Wednesday June 01, 2016

Roots reboot: why we still need the slave narrative in 2016

LeVar Burton speaks on stage at the premiere screening of the four night event.

LeVar Burton speaks on stage at the premiere screening of the four night event. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images for History)

Listen 24:09

q's pop culture panel weighs in on the worthy, contentious, and mind-boggling stories from the week in arts and entertainment. Opinionated and irreverent, our panel takes pop culture seriously (but not too seriously).

Today's panellists are journalist Rachel GieseStephen Marche of Esquire and film and TV director Charles Officer. Today:

  • With the History Channel's reboot of Roots, our panel discusses why we still need slave narratives in 2016 and why other stories of black lives aren't being told. "The horrible thing is that the [slave] narrative needs to be told over and over again because the issues that it confronts are still very much alive and with us," says Marche. Even so, Giese asks, "Why does Hollywood want to greenlight stories about black suffering and not greenlight as many romantic comedies, thrillers, family shows?"
  • Amber Heard, Johnny Depp's estranged wife, is accusing the actor of domestic violence and has been granted a restraining order against him. While some observers are drawing a connection between Depp's legal problems and poor showings for Alice Through The Looking Glass, our panel disagrees. Giese made sure to separate the two factors. "I don't really like thinking of domestic violence in terms of the impact it'll have on his career and his box office showing," she says. 
  • Who should be the next James Bond? The question has been a hot button topic for years with Idris Elba, Tom Hardy and Gillian Anderson's names being pushed by fans. While Officer and Marche believe James Bond is a character set in its ways, Giese believes someone more diverse should be put into the role. "Let [James Bond] exist and let it die out and maybe you can re-imagine the franchise by actually creating a new agent," Officer says.  

Who is your pick for the next James Bond? You can let us know in the comments, by email, on Facebook or on Twitter.