1999’s The Best Man is one of the most successful modern Black films. One would assume think that an entire franchise would have been immediately greenlit after its success. The film grossed $34 million on a budget of $9 million. However, a sequel to the film did not come until 14 years later in 2013. It was also released to much success, grossing $71 million worldwide.
However, in a recent episode of Netflix’s Strong Black Lead podcast, star Taye Diggs said that the cast was not paid their worth for the sequel and that it working on it was “bittersweet” because the value of a new movie was not seen.
“I feel like they looked at Black movies like a cute little project. Whereas if it had been a superhero movie, with some no-name White kid, it would have already been written,” Diggs said regarding how long it took for the sequel to get made.
He said they earned half the money they were worth for the sequel. “…It’s embarrassing, not embarrassing, it’s disrespectful to go to a studio and look at these people in their face and go, ‘You know how much I’m worth. I know how much I’m worth but you’re smiling at me asking me to do this for pennies,’” the actor added.
The actor says he didn’t realize the sequel would be as far-reaching as it was. “The movie was more than we thought,” Diggs shared. “I didn’t know it was going to affect people in the same way.”
Diggs also said earlier this year that a third film in the franchise is still very likely.