, intimacy, pregnancy, and parenting" Adolescence. 33 (1998) Jones, Jim. Fm In Love With a Thug, Harlem: Diary of a Summer, Diplomat/Koch 2005 Miller-Young, Mireille "Hip-Hop Honeys and Da Hustlaz: Black Sexualities in the New Hip-Hop Pornography" Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism. 8, Number 1 (2007) Plies. Shawty. The Real Testament. Atlantic, Big Gates, Slip-N- Slide, 2007. 23 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop Randolph, Antonia "Don't Hate Me Because Fm Beautiful": Black Masculinity and Alternative Embodiment in Rap Music Race. Gender & Class 13 (2006): 200-218 Rose, Tricia Microphone Fiends: Youth Music and Youth Culture: A Style Nobody Can Deal With Routledge 1 edition. 1994 Music Videos Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. "The Message". The Message. Sugar Hill Records, 1982. Music Video. Dr. Sylvia Robinson. Jay-Z "Can't Knock the Hustle". Reasonable Doubt. Roc-A-Fella Records, 1996. Music Video. Dr. Hype Williams. N.W.A. (Niggas With Attitudes) "Always into Something". Niggaz41ife. Ruthless Records, 1991. Public Enemy "Fight the Power". Fear of a Black Planet. Def Jam Records. 1990. Music Video. Dr. Spike Lee Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop DISCOGRAPHY 2 Live Crew 1986: The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are 1987: Move Somethin' 1989: As Nasty As They Wanna Be 1990: Banned in the U.S.A. 1991: Sports Weekend: As Nasty As They Wanna Be, Pt. 2 1994: Back at Your Ass for the Nine-4 1996: Shake a LU' Somethin' 1998: The Real One Akon 2004: Trouble 2006: Konvicted 2008: Freedom 2010: Stadium Music Anthony Hamilton 1996: XTC 2003: Comin' from Where I'm From 2005: Soulife 2005: Ain't Nobody Worryin' 2007: Southern Comfort 25 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop 2008: The Point of It All  Chris Brown 2005: Chris Brown 2007: Exclusive 2009: Graffiti D'angelo 1995: Brown Sugar 1998: Live at the Jazz Cafe 2000: Voodoo 2007: YODA: The Monarch of Neo-Soul 2008: The Best So Far... TBA: James River Eric Benet 1996: True to Myself 1999: A Day in the Life 2005: Hurricane 2008: Love & Life Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five 1982: The Message 1984: Greatest Messages 1985: They Said It Couldn't Be Done 1986: The Source 26 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation ofBlack Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop 1987: Ba-Dop-Boom-Bang 1988: On the Strength 1997: Salsoul Jam 2000 1998: Flash is Back 2002: The Official Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash 2002: Essential Mix: Classic Edition 2005: Mixing Bullets and Firing Joints 2008: Grandmaster Flash Mixes Salsoul 2009: The Bridge - Concept OfA Culture J. Holiday 2007: Back of My Lac' 2009: Round 2 Jay-Z 1996: Reasonable Doubt 1997: In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 1998: Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life 1999: Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter 2000: The Dynasty: Roc La Familia 2001: The Blueprint 2002: The Blueprint2: The Gift & the Curse 2003: The Black Album 2006: Kingdom Come 2007: American Gangster 27 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop The Blueprint 3 (2009) Jim Jones 2004: On My Way to Church 2005: Harlem: Diary of a Summer 2006: Hustler's P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment) 2009: Pray IV Reign 2009: The Rooftop KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions 1987: Criminal Minded 1988: By All Means Necessary 1989: Ghetto Music: The Blueprint ofHip Hop 1990: Edutainment 1991: Live Hardcore Worldwide 1992: Sex and Violence 1993: Return of the Boom Bap 1995: KRS-One 1997: 1 Got Next 2000: A Retrospective 2001: The Sneak Attack 2001: Strickly for Da Breakdancers & Emceez 2002: Spiritual Minded 2002: The Mix Tape 28 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop 2003: Kristyles 2003: D.I.G.I.T.A.L. 2004: Keep Right 2006: Life 2008: Adventures in Emceein 2008: Maximum Strength Maxwell 1996: Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite 1998: Embrya 2001: Now 2009: BLACKsummers'night Musiq Soulchild 2000: Aijuswanaseing 2002: Juslisen 2003: Soulstar 2007: Luvanmusiq 2008: Onmyradio N.W.A (Niggas With Attitudes) 1987: N.W.A. and the Posse 1988: Straight Outta Compton 1990: 100 Miles and Runnin' 1991: Niggaz41ife 29 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation ofBlack Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop Notorious B.I.G. 1994: Ready to Die 1997: Life After Death Plies 2007: The Real Testament 2008: Definition of Real 2008: DaREAList 2009: Goon Affiliated Public Enemy 1987: Yo! Bum Rush the Show 1988: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back 1990: Fear of a Black Planet 1991: Apocalypse 91... The Enemy Strikes Black 1992: Greatest Misses 1994: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age 1998: He Got Game 1999: There's a Poison Goin' On 2002: Revolverlution 2005: New Whirl Odor 2006: Rebirth of a Nation (with Paris) 2007: How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul? 30 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop Raheem Devaughn 2005: The Love Experience 2008: Love Behind the Melody Raphael Sasdiq 2002: Instant Vintage 2003: AU Hits at the House of Blues 2004: Ray Ray 2008: The Way I See It Sir Mix-A-Lot 1988: Swass 1989: Seminar 1992: Mack Daddy 1994: Chief Boot Knocka 1996: Return of the Bumpasaurus 2003: Daddy's Home The Dream 2007: Love Hate 2009: Love vs. Money 2010: Love King T-Pain 2005: Rappa Ternt Sanga 31 Marcus Henderson The Miseducation of Black Masculinity in R&B Hip Hop 2007: Epiphany 2008: Thr33 Ringz 2010: Revolved Tupac Shakur 1991: 2Pacalypse Now 1993: Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. 1995: Me Against the World 1996: AllEyezonMe 1996: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory 32 Men Of Color by Marcus Henderson Marcus Henderson 2419 Seventh Avenue New York, NY 10030 917-403-2965 #5A FADE IN The title "Men of Color" slowly fades in from black one word at a time with the letters of the word "color" being in different vibrant Benetton like colors and then all of the words evaporate back in to the black. The words "April 2008" appear on the screen. 1 INT. CAMPAIGN OFFICE - NIGHT MARLON WRIGHT, 30, an African business suit sits at plastic obviously Democratic campaign holds and reads the newspaper reading lights his face up. 1 American male wearing a conference table in an office for Senator Obama. He and smiles as something he is NICHOLAS PEREZ, 30, a Hispanic male dressed in business casual, walks in the front door of the campaign office with a nap sack. ANGEL HAYES, 34, an African American female sits behind the reception desk and looks annoyed at her computer not functioning properly. She is distracted by Nicholas's entrance . ANGEL (with attitude) Excuse me, I thought that you being and IT professional meant you fixed computers but, CLEARLY, the computer you were SUPPOSED to have repaired is not working. It's on but I don't see anything on the screen. Nicholas walks over behind the desk and stands behind Angel sitting in front of the computer and leans in to look at the screen. He turns the monitor on and turns to address Angel. NICHOLAS (sarcastic) Did you try turning the monitor on Doctor? Angel repositions herself to create obvious distance from him while frowning and rolling her eyes . ANGEL No. He stands back up straight. (CONTINUED) 2. 1 CONTINUED : NICHOLAS You welcome. ANGEL Thank you. Nicholas walks away. NICHOLAS I can see they didn't teach manners at medical school. ANGEL Whatever . Nicholas walks up to Marlon's desk and sits in the chair next to it, digs in his nap sack and pulls out a CD and hands it to Marlon. NICHOLAS Here is the music for the cocktail party tomorrow. Marlon hands Nicholas the paper he was reading looking excited. MARLON Thank you Mr. Super Producer. And here is your future. Nicholas reads the paper. NICHOLAS Say wordl We did it? It's done? MARLON Yeah man, we did it. It is done. We are now officially incorporated and open for business . We are now the proud owners of our own talent agency. We are not back in high school dreaming anymore. Nicholas gets up and gives Marlon a hug. NICHOLAS You serious Î MARLON Yeah. Now all we gotta do is pick up the lease to the new space and open our office. (CONTINUED) 3. 1 CONTINUED: (2) NICHOLAS Yol I can't believe this is real. Suddenly, Marlon sees something and he motions with a look to Nicholas to stop talking. Nicholas is too excited to notice the look. NICHOLAS (CONTD) So now what's next? Man, I have been waiting on this for a long time. Suddenly, UNA PEREZ LANDERS, 28, a Hispanic female stands holding ALEXIS PEREZ, 4, a Hispanic female and accompanied by ALONZO PEREZ, 12, Hispanic male. UNA Waiting on what? Nicholas turns around, notices his ex-wife and kids standing there, and stands up to greet them. NICHOLAS (to Alexis) I have been waiting to see my beautiful little princess. UNA So what are you guys up to now? NICHOLAS Nothing . UNA Whatever. I need to talk to you. Nicholas looks concerned. Nicholas, Una and the kids walk away from Marlon's desk. As they walk away IAN PAIGE, 29, African American Male wearing a business suit, walks up to Marlon's desk. IAN Hey, the flyers you asked me to pick up and drop off are in the car. MARLON Good . Thanks . Marlon hands Ian the news paper. Ian reads the news paper. (CONTINUED) 4. 1 CONTINUED: (3) IAN Congratulations . MARLON Thanks . Ian looks away. MARLON (CONTD) What?. IAN Are you sure you're going to be able to juggle being a lawyer, volunteer here and now a business owner? There's only but so much time in the week. MARLON What now you don't believe in me? We work together, you have seen what I can do and how much I can do. Multi-tasking is my blood. Ian stares at Marlon with concern. IAN What about the party? MARLON What about it? Suddenly, Marlon stops talking to notice someone approaching. CORY MARSHALL, 35, Jamaican American male, wearing a business suit walks toward the gentlemen at the desk. He reaches the desk and drops papers on it. CORY Marlon, when you get a chance I need these contracts by Monday. MARLON Monday? CORY Oh yeah that ' s right the party is tomorrow night right? MARLON Yeah. (CONTINUED) 5. 1 CONTINUED: (4) CORY Yeah , Monday . There is a pause. Cory begins to laugh. CORY (CONTD) OK make it Tuesday. Man, the look on your face was priceless. MARLON Yeah. Very funny. CORY C ' mon , now you KNOW I ' m not that kind of supervisor. Right Ian? Ian looks at Cory and then back at Marlon. IAN (sarcastic) Yeah right. CORY Man, you guys need to lighten up and by the way I can ' t stay tonight, Bailey is in the car, I am going to be with her tonight we just came from her doctor's appointment and she is exhausted. MARLON Doctor's appointment? Is she OK? CORY She ' s pregnant . Three months . MARLON Congratulations , but haven ' t you only known her three months? And you just got engaged. Marlon and Ian take a beat. MARLON (CONTD) (Having a realization) Ohhhh. CORY Let me explain something to you gentlemen. A real man is suppose to take on a wife and start a family. (MORE) (CONTINUED) 6. 1 CONTINUED: (5) 1 CORY (CONTD) So don't judge cause I did it in three months instead of three years the point is I did it. As a matter of fact it ' s about time you start thinking about starting a family of your own. MARLON Okay? Cory puts his arm around Marlon. CORY Not only do I mentor you as a lawyer but also as a man. MARLON Thanks, I appreciate it. CORY Well, tomorrow at this party you are throwing for this campaign office, I'll finally get a chance to see how you ' re living as a bachelor and we will talk more then. Cory walks away. IAN Do you think he knows? MARLON Not a fucking clue. IAN Are you worried? MARLON No, not really. Cory leaves the campaign office and passes by Nicholas and Una standing by the door talking. UNA When we agreed to share custody I did not expect for this to be happening. NICHOLAS It's normal. He is just going through a rebellious phase. (CONTINUED) 7. 1 CONTINUED: (6) 1 UNA Nicholas. He cursed me out. If you spent half as much time with your son as your new girlfriend you would know that he is watching way too much television and picking up bad influences. NICHOLAS That's not fair, leave Madison out of this. I don't you give you a hard time about having a new husband. UNA Nicholas it's getting worse and If you don't help me with him... NICHOLAS What? Are you threatening me?... Have you stopped to think maybe he is angry with you for marrying another man? UNA That ' s ridiculous , he was too young to understand that we were falling apart because you were busy off chasing your music career. NICHOLAS There you go with blame again. UNA OK look, I stopped by because I just want you talk to your son when you pick them up tonight. NICHOLAS I will. Una leaves . 2 INT. CORY'S CAR - NIGHT 2 Cory drives his BMW while a radio talk show plays on the car stereo. RADIO NEWSCASTER In today ' s news Chance Brighton was caught by paparazzi boarding a plane with his mistress who has not yet been identified. (MORE) (CONTINUED) 8. CONTINUED: 2 RADIO NEWSCASTER (CONTD) The two have been the center of a scandal that erupted yesterday when his wife Felicity the famous R&B Diva was hospitalized from a suicide attempt. Brighton has previously garnered the spotlight due to being the first African American director to take home the academy award. Brighton's wife claims that she was unaware of his affairs and has been devastated by them leaving her emotionally destroyed and felt that her only option was taking her own life. Brighton has made no official statement . Cory ' s cell phone RINGS . The news report continues to play in the background. He answers the phone via his bluetooth while still driving. CORY What's up?... Yeah I'm on my way, I just dropped her off at her mothers... You just make sure you are ready when I get there . . . Yeah alright . Cory hangs up the phone. INT. CAITLYN 'S HOUSE - NIGHT 3 Cory and CAITLYN 32, Caucasian female, are naked and having sex. Caitlyn is being pounded from the back by Cory in the doggy style position. The climax is near. And then it happens. Cory removes himself from position and goes into the bathroom. Caitlyn relaxes her body on the bed and pulls the covers over her while she lays and waits for Cory to come and comfort her. Cory comes out of the bathroom fully dressed. CAITLYN Where you going? You just coming by for quickies now? CORY I already to told you that I can't stay. Cory prepares to leave. (CONTINUED) 9. 