Sadly, race baiting not only helps in politics but also in the box office.
Before the release of The Butler, a docudrama inspired by White House butler Eugene Allen who served eight presidents, Oprah exploited the race card to generate attention for the movie.
As discussed in an earlier post, Oprah claimed she was unfairly treated in a retail store in Switzerland and she also made the outrageous comparison of the murder of Emmett Till to the tragic death of Trayvon Martin.
Oprah’s public relations stunt worked.
According to Deadline Hollywood, Oprah Winfrey’s public relations push was responsible for The Butler’s opening weekend success:
Love her or hate her, co-star Oprah Winfrey and her big media blitz helped open the pic even if it did little to help her public image by providing more dirt for her detractors. Yet a survey by Fandango found that 72% of Butler ticket-buyers claimed Oprah’s involvement increased their interest in seeing the film which was her first movie role in 15 years.
The initial box office success of The Butler was also attributed to the marketing plan executed by The Weinstein Co. (TWC) – the film’s studio.
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