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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
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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:
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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:
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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:
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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
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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
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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:
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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/ 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)
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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 [2]
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
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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.
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