3 CONTINUED : 3 CAITLYN Why, cause she's pregnant now? Well what about us and what we have. Cory ignores her and walks out and leaves. Caitlyn curses him as he walks away. CAITLYN (CONTD) I have known you longer and way better than she does . You owe me more dude . Fuck you ! ! 4 INT. CAMPAIGN OFFICE - NIGHT 4 Marlon finishes dropping off supplies by the copy machine. Angel watches with a melancholy look. Marlon notices her look. Marlon walks toward the door to leave. MARLON Are you ok? ANGEL Yeah. MARLON OK. You coming to the party tomorrow? ANGEL Yeah. Marlon leaves. MARLON Alright. See you then. Angel gets her bag together and comes from behind the desk to leave . She walks outside and sees a couple holding hands walk by and she sighs . She walks away. 5 INT. MARLON'S PARENTS HOUSE - DAY 5 Marlon walks into the living room with KEVON 4, African American male. Marlon's mother MARLENE WRIGHT, 53, African American female, sits on the couch reading a newspaper and lights up when she sees her son enter with his foster son. (CONTINUED) 10. 5 CONTINUED : 5 MARLENE Oooo look i Oh my goodness Í Look who ' s here Î ! Kevon breaks his foster father ' s grasps and runs toward his foster grandmother. MARLON Ma, thank tonight . you for watching him Marlene picks up Kevon and embraces him and they both sit in the chair while she holds him. MARLENE You welcome baby . It ' s my pleasure . Marlon smiles and walks out. 6 INT. MARLON AND IAN ' S HOUSE HALLWAY - NIGHT 6 Marlon and IAN, a newly wed couple, stand in the hallway and fix their suits. Marlon is apparently nervous. IAN Are you sure you are ready for this? MARLON Yeah, I'm sure. Marlon walks to the door and opens it to let in their first guests . 7 INT. MARLON AND IAN ' S HOUSE HALLWAY - NIGHT (LATER) 7 Cory and his pregnant fiance BAILEY NEWMAN, 33, Jewish American female, stand staring at a table in the hallway with photographs of the happy couple on them. Cory's P.O. V. — A photograph of Marlon and Ian is placed on the hallway table by Cory's hand. Disgust rushes over Cory's face. Bailey looks concerned. The two walk down the hallway. 8 INT. MARLON AND IAN 'S HOUSE HALLWAY - NIGHT 8 Angel walks down the hallway toward the bathroom. As she passes by NICHOLAS the two exchange looks. She looks annoyed like she can't stand him and he looks curious as to know why she can't stand him and is not exactly a fan of hers either thinking she is probably stuck up. (CONTINUED) 11. 8 8 CONTINUED: She reaches the bathroom and enters . Nicholas watches as if he is also sexually interested too. 9 INT. MARLON AND IAN 'S HOUSE BATHROOM - NIGHT 9 Angel digs in her bag and pulls out her lip gloss. She looks into the mirror and begins applying the lip gloss. A cell phone RINGS. The ringing is coming from within her bag. She grabs her bag and pulls the phone out and looks at the display and sighs heavily like she can't be to bothered. ANGEL Hello... Unh huh... Well isn't Doctor Straum on call tonight... I see... OK OK... I'm on my way. She puts her phone and lip gloss back in her bag all huffy and puffy and walks out of the bathroom. 10 INT. MARLON AND IAN' S HOUSE HALLWAY - NIGHT 10 Angel exits the bathroom and walks down the hallway toward the front door of the house so she can leave. Nicholas and Cory stand in the hallway. She passes by them but stops to address Cory totally ignoring Nicholas . ANGEL Can you tell Marlon I had to leave? It's the hospital. I'm on call. CORY Is everything alright? ANGEL It will be. Thanks. Angel walks toward the front door to leave. Nicholas watches Angel as she walks away from them. She looks out the corner of her eyes sensing that is Nicholas watching. NICHOLAS Doctor . Angel does not return his greeting, and rolls her eyes at him and continues to leave secretly smiling that she has his attention . 11 INT. MARLON AND IAN 'S HOUSE LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 11 The hallway spills into the living room where Marlon and the other campaign mates and volunteers watch the current debate on a large flat screen while drinking cocktails . (CONTINUED) • CONTINUED: CORY It seems that not only Senator Obama needs to worry about who he associates with. MARLON What do you mean by that? CORY Well it appears that not only on a national level, but also here on a local level we as Democrats need to consider carefully the company we keep. MARLON We're listening? CORY Senator Clinton has out right lied although she prefers to refer to it as a stretching of the truth. MARLON OK? CORY I'm curious to know how you, a trusted volunteer and member of this campaign, would refer to lying about your lifestyle? Silence grips the room. The eyes of the guest make shifts between Cory and Marlon. MARLON Excuse me? CORY No excuse me, everyone I'm just a little shocked to find out my colleagues are in a relationship. IAN Actually, we're married. CAMPAIGN MANAGER OK, does anyone want another drink? 13. 12 INT. MARLON AND IAN' S HOUSE KITCHEN - NIGHT 12 Nicholas stands in the kitchen going through his iphone. Suddenly his phone rings . He answers it all excited pretending to not be excited but sexy. NICHOLAS Hello... hey baby... I want to see you too... right now?... I'll be there in a minute... peace. Nicholas runs out of the kitchen in a hurry to get to some loving . CUT TO: 13 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 13 The BABYSITTER, 17, a Hispanic female, ALONZO PEREZ, 12, a Hispanic male and his sister ALEXIS PEREZ, 4, a Hispanic female, watch television. Alexis is asleep. The baby-sitter looks over at Alexis. The baby sitter gets up and picks up Alexis and looks at Alonzo. BABYSITTER C ' mon you two , time to go to bed . The baby-sitter takes Alexis to her bed room. Alonzo still sits on the couch in defiance texting on his Iphone. BABYSITTER ( 0 . S . ) ( CONTD ) C 'mon Alonzo, lets go, let's get a move on it. Alonzo sucks his teeth, get up and, walks out. CUT TO: 14 INT. CARLOS' APARTMENT - NIGHT 14 CARLOS LOPEZ, 40, Latin American male, sits on his couch obviously contemplating and finally picks up his cell phone and makes a call. It goes to voice mail. MADISON (O.S.) Hi this is Madison and I can't come to the phone right now so leave a message at the beep, bye. (CONTINUED) 14. 14 14 CONTINUED: CARLOS (in Spanish, subtitled) Madison, it's Carlos, I want to see you ... it ' s not too late for us . Carlos begins to grope himself from being horny while focusing enough to talk. He looks like horn dog on a mission. CARLOS (CONT'D) (CONTD) (in Spanish, subtitled) I need to see you... I'm on my way. CUT TO: 15 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - ALONZO' S ROOM - NIGHT 15 Alonzo sits on his bed. He gets a text message from his friend ANTHONY. The text message reads "yo you coming"? Alonzo gets out of the bed and walks to the door and cracks it open to see if the baby-sitter is still sitting there awake . CUT TO: 16 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 16 Alonzo watches the baby-sitter fall asleep. CUT TO: 17 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - ALONZO' S ROOM - NIGHT 17 Alonzo rushes away from the door and scuttles quick about the room getting dressed and not making a sound. Once he is dressed and ready to leave. He rushes back to the door to make sure the baby-sitter is still asleep. CUT TO: 18 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 18 The baby-sitter is still asleep while Alonzo peaks in to the room. CUT TO: 19 INT. MADISON'S HOUSE BEDROOM - NIGHT 19 Nicholas and Madison fly through the door kissing and desperately groping on one another. They begin to tear each others clothes off. Nicholas stops wanting to be serious and adult . (CONTINUED) 15. 19 CONTINUED: 19 NICHOLAS (in Spanish, subtitled) (whispering) Your kids will hear us. MADISON (in Spanish, subtitled) They are asleep. Nicholas and Madison continue to undress each other and Nicholas stops again remembering his overall agenda. NICHOLAS (in Spanish, subtitled) Wait ... you know I want you . MADISON (in Spanish, subtitled) I want you too. Madison unbuttons his shirt slowly and gently delivers kisses down the center of his chest. She obviously has her own agenda . Nicholas cuffs her face with his hands and gently tilts her face up toward his so she can see his eyes and take him seriously. NICHOLAS (in Spanish, subtitled) Marry me. Madison slowly comes up so their eyes meet as her lust turns to sadness. MADISON (in Spanish, subtitled) You know I can't right now. NICHOLAS (in Spanish, subtitled) When? Madison shushes Nicholas with her index finger over his lips in order to save the moment. MADISON (in Spanish, subtitled) Shhh, when the time is right, papi. (CONTINUED) 16. 19 19 CONTINUED: (2) Madison turns around facing away from Nicholas and guides his arms around her to embrace her as she looks outward and closes her eyes and they intimately connect. CUT TO: 20 EXT. ANTHONY'S HOUSE - NIGHT 20 Alonzo and Anthony sit outside Anthony's stepfather's car to not be seen. Anthony shows Alonzo the keys. Alonzo smiles and the two stand up and open the car door. CUT TO: 21 EXT. MADISON'S HOUSE - NIGHT 21 Carlos walks up to the front door. He places a key in the lock and opens the door. CARLOS Maddy? 1 CUT TO: 22 INT. ANTHONY'S STEPFATHER'S CAR - NIGHT 22 Hip hop music blasts as Anthony drives. Alonzo points to direct Anthony in the direction of CHRIS'S house. Anthony turns the car. CUT TO: 23 INT. MADISON'S HOUSE BEDROOM - NIGHT 23 Madison and Nicholas are on the bed naked kissing. They hear someone coming in the front door calling Madison's name. Madison jumps up. MADISON (In Spanish, subtitled) Shit, it's Carlos! Nicholas jumps up and desperately gathers his clothes lying on the floor. His cell phone falls out of his pants and on to the floor under the bed. (CONTINUED) 17. 23 CONTINUED: 23 Madison grabs her robe and runs out of the bedroom. CUT TO: 24 EXT. CHRIS'S HOUSE - NIGHT 24 Anthony, Alonzo and Chris sit outside of Chris's building smoking a joint and getting high. CHRIS I can't believe you guys pulled it off. ALONZO That's this nigga. He gully son. ANTHONY Told yawl I got this. CUT TO: 25 INT. MADISON'S HOUSE LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 25 Madison runs into the living room looks around and sees no one. Carlos walks into the living room from the kids bedroom having just been checking on them. MADISON (in Spanish, subtitled) Carlos! What the hell?! Carlos walks to Madison and embraces her. She looks annoyed by his unannounced presence. CARLOS (in Spanish, subtitled) I needed to see my kids, and you. I needed to see my family. Carlos begins to kiss Madison's neck in an attempt to warm her up to him. Madison reluctantly tolerates his kisses hoping he will not go any further. Carlos notices Madison's hesitation and stops looking suspicious. He looks around the livingroom and back at Madison . CARLOS (CONT'D) (CONTD) (in Spanish, subtitled) Someone is here. (CONTINUED) 25 18. 25 CONTINUED: Carlos thrusts Madison aside and charges for the bedroomMadison repels Carlo's thrust and rushes behind him into her bedroom. MADISON Carlos í Í CUT TO: 26 INT. ANTHONY'S STEPFATHER'S CAR - NIGHT 26 Hip hop music is blasting while Alonzo, Chris, and Anthony joy ride. Suddenly, red flashing lights from behind flash. A short siren blast is heard motioning the boys to pull over. They pull over. ANTHONY I ' m out of here . ALONZO What?! CHRIS Your ass is going to get shot. ANTHONY They won't shoot up here. Anthony finishes pulling over and jumps out of the driver seat. The other two boys follow suit. The cops are heard giving commands . POLICE OFFICER Step back into the car now I ! CUT TO: 27 INT. MADISON'S HOUSE BEDROOM - NIGHT 27 Carlos bursts into the bedroom with Madison trailing behind. He stands there tensely and surveys the room like there is an intruder there. There is no one in the room. Madison positions herself in front of Carlos and demands his attention to distract him. Meeting his eyes with hers. Carlos relaxes his body and they sit on the edge of the bed. (CONTINUED) 19. 27 CONTINUED: 27 CARLOS (in Spanish, subtitled) I'm sorry. Madison runs her finger through Carlos ' hair and slowly moves down his body to performs oral sex on Carlos to keep him distracted . Pleasure washes over Carlos' face. NICHOLAS' eye is seen watching from the closet. CUT TO: 28 INT. ELMSFORD POLICE STATION - NIGHT 28 The hustling and bustling of a police station is heard. The three boy ' s sit on a bench hand-cuffed . Across the walk way the boy's belongings such as cell phones, wallets, and money sit on a desk in front of them. A police officer is making a call on Alonzo's cell phone. The phone RINGS. CUT TO: 29 INT. MADISON'S HOUSE BEDROOM - NIGHT 29 NICHOLAS' phone is under the bed on mute blinking. FADE TO: 30 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 30 It is about midnight. Nicholas walks into the living room with his clothes disheveled. He is devastated. Nicholas' ex-wife, UNA PEREZ LANDERS, 28, Hispanic female, walks in holding Alexis and frowning. UNA Where have you been? Î ! NICHOLAS Where is the sitter? (CONTINUED) 20. 30 CONTINUED: UNA I sent her home from the police station . NICHOLAS What! 1 UNA Yes... My phone rings at about 11pm and guess who it is? Nicholas looks stunned . UNA (CONTD) The police Í ! I leave the kids with you and look what happens 1 1 NICHOLAS What happened? Alonzo come into the living room with his bags packed. Then Una sits Alexis down on the couch. UNA Now you are concerned? í Í Our son was handcuffed at a police station like a fucking criminal and where the hell were you? Í I With that goddamn Madison again? Í ! NICHOLAS Hey that's not fairM You should talk. . . What did he do? Alonzo' s Una pulls Alonzo toward her and to sit down. UNA He stole a car and was caught joy riding with his friends ! I NICHOLAS Alonzo ? What's up with that? Alonzo sucks his teeth. UNA OhI And their clothes reeked of marijuana and they suspect he was smoking weed. Nicholas moves toward Alonzo to grab him. (CONTINUED) 21. 30 30 CONTINUED: (2) NICHOLAS Man I will break. . . Una stops Nicholas . UNA You won ' t do a thing . He ' s coming with me tonight for the rest of this weekend. Una snatches up Alexis and gathers the kids and their belongings together and leaves. NICHOLAS What it ' s my weekend Í ! Í UNA And you are too busy with that . . . Madison to watch your own kids . I'm taking them now before they are arrested for murder. Una can be heard slamming the door from the hallway. Nicholas sits down and puts his hands on his head. 31 INT. RESTAURANT - DAY 31 Ian sits with his friends, Caucasian lovers JAKE and CONNOR. They are having lunch. Ian picks up his cell phone and makes a call. IAN Excuse me for a second. 