Snoop Dogg wants people to boycott the History Channel’s ‘Roots’ miniseries


I did not watch the History Channel’s miniseries reboot of Roots. The miniseries began last night, and it continues over four nights. The original miniseries – also based on Alex Haley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book – was groundbreaking television when it was made in 1977. It was one of the most-watched television events in American history and it became a national talking point in a larger conversation about race and civil rights in America. The History Channel’s reboot (or “reimagining”) of the miniseries with a whole new cast is supposed to be reflective of our current conversation about race in America, about Black Lives Matter, about violence against black bodies and more. But some people are just tired of watching movies and miniseries about slavery. One of those people is Snoop Dogg.

Snoop Dogg has no plans to watch the Roots remake, and he’s telling his fans to also boycott the show. The rapper sent out his message over social media on Monday.

“I’m sick of this sh-t. How the f— are they going to put Roots on, on Memorial Day?” Snoop said in an Instagram video. “They going to just to keep beating that sh-t into our heads about how they did us, huh?”

The History channel’s revival is a four-part, eight-hour series that debuts Monday. Snoop said he has no interest in new shows and movies — specifically mentioning 12 Years a Slave — that “keep showing the abuse we took hundreds and hundreds of years ago.”

“I ain’t watching that sh-t, and I advise you motherf-—ers as real n— like myself; f— them television shows,” Snoop said. “Let’s create our own shit based on today, how we live and how we inspire people today. Black is what’s real. F— that old sh-t.”

[From THR]

Snoop Dogg, social critic. Is it weird that I think he has a completely legitimate point? The most recent example is the 2013-14 awards season, where 12 Years a Slave dominated and Fruitvale Station was ignored. While I thought 12 Years was a powerful piece of filmmaking and a film full of incredible performances, why was it pushed for awards while Fruitvale largely ignored? Fruitvale was a modern story (and a true story, like 12 Years) of brutality on black bodies. Both were important films that said important things. But Hollywood likes to reward films and miniseries about slavery and white saviors and downtrodden historical black folks. They don’t want to reward modern stories about the African-American experience, with multifaceted African-American characters operating in a multiethnic and morally ambiguous context.

Here’s Snoop’s video. NSFW for language.

Message 💫👍🏾🕊🕊

A video posted by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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136 Responses to “Snoop Dogg wants people to boycott the History Channel’s ‘Roots’ miniseries”

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  1. Luca76 says:

    Conflicted because I don’t think we should forget slavery and especially on the History Channel there is a place for it. BUT there is no other African History (with the exception of Egypt)and very little African American History on the History Channel.

    • Beth says:

      There’s very little history at all on the History Channel

      • Amy says:

        You mean you don’t see the educational value in Pawn Stars and Ancient Aliens? Imagine that!

    • cvb says:

      aren’t Egyptian people middle eastern not black?

      • Cali says:

        She’s referring to the ORIGINAL Egyptians – Africans, not the Middle Eastern people who arrived later.

      • Kweeny Kardashian says:

        Lol Cali😂 but Egyptians ARE African. Egypt is in Africa. It is very racially diverse, there are black, brown and white Egyptians , just so you know

    • fqwwah says:

      The book was pure fiction and an act of plagiarism. But White kids are still required to read it for self-flagellation purposes.

  2. juice says:

    i think it’s easier on the consciences of white hollywood and white america to push older stories forward. then they can all pretend that this violence and racism is all in the past and that it’s not a huge part of modern history. movies and stories like fruitvale station are uncomfortable and difficult to watch because they look like they’re from today. and too many people don’t want to see or think about that.

    • Eleonor says:

      +1 !!!

    • HH says:

      Exactly. People want to talk about the the oppression of Black people as though it’s a historical event, as opposed to a present issue. I still think one of the major issues people had with Selma, is the lack of a “white savior” such as in The Help. It was not simply the portrayal of LBJ, but the fact that there was no one else put in to counteract that portrayal.

    • Dangles says:

      Racism is bad. I get it. At this point watching Roots (again) would be superfluous confirmation.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      It also affects the way the rest of the world sees race in America. Until I started to read about these things on my own, I was convinced racial issues are a thing of he past in the US.

      • susanne says:

        Until there is no more racism, toward any group, this history must be retold.
        I have that Bob Marley lyric in my head, “Until the philosophy, which hold one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited, there is a war.”
        I’d rather not use the war word, but I agree with the sentiment.

    • Addison says:

      I was going to make the same comment. Reality is hard for some people.

      But I see nothing wrong with making movies about slavery. Every few years movies/documentaries get made about The Holocaust. No one says another movie about this topic? There are hundreds and hundreds of films about The Holocaust yet I don’t see that many about slavery.

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with bringing up the subject of slavery. It definitely defined this country and the result of it still affects this country.

      • Z says:

        Yeah I understand your point but I think the thing Snoop is saying is that those type of films which is always being shown has been constantly pounded in our heads. We know the story. There is many other stories that can be told about black people just like white people. Fine some balance. I been screaming this way before Snoop because I too refuse to support that garbage.

      • Petee says:

        I wish someone would make a movie about my race.I am Native American.My great,great Grandfather was the last medicine man from where I come from.We had the worst genocide ever and my whole race is almost gone.Snoop is right.You have to move forward.You can’t live in hate.

      • Carol says:

        While I hate remakes of any kind in general, I don’t see a problem with making a series on slavery especially if it was made to educate the younger population – teens and kids. I can understand why Snoop wouldnt want to watch it because he’s old and has already heard and seen enough stories on slavery. but the younger generation need to really understand that period of American history as well as see modern stories.

