As a Hollywood A-lister who’s been in the film industry for years, you’d think Sandra Bullock would be unflappable. But there’s still something that can bring her to tears — “Black Panther.”
Bullock couldn’t help but rave about the film when she met the cast backstage at the Academy Awards on March 4.
“I started to cry backstage when I was telling [the cast of “Black Panther”] how much the film meant to me as a woman, but how much it meant to me as a mother,” Bullock said in a red carpet interview with “Access Hollywood.”
Bullock is the mother of two black children, Louis, 8, and Laila, 5, through adoption. The movie’s all-black cast, dynamic female characters, and Afro-futuristic setting are a refreshing change of pace for adult filmgoers. But for children, particularly children of color, seeing a black king, and the intelligent, fierce black women leaders is downright inspiring.
And for children of color this type of visibility is long overdue.
Children of color are still underrepresented when it comes to toys, books, TV shows, apps, and games. Finding entertainment options with visible, dynamic, leading characters of color requires a little extra time, patience, or in some cases, getting creative.
“I’m so grateful to Marvel because about five years ago, my son asked me if there were any brown Legos. And I said, ‘Yes, there are,’ and I got a Sharpie and I turned Spider-Man brown, I turned the Legos brown …”
But with the success of films like “Black Panther” there is a glimmer of hope.
The film is already breaking records at the box office, earning more than $500 million domestically since its release 18 days ago.
Now, industry insiders suggest “Black Panther” could make nearly $250 million in merchandise sales this year alone. With masks, action figures, clothes, Lego, and even a car, Bullock and other parents of children of color will finally get the opportunity to celebrate and support a hero of color on the big screen.
It’s a moment many thought would never come.
Parents, including Bullock, are rejoicing.
“I don’t have to turn [the Lego] brown anymore,” Bullock said.
Happy tears, indeed.