32 INT. NEW YORK SPORTS CLUB - DAY 32 Marlon lies flat on a barbell bench. His arm flexes as he lifts the barbells away from his chest. His cell phone RINGS. He sits up and pulls his cell phone out from the pocket of his sweat pants. MARLON Hello. INTERCUT THE RESTAURANT AND THE NEW YORK SPORTS CLUB - DAY IAN Hey babe. MARLON Hey! How is your lunch? (CONTINUED) 22. CONTINUED : 32 IAN Good. I just wanted to see if you were OK, after last night. Marlon privately takes a deep breath and looks worried. MARLON It's all good. Ian raises his eyebrow and looks at his friends out of the corner off his eyes. IAN You sure you are not worried? MARLON Nah. It was the right thing to do. It's going to be fine. Marlon puts his hand over his eyes. IAN Well alright. Just thinking about you. MARLON Thank you. I'm fine. IAN I love you. MARLON Love you too. Ian hangs up the phone and sets it down on the tables and looks at his friends not believing a word Marlon just said. IAN He's worried. Jake and Connor look confused as to what Ian and Marlon's latest stunt is about. JAKE You guys don't think you are stressing this whole visibility thing a bit much. IAN Jake I thought you guys would understand that visibility equals equality. (CONTINUED) 23. 32 CONTINUED: (2) CONNOR Yeah, and it is 2008, I think the world pretty much can see us now. IAN In the white community, but in the black community visibility is still an issue and there is still a lot a fear and denial in my community. The church is full of homosexuals but my pastor does not preach on the subject. WE still have a way to go. Ian, Jake and Connor continue eating. INT. MARLON AND IAN HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 33 Marlon and Ian lie on the couch together embracing one another . MARLON I can't believe that Cory is that prejudiced. After working together all this time, I would have never guessed it. IAN It ' s not like he knew about us Marlon . MARLON Still. I just didn't. I thought he would be more open. IAN He didn't know you as well as you didn't know him... and why don't you look at it from his point of view. All his life he has been told what to think and how to act. MARLON And I haven't? IAN Yeah, but for whatever reason you still manage to define yourself and not buy into it. But there are a lot of men who are trying to live up to society ' s version of masculinity and he is one of them. (MORE) (CONTINUED) 24. CONTINUED: 33 IAN (CONTD) It ' s like a self made prison or a box, can't cry, can't be vulnerable or emotional, having to be hypermasculine , it ' s like your expected to be super human or Superman, not a regular man. MARLON That's why I love you so much. IAN Why? MARLON Because you are a super - man. INT. GROCERY STORE - DAY 34 Angel is walking down the aisle at a local grocery store getting her necessary grocery items. Angel P.O. V. — Upon coming to the next aisle she can hear a couple arguing while she views the products in sale displays at the end of each aisle. She looks nosy and wants to see what is going on so she decides to walk down that aisle, where she hears the arguing. Angel P.O. V. — When she turns the corner she notices that the couple is Nicholas and Una with their two kids. Nicholas is holding his 4 year old daughter Alexis who is resting her head on his shoulder while sucking her thumb. Angel stops and tries not to be noticed and looks at items she has absolutely no interest in. She wants the scoop on Nicholas and stands there listening. Nicholas and Una are arguing trying not to draw attention but they are not successful as anyone near them can hear them. NICHOLAS What the hell is wrong with you? UNA Alonzo needs his father. NICHOLAS What the hell you talking about? I take care of my kids. Alonzo comes from around the corner and seizes the opportunity to put some candy in the cart while his parents argue. His mother is too alert though. (CONTINUED) 25. 34 CONTINUED: UNA PUT.. IT.. BACK.. NOWiI Alonzo quickly snatches up the candy having been caught and throws it on the shelf like he had nothing to do with it being in the cart. UNA (CONT'D) (CONTD) See that's what I mean. No self control whatsoever! NICHOLAS What? Alonzo makes a get away down the aisle toward Angel. Nicholas stands there with Una still not noticing Angel even though Alonzo is headed in her direction. NICHOLAS (CONT'D) (CONTD) Alonzo get back herel Alonzo reaches Angel and he just stops and stares at her. She looks back at him with a kind look. She addresses him secretly as if she knows him and wants him to do her a favor. ANGEL Why don't you go back down there and help your parents not worry about you? Alonzo looks at her like she had some kind of power over him and he is compelled to obey. He turns around and goes back to his parents still looking back at Angel to make sure she's not going to GET him. Nicholas and his Una are still locked in a war of words not noticing what just happened between Angel and Alonzo. UNA Don't you lie to me. You are not spending time with him. He's watching too much television and music videos. NICHOLAS I have to work to support these kids, unlike you who can just marry some money. (CONTINUED) 26. 34 CONTINUED: (2) Una looks at him fed up and snatches their daughter out of his arms and takes Alonzo by the hand and walks away leaving the cart and Nicholas standing there knowing how much this will hurt Nicholas. UNA He needs his father to show him how to be a man. I can't do that and neither can Bow wow, Snoop or 50 Cents! If you can't get it together I will seek full custody before my son ends up dead. Nicholas stands there looking defeated. INSERT 35 A sexually suggestive music video plays. A 15 year old, African American male artist proposes sex to a 15 year old, African American female on a school playground while she watches him. He bumps and grinds away at her promising to sexually please her. The music video is titled "In My Sandbox" INT. ELMSFORD MIDDLE SCHOOL GYMNASIUM - DAY 36 It ' s the last period of the day and middle school students are attending a gym class. There are several children of the opposite sexes in the same gym class wearing all similar gym uniforms. A white T-shirt with blue or khaki shorts. They are all sporadically spaced with in the gymnasium forming small cliques . The gym instructor is apparently overwhelmed with trying to assist an oversized girl climb a rope and watching the children at the same time. The principal, MRS. DEES, being aware of this natural dilemma suddenly appears in the doorway of the gymnasium. The students are unaware to her presence. Alonzo and his classmate ERIKA, who is oddly well developed for a girl her age, sit on the bleachers engaged in watching a music video on his iphone. She sits erotically close to him and looks attracted to him. Alonzo looks attracted to her as well. They are both so caught up in each other that they do not notice Mrs. Dees noticing them. Suddenly Alonzo leans over and whispers in Erika' s ear. Then the two stand up as if they are ready to execute the master plan and make their way down the bleachers being extremely cautious of not catching the attention of the instructor. (CONTINUED) 27. 36 CONTINUED: 36 They make their way toward the side of the bleachers where they eventually disappear out of sight. Watching the whole thing, Mrs. Dees waits a few seconds to see if the children eventually emerge from the side of the bleachers . They do not. Disgust washes over the principles face as she walks confidently toward where Alonzo and Erika disappeared. CUT TO: 37 INT. CAMPAIGN OFFICE - DAY 37 Nicholas sits at Marlon's desk working on his computer. His cell phone RINGS . He answers . NICHOLAS Hello MRS. DEES (O.S.) Hello, Mr. Perez NICHOLAS Yea this is he. Marlon walks through the door and over to his desk where Nicholas is sitting. When Marlon reaches his desk, Nicholas stands up and quickly makes his way to the door. NICHOLAS (CONT'D) (CONTD) I'm on my way. Thanks. Nicholas flies by Marlon without saying a word obviously preoccupied with what he just found out on the phone. Marlon watches in wonder as Nicholas flying out of the office. 38 INT. ELMSFORD MIDDLE SCHOOL OFFICE - DAY 38 A social worker stands next to Mrs Dees who sits at her desk across from Una while she is holding Alexis. Alonzo sits in the chair next to her barely showing remorse. Nicholas walks through the door and notices everyone in the room and looks as if he senses something is up. (CONTINUED) 28. 38 CONTINUED: 38 NICHOLAS What's going on? UNA I want full custody of our kids . NICHOLAS What?· MRS. DEES Mr. Perez, your 12 year old son attempted to have sex with a 14 year old girl here on school grounds today and that is a juvenile offense. He is in danger of being placed in juvenile facility. SOCIAL WORKER His mother has explained that you are not able to provide adequate supervision and financial support and as a result of his actions being this extreme a solution is required. I'm going to make a recommendation to the court that full custody be given to the mother . Nicholas breaks into a sweat as he is cornered by the situation. He looks toward Una refraining from anger. NICHOLAS You can't take my kids from me, Una sits quietly looking like the cat that ate the canary. She is unable to look Nicholas in the eyes knowing this is crushing him. SOCIAL WORKER This will be a temporary solution until you are able to prove that you have obtained adequate supervision and care for your children. Nicholas looks at Alonzo with fear in his eyes of losing his son. Alonzo looks at Nicholas finally understanding the gravity of the situation. NICHOLAS Come here, son. (CONTINUED) 29. 38 38 CONTINUED: (2) Alonzo refuses to move, rolls his eyes with blame at Mrs Dees and sucks his teeth. ALONZO This some bullshit. NICHOLAS HEYi 1 Alonzo then rolls his eyes at Nicholas. Una looks embarrassed, shocked and frightened at her son's behavior. There is a pause in a room with everyone being on one accord about there being a problem with Alonzo. MRS. DEES I'm sorry, Mr. Perez, it was our only option. Nicholas then looks at Alexis in Una's arms. He goes to hold her, asking for permission. NICHOLAS You mind? Una stands up and hands Alexis to him and he hugs her and closes his eyes. CUT TO: 39 EXT. NEW YORK SPORTS CLUB - NIGHT 39 Marlon exits the gym and walks a few feet down the street and sees TRE HARRIS, a famous actor and a client of his. He sees an opportunity. MARLON Tre i TRE Whoa Marlon 1 What's up man? MARLON What's up? How you been? TRE Good, good. What you up to? MARLON Aww man, headed up state im working on the Obama campaign. (CONTINUED) 30. 39 CONTINUED: 39 TRE Say word. MARLON Yeah man, hey listen I was thinking about doing a PSA for the campaign. You interested? TRE Absolutely, when? Marlon pauses to think. DISSOLVE TO: 40 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - NIGHT (FLASHBACK) 40 Cory and Marlon sit in a conference room with papers sprawled about the table. CORY Initial here, this says that you understand the company policy against utilizing professional contacts for personal reasons . Marlon nods in acceptance and initials the employment contract . DISSOLVE TO: 41 EXT. NEW YORK SPORTS CLUB - NIGHT (PRESENT) 41 Marlon and Tre stand facing one another. Marlon is locked in a gaze remembering his company policy. TRE Marlon Î Í You alright? MARLON Yeah, sorry about that. TRE So when do you start production on the PSA. MARLON Damn man, I just remembered something, I can't do it. Marlon suddenly walks away (CONTINUED) 41 31. 41 CONTINUED: MARLON (CONT'D) (CONTD) I gotta go, I will see you around. Tre stands there and looks confused then walks away. TRE Muthafuckas are crazy! ! 42 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - DAY 42 Cory and Tre sit in Cory's office looking at paperwork. Tre signs away the paperwork. TRE Thanks, man, I appreciate you handling these contracts for me. This television pilot came really quick. CORY No problem, Tre, sorry but Marlon has been a little caught up with the campaign lately. TRE I know, I ran into him last night and I could tell. He just stood there staring at me all crazy in a daze. CORY Staring at you? TRE Yeah and then he ran off in a hurry. Cory pauses . CORY You need to report this . TRE Why? CORY I think Marlon just came on to you. TRE You serious?! (CONTINUED) 32. 42 CONTINUED: CORY Yes. He just came out, and that behavior is unacceptable. Excuse me wait here. Cory leaves the office intent on reporting Marlon. INT. FORD LAW FIRM - DAY 43 Two white men in business suits, MR. PERRY AND MR. FORD, and Cory sit at the conference room table reviewing paper work. Marlon walks in and senses something big is happening. MR. FORD Mr. Wright, have a seat. Marlon sits down looking confused as if he is going to be interrogated . CORY We called you in because charges of sexual harassment have been filed against you by a client. MARLON What Í That ' s not true . I'm married . MR. FORD As we have also been recently made aware of. Although there is no formal policy on fraternization it is still discouraged in this office. You are the best entertainment lawyer we have. This will affect us negatively. MARLON Wait a minute! Who is making this accusation and where is the evidence. There has been no wrong doing on my part here. CORY However, Mr. Wright, as your supervisor had I been aware of your relationship with Mr. Paige it would have at least prevented your character being drawn into question. (CONTINUED) 33. 43 CONTINUED: MARLON What question? Í I would like to see these charges. CORY Marlon, I'm sorry. There will be an investigation of these charges and we will be sending a report to you. MR. FORD And until then, Mr. Wright, we have no other choice but to suspend you pending this investigation . . . That will be all. Marlon stands up and fixes his suit jacket keeping his dignity. Marlon and Cory lock eyes like "it's on." MARLON I see. Marlon walks out of the conference room. FADE TO BLACK. INT. MARKET RESEARCH OFFICE MANHATTAN - CONFERENCE ROOM - ESffif Marlon and Nicholas sit at a desk in a conference room waiting for the lead researcher to come in and brief them. MICHELLE WILSON an African American woman in her 30' s walks in and places a report down on the conference room table and takes a seat. MICHELLE Well I have to say this has been a very unique research request. MARLON Michelle I knew that if anybody could, you could handle it. MICHELLE Mmmm. MARLON Nah, for real, in law school you were always the first one to have looked shit up. When you opened your own research firm I knew I would eventually be sitting here asking for you help. (CONTINUED) 34. 