Congress is seemingly at war with Hollywood over the quality of its TV shows. I maintain the way to get Congress off the back of Hollywood is to produce new shows--with a social conscience.
"Another Chance" is that type of show. That means Hollywood needs what I have, but doesn't know it yet. As a black American, I'd like my chance at adding a piece to the fabric of our culture.
Sure, killings, robberies and carjackings occur in my neighborhood. And everywhere else, too. When I hear people say, "Where are the black role models?" I cringe. They're men like Carey Moran, Lloyd Jackson, Charles Cook and Henry Fayson--just honest, working black men that I know. Not famous, but like me respect themselves and others. And aren't afraid to work for what they want. Those are real role models.
I pay particular attention to Hollywood's black characters, many of whom leave me speechless. I often say to my wife, Vickie, "Who writes this crap? I don't know any black man that would say that." I've come to accept that a 38-year-old black man has a separate reality from his white counterpart. And if I ever forget, there's always some situation to snap me back to reality.
Just a few weeks ago my well-meaning boss at the hotel asked, "Are you and Vickie still living in L.A.?"
My answer was, of course, "Yes."
He then asked, "Why don't the two of you move out this way?"
I smiled and gave him some polite answer. But in my mind, I thought, "Does the hourly wage you pay me afford for us to live in West Hollywood? Yeah, right!"
Those of us who create anything fall into a trap of thinking whatever we create is good. So when I wrote the treatment for "Another Chance," I was prayerful. But I didn't go overboard.
I then asked one of my associates who works for an entertainment firm to give the treatment a read and let me know what she thought. "I like it," she said enthusiastically. "Let's sell it." And the race was on.
Where I once operated out of doubt, I now operate out of faith. Regardless of what it looks like, I trust God's word.
I've learned that you can do one of three things with success: hurt, help or ignore. Sure, my life here hasn't been that easy, but I'd really have to lose sight of everything to not want "Another Chance" to make a difference.
We may be able to teach our children--and one another--about caring again. When I do that, I'll have truly become successful.