Kevin Ross (“America’s Court with Judge Ross”), the former California Superior Court judge, along with TV writer/producer Michael Ajakwe and Project Islamic Hope’s Najee Ali, took the support of “Red Tails” to the next level with Occupy Red Tails, a movement designed to raise awareness and encourage support for the feature film.
According to Ross, Occupy Red Tails sprang from the mind of Ajakwe during a conversation they had about the movie. After seeing an interview with “Red Tails” executive producer George Lucas, Ajakwe became intent on getting the word out about the movie. The men eventually joined forces and worked to promote the film, which tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Taking a cue from the Occupy Wall Street movement, Ajakwe came up with the name Occupy Red Tails. Despite the film’s predominately African American cast, Ross is quick to point out the success and promotion of “Red Tails” is more universal than what many would perceive.
“I think it’s bigger than that,” he explained. “This is a general market issue.”
Released the week following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, “Red Tails” finished second behind “Underworld: Awakening.” The film, which stars Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ne-Yo, netted with $19.4 million over that weekend. Last weekend it added another $10.4 million.
Ross confessed that the good fortune encountered with Occupy Red Tails is a testament to the power of social media and exposure on websites such as EURweb. Days after setting up an official page on Facebook, more than 30,000 people were invited to join the campaign.
The producers and marketing team behind “Red Tails” also took notice by posting links to the EUR story on their web page, Ross added, while also noting how the movie’s good showing in its first week should be a wakeup call to those in the film industry.
“It wasn’t about it being a Black thing as much it was about making a statement that these are the type of stories we want told,” Ross said.