      • Jwoolman says:

        Petee- the advantage of powerful movies is that they have the potential to get past the “make excuses for our own sins, no excuses when somebody else does it” phenomenon. I remember a discussion many many years ago of sins of the USSR, where I pointed out the equally sinful genocidal and culture-destroying activities our own government had engaged in with Native Americans, actually within living memory. Besides the obvious gaps in communities and families left by the genocidal actions, there were people still alive who remembered being forced from their families to live at special boarding schools and prevented from speaking their own language or having anything of their own culture, which is a very common tactic of governments throughout history when total genocide seems no longer feasible (neutralize the natives, break down linguistic and cultural ties to their past). The English did it in Ireland (they are still struggling to restore the lost knowledge of Gaelic), and the Americans did it here with Native Americans and also with Africans brought in as slaves — Africans from the same area were deliberately dispersed to minimize communication between them via their original languages, so the only common language would be English and the Christian religion could be forced on them also using a censored Bible with references to freedom removed. Even well educated, intelligent people refused to see the similarities. We know our own people are complex and limited by their own culture and forgive them easily or worse, justify their actions, while assuming that the Enemy du Jour is uncomplicatedly evil when doing the exact same thing. But movies seem more likely than books to maybe chip away at that blindness because when well done, the viewer sees the characters as real people.

        Anyway- like it or not, in order to understand our present problems we can’t ignore the past. I don’t believe we are responsible for our ancestors’ sins, but we need to clearly understand the details in order to understand how we all got to where we are and why the descendants just deciding intellectually that racism is obsolete (since it doesn’t affect them, the Center of the Universe) doesn’t work.

      • Cran says:

        @Carol. Snoop is not old. He may be older than you. I saw the original film. I am not old. I agree that the generations younger than mine can use history lessons in general. This is because our country devalues education. Your comment, while well meaning, is poorly stated.

      • caitlinK says:

        I think we need room for both: movies about slavery in U.S. history AND movies about the modern lives/stories of various black people–different black movie characters–in today’s America as well. It offends me that there is such a paucity of films about blacks: Hollywood is blatantly, apparently, disinterested in their lives and stories, and there are so many stories to tell–such a wealth of resources they leave completely untapped, due to racism and the misperception that movies w black casts will not do well financially overseas. Such greed and prejudice makes me sick. I was friends w a much older black Hollywood producer for many years (he died last year) and the story he told me about Hollywood’s reaction to his new wife (white) marrying him has long embodied my deep resentment of and disgust w Hollywood. Evidently, the day after his Swedish wife married my friend–in the late 60’s—she showed up to work and found her agent dressed in a “monkey suit”; he grinningly handed her a banana as he told her she was being fired–for marrying a black man. Though my friend’s wife *was* able to still, very occasionally, find some work, most of it dried up on her at once: this was very predictable Hollywood behavior. Though I doubt such a thing would happen quite that blatantly today, the rampant racism just under the surface of all the PC talk in the movie industry continues largely unchallenged, and unhanged. My friend’s feeling was that Hollywood has never had any intention of deep, true alteration regarding its approach to non white films; instead it just makes token moves (like a black woman finally winning the Oscar for Best Actress) and then heartily congratulates itself on how progressive it’s become. As a white woman, I can candidly say that I find movies about non whites, and non white actors, to be painfully, shamefully absent from U.S. cinema. Film is supposed to be at least somewhat reflective of us ALL, and as we are a nation full of stories and facets and colors and histories and experiences, our movies would be so much richer if we would tell them each. Hollywood’s recalcitrant racism is beyond redemption, in my eyes—and it hurts people as well as its own industry hugely.

    • Honey says:

      Exactly what I was going to say!!

    • Bettyrose says:

      Yup. Doesn’t take much to call slavery evil and feel good about yourself. Demanding answers for Sandra Bland, though, requires crossing into full blown activism and being prepared for people to Fox-News you: Label you another SJW and laugh you off.

      • TG says:

        thank you for this comment!

      • saras says:

        Right on! They won’t touch modern profiling, unfair number of people of color in jail, people getting put away for years for low level drug possession, or police brutality/ for profit prison industry. Too real!

      • Magnoliarose says:

        Yes to you a million times.

    • Yolie C says:

      Nail on the head!

    • Alex says:

      Exactly. Its so the liberal hollywood can pat themselves on the back as if there isn’t current issues that have the same roots in slavery.
      Will I watch? Yes because I don’t like to forget my past but we do need more modern stories, more uplifting stories, etc. Its constantly degrading and upsetting to see the only black movies we get are about pain and suffering. So I half agree with him

  3. Pinky says:

    Nah, Snoop is wrong. I watched it. It was fantastic. Producing this content should not be to the exclusion of other content. With the climate in America what it is today, it is important to remember how we got here in the first place.


    • TG says:

      The irony is that you’re telling a black man he’s wrong about how he feels about his history, his story as is relevant today, and how it should be portrayed.

      • Pinky says:

        @TG I don’t quite get what you find ironic here.

        It’s not Snoop’s just story. It’s America’s story. America’s history. It’s the world’s story and the world’s history. One of the lines last night said it all: “The shame is not ours, Kunta.” We must address our past and we clearly haven’t, which is how we wound up with the political climate we have today.

        Take a moment and let’s see if there would be similar agreement if someone came out and said there were too many books or films that depicted the Holocaust. That wouldn’t fly. The difference is that the Jewish people get to discuss and depict the past as well as the present. I understand being frustrated that the present is overlooked for African Americans, but as I said in my original post, that does not mean it needs to go away, but rather there needs to be more opportunities to include the present as well.


      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Pinky you’re making great points. I can only add that people have said (complained) there are too many books and films about the Holocaust. In a weird way this relates to the long commentary on the Depp-Heard divorce & abuse situation — people are uncomfortable around victims, feel vaguely guilty and want to move on. They think, “I got it, enough already!” But they don’t, and each new film or book or TV series or any cultural production about acts against humanity reaches new people in new ways. “Never forget” is a profound statement for all.

      • TG says:

        Yeah my point was: “Nah, Snoop is wrong.” You are telling a black man that he is wrong about how he feels about his history (and culture) and how it is portrayed. It is HIS story, and he wants to change the narrative.

      • Pinky says:

        @TG Well, I don’t know where you’re from, but all I’ll say is, it’s MY story too.

        Look, LeVar Burton, the original Kunta, was miffed that they were doing a remake. He was skeptical and kind of horrified by the idea. But then he learned why the producer Wolper wanted to do it, and Burton leaped at the chance to get involved as an executive producer. He realized that people younger than 35 or 40 have no connection to the original. This era is a part of history that’s glossed over or remained and WHITEwashed (look at the history books in Texas).

        So, yeah. Snoop is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG!