44 CONTINUED : NICHOLAS OK, what did you find? MICHELLE After cross referencing several highly successful media products we have found that preferred marketable traits for men of color sought after by the music industry, film industry and television executives are street credibility, wealth, jailtime, and sexuality that has no connection to love. Long story short gentlemen it ' s the ghetto that dictates our values in the media. That is where your talent pool lives . MARLON That ' s bullshit ! ! NICHOLAS OK, so you are saying that there is no market for anything else that's not ghetto? MICHELLE I didn't say that. What I said was that HIGHLY successful media products contained these marketable traits . MARLON So it's safe enough to say that people of color outside the ghetto are generally not targeted as a market, we are forced to choose from what's available. The three look at each other as they absorb this reality and contemplate its possible hopelessness. INT. FORD LAW FIRM - NIGHT 45 Cory sits at his desk doing some billing. On the paper work he changes the billing from 5 hours to 10 hours. His cell phone rings. It is his fiance Bailey. CORY Hello. . . hey. . . uh huh. . . hey look, I'm sorry but it looks like an all nighter. . . (MORE) (CONTINUED) 35. CONTINUED: 45 CORY (CONTD) Yeah I got make sure these guys get prepared properly for this case . . . OK... thanks for understanding... i '11 see you in the morning... I love you . . . Bye . Cory hangs up just as a mysterious figure appears in the door. SEAN, 35, African-American male, walks into the office and sits on the edge of the desk. SEAN Man, you ready? Or you still shuffling papers? Cory collects the billing he was just working on. CORY Shuffling papers? Man I'm getting paid and get off my desk! Cory swipes at Sean like a fly and he gets off the desk. SEAN C ' mon man VIP and heads awaits us . Vincent and Chuck are waiting in the limo downstairs. Cory and Sean leave the office. CORY I hope those idiots don't drink all the champagne. INT. SHADOW NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT 46 Music plays in a expansive dance nightclub. Lights swirl and the club is packed. Cory, Sean, Vincent and Chuck are at the bar having drinks. Sean spots Caitlyn closing in on their position. SEAN Ain ' t that your shorty from Queens . CORY Yeah, she doesn't understand boundaries too well Caitlyn walks up to Cory. (CONTINUED) 36. 46 46 CONTINUED: CAITLYN Yeah I see you. Cory looks at Caitlyn and does not speak. He put his drink down and walks past her to another girl and takes her by the hand and leads her to the dance floor. Caitlyn stands there staring at Cory ' s behavior while Cory ' s friends witness the whole scene and laugh. VINCENT Damn í Í , That ' s fucked up . 47 INT. AUDITION SPACE - DAY 47 Marlon and Nicholas sit behind a table watching a young BLACK MALE ARTIST sing sexually charged lyrics as he performs subtle sexually charged body movement in the likes of Chris Brown. He finishes his performance and looks confident that he has done a good job. NICHOLAS Thank you. The artist walks out confidently. NICHOLAS (CONT'D) (CONTD) Well? MARLON Are you serious? NICHOLAS Well he is good. MARLON I know but ... it ' s . . . it ' s something . Their INTERN comes in checking to see if they are ready for the next act. INTERN This is the last one, rap. NICHOLAS OK, send him in. The RAP ARTIST walks in. (CONTINUED) 37. 47 CONTINUED: 47 RAP ARTIST Hey, how yawl doing? NICHOLAS Good, thanks, so what you got for us? RAP ARTIST Just a little something something. NICHOLAS Word? RAP ARTIST Yeah. NICHOLAS Alright let ' s hear it . The rap artist performs a violently destructive freestyle rap in the likes of Eminem. He finishes his performance. MARLON Thank you. The rap artist walks out. NICHOLAS Well, it'll work. That's what the kids listen to today and want to see. MARLON I don ' t know why It ' s not like it ' s original. I mean how can you tell the difference when they all do and say the same thing? Boring! NICHOLAS I know man but it ' s what ' s hot . Marlon pauses stands up and walks toward the door. MARLON Is this really what we signed up for? NICHOLAS Looks like it . (CONTINUED) 38. 47 CONTINUED: (2) 47 MARLON I thought we were going do something different. NICHOLAS We are different. MARLON Not yet. Not yet. Marlon leaves the audition space. Nicholas looks curious. 48 INSERT 48 A news report plays. There is a news reporter voice over a collage of images of a black male celebrity and a unidentified white woman. NEWS REPORTER (V.O.) Singer Craig White has been accused in an attack against a woman identified by sources close to White as a escort. Authorities believe an argument between White and the call girl turned physical with the woman suffering visible injuries. White was arrested and released on a sixty thousand dollar bail. Neither he nor his lawyer or the victim have commented. 49 INT. JASON LEVINE ' S HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - DAY 49 The news report continues to play on a huge flat screen monitor. JASON LEVINE stands next to the screen proving a point and facing Marlon and Nicholas who is sitting on the couch watching the report. JASON Fellas we have a problem. I mean, I didn't see it at first but now it is clear. MARLON You mean to tell me after years of promoting and marketing poison you have so called finally seen the light . Nicholas gets up and walks to another section of the room acknowledging the contrived nature of the points being made by Jason. (CONTINUED) 39. CONTINUED : 49 JASON Yes, I admit it when I started in A&R I was hungry enough to not care about how the music and the images I put out would hurt our community but now it ' s out of control and I am responsible. I need different talent with original and different material and I need your help. Nicholas moves back toward the center of the conversation with a vengeance still contemplating whether or not Jason and their agency need to work together. NICHOLAS And why should we help you? The patients have taken over the asylum? JASON Nicholas, I appreciate you letting me make this up man. I know that if I would had signed you many years ago like I promised, and more conscious artist like you I would not be in this predicament. Nicholas sits back down on the couch next to Marlon acknowledging Jason's sincerity. INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - DAY 50 Marlon's P.O. V — Marlon walks through a television studio passing the studio floor, cameras, the control room and technicians sprawled about busy wrapping up taping. He reaches a pocket of calm in the studio where there is an office. He peaks his head in wondering if he has the right office and sees MELANIE MOORE, a famous television producer. She doesn't notice him peeking being too busy in her work. He knocks on the door. INT. TELEVISION STUDIO MELANIE ' S OFFICE - DAY 51 Melanie 's attention is grabbed by a knock at her office door. She looks up and sees Marlon standing in the door way. MARLON Uhh Melanie? Melanie Moore? MELANIE Yes, you are? (CONTINUED) 40. 51 CONTINUED: 51 MARLON Marlon, Marlon Wright from the Men of Color Agency. MELANIE Shit, what time is it? Melanie gets up and shakes Marlon's hand. MARLON Don ' t worry about it , I'm early . MELANIE Oh, give me a minute... sit, sit. Marlon sits down. Melanie shuffles through papers on her desk to locate the paperwork she prepared for this meeting. She finds it. MELANIE (CONT'D) (CONTD) So, Ian tells me that you just started your agency and you would be able to handle this order. MARLON Yes. MELANIE You have a strong client base from your previous position in entertainment law. MARLON Well it ' s not really previous ; it ' s still current. MELANIE Well as you already know, I'm Melanie Moore producer for . . . MARLON Habitation Overhaul, Undervalued Community, and The Street System. MELANIE You a fan? MARLON Not really ... I . (CONTINUED) 41. 51 CONTINUED: (2) MELANIE Did your homework. I get it. I like that . Let ' s move on . Melanie sits back in her chair and relaxes realizing she is dealing with an efficient person. MELANIE (CONT'D) (CONTD) Ian told you what I am looking for? MARLON You are producing a new show and need talent? . . . Some sort of competition ? MELANIE I ' m putting together a reality show for music mogul Jon Holmes to find the next hottest male R&B group. MARLON OK, When does it go into production? MELANIE In two months ... we need five musically talented men of color, preferably, to put together an R&B group . . . they all need to have distinct different personalities. We want to go in a different direction from traditional casting agents . She hands him a report. MELANIE (CONT'D) (CONTD) This a character profile and treatment to help you with the guidelines. Everything you need is in there. Marlon takes the report and flips through it skimming the content. He stops appearing to ponder the details of what he is reading when actually shitting bricks cause he knows that he can't fill the order immediately. MARLON Did your homework, I like that, shall we move on? He puts the paperwork in his briefcase, stands up to leave, and reaches out to shake Melanie' s hand. (CONTINUED) 42. 51 CONTINUED: (3) 51 Melanie looks impressed by his appearance of confidence. They shake hands. MELANIE So how soon can you get them? MARLON I'll call you by the end of next week. That a good time? MELANIE Perfect. Marlon walks out. 52 INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - DAY 52 Marlon walks out of Melanie Moore's office through the studio. He breathes a sigh of relief indicating he is coming out of character from the interview. MARLON (To Himself) Damn we just opened, where in the hell am I going get these dudes? 53 INT. CORY'S CAR - NIGHT 53 Cory and Bailey drive to visit Cory's family. Cory focuses intently on the road. Bailey stares off into the scenery as it passes by. They both are in deep thought. BAILEY She's not going to like me. CORY Why do you say that? BAILEY Uh, I'm only three months pregnant and I have only known you for three months . CORY Let me take care of that. Don't worry about it. Bailey looks at Cory. (CONTINUED) 53 43. 53 CONTINUED: CORY (CONTD) Besides, even though my family are traditionalists, they also have their own dysfunction. They return back into deep thought as Cory drives. 54 INT. CORY'S PARENT'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT 54 Cory stands having a drink at the counter where his mother GWEN MARSHALL, 58, Jamaican female, cuts ingredients for a salad. Bailey washes dishes. Gwen stares at her son and then glances back at Bailey who doesn't see her before handing her a dish. GWEN Bailey, here you go sweet heart. Bailey turns around takes the dish and begins washing. GWEN (CONTD) Bailey? BAILEY Yes Mrs. Marshall? GWEN How long have you been seeing my son? CORY Ma, we met over a year ago. GWEN I was talking to Bailey. Bailey turns around with a sad look and then back around to washing dishes . BAILEY Yes, over a year ago at a charity event in the city. Gwen gives Cory a piercing look. 55 INT. CORY'S PARENT'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT 55 The dining room has a strong wood finish with an antique china cabinet and wood servers and dining table that seats about 10. (CONTINUED) 44. 55 CONTINUED: 55 Cory, Bailey, Gwen and GAVIN, 62, African American male sit having dinner in the dining room. Food is being past and everyone is engaged into the dining. The doorbell RINGS. Gavin gets up and leaves to answer the door. CORY Ma these potatoes are good. BAILEY Yes the food is very good. GWEN Can you cook Bailey? BAILEY A little. No where as good as you Mrs . Marshall . Gavin and SAMUEL MARSHALL, 40, Jamaican American male, are heard laughing before entering the dining room. They walk into the dining room. GAVIN Guess who is here? GWEN My baby ï Ï I The focus in the room shifts to Samuel. His mother stands up and greets her son with big hug. SAMUEL Hey ma. After he finishes his embrace Samuel notices Cory. SAMUEL (CONTD) Hey, is that my little brother? Cory does not get up to give Samuel a hug. Samuel notices Cory remaining seated. He then notices Bailey and holds his handout to shake hers. SAMUEL (CONTD) Hi, and who is this pretty young lady. (CONTINUED) 45. 55 CONTINUED: (2) CORY That's my fiance and when did you start noticing pretty ladies? GWEN Cory ! ! Samuel goes over and gives Cory and Bailey a hug. SAMUEL (to Cory) It's OK ma. I'm gay not blind little brother. Congratulations. Bailey is shocked at this revelation. A silence rushes over the room. GAVIN How is my grandson? And when you going to bring him by? Cory seethes while the two have their conversation. SAMUEL As soon as I can, Pa. His mother's family wanted to watch him while Dave and I finish up this play. I'm still getting used to the six day work week on Broadway. GAVIN Son, I'm so proud of you. SAMUEL I know, I know, well it looks like your going to have another grandchild around here. Proud of you Cory and Bailey welcome to the family . Dinner commences and the family settles back into their routine of passing the dishes around the table. INT. CORY'S PARENT'S HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT 56 Cory walks toward the kitchen to get a drink. As he approaches he can hear his parents having a discussion from the kitchen. GWEN (O.C.) I know my son. He's not telling us everything . . . (MORE) (CONTINUED) 46. 56 CONTINUED: 56 GWEN (O.C.) (CONTD) I just hope he's happy and I am glad he is finally settling down. GAVIN (O.C.) Well he doesn't fool me. I know he ' s up to no good and that little tramp doesn't have a clue. GWEN (0.C.) And how do you know that? GAVIN (O.C.) Cause, I know me and I know he is a chip off the old block. GWEN (O.C.) Oh really? So why don't you enlighten me? GAVIN (O.C.) Don't start with me Gwen. You know that is all in the past. 57 INT. MARLON AND IAN "S HOUSE - DAY 57 Marlon sits on the bed reading papers. Ian is in the mirror straightening his tie. IAN How was Kevon? MARLON Good. IAN Is there anything you want to tell me before we get to the adoption agency? MARLON Like what? IAN You know like what? MARLON Are you asking me if I am guilty? IAN Yes I am. (CONTINUED) 47. CONTINUED: 57 MARLON I can't believe this. I thought you knew? IAN What I know is, that I trust you but I need to know whether or not you did this . Tre is cute and how do I know it ' s not true and this is not the only time? And I wasn't there . MARLON I'm not having this conversation. Not now. IAN Oh yes you are. I need to know before I get in front of this agency what I am dealing with. Damn it Marlon, I'm tired of all of this . This is my life too and I ' m not going to not ask the question when I have so much of my heart invested in this . You owe me at least that much latitude. MARLON Are you making a case? IAN If I must, so did you do it? Marlon stands up and goes over to Ian to embrace him. Ian' s look stops Marlon from embracing him. MARLON Of Course. I didn't do this. I love you. Marlon ' s face saddens as he holds back his tears . Ian stands there quietly reserved. Marlon walks out of the room. INT. ADOPTION AGENCY - DAY 58 The agency resembles a small town house turned into a preschool or day care center. Marlon and Ian sit across from the CASE WORKER, about 50, Caucasian female wearing glasses, sitting at her desk. She reads the application. (CONTINUED) 48. 