JaiProductions is a company formed to cater to the African American actor.
The presence of African Americans in major motion picture roles has been a conversation since Hattie McDaniel who played Mammy, the house servant in "Gone with the Wind". Through most of the 20th century, images of African-Americans in advertising were mainly limited to servants like the pancake-mammy Aunt Jemima and Rastus, the chef on the Cream of Wheat box. The roles the African-American community are generally offered usually fall into three themes; a tale of rags to riches, thug life, or segregation. Even in today’s movies the roles for an African-American performer fall under similar typecast roles, the biggest movie with African-American leads in 2011 was "The Help". In the 2012 Academy Awards, "The Help" was nominated for several categories: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role and Best Motion Picture of the Year. The movie walked away with one win for Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer), leaving Viola Davis to lose to Meryl Streep, a 14-time nominee and three-time winner. Octavia Spencer was the only African American to win an award that night, which for the Academy Awards is not a rare occasion.
JaiProductions films will feature a predominantly African American cast and will highlight not only the three themes African American actors are typically casted in; but will showcase African American actors in the roles of a lifetime.