      • TG says:

        Ha, unless they’re teaching Howard Zinn in school, all of American history is whitewashed.
        I guarantee you Snoop isn’t telling anyone to forget the past, he’s telling his people to rise up and take control of the narrative of who they are NOW and where they are going.
        Lemme guess, you are white, white, white, white, WHITE.

      • Pinky says:

        “Lemme guess, you are white, white, white, white, WHITE.” That’s funny. You’re funny.


      • Jenny says:

        Many of us are teaching Howard Zinn in the public schools.

        Also, as some one with a bit of perspective on this, a majority of young people I have come across today know painfully little about American slavery and about history general.

      • Magnoliarose says:

        @Who are Agree. Why don’t you just write for me too when I’m not around since I almost always agree with you. 🙂

    • Aiobhan says:

      I don’t think he was saying forget the past. I think he (rightfully) is saying that the struggle is still on going. My only gripe is that this is the History Channel and of course they are going to talk about events that happened in the past. I just wish that they would talk about all the other amazing things that black women and men have contributed to American History.

      For example, the Harlem Renaissance, Garrett Morgan, Madame CJ Walker, Dr. Betty Harris, Marie Van Brittan Brown, SNCC are just a few movements and people that done amazing things that they can and should focus their production money and time on.

      • Pinky says:

        @Aiobhan Let it not be either/or. Why boycott a great and important work of art/entertainment simply because you wish someone had funded different art? That’s a bit misguided, if you ask me. (Which you didn’t.) That’s all I’m saying.


    • MsGoblin says:

      I turned-off the television about halfway through the first Roots re-boot episode.

      And, I stand with Snoop.

      • meme says:

        me too. tired of unnecessary remakes.

      • Goo says:

        STHU, Snoop Dog….. It’s history! It happened! You cannot rewrite it. It is part of HISTORY or, are you teaching your children to be in total denial about it all?

    • annaloo. says:

      That’a wonderful that you enjoyed it, but I for one would love and rather see a remake of Shaka Zulu. There needs to be other ancestral narratives told today than just stories of oppression. He wasn’t a saint, but many leaders weren’t.. it just diversifies the narrative who who and what black people come from in this world.

      Also– I went on twitter. #Roots is bringing up comments like “ooooh white people better not talk to me tomorrow!” and “#Roots white people are evil” — really, what does this resolve or advance? It’s just another thing in the media to wrap in another layer of umbrage , and distance people based upon the most superficial of reasons: skin color. Guilting people doesn’t bring power. Forming communities does. Our history for all Americans (and yes, for white people) slavery is an important factor, but it shouldn’t define us as a people, or as a society. I am afraid many people have let it do this, black and white.

      Pls. listen to Obama’s commencement speech to Howard a couple of weeks ago. I am going to miss this president because he is on the DGAF segment of his presidency, but he’s saying things that need to be heard. Screaming racism and twitter activism can only get you so far, you have to put your hands into your community, check in on the elderly person who lives in it, patronize the ethnic grocery store that was there 16 years before you moved to the neighborhood and LOOK AT YOUR FACEBOOK LIST OF FRIENDS. If you only see one type of person, there’s your challenge.

    • Donna says:

      Agreed, it is fantastic and it needs to be told for the latest generation. They do not know the original.

  4. Jwoolman says:

    Why did they need a remake? Didn’t the original author of the book work on the original? Why not show that again?

    • Naya says:

      Because younger generations are unlikely to tune in to watch a show from 40 years ago. It would end up just a nostalgic TV night for old people who already watched it decades ago.

      • Dangles says:

        But on the other hand kids these days aren’t as racist as previous generations.

      • TG says:

        How so? No snark, but I need receipts. Everyday o read stories about horrible acts of racism committed by “kids”. Like the white high school kids that just raped their disabled black team mate after months of racist abuse. I could go on, but it makes me nauseous…

      • Mia4s says:

        No matter how good it is it won’t have a fraction of the impact of the original. The final part of the original miniseries is still the third highest rated episode of a TV series ever…any TV series. We are talking 100 million viewers. That’s not a typo.These days nothing gets those ratings that isn’t the Super Bowl. Whatever the population was like at the time, they were watching.

      • Dangles says:

        @TG: I have two school age kids and there’s no way the racist language that used to be socially acceptable when I was a kid would be tolerated amongst their generation. But my kids’ schools are multicultural as is the suburb we live in, so it might be different in monocultural areas.

      • Jwoolman says:

        Naya- it’s not as though it was a faint tape of a silent film…. Really. We had talkies 40 years ago. Even COLOR! Gasp.

        People of all ages listen to music that’s older than they are. Why would they only watch tv shows and movies that were made this year?

      • Jwoolman says:

        Dangles- I’ve heard plenty of racist remarks from the younger generation. Just putting kids together in school didn’t magically get rid of all the bigotry. They pick it up at home and from neighbor’s and schoolmates. There have been definite important changes since the 1950s, but we are hardly beyond racism as a culture.

        We are also still fundamentally racist in the relatively benign sense that racial category is still so important to know that people will argue about whether so-and-so is black based on appearance …. It’s like when people go nuts trying to figure out if a young toddler in diapers is a boy or a girl. They don’t know how to interact with the child until they know. And if they are deliberately fooled (as happened in one little study, a non-talking toddler boy was put in a dress) – they treat the same child very differently depending on whether they think the child is a boy or a girl. Race has the same effect on people. They feel confused until they know for sure. Weird but true. This is all absorbed from the very air we breathe, and it’s virtually impossible to shake all vestiges of it.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Much as the older show was wonderful, sometimes older productions don’t hold up to modern viewing sensibilities, and younger people aren’t as interested just because it’s old. Re-airing the old Roots isn’t the same kind of cultural event as producing a new version. Can’t blame them for wanting to grab more eyes.

      • TG says:

        We are also still fundamentally racist in the relatively benign sense that racial category is still so important to know that people will argue about whether so-and-so is black based on appearance…

        We are still so fundamentally racist because institutionalized racism and white privilege.

      • Erinn says:

        Jwoolman – sure it’s not old.

        But if the production quality isn’t up to par, a lot of kids won’t watch it.

        Hell, I’ll watch movies from the 40’s or 50’s WAY quicker than I’ll watch a movie from the 70’s HANDS DOWN.

