In a time of darkness and chaos and glowing orbs, it turns out there is some goodness left in this world. The internet’s communal wish for a buddy movie starring Their Royal Majesties RIHANNA and LUPITA NYONG’O, directed by AVA DUVERNAY, is ACTUALLY HAPPENING. And ISSA RAE is in talks to write the damn thing!!! WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!!
Well, one of the things going on is an increasingly bitter dispute about where the idea for this movie first came from. Let me explain.
If you missed this somehow, Twitter user @1800SADGAL—whose name appears to be Kateria if the YouTube channel she links to in her Twitter bio is accurate—set the internet ablaze last month when she recirculated an image of Rihanna and Lupita sitting side by side at Miu Miu’s spring 2014 show in Paris and added this immortal comment.
And then shit got real.
This was all fun and internet games last month, but holy shit, it’s actually happening, as Entertainment Weekly reported Monday. We don’t know if it’s a heist movie as requested, but all of the major players are lined up, and Netflix is backing the whole thing.
The fact that this all came together perfectly demonstrates the power of the internet, and the combination of talent here is almost too good to be true.
But here’s the thing: @1800SADGAL’s tweet bears a striking resemblance to this Tumblr post from two years ago by user elizabitchtaylor.
While @1800SADGAL added the bit about scamming white men (which makes it all the more delicious a plot), the fact that elizabitchtaylor’s post happened years ago and has more combined likes and reblogs than the tweet has led some internet citizens to accuse @1800SADGAL of stealing the idea. Still, others have been congratulating her for making this whole thing happen.
To be fair, @1800SADGAL and elizabitchtaylor did hash the whole thing out last month over Twitter when it first went viral, and @1800SADGAL claims the two of them are cool. elizabitchtaylor, whose name is Roxy, officially declined to comment to the world about the latest twist on Monday, so who knows what that means.
Whatever the case, the movie is happening, which is the important thing. It showcases just how powerful the internet can be—especially Black Twitter, which made the tweet go viral and is definitely the reason Rihanna and Lupita and Ava and Issa caught wind of the idea.
It’s also a win for those of us who want to see more projects getting made by people besides the same old white men. Hollywood’s diversity problem when it comes to women and people of color (there’s a federal investigation into discrimination against women directors in Hollywood) is so well-known it hardly bears repeating, but even so, let’s remind you of some stats. According to a UCLA report, in 2015, only 13.6% of lead roles were given to people of color, 29% of lead roles were given to women, 7.7% of films were directed by women, and only 13% of the films were written by women.
Not only is having a (hopefully) big-budget movie written by, directed by, and starring black women just incredible, but the fact that it’s looking like a fun and funny movie will be groundbreaking in itself. Here’s hoping those involved with brainstorming this over the internet get compensated for their brilliance as well.
Who knew that when Rihanna and Lupita sat next to each other at that Miu Miu show, history would be made? Actually, Rihanna and Lupita probably knew. I mean, look at them.
Yeah, they definitely knew.