58 CONTINUED: CASE WORKER OK, this is the first in a standard procedure of preliminary interviews during the application process. It says here that both parents to adopt are male? A Mr Wright and a Mr Paige? MARLON Yes. IAN Yes. CASE WORKER Oh. The case worker takes off her glasses. CASE WORKER (CONTD) Gentlemen. Are you sure you want to go through with this? Marlon and Ian look at each other with confusion in their faces . IAN Yes we do. CASE WORKER Well are you aware that same sex couples have a known reputation for not maintaining stable relationships or homes . IAN Well neither are heterosexual couples? MARLON Ian. IAN Well I am sorry I don't understand your statement. CASE WORKER Excuse my frankness, this is not a usual case for this town and my concern is primarily for the welfare of the child. Marlon places a calm hand on Ian' s arm. (CONTINUED) CONTINUED : ( 2 ) MARLON We understand. CASE WORKER Are either one of you registered as a convicted sex offender? IAN Excuse me?! Marlon calmly rubs Ian ' s arm and answers . MARLON No Ma'am. We didn't see that on the application so I'm afraid we don ' t understand your questioning. CASE WORKER Gentlemen, this is an interview, questions may arise that may have not been covered on the application and I assure you it is completely in the interest of the welfare of the child. I also need to make you aware that we have been having some issues getting a reference from your employer. They have not returned our paper work and your supervisor has not returned our calls, so we are still waiting for that reference and once we have it we can move forward. Meanwhile we will continue to conduct these interviews . Marlon and Ian look at one another. EXT. BASKETBALL COURT - DAY (LATER) Cory, Sean, Vincent and Chuck sit huddled togeth having played some basketball. SEAN And so this guy thinks he is just going to pop out of the closet and everybody is going to be cool? CORY Exactly. Only it wasn't. I know he was shook when he caught that charge . 50. 59 CONTINUED: 59 SEAN Man, you cold. Marlon's P. O. V.- Marlon walks toward the basketball court while Cory and his friends converse. CORY Nah. I just have to make sure that these homosexuals know that that shit don't fly everywhere. Definitely not up in my law firm. Marlon reaches the court just in time to hear Cory's comment about homosexuals in "his" law firm. He walks up and gets in Cory's face MARLON Oh it ' s your law firm now? Huh? Cory ' s friends egg on the situation with noises and snickering. CORY It's always been my firm. I hired you remember? MARLON Yeah but you don't own me. My son? You fucking with my son? Are you crazy? Cory's face tightens as his body language postures for fighting . CORY Man you best be getting up out my face. MARLON Or what? Before Cory can answer Marlon punches Cory in the mouth. Cory reacts by hitting Marlon. The two fall to the ground throwing punches . Cory's friends scurry toward them to break up the fight. They manage to pull Marlon off Cory and hold him. Cory gets up. CORY Let him go. (CONTINUED) 51. 59 CONTINUED: (2) 59 Marlon violently breaks their hold on him. MARLON You take my son away from me and I will just back off my family. Marlon walks away in a huff. 60 INT. CAMPAIGN OFFICE - DUSK 60 Nicholas sits at Marlon's desk staring off into space. Angel watches Nicholas with a look of compassion on her face. She stops what she is doing and gets up and walks over to Nicholas . ANGEL What's her name? NICHOLAS Excuse me? ANGEL What's her name? It's written all over your face. NICHOLAS Why do you care? ANGEL Who says I did? NICHOLAS Well you obviously do. ANGEL Look. You look like you could use a friend. NICHOLAS And now we are friends? ANGEL Forget it. Angel starts to walk away. NICHOLAS Wait. I'm just used to all your attitude. Why all of sudden do you care about what I'm going through? (CONTINUED) 52. 60 CONTINUED: 60 ANGEL Does it matter? Angel continues to walk back toward her desk. Nicholas gets up and walks over to Angel's desk. NICHOLAS I'm sorry. Angel continues to organize herself. ANGEL Fine. She stops, his wounded puppy dog gaze having broken through her unaf f ectedness . ANGEL (CONT'D) (CONTD) You wanna get a drink? NICHOLAS Sure Angel continues to organize herself and not let him know the puppy dog gaze does it for her. 61 INT. CHARLIE'S BAR - NIGHT 61 Nicholas and Angel sit at the bar having a drink in an atmosphere of flirtatiously hashing out their difference once and for all. ANGEL I think you ' re arrogant and . . . never mind. NICHOLAS No, finish your sentence. ANGEL I didn't know you were a father or married. NICHOLAS Was married. ANGEL You look like a player to me. Nicholas peers out the corner of his eye at Angel appearing to sense her probing wondering if she wanted to be played by him. (CONTINUED) 53. 61 CONTINUED: 61 NICHOLAS Really? Suddenly KIM THOMAS appears behind Nicholas obviously not by accident . KIM Excuse me, is this seat taken? Nicholas turns around as she sits down next to him at the bar trying to mind her own business. NICHOLAS I guess not. KIM (to the bartender) Can I get a sex on the beach? Kim throws Nicholas a flirtatious look that was so underneath the radar that he doesn't really get it. Angel catches the look and gets it and rolls her eyes. ANGEL I'm going to the bathroom. Angel leaves to go to the bathroom masking her jealousy. Nicholas turns to order another drink smiling having noticed Angel's slight jealously and feeling like the cat's meow between these women. NICHOLAS (to the bartender) Can I get another one? The bartender nods his head confirming he has the order. Nicholas and Kim look at each other and smile. Kim reaches to shake Nicholas* hand. The reaching of her hand radiating an invitation to take me now. KIM Hi, Kim. Nicholas shakes her hand like if you get too close I will fall hopelessly in love with you. NICHOLAS Nicholas . The bartender brings Nicholas" drink. Kim stops the bartender as he is walking away, reaches in her purse and gives him money to pay for her and Nicholas' drink and making her move. (CONTINUED) 54. 61 CONTINUED: (2) 61 KIM This is for both drinks. The bartender takes the money and walks away. Nicholas looks at Kim like "what are you doing"? NICHOLAS Thank you. KIM My pleasure. So what do you do? NICHOLAS IT. You? KIM Buyer. You can't tell by my clothes . NICHOLAS No. Kim begins to leave. KIM Oh I am sorry. Didn't mean to interrupt. (Whispering under her breath) Girls night out. Nicholas grabs her hand smiling holding back a burst of laughter at her expense. NICHOLAS I was just kidding. Kim smiles with relief and sits back down still believing in her ability to pick out studs. KIM You're cute. NICHOLAS Actually you seem to be the only one in that department. Nicholas's attention is taken by Angel returning to her seat. NICHOLAS (CONT'D) (CONTD) Hey Angel, this is Kim. ANGEL Hi (CONTINUED) 55. 61 CONTINUED: (3) KIM Hi NICHOLAS (to Angel) Kim here is buyer for? KIM Neiman Marcus. ANGEL Oh really? That fits you. Nice outfit . KIM Thank you. Angel gets the bartender's attention and waves him over. ANGEL (to them both) Hey this round is on me. (To the bartender) Another round please. KIM Thank you. FADE TO: INT. CHARLIE'S BAR - NIGHT - LATER 62 Kim is sitting closer to Nicholas appearing to have won his affections and he is obviously intrigued by her too. They talk and laugh as Angel comes back and sits down taking her role as queen friend, no longer in the running cause she is too proud to be obviously going after a man. KIM Damn girli That bladder is moving. Angel is clearly intoxicated as she sits down but not so drunk that she is numb to her new and annoying rival. ANGEL Well that seems to be the only thing that is moving. Kim looks at Nicholas realizing she has outstayed her welcome and maybe the gloves are getting ready to come off. She begins to collect herself to leave. (CONTINUED) 56. 62 CONTINUED: KIM You know what? I am flying out in the afternoon and I really should get going it's getting late. NICHOLAS It ain't that late. ANGEL Oh it's that late. Kim finishes her drink and pulls out her business card and places it softly in Nicholas' hands approving the future booty call. KIM Call me. She kisses Nicholas on his cheek and goes to kiss Angel on her cheek signaling she is a good sport. Angel moves away from Kim's pucker. ANGEL We got your number. We'll call. Kim looks at Nicholas again and then back at Angel sensing obvious daggers and starts to walk toward the door. KIM Nice meeting you . Let ' s stay in touch . Angel's body posture shifts to relief making a fake smile. ANGEL Yes . Let ' s . Kim looks at the two confused and leaves. Angel and Nicholas readjust themselves to sitting at the bar as they were earlier in the evening, only now Nicholas appears to be feeling his mojo and Angel works at being unaffected again. NICHOLAS That bother you? ANGEL I didn't like her bag. There is a silent pause. (CONTINUED) 57. 62 CONTINUED: (2) NICHOLAS You are beautiful. Why are sitting here with me? Shouldn't you be being wined and dined somewhere? ANGEL Oh I was. It's overrated. NICHOLAS Ouch I ANGEL Did that sound bitter? NICHOLAS Mmmh mmmh. ANGEL Well that's not what it is. NICHOLAS I'm listening. Angel notions to the bartender for another drink. ANGEL I was engaged to a man I was with for six years, when this child comes into the emergency room. He was losing a lot of blood and fast. Turns out he had just been in a fatal car accident with his mother. She didn't survive. She died in the Ambulance. So my fiance was there at the time, bringing me lunch cause I worked really long shifts and I wouldn't eat. Angel takes a drink attempting to numb the painful memory. ANGEL (CONT'D) (CONTD) So this kid was really losing a lot of blood fast and we needed blood. We had to find the father immediately. So my staff gets on it, going through the mother's belongings looking for any clues that might help us find the father. That's when my fiance walks in and realizes the identity of the mother and his child. (CONTINUED) 58. CONTINUED: (3) 62 NICHOLAS Are you serious? ANGEL He took responsibility. We got the blood we needed and the child survived. He and I, however, didn't. NICHOLAS Did you know? ANGEL No. And all those years I felt as though I knew him like the back of my hand. I trusted him with my life. NICHOLAS Whoa. I am sorry. Angel motions to the bartender once again for another drink. ANGEL Don't be. Nicholas interrupts Angel's communication with the bartender signaling the bartender not to bring the drink. Nicholas gets up and helps a staggering Angel off her seat. NICHOLAS Come on let ' s go . ANGEL I want my drink. Nicholas assists Angel in getting her things and walking toward the exit. NICHOLAS We ' re done here . Give me your keys . Angel struggles to focus through her intoxication and reaches in her bag and gives him her keys as they walk toward the door. INT. ANGEL'S HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 63 Nicholas and Angel walk into the living room toward the couch. He is supporting her in walking because she has had too much to drink. They reach the couch and both plop down, exhausted and laughing. (CONTINUED) 59. 63 CONTINUED: They look at each other as the reason to laugh disappears realizing their friendship has begun. ANGEL It's good to see you laughing. NICHOLAS What do you mean? ANGEL It's just... never mind. Nicholas looks at her with curiosity about what she is saying. ANGEL (CONT'D) (CONTD) I saw you the other night with your wife? NICHOLAS Una. ANGEL You didn't look happy. NICHOLAS Tell me about it. ANGEL Is that what ' s bothering you because it ' s obvious . NICHOLAS No. There is a pause. Angel lays her head on the shoulder of her new friend. ANGEL Why you are so sad? NICHOLAS I was seeing this really beautiful woman. She was separated from her husband. She said they tried to stay together for the kids but she couldn't do it anymore because she didn't love him anymore. Supposed to get a divorce. I loved her. Now I think she is never going to leave . (CONTINUED) 60. 63 CONTINUED: (2) 63 Angel looks at Nicholas realizing he doesn't see his own pattern . ANGEL Oh? NICHOLAS What? ANGEL I think you are attracted to emotionally unavailable women. NICHOLAS You're drunk. You don't know what you are talking about. ANGEL No seriously, take Ms. Kim from earlier for a second. She tells you that she doesn't stand still in one spot for a living and you were off the races . NICHOLAS Now I KNOW you have had too much to drink. You don't even know me. Why would I do that? ANGEL I'm just saying. Maybe you are afraid . NICHOLAS Afraid of what? Nicholas gets up. He helps Angel get up. NICHOLAS (CONT'D) (CONTD) C ' mon . You drank too much . You are tripping . Angel resists getting up. She is inebriated and enjoying the energy of her new friend. NICHOLAS (CONT'D) (CONTD) Where do you sleep? Angel points toward her bedroom if she must go. She stops Nicholas . ANGEL I can still see you hurting. (CONTINUED) 61. 63 63 CONTINUED : ( 3 ) Nicholas walks her toward her bedroom. She stops to make a sober point and rubs his head affectionately a mixture of friendship and something more. ANGEL (CONT'D) (CONTD) She was stupid to let you get away. They are close and appear to want to kiss each other. Nicholas breaks the moment. He continues to walk her to her bedroom. NICHOLAS C mon. Time to go. They walk into the bedroom. FADE TO: 64 INT. ANGEL'S HOUSE LIVINGROOM - MORNING 64 Nicholas wakes up. He looks around the room and remembering that he stayed to make sure Angel was OK. He gets up and walks to the entrance of Angel ' s bedroom and leans on the door frame. 65 INT. ANGEL'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - MORNING 65 Angel is sleeping. Nicholas is watching from the doorway. 