        I find the film quality distracting. With movies that are from the 30’s,40’s,50’s – it’s somehow less distracting to me because it’s understood how much different the equipment was. Movies from the 70’s and early 80’s are just fuzzy enough, but ‘good’ enough that it’s kind of clashing. I know that doesn’t really make a lot of sense, but I’m not sure how else to explain it.

        I just turned 26 – so I suspect that kids are probably feeling somewhat similar. Yeah, it’s only 40 years old, but the fact that it’s semi-advanced, but still so dated looking makes you not really want to watch.

      • WTW says:

        @Erinn, I completely agree with you, except that I’ll also watch movies from the 60s in addition to the 50s and earlier. 70s movies come across as kind of cheesy to me. There’s something about the cinematography and the soundtracks that turn me off (not all the time, but much of the time). So, I do agree that a remake might lure in younger viewers more than the original. That said, I have mixed feelings about the remake. I think Snoop has a valid point, and I often feel like non-black people can be so condescending when they interact with me–a highly educated, upper-middle class black woman–that on some level I feel like movies that show blacks as slaves and maids just reinforce their sense of superiority. Clearly, it’s not just these movies but structural racism generally that gives non-blacks this sense of superiority.

  5. Lynnie says:

    I mean, like you said Kaiser, he’s not wrong. It would be nice to see some videos, documentaries, movies, stories, etc featuring black issues without the whole white savior complex thing being thrown in. Or if Hollywood must do that, let the actors who profit off of that (see Lupita) be able to flourish in other genres/make Hollywood more diverse all the time instead of only when you’re trying to make a slave movie.

  6. roxane says:

    I have to agree I’m also tired of seing slave movies ad to that birth of nation for the next Oscar. I want to see those actors in a romcon, in superheroes movies, in indies film.

  7. grabbyhands says:

    I kind of get what he is saying, but at the same time-no.

    Too many people are ignorant (some willfully so, others not) of this ugly piece of our country’s history and at this time when public discourse has been lowered to such an ugly level on a subject that is still painfully relevant, yeah, I would say that people should be tuning in to see it. Whether or not we are not too far gone as a hatefully racist society to receive the message is another matter. But it doesn’t mean you don’t still try to teach the message.

    I would definitely agree there needs to be be more Fruitvale Stations and other more positive narratives about the black experience and fewer white savior movies.

  8. lower-case deb says:

    is the preference for Old West/Slave narrative, __at the expense__ (not alongside) of contemporary narratives, a way to put some distance between society and race relations, a way to convince the public that “oh its all in the past”, where we criticize our predecessors and where it allows us to pat ourselves in the back saying “we’re not that bad, are we?”
    meanwhile, films like Fruitvale Station, Straight Outta Compton, or even Kendrick Lamar at the Grammys’ for instance strikes too close to home, and puts the spotlight on the people still living today of what’s happening out there and the role they play in them wittingly and unwittingly?

    it’s like they’re saying we can’t make too much of the now stuff because it’s too un-PC, too uncomfortable… and why should we pay for this movie since we already fund that movie? (can’t we have both? oh don’t be greedy). is an oscar a decade not enough, etc? (you’ve won an oscar last time, don’t be so greedy). etc etc.

    btw, looking forward to Southside with You (which would work as a romcom even if its not about Potus and Flotus) and Queen of Katwe (despite the many issues with Disney itself, good for Disney for backing this film).

    • Tig says:

      I am looking forward to seeing the movie based on the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, as well as the one about the black women NASA scientists. ( not enough coffee yet, so spelling is prob off!). I get Snoop’s point, but wish he hadn’t been so dismissive of this production. I watched a segment where Levar Burton was both talking about the new production and remembering the first. Clearly, this meant so much to him. Guess I have a bad case of the “olds” this am!

      • lower-case deb says:

        oh! now you reminded me! i received that book for Christmas, two christmases ago, from my cousin but for some reason i never got round to read it. is it a recommended book? perhaps because my cousin is a doctor she spoke about it in a very technical way over dinner (with other life-sciencey type cousins), and i kept dreading it. but i will read it as soon as possible now!

        btw, i have just finished reading a book on Memphis Minnie. and i think what an interesting story to make into a musical! (and i was reminded of it after reading yesterday’s article about Keira Knightley’s guitarist singer character… now Memphis Minnie would be a great story about guitarist singer character, and from such an era too).
        (or is there already?)

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Wait, a movie about black women NASA scientists? Do you have a name? It’s on my list!

      • Jwoolman says:

        I haven’t read the book, but know the story from my work. Hard to read anything in the field without running into the important HeLa cell line, born from the extraordinarily aggressive cancer that killed her so young. It was the aggressiveness of the cells that allowed the cell line to become “immortal”, unlike previous samples of cancer cells. Today, ethics committees require that people sign informed consents for use of their tissues for research. But back in those days, researchers just didn’t think about it. I can see why her family was unhappy about it when they found out much later. They’ve given permission now with some family control over how the cell line is used and acknowledgment in research papers.

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        @Lowercasedeb, read it immediately, it is so good. Heartbreaking, but really well-written and an incredible story

  9. Who ARE these people? says:

    Was just gonna say Kaiser before I read your follow-up that he has the most inarticulate way of making a legitimate point. But, it’s essential to make room for and to understand both past and present. And let’s see what content he creates today that is inspiring. Just calling history “old shit” does not inspire. The whole point of Roots is that today stems from the past.

    I agree it’s relatively easier for people to watch what’s set in the past and maybe congratulate themselves on “how things have changed,” though. We need it all and we need it more than once a year.

  10. Div says:

    I sort of agree with Snoop. It seems like we’re regulated to being slaves, sassy best friends, or gangsters. It’s not that films about slavery are a bad idea, but that it seems like it constitutes most films with black stars. The musical history of the U.S. is incredibly rich. Why not a biopic of Sister Rosetta Tharpe or Otis Redding (handsome, successful musician who died young…would be a sure bet financed by the studios if he was white)? What about Mae Jemison, the first black female astronaut? If we want to talk about issues today, there should also be more films like Fruitvale Station.

