R&R Aware:Montana Fishburne, You Must Not Be Paying Attention
It's been nearly a week since Lawrence Fishburne's ill guided daughter Montana started lighting up entertainment blogs and news sites with her announcement that she was making her acting debut not in a commercial or a sitcom, but in a skin flick. More specifically, in a disturbing genre of porn called Thrill Sex, which features the actors and actresses engaging in sex acts that most would consider inappropriate,like sex in a public place. I was waiting to post on this because I didn't want to come to a hasty conclusion since I was sure that someone would delve into the daddy/daughter dynamics that might have led to her behavior or perhaps it would be discovered that this whole thing is just a symptom of a deeper, more serious mental health issue.
But, it's been almost a week and the only thing that even hints at any of that is the fact that Montana knows her father is very upset, but didn't hear it from him. I'm not condoning Montana's behavior at all, but the fact that no one has rushed in to save this blockbuster actor's daughter from certain shame with the almighty power of rationalization and justification is exactly what Montana hasn't been paying attention to.
As Gangstarr Girl so eloquently lays out here, black girls don't get a pass when it comes to blatant deviation from acceptable sexual mores. Montana could have saved herself the inevitable disappointment and, God forbid, perils of porn had she taken note of how New York, Hoopz( both of Flavor of Love fame), and Kenya Moore all failed at achieving dreams of over night fame after the release of a sex tape. Their "careers" are still nonexistent and more than likely, they'll never be taken seriously outside of hypersexualized arenas.
Black women can't afford such debacles as sex tapes, be they purposely or covertly created, in a society and a media world that searches daily for reasons to dehumanize, ridicule, and objectify our community. And even a modest amount of sensuality regarding a black woman is seen as profane, even in the face of daily strumpeteering by our non black sistren.
Montana's apparent role model, Kim Kardashian, was rewarded with endorsements, clothing lines, a perfume, and a reality show after her sex scandal, none of which Montana will probably ever see. Kardashian is protected fiercely when the topic of her sex tape is brought up. Her fans are even willing to throw out the far fetched rationalization that recording a sex tape with your boyfriend is something that every couple does to normalize her actions and protect her name. Montana will never be afforded this courtesy.
I think one of the things that bothers me the most about this story is the fact that Montana would rather put herself at so much risk for instant fame than work her father's connections (or even better, make her own connections) to make her way up a more respectable ladder to theater notoriety. Montana is not by herself when it comes to adopting an attitude that taking short cuts deserves the same privileges as working hard and building a brand and a trustworthy reputation over time. Fame is much easier to get now that it was before the Internet age, but it seems to come at a much more expensive price. My hope is that Montana reevaluates what she really wants to accomplish and gets out of a track that will probably prove that it's more than she's willing to pay for.