66 INT. ANGEL'S HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - MORNING 66 Nicholas turns away from watching Angel sleeping in her bedroom. He walks to the couch, sits down and looks at his watch. He panics. NICHOLAS Oh shit. Nicholas grabs his shoes and belongings in a hurry. He stumbles to get himself together to leave. He calms himself and looks toward the bedroom to see if Angel was still ok. He continues to hurry himself. He gets his shoes on and runs out of the room. 67 INT. RESTAURANT - MORNING 67 Nicholas rushes in and looks around for an artist he is supposed to meet. He doesn't see him. He looks at his watch again in disgust. NICHOLAS Damni (CONTINUED) 62. CONTINUED: 67 He looks around again. He walks out looking at his watch. INT. CAMPAIGN OFFICE - NIGHT 68 Nicholas walks into the office. He looks ashamed. Marlon is sitting at his desk. He looks annoyed. He watches Nicholas out of the corner of his eyes . Nicholas walks to the desk next to Angel's and sits. He begins to work on the computer . Marlon looks annoyed. He gets up and walks over to Nicholas. MARLON What happened? NICHOLAS I got caught up. MARLON You got caught up? NICHOLAS I ' m sorry . MARLON You ' re sorry? Do you realize you stood up a very important artist and that could have consequences for us? Angel walks into the office. Nicholas is distracted by Angel. MARLON (CONT'D) (CONTD) This ain't cool man. We invested money we don't have in this. This is not a game and. . . Marlon is curious at what Nicholas being distracted by and turns around to see. Angel looks at Nicholas. Nicholas looks back at Angel. Marlon looks at Angel and then Nicholas. Angel walks to her desk. She looks embarrassed. She sits down. Nicholas makes a hidden smile. (CONTINUED) 63. 68 CONTINUED: 68 Marlon looks suspicious . Marlon walks away angry in a rant back to his desk. MARLON (CONT'D) (CONTD) Man, whatiii... My life is on the line , buddy . . . Nicholas looks at Angel. He mouths. NICHOLAS You OK? Marlon continues to rant walking toward his desk. MARLON Man, this better not be what I think it is . . . Angel nods yes . Marlon continue to rant in the distance . MARLON (CONT'D) (CONTD) We are trying to build and you ' re chasing skirts and missing meetings? Oh HELLS nawl I Ì Nicholas lowers his head in embarrassment. Angel adjusts herself in her seat pretending nothing is happening. FADE TO: 69 INT. NICHOLAS' CAR - DAY 69 Nicholas and Angel drive to pick up NICHOLAS' kids from their mother . NICHOLAS Thanks for coming with me to pick up my kids. It means a lot to me. I appreciate it. ANGEL You welcome. It means a lot to me that you included me in on this . Angel and Nicholas smile at each other for a split second and continue driving. 70 INT. NICHOLAS" HOUSE - HALLWAY - DAY 70 Nicholas, Angel, Alexis and Alonzo walk in. Angel is holding Alexis who is now asleep. (CONTINUED) 64. 70 CONTINUED : 70 NICHOLAS Alonzo, take your sister's stuff to her room when you take yours to yours . Alonzo sucks his teeth. ANGEL Alonzo, could you do that for us please. Alonzo picks up his sister's and his belongings and walks toward their rooms. 71 INT. NICHOLAS" HOUSE - ALONZO ' S ROOM - DAY 71 Alonzo lies on his bed staring at the ceiling. Angel walks in. ANGEL Hey what's up? What cha doing? ALONZO Nothing . ANGEL Can I come in? Alonzo nods. Angel walks in and looks around, then focuses on Alonzo. ANGEL (CONTD) Well your father is doing a lot and working really hard to take care of you guys. Could you cut him some slack? ALONZO What you want me to do? ANGEL Stop being so hard on him and stay out of trouble. Alonzo leans back on his bed. ANGEL (CONTD) Do you think you could do that? ALONZO I guess. (CONTINUED) 65. 71 71 CONTINUED: Angel sits down with him to see what he does with his Ipad. The two play with his Ipad. 72 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 72 Angel sits there with Alexis sleeping on top her. Una walks in. She quietly sits next to Angel. UNA Hi. ANGEL Hi. UNA I stopped by to bring Alexis her dolls . She sometimes has trouble getting to sleep without them. ANGEL Oh okay. UNA I really want to thank you for helping with the kids. I have always felt that Nikki needed a woman's touch around with them, but all he could come up with was that damn Madison who probably has her own kids running in out of jail and planned pregnancy centers. Angel chuckles at the Una ' s comments . ANGEL No problem and thank you. Nicholas and I have become really good friends . Una looks around and prepares to leave. UNA Friends? Right. ANGEL You're checking on us aren't you? A "busted" look comes over Una's face and she smiles UNA Yeah. Tell Nicholas I stopped by. (CONTINUED) 72 CONTINUED: ANGEL I will. The Una leaves. 73 INT. CHARLIE'S BAR - NIGHT Nicholas and Marlon sit at the bar having shots. MARLON Thank God for Angel. NICHOLAS What do you mean? MARLON Dude, really? She's watching your kids huh? NICHOLAS Yea, She's cool. MARLON Mm. NICHOLAS I need to ask you something. MARLON Go ahead. NICHOLAS Well, did you do it? MARLON Do What? I can't believe you are asking me that. NICHOLAS Man you ain't the only one who has everything on the line and if you did it, I need to know. MARLON Hell no man. Marlon and Nicholas continue drinking. MARLON (CONTD) You know what I think? NICHOLAS What? CONTINUED: MARLON I think that the time for change is now. I don't care what those market researchers say. A black man is a Presidential Candidate. The public is ready to see men of color in a different light. NICHOLAS How so? MARLON Don't sleep. The media will attack him. We just have to come up with a counter move. NICHOLAS And that's what? And exactly how will this help our business? MARLON Well, locally, we will lead an offensive. We will do a benefit concert. Not just any concert. The theme is change. It will be a call to the community to see men of color in a different light. All of the artist will be men of color representing change in their content. They will not be singing or doing "more of the same" but representing the positive attributes of who we are. NICHOLAS I don't know man. If the market wanted that it would have already happened. MARLON Yeah and the country wasn't ready for a black man to be president either . NICHOLAS I get your point. The two continue drinking. INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT Angel lies there watching television with Alexi 68. 74 CONTINUED: Nicholas is about to walk in the living room but stops and stands in the entrance and watches Angel and the kids. He eventually enters and joins them in watching television. INT. CAMPAIGN OFFICE - NIGHT 75 Marlon and Nicholas walk in wearing business suits. The office is filled with volunteers. Marlon walks over to Ian. They kiss and embrace each other. MARLON Hey IAN Hey Cory sits on a desk talking to a volunteer and looks disgusted when he sees the two embrace. Nicholas walks over to Angel ' s desk and sits on the corner gazing at her with wonderment in his eyes. Angel sits at her desk. ANGEL You guys got everybody up in here. What's going on? Nicholas kisses her on her cheek. NICHOLAS You ' 11 see in a minute . Marlon moves to the center of the room where there is chalk board. Amidst all the happenings in the room Marlon writes the words "Change" "More of the Same" and "Benefit Concert" on the board. Marlon sets the marker down and turns to address the room. MARLON Everyone can I have your attention please? Hello we are ready to get started . Nicholas moves over to the opposite side of the board as he partners with Marlon in the presentation. NICHOLAS Can we have your attention please? If we can get started this will take only a few minutes of your time. (CONTINUED) 69. CONTINUED: 75 The noise in the room settles down and everyone ' s attention has been diverted to Marlon and Nicholas' presentation. MARLON First we would like to thank everyone for coming out to be part of this new effort for our campaign office. At this point it is clear that the lines of battle have been drawn as usual between us Democrats and the Republicans and who are choices for President of the United States are. But I must say the battle has just begun. We can expect the media attacks to be more intense and personal as the time for election day draws near. So it is of critical importance that we counter this effort here in Elms ford. NICHOLAS What we propose is a benefit concert produced by us at the Men of Color Talent Agency. We are not only looking to raise money for the campaign office to increase our efforts but also looking to raise consciousness in our community where it concerns men of color. Nicholas points toward the word "change" on the board. NICHOLAS (CONT'D) (CONTD) This is the first time a black man is running for president on a major ticket. All men of color in the media will be examined and the public will expect "more of the same" . Nicholas points toward the words "more of the same" on the board . MARLON When immorality or scandal happens there will be a man of color attached to it reminding us that we are not morally fit or capable of running the country and we can expect around the clock media coverage on that for months. (MORE) (CONTINUED) 70. CONTINUED: (2) MARLON (CONTD) 75 With these media trends we offer this concert as pre-emptive strike to change the image of men of color in the media. Artists and consumers alike are both victims to a system designed to tell us who we are and what to accept but it is ultimately up to us whether or not we buy into that belief system. Our artists will be performing material that raises positive consciousness of values and participation in the community and the world. Thus we present to you our proposal for the Men of Color benefit concert. The volunteers applaud appearing to be inspired by the presentation . Cory and a few other volunteers do not look impressed. CORY Excuse me but hasn't this effort been done by the rock the vote campaign . MARLON Rock the vote was mainly a PSA effort and might I add that it was and is currently successful. VOLUNTEER 1 But there is also a lot of controversy around that campaign let alone celebrities and politics. MARLON And yet celebrities and politics do not always share a negative relationship as evidenced by a former President and the current Governor of California who were both actors. There is a murmur amongst the volunteers who just previously applauded the ideas. The office returns to its normal operating state. INT. MOC TALENT AGENCY - DAY There is an open loft space made into offices with glass walls giving it a very classy Manhattan look. 76 71. 76 CONTINUED: The largest space contains the desks the administrative employees will fill when business picks up. Marlon and Nicholas sit in Marlon ' s transparent office with the campaign manager. CAMPAIGN MANAGER I came here because I would like to personally extend an offer to formally hire you to produce the benefit concert. MARLON Really? CAMPAIGN MANAGER Will you accept? MARLON Of course we will accept. Marlon and Nicholas embrace each other happy they just landed their biggest client to date. INT. MARLON AND IAN' S HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT Marlon and Ian walk in. IAN That is a very ambitious effort. Trying to change everyone ' s opinion . MARLON It's possible. I just have to sneak into my office and get my roster listing. IAN That ' s where you are going to get all these high profile performers? If you get caught you will lose your job and can get disbarred. And the adoption? That is exactly the kind of scandal we all need. MARLON But it ' s worth . . . Ian is disgusted and leaves the room. 77 72. 78 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - LOBBY - DAY 78 Marlon enters the building. He goes over to security. MARLON Hi fellas. I have a meeting. SECURITY GUARD Mr. Wright good to see you. You back? MARLON Working on it. SECURITY GUARD OK sign in. Marlon signs in. CUT TO: 79 EXT. FORD LAW FIRM - PARKING LOT - DAY 79 Cory pulls up in his car. CUT TO: 80 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - ELEVATOR - DAY 80 Marlon gets into the elevator. CUT TO: 81 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - LOBBY - DAY 81 Cory walks into the building. He passes security. SECURITY GUARD Morning Mr. Marshall CORY Morning CUT TO: 82 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - 3RD FLOOR - DAY 82 Marlon gets off the elevator. He passes Cory's office to get to his. While passing he peeks to see if Cory is in his office. He runs by the door in case Cory is in there. CUT TO: 73. 83 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - LOBBY - DAY 83 Cory gets on the elevator. CUT TO: 84 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - MARLON'S OFFICE- DAY 84 Marlon runs into his office. He goes to his desk and opens the drawer and sees a file labeled client roster. CUT TO: 85 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - 3RD FLOOR - DAY 85 Cory get off the elevator. Cory walks toward his office. CUT TO: 86 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - MARLON'S OFFICE - DAY 86 Marlon grabs the client roster and stuffs it in his suit jacket and closes the drawer. The rustling of the file and closing of the drawer makes a noticeable noise. CUT TO: 87 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - 3RD FLOOR - DAY 87 Before Cory enters his office he appears to hear something coming from Marlon ' s office . He walks towards Marlon ' s office. CUT TO: 88 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - MARLON'S OFFICE - DAY 88 Marlon moves away from the desk and toward the door. He reaches his arm out to turn the knob. CUT TO: 89 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - 3RD FLOOR - DAY 89 Cory reaches his arm out to turn the knob. Before his hand touches the knob he is distracted. IAN Mr. Marshall? Cory turns around and sees Ian. CUT TO: 74. 90 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - MARLON'S OFFICE - DAY 90 Marlon's hand freezes when he hears Ian' s voice. He moves closer to the door to hear but behind it enough in case it opens . CUT TO: 91 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - 3RD FLOOR - DAY 91 Cory adjusts himself appearing to be embarrassed for being suspicious . IAN You alright? CORY Of course. Ian looks at the door to Marlon's office and back at Cory. He moves toward the door, reaches his arm out grabs the knob and turns it and opens the door. CUT TO: 92 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - MARLON'S OFFICE - DAY 92 Marlon is positioned behind the opened door as Ian holds the door open while standing in the door frame. CUT TO: 93 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - 3RD FLOOR - DAY 93 Ian props the door open with his hand. Cory leans over and peaks in. IAN Need something? CORY No. That's OK. Cory leaves and walks into his own office. Marlon comes from behind the door and slips past Ian, still propping the door open. As he passes Ian he mouths the words. MARLON I love you. He quietly moves in the opposite direction of Cory's office toward the stairs. (CONTINUED) 75. 