    • Lambda says:

      You have a point about Redding, if he were white, we’d already have a movie about him. Or Sam Cooke. I’m not even a fan of biopics, but there’s room for so much more portrayal of African Americans. Correct me if I’m wrong, but is there a movie about the emergence of Motown? That could be a kickasss ensemble cast, with period clothes and good looking cars, and of course the music.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Just FYI, did you see the documentary about the Motown backup musicians? “Standing in the Shadows of Motown.” Highly recommended. : )

      • Lambda says:

        Nope, but that sounds super interesting, thank you.

      • Tig says:

        The biopic that should have been made was about Marvin Gaye starring Jesse Martin- but the producers couldn’t get permission to use any Motown era, and that was that, sadly.

        It’s not a recent movie, but Mississippi Marsala is an examination of just the sort of issues being discussed here. And the movie was directed by a woman.

        I wish I could remember the NASA movie, but the article I read mentioned Octavia Spencer being interested in playing one of the leads.

    • WTW says:

      @Div Actually, I’ve grown tired of biopics as well. Think about it. White actors do far more movies than period pieces and biopics, so I don’t think blacks should be limited to these sorts of films. Both genres keep us stuck in history. Hollywood won’t truly be diverse until black actors are playing people with complex lives in the 21st century, just as white actors do. Our modern day films unfortunately are largely Tyler Perry produced, and then there are the buddy comedy films with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. Black people deserve more options than this.

  11. The Original Mia says:

    After watching a bunch of privileged white students at a private California university singing “We Shall Overcome” at a Bernie Sanders rally and then being told to read up on the Clvil Rights movement if their actions offended black people, I think it’s very important we don’t ever forget our past, which was less than 200 years ago. Jim Crow laws were 70 years ago. Selma and MLK were 50 years ago. The Voting Rights Act was 40 years ago. We can never forget!

    • Naya says:

      I hadnt heard about the Sanders rally but I am not the least surprised. I bet these are the same people who post online that PoC are too stupid to know that their guy is God and that Hillary is the devil. Patronizing pieces of sh*t.

      • jess says:


        and I bet you’re apart of the same people who will call out other celebs for being white femininsts yet inexplicably stan for the living embodiment of white feminism Hillary Clinton. (See, I can make sweeping generalizations about Hillary supporters as well)

        But I’m not in the least bit surprised that you’re blind to your own condescension and projection in your comments whenever you comment about Bernie supporters.

        But calling them “patronizing pieces of sh*t” clearly shows how mature and level headed you are, right 😉

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Naya, no reason to call names.

      Mia, to bring things up to date even more, Voting Rights Act was 40 years ago but invalidation of key parts of the Voting Rights Act was just 3 years ago.

      The past IS present.

      • The Original Mia says:

        The past is the present! Black lives are devalued. We’re still thought of as lessors and no amount of money and education is going to make people see us as equals.

      • WTW says:

        @The Original Mia “No amount of money and education is going to make people see us as equals.” + a million

      • Magnoliarose says:

        Yes. To all of the above. The past connects to the struggles of today. To understand our present issues the history and foundation of racism have to be addressed.

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      I took a class in Civil Rights for my history requirement in college, taught by an actual Civil Rights activist, and it was amazing to me how little I was taught about it in high school (tbf that was 20 years ago now!). I do think we need to be taught more, from a young age, about racial oppression in history. I was part of cross town busing in Virginia in the 80’s to promote racial integration in Va., and for the first time at the age of 9 or 10 I had African American friends, just because I went to school with a more mixed race population, so it did work, but eventually was scrapped I think because they didn’t want white kids on a bus for 45 minutes or whatever. I think they only did this in the south, I’m not too sure. Anyway I’m not too sure Roots really needed a re-boot. Just show the original and then maybe show a more current film or make a new series on the topic.

  12. OriginallyBlue says:

    I get what he’s saying, but I do think it’s important to talk about the past as well. My mom really wanted to watch Roots because it looked good and she felt like it was important. She was only 9 when the original came out and was living in another country, so she never saw it. She only got in 20 minutes because she had to go to bed, but she plans to watch it on demand. Growing up black in another country is definitely a different experience than doing so in the States, I think. Especially when your country is very multicultural and “we don’t see colour.” Living in small towns here we do nothing and knowing nothing about black history and slavery because slaves ran here to be free. I feel like it is important for those of us to at least get a glimpse of some of the past to see what they experienced and were running from. I watched 12 years a slave and Selma and they were difficult to get through and made me cry so I will probably hold off on Roots for a bit.

  13. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    They have very right to air it. He has every right not to watch it.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Hi GNAT and that’s just it. How do you “boycott” a cable show? It’s not like he is proposing an alternate way to spend those hours exploring modern African-American history.

  14. Elle says:

    The fact that he says, “as real n— like myself” discredits him in my book. Just to think of all the stories my grandparents and parents tell about how hard they worked NOT to be called the n word, and then to hear rappers and kids just negate those gains…it’s their choice but UGH…Also, the implication that there are real Black people and not-real Black people is the height of colonialism brainwashing. I’m not convinced he actually understands the history he claims is no longer necessary.

    • Crocuta says:

      I agree with you. Plus I find one thing saddening: he is now saying what typical racists are saying online. The white supremacists say “no more shows about this time in history because that was too long ago and the blacks keep beating the s*** into our heads on how we did them”, while he is saying “no more shows about this time in history because that was too long ago and the whites keep beating that s*** into our heads of how they did us.” Really? I lost my respect for him.

    • I Choose Me says:

      A-freaking-men. So sick of the wrongheaded idea that there’s only one way to be black. As for Snoop’s comment, I’ll just pull out this quote: “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

    • Jwoolman says:

      How Sarah Palin of Snoop. She runs around claiming her audiences are “the real Americans”, implying the rest of us aren’t.

      I actually like Snoop for some obscure reason (maybe I’m biased due to all the cartoons he’s been in, I like cartoons). He says interesting things sometimes, maybe even often, and he does have a reasonable point here. But he’s not always the wisest fellow around and can be blind himself. He happily went along as the host of one of those awful infomercials for Girls Gone Wild. I couldn’t even understand why it was legal to videotape those women – they were so obviously drunk and drugged. One acted completely out of it, lifting up her shirt on command with dead eyes and not a hint of a smile. I don’t understand how drunk and drugged people can truly give (or continue to give) consent. Anything they signed while sober or a reasonable facsimile thereof should be null and void if they’re that far gone.

