The sheer force of Will Smith couldn’t and did not save Bright, Netflix’s Christmas disaster of 2017. And that’s okay. There are a lot of problems with Bright, outside of it just being a bad film and reports of money a-wasting on a forthcoming sequel.
As Chance the Rapper points out on Twitter, the way Bright deals with racism isn’t how more sophisticated fantasy films deal with such issues (say, The Lord of the Rings trilogy or 2009’s District 9)—it’s made into allegory where, as Chance says, “racism usually stems from human emotion or tolerance but not by law or systems the way it is in real life.” It’s as though director David Ayer (Suicide Squad) and writer Max Landis (Chronicle) would like to foist this on us and pretend that it’s subtle because, after all, it’s fantasy. The greater the film’s budget, the greater the risk of failure.
Backing up a few steps: Bright stars Will Smith in a cop drama-turned-fairyland that fills the LAPD with mythical creatures instead of racist cops—oh, and we’re on the search for a deadly weapon. When Chance was asked by a fan if he thinks he could have misinterpreted the scene as a metaphor for racism, Chance replied: “I tried to look at it that way but a few minutes into the movie they make wills character say “Fairy Lives don’t Matter.” (We didn’t care much for that line, either.)
Read Chance’s full range of tweets below.