93 93 CONTINUED: Ian closes the door and walks past Cory's office. Cory looks up from his desk at Ian as he passes by. Ian smirks at Cory when Cory looks at him as he passes by his office. Marlon slips into the stairway. CUT TO: 94 EXT. FORD LAW FIRM - DAY 94 Marlon walks quickly out of the building door. CUT TO: 95 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - CORY'S OFFICE - DAY 95 Cory is peering out of the window. Cory's P.O. V — Marlon walks quickly to his car in the parking lot. Cory looks confident watching Marlon. FADE TO: 96 MARLON AND IAN ' S HOUSE LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 96 Marlon and Ian sit having dinner. The client roster Marlon took from his office earlier sits on top of Marlon's briefcase on a foot stool. The two both at times glance at the roster while eating their dinner . IAN So, who are you going to call first? MARLON I don't know. IAN Oh. MARLON What? IAN You really think this is a good idea? What is happening to us? Is this what are we going to show Kevon? (CONTINUED) 76. 96 CONTINUED: MARLON He ' s too young to know what ' s going on, but the problem is we do. Kids can sense when you are full of shit by telling them one thing and doing another, even if they don't see you do it. IAN So now what? Marlon puts his plate down, gets up and walks over to the file and picks it up. He then gets a match out of matchbox sitting on top of the fireplace and strikes it. He lights the file on fire and throws it into the fireplace. A surprised look comes over Ian ' s face and he sits his plate down. Marlon walks over to Ian, sits down and cuddles with him and they share a passionate kiss. They watch the file burn together. INT. CAMPAIGN OFFICE - DAY 97 Cory walks into the campaign office obviously with an agenda. It is the fourth of July and the office is full of people including Angel working. Cory walks over to the chalk board. The words from the benefit concert pitch are still on the board. He picks up the eraser and erases the words as if the words on the board were absurd. CORY Can I have everyone ' s attention please? The people in the office look at Cory like "what is he doing"? The volume settles as they come to focus on Cory. CORY (CONT'D) (CONTD) I'm afraid that I have some important news. With election day drawing near and talk of morals and integrity becoming central themes, it is critical that we maintain those values as agents for our candidate . (MORE) (CONTINUED) 77. CONTINUED: 97 CORY (CONT'D) (CONTD) It is my unfortunate duty to make this office aware of the employment issues of its new service provider and producer of our upcoming benefit concert. Mr Wright is the focus of an ongoing sexual harassment investigation. Whether he is guilty or not is not as important as the stakes of having our first African American President. I thought long and hard about this last night and for me the issue is not about whether he is guilty or not but that I am not willing to take a chance at possibly negatively impacting this campaign. I motion that we vote to discontinue any business or services we are receiving from the Men of Color Agency. Cory moves from the center of the room obviously glad he has shared this information. The office workers are now caught in a uproar of gossip. Cory sits down at his desk as if nothing just happened and begins to work. Amidst the clamor Angel sits back at her desk with a fearful look that shit has just hit the fan. INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 98 Nicholas sits on the couch watching television. The door bell rings. He gets up walks out of the room. INT. NICHOLAS* HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT (CONTINUOUS) 99 Nicholas walks toward the door. He reaches the door. The door bell rings again. He opens the door. Madison stands there with purpose. Before he can say anything she leans in and kisses him on the cheek like they just saw each other yesterday. MADISON Hey babe. She walks in passing him at the door as if she was invited in. He gives a look like "whatever" kind of glad a little bit to see her and closes the door. EXT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - STREET - NIGHT 100 Angel is inside her car driving. (CONTINUED) 100 78. 100 CONTINUED: Her car drives up to Nicholas1 house. Curiosity washes over Angel ' s face as she notices another car there . Angel's P.O. V — Madison's car is parked outside of Nicholas' house . Angel looks disappointed. She gets out of her car curiously and walks toward his front door. She stops before she reaches the door. She can see the livingroom in the window and decides that she is going to peep to see what's happening. 101 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 101 Madison and Nicholas walk into the livingroom. Madison sits on the couch expecting Nicholas to sit next to her assuming she is radiating love vibes. Nicholas sits in the single chair curious as to why Madison is acting like they are still seeing each other and nothing has happened. Madison gets up and pulls Nicholas out of the chair and sits him on to the couch with her. MADISON Papi, I have something really important to tell you. Nicholas looks at her curiously. Madison digs in her bag and pulls out her divorce papers like it was college diploma to be seen as an accomplishment. MADISON (CONT'D) (CONTD) It's final. It's done. I'm divorced . Madison kisses Nicholas with triumph in her intent. He lets her remembering what they had. 102 EXT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - STREET - NIGHT 102 Angel's P. O. V — looking through the window Angel sees what just happened. Angel rushes back to her car and gets in. Inside the car she looks hurt and confused. (CONTINUED) 79. 102 102 CONTINUED: She continues to watch from her car, no longer able to see into the livingroom. Angel's car drives off down the street. 103 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 103 Nicholas pushes Madison away breaking the kiss realizing whatever they had is long gone. He stands up. NICHOLAS Uh, that's great? Nicholas looks at her with disappointment attempting to create distance between them. MADISON What ' s wrong? NICHOLAS Madison, do you remember what happened that night? MADISON I thought you understood. NICHOLAS I did and I do, but Mady that was a deal breaker. I loved you so much and I wanted to be a family with you. MADISON I know and we can do that now. NICHOLAS Nah, I watched you have sex with another man. That's all I see when I see you now. You got to go. MADISON What? But baby. Nicholas grabs Madison's arm to help her up annoyed that he even let her in the house. NICHOLAS Unh unh, come on you got to go. Let 's go . Nicholas rushes her out of the livingroom into the hallway. 81. 108 INT. ANGEL'S HOUSE - FOYER - NIGHT 108 Angel opens her front door. Nicholas stands there with love in his eyes excited to tell her how he feels . Angel turns around and begins walking back toward the livingroom trying to hide her emotional adjustments. Nicholas rushes in and closes the door behind him like he just won the lottery and can't wait to tell her. 109 INT. ANGEL'S HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 109 Angel walks with a heavy pouting energy into the room moving toward the couch. Nicholas is in hot pursuit all happy. NICHOLAS Heyí Í What's wrong? ANGEL Nothing . NICHOLAS It don't look like nothing. Angel does not respond realizing that she is in love with Nicholas and there is nothing she can do about it assuming that he only sees them as friends . NICHOLAS (CONT'D) (CONTD) I got something to tell you. Angel is distant assuming that it has nothing to do with them ever being lovers. ANGEL What? NICHOLAS It ' s good . ANGEL What? What is it? NICHOLAS No for real. What's wrong? Angel does not respond waiting for him to tell her what ' s so good. ANGEL Well? (CONTINUED) 80. 104 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT 104 Nicholas rushes Madison through the hallway absolutely sure he has no feelings for her and doesn't even want to be friends . MADISON But I thought you said you loved me. NICHOLAS I did. Now it's time for you to love yourself. Let's go. You gotta go. They reach the door. He opens the door and without hesitation pushes Madison out of the door. MADISON But Papi . . . NICHOLAS Goodbye , Madison I I Nicholas walks back down the hallway toward the livingroom. 105 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE LIVINGROOM - EVENING (CONTINUOUS) 105 Nicholas sits back in his chair looking victorious. He gets up and runs into his bedroom. Keys JINGLE as he snatches them. He passes back through the livingroom toward the hallway in a hurry. 106 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT 106 Nicholas rushes nervously down the hallway and out the door as if there is no time left to waste. 107 INT. ANGEL'S HOUSE LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 107 Angel sits on her couch in her livingroom processing what she just saw at Nicholas' house. The doorbell RINGS. She gets up and walks out of the living room like a little girl who didn't get the boy she wanted. 82. 109 CONTINUED: 109 Nicholas reaches out and takes her hands. He looks at her with a piercing seriousness to evoke her awareness of his feelings . A few seconds pass. NICHOLAS I love you. I want to be with you. Angel can't believe what she is hearing. She removes her hands from his afraid of what this means and confused. She looks at him dismissing his seriousness remembering that she just saw him kissing Madison. She moves into looking annoyed wondering if he is playing a game. ANGEL There you go again. You only want what you can ' t have . NICHOLAS What? ANGEL We are friends . That 's it . I don ' t want to ruin that. NICHOLAS Come on. You can't be serious. We are more than just friends and I know you know. ANGEL Don't tell me how I feel. NICHOLAS But you can tell me what I want? Angel gets up breaking the seriousness of the mood. ANGEL Look. I don't think you are ready for anything more than friendship. NICHOLAS Now you are telling me what I'm ready for? ANGEL OK, I'm not ready then. (CONTINUED) 83. 109 109 CONTINUED: (2) Nicholas crushed feelings wash over his face. NICHOLAS Are you serious? ANGEL Yes and you need to go. I will call you tomorrow. I need to think. NICHOLAS OK. If that's what you want. Nicholas stands up like he just heard a family member died and leaves the room. Angel sits slowly back on the couch not sure what the hell just happened or what she just did. 110 INT. CAMPAIGN OFFICE - NIGHT 110 Nicholas walks in the office. Marlon and Ian stand with four other volunteers having an intense discussion. Angel sits at her desk. She sees Nicholas walk in. Cory sits at his desk. Nicholas moves closer to the conversation between Marlon and Ian and the other volunteers. A stunned look comes over his face as he comes into range to hear clearly what is happening in the conversation. VOLUNTEER 1 Still, an investigation of sexual harassment charges by a political leader that's also a black man? That's like a pork chop to a hungry dog for the media. IAN Innocent until proven guilty? Do you all understand what that means . VOLUNTEER 1 We are not concluding his guilt or innocence, but the negative impact that the investigation alone will have to this campaign if this information gets out. The stakes are too high. (CONTINUED) 84. CONTINUED: 110 Marlon stands there quietly and looks ashamed. IAN No matter what the stakes are, it is still discrimination based on a accusation and not facts. VOLUNTEER 1 Look we are not the enemy here. This is a historical and critical circumstance and compromises and sacrifices must be made and we have no other choice but to discharge this agency to ensure ours and your victory. He can still participate as volunteer but the benefit concert has to be canceled. Nicholas remains silent with a look of shock. IAN ABSOLUTELY NOTi 1 ! If he were a straight man .... MARLON Enough Í I will do it. IAN Marlon i ? Marlon focuses to breathe through his pain of having to retreat . MARLON They are right, Ian. This investigation is dangerous to the campaign . Everyone in the circle pauses sadly accepting this turn of events . NICHOLAS This is not right. I know what this about and who caused it. Cory suddenly appears standing behind Nicholas smirking with his body posture. CORY What was that? Nicholas turns around and looks like an angry bull dog in the face ready to physically attack Cory. (CONTINUED) 85. 110 110 CONTINUED: (2) Cory senses his body language and stands there staring at Nicholas with his body language challenging Nicholas to go for it. CORY (CONT'D) (CONTD) You alright? Angel sees this confrontation from her desk and she stands up. She begins to rush toward the action. Marlon grabs Nicholas' arm and pulls him away from the stare down he is having with Cory. Marlon and Ian assist Nicholas in walking away. They also engage in the stare down on a lot lower level. Angel catches up and follows behind the three for support. Ill 111 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - NIGHT Marlon walks into the conference room to receive the results of the investigation and the course of action the partners are going to take. Mr. Perry and Mr. Ford sit at the conference room table reviewing the documents from the investigation. MR. PERRY Mr. Wright in the investigation of the sexual harassment allegations we find that there has been no wrong doing on your part. MARLON Thank you Mr. Perry MR. FORD Please accept our deepest regret in having to suspend you to conduct this investigation and we would like to offer you your old position back under one condition. MARLON What is it? MR. PERRY It has been brought to our attention by your supervising attorney that you have utilized your professional contacts to organize a fund-raiser for your campaign . (MORE) (CONTINUED) 86. 111 CONTINUED: 111 MR. PERRY (CONTD) At this suggestion it is obvious you should not be placed back under Mr. Marshall's supervision. We feel that there are personal issues that have created a hostile work environment for you both and that will not be tolerated. MR. FORD Unfortunately in order for your return we have to ask that you simply cancel this benefit to prevent any implication that this law firm would endorse any event that it has not been fully openly sanctioned properly. MARLON Gentlemen, with all do respect it is a fund-raiser, a charitable event, not a for profit venture. Mr. Perry lifts up a set of documents for Marlon to take. MR. PERRY Still, it would be against company policy and is unacceptable. Why don't you take a few days to think about it and get back to us. That is your new contract. We increased your salary and compensated you for your lost wages since your suspension. Marlon decides to at least consider the offer and leaves the room. MARLON Thank you. I will get back to you promptly . 