    • Reece says:

      Thank You!! Exactly what I wanted to say!

  15. K2 says:

    I think there’s a certain subconscious back-patting that goes on when white people watch films delineating the horrors of slavery, because they can at some level feel superior to their ancestors who kept slaves and are thus Nasty Racists. It’s a lot less comfortable to watch something that spells out the huge extent to which white privilege, founded on that past and history, survives pretty well intact in many important ways.

    I also think that portraying black people solely in terms of slavery is the very reverse of decent representation.

    • Jwoolman says:

      It shouldn’t be just a history lesson but the start of a much longer and deeper discussion of what slavery and its many aftermaths did to everybody and our culture as a whole, what remained in other forms, what fostered entrenched racism, how that impacts events occurring today.

      I wonder if we would all be in better shape today if slavery had been broken by strict boycotts of goods produced by slave labor and absolute refusal to let anybody be sent back if they reached a non-slave state, if the refugees were instead widely welcomed, if that bloody and unpopular war hadn’t been fought, and if the occupation and Reconstruction had never happened in the South, if people in non-slave states had to face and deal with their own racism earlier head-on rather than getting a false sense of superiority. I know whites in New York City blamed blacks for the draft with gruesome results for locals. How widespread was that feeling and did it intensify racism? De facto segregation in the North in my childhood seemed a more slippery beast than outright legal segregation in the South.

  16. Almondjoy says:

    Snoop has the right to his opinion and his opinion is valid. My husband feels the same way. I get it, Hollywood only likes to make movies about what went on in the past when it comes to the treatment black people receive. It makes people feel a little more comfortable because they can tell themselves “This happened long ago and it was awful. Look how far we’ve come!” If a movie was made about the racism and oppression that still occurs today, many would be upset and uncomfortable and in denial and they would refuse to watch it.

    At the same time, I can’t be mad at a the History Channel for doing what they’re supposed to do, which is shed light on what happened in the past. I guess it’s just kind of disheartening that these are the only stories that seems to get aired… There have been so many talented black people who made a difference and invented things and created change and we hear nothing about them.

    I’m torn y’all 😟😔

    • Marty says:

      Agreed. He has a point, but it shouldn’t be an either/or situation. We can still shed light on atrocities committed in the past while also tying into how that affects our society in the present.

      On the other hand, it would be SO refreshing to see movies where we are are own heroes and not reduced to a stereotype.

      • Almondjoy says:

        Thanks for stating it so succinctly, Marty. It doesn’t have to be an either or situation.

        And I agree, It would be SO refreshing, . Let’s keep hoping this happens soon.

    • WTW says:

      @Almondjoy And I think a lot of non-black people would have a problem watching a film today about racism that doesn’t deal with police brutality. I’m not trying to negate the impact of police brutality in the slightest, but, frankly, the police shooting stories that make the news aren’t the oppression that most black people experience day in and day out. It’s the racial microaggressions — not making as much money as white colleagues in the work place, being treated suspiciously in stores, given bad deals on home loans, even with good credit (which happened to thousands of blacks before the mortgage crisis), attending public schools that are more segregated today than they were in the 1970s, receiving substandard health care, which studies have found happens to all blacks, regardless of income. I could go on and on. These stories aren’t sexy or sensationalistic, but they’re the kinds of discrimination black people of all class backgrounds experience on a day-to-day basis.

      • Almondjoy says:

        WTW, so true!! Lots of people deny that these microaggressions exist and hate to be reminded of what it’s like to live as a black person on a day to day basis. Literally read a comment on IG a few minutes ago of two people having a convo about how black people created racism and white privilege so we’ll be able to get more sympathy from them and the government 🤔 I read comments like this every single day… I know a lot of it is trolling but there are people who really feel this way.

    • Mixtape says:

      Almondjoy, I think you’ve done a great job of outlining the mix of issues at play.

      One thing I haven’t seen here–does the new version continue the story line into the present day just as the original did? The reason it is called Roots is because it follows the genealogical line and challenges from Kunta Kinte, who taken captive in Africa, to his modern descendants. So it’s not just about slavery, but the lasting effects of slavery and ongoing discrimination through different eras, and it really ties past and present together. Snoop is only a few years older than me, so I’m sure that, like me, he watched the original a few times back in school (no history teacher who wanted two weeks off making lesson plans could resist showing it), but he doesn’t seem to acknowledge this angle of it. The makeup/effects (used to age the actors) and filmmaking style are now dated, and if there was anything worthy of an update for a younger audience, I think this is it. That’s just my opinion, and I’ll be checking it out once it hits Netflix.

      • Almondjoy says:

        Thanks, Mixtape. It’s a mix of issues for sure. I can’t speak on the Roots reboot because I haven’t seen it, but I do agree that seeing the old one can make one think of the long lasting effects of slavery. It’s a part of history that should not be erased. I’ll nervously be tuning in to see the newer version.

    • Magnoliarose says:

      I can relate to your problem. As a Jewish woman I know without a doubt how important the past is but contemporary bigotry is largely ignored. It is very important to never forget but it is also very important to address current issues.

  17. Almondjoy says:

    Another thing I would like to add: I suggest everyone watch UNDERGROUND on WGN if you would like to see the strength that the slaves who escaped showed. Aldis Hodge, Jurnee Smollett, Amirah Vann and the rest of the cast are BRILLIANT. It doesn’t focus on slavery as much as it shows the great lengths they went to to get to freedom. It touched me like nothing I’ve seen in years. This show was about strength and courage and family. You HAVE to see it!

    • FingerBinger says:

      Using Snoop logic we must boycott that too.

    • I Choose Me says:

      That sounds like something I would very much like to watch. Wish i still had WGN. Is it on any other channel or Netflix? Or will I have to wait for the dvd?

    • THE OG BB says:

      I love that show, too. Growing up we used to live in a house that was part of the underground railroad, so I was always interested in the survival stories and the stories of those who helped others escape.

