Director George Lucas told Jon Stewart on the 'Daily Show' that Hollywood refused to fund his new film 'Red Tails' (about World War II's Tuskegee Airmen) because the cast was all black (video below).
Lucas said: “It was designed to be during the war. It’s very patriotic, very jingoistic, very old-fashioned, corny, just exactly like Flying Leathernecks only this one was held up for release from 1942 when it was shot, and I’ve been trying to get it released ever since.”
Although paying for it himself, Lucas went to the studios to create the prints, ads, and be responsible for distribution: “I showed it to all of them and they said, ‘No. We don’t know how to market a movie like this.'”
When Stewart asked why, Lucas first responded, “Because it’s not green enough. They only release green movies.”
Lucas clarified, “It's because it's an all black movie. There's no major white roles in it at all. It’s one of the first all black action pictures ever made.”
“I wanted to make it inspirational for 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. It’s like a real, they were real heroes.”