112 INT. CHARLIE'S BAR - NIGHT 112 Marlon and Nicholas sit at the bar having a drink and it is obviously not a celebration, as they discuss Marlon's job offer. Nicholas looks at Marlon understanding his situation and not wanting to hold him back but also realizing that if Marlon dissolves their partnership it will mean financial disaster for him. (CONTINUED) 87. 112 CONTINUED: 112 NICHOLAS Pa, you have to do what you have to do. You got a possible kid and family on the way and you need financial stability. Marlon looks at Nicholas realizing that he would be losing more than a business partner, but also a friend. MARLON You put the money you were saving for your kids college into this. This ain't right. Nicholas takes another drink contemplating losing his kids to their mother and having lost Angel as well. NICHOLAS I had my shot. I blew it. Marlon notices that Nicholas was already depressed before their meeting. MARLON We aren't just talking about our business are we? NICHOLAS One of us deserves to have a happy family . Marlon senses NICHOLAS* heartache. MARLON Angel? NICHOLAS Yep. Nicholas gets up to leave wanting to be alone. He pays for the drinks. NICHOLAS (CONT'D) (CONTD) Whatever happens it ' s up to you . I will survive and there is no love loss. I knew what I was getting into. Nicholas leaves Marlon sitting at the bar alone thinking about what to decide. 88. 113 INT. FORD LAW FIRM - DAY 113 Marlon walks into Mr. Ford's office confidently and happy with his employment contract they gave him in their last meeting . Mr Ford sits at his desk and notices Marlon's chipper attitude assuming he decided to take the offer. He stands up and shakes Marlon ' s hand to welcome him back into the company . MARLON Mr. Ford I respectfully decline your job offer. MR. FORD Are you serious? MARLON Yes I am. I have job to do and it's what I was meant to do and I understand that now. MR. FORD Well Marlon, I can certainly understand that and I must say that I am really sorry that you are not coming back to us. You are one hell of a lawyer and I hope there is no bad blood because of all this. MARLON No there isn't. MR. FORD And if you need anything or any references do not hesitate to ask. MARLON Well actually I do need to ask you for something. May I have a recommendation from you to help with the application process for the adoption of my son. MR. FORD Absolutely. We support you one hundred percent. Marlon stands up and shakes Mr . Ford ' s hand MARLON Thank you sir. (CONTINUED) 89. 113 113 CONTINUED: Marlon leaves "the room. 114 INT. ANTUN 'S - DAY 114 There a ton of production personnel running around facilitating the benefit. Marlon talks with Ian and Nicholas giving instructions on what has been set up at the benefit. Ian hold's a microphone and is the host for the event. MARLON A hot-line has been set up at the campaign office to receive the calls and donations from this event while we are taping. Suddenly Jason Levine walks up to the three men to congratulate them. He shakes Marlon's hand. JASON You guys pulled it off. MARLON Not with out you my friend. JASON Marlon, having the campaign hire my production company and your company to host and run this event, avoid controversy was smart to as hell. MARLON Yea, but you gave us the celebrities . JASON You could have did this all on your own. You got the contacts. IAN And way too much integrity to use them. Marlon pulls Ian to the side checking on him to make sure he is alright before he goes on to host the event. MARLON You OK. (CONTINUED) 90. 114 114 CONTINUED: IAN Yea. MARLON I love you. IAN I love you too. Ian kisses Marlon and leaves heads toward the stage. Jason and Nicholas stand there watching the crew hustle back stage . 115 INT. ANTUN" S - DAY 115 Ian runs out onto the stage into the spot light. IAN Good evening ladies and gentleman and welcome to the Men of Color benefit concert. Thank you for joining us in this televised effort to raise support for a historical event of having our first African American President of the United States. For those of you at home at the bottom of your screen and for those of you here in our live audience on the screens to my left and to my right there is our number to our hot- line free of charge for you to call to make your donations. First on our benefit line up tonight is Twenty Four Seven performing their number one hit from their new album. Ladies and gentleman please welcome to the stage . Twenty Four Seven ! ! 116 INT. ANTUN 'S - DAY The music from the performance back stage. Marlon talks with a producer. Angel walks by helping out backstage . Marlon sees her and puts the producer on hold to take the opportunity to speak with Angel. He interrupts her passing appearing to have something important to tell her. 116 91. 116 CONTINUED: 116 MARLON Hey. ANGEL Oh hi. She looks at him strangely wondering why he is stopping her. ANGEL (CONT'D) (CONTD) Yes. He attempts to find the right words to say being that he is totally butting into her relationship with Nicholas, but to him it's worth the risk. MARLON You know I was offered my job back if I didn't do this concert Angel looks confused at why her is telling her this . ANGEL OK? MARLON Nicholas wanted me take the offer and was going to give up his investment in our company for me. Angel looks obviously softened by this information but is too proud to admit it now giving Marlon her full attention. ANGEL Marlon what ' s that got to do with me? MARLON Honey ! I Snap out of it i He ' s a good man. What's wrong with you? I don't know what happened between the two of you but work it out for all our sakes . Marlon walks away from her back to the producer. It's business as usual. He rants walking away. MARLON (CONT'D) (CONTD) You silly girl ! Í Wouldn ' t know a good man if he was kneeling right in front of you on with a ring. Angel looks around wondering what just happened. 92. 117 INT. ANTUN' S - DAY -L Ian runs out back on stage to introduce the next act. IAN We hope you are enjoying our show this evening and again for those of you at home at the bottom of the screen is the number to our hot- line to show your support. Let's give a warm welcome to Darius Taylor . Ian introduces an act the benefit concert and they perform 118 INT. ANTUN' S - DAY 1 Backstage at the benefit concert busy crew members are bustling about. Marlon and Cory walk into each other amongst the busy atmosphere . CORY Whoa i You are really into this aren't you? Marlon looks annoyed. Cory gloats. CORY (CONT'D) (CONTD) Well I guess you needed something to keep you busy. MARLON Man, keep it moving out my face. Marlon attempts to leave when Cory's next words stop him. CORY I never figured you for a sore loser. MARLON That's what this is about for you? A competition? CORY In order for it to be a competition I would need a challenge. Marlon walks back toward Cory to challenge him. (CONTINUED) 93. 8 118 CONTINUED: MARLON I got yo challenge. CORY What are you going to do? Kiss me? Marlon raises his fist to knock Cory out. MARLON Yeah. Kiss you with my fist! Marlon ' s arm is held back by a hand . Ian holds Marlon ' s arm back from hitting Cory. IAN What are you doing?! Babe, He's not worth it. Marlon stands down and regains his composure. He move closer to Cory so that Cory can see the determination in his eyes . MARLON You can take my job, you can take the campaign. But you will never be able to be me . That ' s what eats you up. You're sad. Marlon turns around to Ian and they begin to leave. CORY Why would I ever want to be a nasty FAGGOT like you? Marlon stops once last time. He calmly turns around. MARLON (smiling) Because I'm the man you could never be. Marlon and Ian leave the backstage area. Cory stands there embarrassed by the scene. INT. ANTUN 'S - DAY 119 Ian runs out back on stage to introduce the next act. (CONTINUED) 94. 119 CONTINUED: 119 IAN We hope you enjoyed our show this evening and again for those of you at home at the bottom of the screen is the number to our hot- line to show your support. Now! Ladies and gentleman here to perform his latest hit is Michael Howardd. Ian introduces the final act at the benefit concert and they perform a medley 120 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 120 Nicholas is at home watching the news report on Obama while having a beer. He looks over at a picture of his kids and makes half a smile and toasts the beer to the screen. He gets up to get something to eat and walks to the kitchen 121 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT 121 Nicholas walks in the kitchen to the refrigerator. He opens the door and pulls out bread, lunch meat, lettuce and a tomato . He grabs a plate and places it on the counter. The door bell rings. NICHOLAS Damn. He puts everything down and walks out the kitchen. 122 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT Nicholas walks to the door and opens it. Angel stands there with a bottle of champagne. NICHOLAS OK? What is this? ANGEL You going to let me in? Nicholas lets Angel in and closes the door. 122 95. 123 INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - LIVINGROOM - NIGHT 123 Empty plates with pieces of lettuce on them and empty beer Corona beer bottles sit on the living room center table. Obama's victory is still being reported on the television. The atmosphere is cozy. Angel and Nicholas sit in the livingroom on the couch together laughing reminiscing on the campaign. ANGEL And then she said call me and try to kiss me on the cheek. I could see you wanted to fall out. NICHOLAS Yeah I did. You were so mean. It was obvious you had it bad. ANGEL Yea. Whatever. We were just friends . NICHOLAS (he mimics) We were just friends. Nicholas moves toward Angel and kisses her she pushes for a second then lets him. The mood goes from light to sexy. Then she stops. ANGEL Wait. I am really OK with being just friends. NICHOLAS OK. Nicholas sits back and pauses. NICHOLAS (CONT'D) (CONTD) Well what about love? ANGEL What about it? NICHOLAS I still love you. I never stopped loving you. (CONTINUED) 96. 123 123 CONTINUED: Angel takes a drink. ANGEL After my last relationship. I stopped having expectations cause if I don't I won't get disappointed . NICHOLAS I know you've been hurt but there are no guarantees about the future but I can guarantee right now that I love you and want a future with you. ANGEL What are you saying? He moves closer again. NICHOLAS How do you feel about family? ANGEL I love family. I want one of my own. NICHOLAS Have one with me. He kisses her. She kisses him back. They start tearing off each other closes simultaneously. She pulls his shirt off from over his head and puts her hands on his chest . He pulls her shirt off and kisses her neck deeply while holding her tight. 124 He picks her up and walks into the bedroom. INT. NICHOLAS' HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT 124 Angel and Nicholas make love. 125 INT. MEN OF COLOR AGENCY - DAY 125 The office is busy. Phones are ringing. Nicholas is sitting at a desk on the phone. Angel sits on the desktop corner with a file folder reading. An assistant answers her phone. ASSISTANT M.O.C. Agency. (CONTINUED) 97. 125 125 CONTINUED: Nicholas slams the phone down in victory. Angel is startled and looks at him like he crazy. Nicholas is excited. NICHOLAS We got blah blah Ï I ! The office applauds 126 INT. MEN OF COLOR AGENCY - MARLON'S OFFICE - DAY 126 Marlon sits at his desk in front of Melanie Moore having a meeting . MELANIE The show is doing much better than it probably would have if we would have gone with the original profiles . MARLON I just feel we deserve much more responsible representation. MELANIE You got him to change his mind on that and that's no small task. Good job on that. MARLON Thank you. MELANIE From what I hear you got a lot of people to change their minds with your efforts and the work with the campaign . MARLON Let's not leave out that Obama helped too. I mean ever since the benefit concert and his victory we have been hit with an overwhelming response of men of color who want to be represented in a good light. MELANIE And it ' s a great time for that change. Well I have to get going. Melanie and Marlon stand up and shake hands. He comes from around the desk and sees her out. (CONTINUED) 98. 126 126 CONTINUED: Melanie leaves. MARLON Thank you for coming. MELANIE My pleasure. I will send those contracts over immediately. Marlon walks back to his desk and sits down. The phone rings. It is Michelle the researcher. MICHELLE (O.S.) Congratulations on your success. MARLON Thank you. MICHELLE (O.S.) You guys did it. You actually proved there was a market for diverse black men. MARLON It wasn't easy. MICHELLE (O.S.) Well nothing worth of value ever is. MARLON Ain't that the truth. There is a knock at the door Ian pokes his head in. IAN (whispering) Can we come in. Marlon waves Ian in. Ian opens the door revealing himself holding a small African American boy KEVON. MARLON Michelle let me call you back. Ian and Kevon is here. MICHELLE (O.S.) OK. Ill talk to you later. Bye (CONTINUED) 126 99. 126 CONTINUED: (2) MARLON Bye. Ian puts Kevon down. IAN Go tell daddy hi. Kevon runs over to Marlon arms where he is scooped up immediately by Marlon. Kevon lets out a scream of laughter. MARLON Hey . How ' s daddy ' s favorite little guy. Kevon smiles and sinks his face with shyness into Marlon's shoulder while laughing from happiness. Ian looks happy to see the two bond. IAN He's all happy now. At the mall he was a little bit different. Ian looks guilty . MARLON There better not be a car full of toys. The three begin to walk out of the office and leaves Marlon ' s office into the main office area. IAN It was blackmail. You know that low level hum of I'm getting ready to fall out. He knows how to manipulate me already. 127 INT. MEN OF COLOR AGENCY - DAY (CONTINUOUS) 127 Marlon and Ian walk into the main office area continuing their conversation while becoming aware of the celebratory atmosphere . MARLON I know babe but we can't spoil him. IAN Thank God you can say no. They walk toward were Nicholas and Angel are sitting. (CONTINUED) 127 127 CONTINUED : Angel and Nicholas are smiling and celebrating. MARLON What is the celebration about?9 ANGEL We just signed blah blah. Angel takes Kevon from Marlon. ANGEL (CONT'D) (CONTD) Hey sweet pea. MARLON You are kidding? NICHOLAS Nope. Marlon embraces Nicholas. MARLON Congratulations My Man Ï JJIGHOLAS Thanks . MARLON Damn we need to celebrate. NICHOLAS We will, go spend time with your family. Angel hands Kevon to Marlon. Marlon, Kevon and Ian leave. MARLON Alright, I will see you guys later. FADE TO BLACK.