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January 12, 2012 by · 8 Comments 

His films may have earned more money than those of any other producer, but George Lucas says he was unable to find a single studio executive willing to back his film, Red Tails, about the Tuskegee Airmen, the heroic World War II group of black pilots. Appearing on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Lucas said that Hollywood simply will not produce a big-budget film with an all-black cast. “Normally black movies, say Tyler Perry movies or something, they’re very low budget,” Lucas told Stewart. “And this costs more than what those movies make.” He also observed that even in bigger-budget movies in which the cast is largely African American, the studios insist on a white protagonist. But in Red Tails, he said, “there’s no major white role in it at all. It’s one of the first, all-black action pictures ever made.” Lucas said that he himself has paid for the production — amounting to $58 million — and is shelling out $35 million more to market and distribute it prior to its Jan. 20th release. “I wanted to make it inspirational for [African-American] teenaged boys. I wanted to show that they have heroes, they’re real American heroes, they’re patriots that helped to make the country what it is today. And it’s not Glory where you have a lot of white officers running these guys into cannon fodder. They were real heroes.”