    • Abby_J says:

      Underground might be the best show on TV. It was amazing. Can’t wait for Season 2

  18. MellyMel says:

    I watched last night and I thought the first episode was nicely done. Obviously there were some parts that were tough to watch. I get what Snoop is saying and I agree to an extent but as someone in their twenties who didn’t watch the original, I think it’s important to have these types of movies or docs for a younger generation. There are also so many ignorant people in this country and outside it who need to be educated.

  19. lisa says:

    first, love any mention of fruitvale station (my autocorrect keeps changing it so apologies of it is misspelled)

    @erinn, i skip most 70s movies for the same reason, they look so cheap to me compared to what came before or after. like the film is flat and lifeless.

    iirc, the first roots had some scenes where the white characters were maybe too nice? which makes me wonder if there were scenes left out with more extreme violence? i dont know i’m just thinking aloud and i see snoop’s point. but if the first roots glossed over some points to keep white people from being too put out over it. then i can see why someone wanted to remake it.

    and like it has been pointed out, there are many many holocaust movies. i would never suggest that there are too many slavery or holocaust movies since collectively, we dont seem to have learned from them.

  20. me says:

    I understand where he’s coming from. However, he himself has not put out the best image of African Americans has he? This guy is literally high 24/7…or at least that’s the image he puts out there. Snoop needs to realize that with each new generation, they need to be taught about American history, the good, the bad, and the ugly. If making a movie about it is a way to get younger people to learn, then so be it. That being said, I respect his decision to boycott it.

    • Veronica says:

      To be fair, it’s not really his responsibility to represent all black people. We certainly don’t ask that of whites.

      • me says:

        Of course he isn’t responsible for representing all African Americans…but when he says things like “Let’s create our own sh*t based on today, how we live and how we inspire people today”, he needs to think twice about his own actions and how he is portraying himself. He certainly doesn’t seem very “inspiring”.

      • Almondjoy says:

        I think you’re missing the point of his message, which is valid. If you want to focus on what Snoop has done, then let’s do that. I’m no Snoop fan and he’s no angel (who is?) but he’s actually very charitable and supports many foundations… He has also done work to raise Lupus awareness and his wife is on the board to help find a cure. I’m sure there’s someone out there who has been inspired by him.

      • me says:

        @ Almondjoy

        I’m not saying he doesn’t do charity work. The problem is MOST people wouldn’t know about that unless they take the time to google him. The image that is out there of him is quite the opposite. Perhaps he should focus on getting the word out on his charities and putting some more shine on that, instead of always on TV talking about smoking weed. I mean why is he ok with that image? If he really wants to inspire people, he needs to bring more awareness to the causes he helps. Most people don’t know any of the things you listed. That is my point.

      • Almondjoy says:

        Me: I get you and I agree that he doesn’t portray himself in the best light. Even so, that doesn’t make his point invalid. You can have an opinion about what’s inspiring even if some of your own actions aren’t inspiring.

      • QQ says:

        Does this mean that only those performing Blackness in an acceptable way are the only ones that get to have a voice and vote? I mean to me he has a right to his very very very Valid opinion and is still a worthy endeavor that Roots got made all the same he is not expressing something many people of color don’t already feel about these types of storytelling

        Also is presumptuous to assume he isn’t inspiring to someone ( say in his family, his neighborhood, his past) coming from where he came from to where he is at these many years takes some doing and is aspirational to someone

      • me says:

        @ Almondy Joy

        I never said his point was invalid. The first thing I said was “I understand where he’s coming from”. That means, I agree with what he’s saying.

        @ QQ

        I never said any of the things you’re implying. We are not talking about ALL black people here, just Snoop.

    • Fee says:

      I did a Playboy tour, and I had a bus follow me with ten bitches on it. I could fire a bitch, f–k a bitch, get a new ho: It was my program. City to city, titty to titty, hotel room to hotel room, athlete to athlete, entertainer to entertainer.”
      That’s Snoop. Only reason I wouldn’t watch it is because I believe people want race wars, black,white,brown,yellow. It is ridiculous. How many people do crimes n news need to identify them by their color. I’m from Canada, race has never been a huge issue here. Maybe because we never had slaves, all black people came on their own free will. USA needs to quit racial profiling, stop using race incidents to create strife n teach our youth what goodness today is from our past we learn our future.

      • me says:

        I live in Canada and am a POC. I can tell you that there is plenty of racism here. I have been the victim of it since childhood. Also, African Americans were treated poorly in Canada too. There were “whites only” cinemas, etc. in Canada too. I highly suggest you do some research.

      • NorthernGirl_20 says:

        I am Canadian, I come from a small Northern Ontario mining town and I can tell you there is racism here. I’m white, but my son’s father is from Bangladesh. He has been called the n-word, told he smells like a skunk etc. He just turned 13 and its heartbreaking to me ..
        Heck when he was a baby my own parents told everyone that his father (we are not together) was Italian to explain his darker skin tone.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        Yeah, neat. I’m black in Canada and there is most definitely enough racism here to give America a run for its money. Canada pretends to be a more progressive and open-minded nation than it really is.

      • Jwoolman says:

        I think the myth of non-racist Canada comes from Canadians (including black Canadians) who spend real time in the USA. By comparison, Canada seems to be less racist. I’ve heard Europeans visiting here in the USA also who were astonished at the level of racism they observed. They had thought it was exaggerated, but it was actually worse.

        Donald Trump didn’t invent racism. He’s appealing to the most blatantly racist among us because they exist in large numbers. If they didn’t exist, he couldn’t stir them up. And the less blatantly racist (the more benign racists, hard not to be one growing up here, the source of the frequent micro incidents mentioned) have blinders on, not taking the implications of all that seriously and how fast we are moving backwards and how fundamentally dangerous that is.

        We never had moved that far forward in the first place, it’s just easy to think racism is in the past when your own ox isn’t being gored. It’s true that there have been real changes since my childhood, not the least of which is the fact that large numbers of people are no longer willing to assume it’s inevitable that they be treated as the proverbial second class citizens. That internal shift was the real catalyst for change in the past and will make the real difference today. That particular genie can’t be stuffed back into the bottle. But the good things that came out of the Civil Rights movement seem to be losing ground.

