"USA Today set off a social media storm Sunday with a headline on its box-office story that many found racially insensitive,"Todd Cunningham wrote Sunday for the Wrap.
"'"Holiday" Nearly Beat "Thor" as Race-Themed Films Soar' was the original headline that the publication posted online and sent out on Twitter. Universal's romantic comedy sequel from writer-director Malcolm D. Lee did surprisingly well with $30.5 million this weekend, as it debuted against the Marvel superhero sequel, which took in $38.4 million.
"When that headline drew a blast of complaints, it was soon changed, to '"Holiday" Nearly Beats "Thor" as Ethnically Diverse Films Soar.' The original tweet was deleted, too.
"Most of the complaints struck a similar chord.
"'USA Today calls movies with black people in them race-themed' Cos black people are a genre. Like superhero movies' tweeted Sindi Nikosi.
"'So according to USA Today any any movie showing Black people acting like humans is considered a race-themed movie,' said T. Brown via Twitter."
"Why are movies that star people of color 'race-themed' but movies starring whites are not USA Today?" tweeted April. "Is friendship a race theme?"
Ultimately, the headline read: "’Best Man Holiday’ Nearly Beats Mighty 'Thor.'" An editor's note explained the change in headlines.
Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: "Race-Themed"?
Gene Demby, NPR "Code Switch": When Hollywood Movies Get 'Race-Themed' Into The Same Box (Nov. 19)
Ricardo A. Hazell, the Shadow League: "The Best Man Holiday" Scores $30 Million Opening