      • caitlinK says:

        Fee: Really? Canada has no racism? I’d love for you to tell that to my Indian (from India) brother-in-law, and the three half Indian kids he has w my sister. According to him–and I’ve witnessed it there, too–racism against people of color in Canada is *just* as bad as it is in parts of the U.S. Sorry, Canada gets no gold medal for progressiveness and acceptance and anti-bigotry from the people who endure racism in your country daily.

  21. MSgirl says:

    Snoop is a moron. In case he hasn’t noticed Hollywood is recycling old movies and making books into movies. There hasn’t been too many original film ideas. If he doesn’t want to watch then he shouldn’t. Don’t down the people that will watch. A lot of the youth today haven’t seen the original and won’t. Also maybe if he learned his history he would understand why the use of the N word is so offensive.

  22. Veronica says:

    I understand where he’s coming from, honestly. My mother and I had a similar conversation after seeing “The Butler.” I mean, yeah, the film was well intentioned, but can blacks be more than concepts for once? Not villains or victims but just people living in and contributing to society? Stories like “Roots” have their place, but there are plenty of other meaningful stories that don’t get told.

    • Jwoolman says:

      That’s why one direction to take is concrete support for screenwriters and directors of different ethnicities. To have other stories told, you have to have the people whose stories need telling in the right place at the right time. And people who won’t have such a narrow vision when it comes to casting actors for parts that can be played by actors of different ethnicities, for parts that really aren’t tied to a particular ethnic group. Which really is most of them. Yelling about the unconscious bias when you see it is important, since at least that will inspire conscious decisions to loosen up on casting to bring more realistic diversity, but getting diversity in full flower requires more diverse people at the top.

  23. kodakay says:

    And that is why I love Snoop! I agree. I will never forget slavery but I don’t need to be “entertained” by it. I watched the original Roots; it was a ground-breaking mini-series. For those that were not born at that time, the movie is still available. I don’t need a “new” version or a “re-imagined” version. I got the message the first time.

  24. KellzBellz says:

    I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with Snoop. Sick of seeing it. As a woman, I would’t want women to constantly be raped on film, and as a black woman I’m sick of black people being brutalized. Like that awful movie Django Unchained. It was fetishistic how much people enjoyed that. So many black people were side-eyeing that movie. That’s why I never saw The Help, which made my skin crawl anytime I read about it. Spike Lee made a similar point yeeears ago.

    I also hate that Snoop uses “n—–.” Speaking of moving on and forward, can we be DONE WITH THAT WORD ALREADY??? It’s not progressive nor any more empowering that watching black people be brutalized.

    Also, Kunta is gorgeoussss!

  25. Marianne says:

    I can see where he’s coming from. The majority of movies and miniseries out there with predominately black casts tend to be about slavery or the civil rights movement. Yes, those are important aspects of our history, but there are more stories out there waiting to be told.

    • Jwoolman says:

      In the earlier days of movies, before I was born, apparently the segregation in movies and I assume in movie theaters had one somewhat beneficial effect: there were many movies made with essentially all black casts, specifically marketed at black moviegoers. They had regular movie type plots generally, about regular life and the usual collection of good guys and bad guys, I think. That was back when movies fulfilled the function that tv does today, so there were loads of mediocre movies around regardless of target audience and they typically were produced quickly on a slim budget. But they certainly gave a lot of black actors jobs that were closed to them in the pale markets. Some pretty famous people who later were able to get some mainstream work were in those movies. I don’t know much else about them. I hope there are copies archived somewhere, even if just for the historical aspect. Maybe YouTube has some? Services like Hulu or Netflix? Not sure how to find them. I’ve seen some pretty bad old movies with basically all-white casts on late night tv in previous years (not so much in recent years), but I don’t recall seeing any of the all-black ones.

  26. k says:

    I think Snoop and the author of this article make very valid points. We should be telling more modern stories about the American experience especially within the black community and yeah it was a disgrace that Hollywood ignored Fruitvale because lets be honest the subject was uncomfortable for some people but that movie was BRILLIANT! I had a physical reaction to it. That has never happened to me in a film and I think people forget it was Ryan’s first major work so I mean wow.

    Now that being said I think it is extremely important we don’t ignore that slavery happened, which I know we won’t but some people would love to try, I think we need to acknowledge it and do so honestly, which from what I have read this version of Roots did a bit more much like 12 Years a Slave. But it shouldn’t be the only story told about the black community because it isn’t their only story, and frankly neither are stories like Fruitvale. I mean a black man invented the Stop Light that didn’t change the world or anything, tell that story if you want a historical story about a black American.

    Or here is a novel idea just write a movie about whatever and cast a black, asian, hispanic person because shockingly they’ll fit the part. Because don’t tell me that Lupita couldn’t be believable in 27 Dresses. I mean I think it is much easier to believe Lupita has 27 friends and men chasing her then Katherine Heigel!

    So basically I get Snoop’s point but I also see the value and importance of Roots.

    • k says:

      I completely disagree with you that film was brilliant and kept me riveted the entire time. I didn’t say the subject matter was difficult although watching a kid get murdered for trying not to drunk drive not the easiest thing to watch.

      I said the cop killing an unarmed black man is an uncomfortable subject matter for some people to address and you can pretend it isn’t but if it wasn’t then we would have come up with a solution to this huge issue and since we haven’t its probably because people are uncomfortable addressing and dealing with it being an issue.

  27. susan says:

    Slavery is not a thing of the past. Just today on Google news was a report of millions of people living in slavery in India and North Korea. It needs to be stopped – instead of making movie after movie about the past let’s deal with the present.I would love for black activists to take this on. Personally I agree with snoop – generation after generation believes that what defines them is that their ancestors were slaves. That is the past – what defines blacks now?

  28. Sara says:

    I agree with him. It’s like when they make another world war II movie or another movie about Iraq, and you are just like, ok ENOUGH. Think of something original.

  29. TOPgirl says:

    This show is part of American history, an insight into what our past included such as slavery and so forth. Although I do wish they would show more Native American and Chinese related history into the West during the time of the Gold Rush and building the railroads. Although it may seem like they are emphasizing too much on slavery….I think it has alot to do with what’s going on now. It’s educational for many but if you dwell too much on the racism aspect then it may all seem as though it’s racist.