See also by Paul Kersey: Hyped Figures: John Glenn And The PC Myth Of Katherine Johnson–Unsung Black Women Were NOT What Got Us To The Moon
are telling us the movie Hidden Figures
is a hit—and proof of the need for more non-whites in films [Hidden Figures Should Be A Diversity Wake-Up Call For Film,
by Stacy Smith, Katherine Pieper, and Marc Choueiti, Wired,
January 6, 2017]. My reaction: why not a movie about Dr. Jack Crenshaw?—the white Southerner (right) who actually did, with a computer, the bulk of the Apollo Project work that Hollywood claims three, never-before-mentioned black women did with slide rules.
The movie depicting Katherine Johnson and her colleagues allegedly propelling NASA into space debuted with an opening of $21.8 million, good enough to force Rogue One: A Star Wars Story into second place.
Of course, even at a Golden Globes dedicated to virtue signaling, NBC’s Jenna Bush Hager—daughter of Dubya—and actor Michael Keaton managed to confuse the movie with Fences
piece of African-American Oscar bait,
calling it “Hidden Fences” and triggering a whole new round of caterwauling
about racist white people. [Jenna Bush Hager and Michael Keaton flub movie title at golden globes,
by Daniel Victor, The New York Times,
January 8, 2017]
Yet the incident is significant. Hidden Figures
is an example of an Affirmative Action hit which Main Stream Media critics feel compelled to treat with reverence.Hidden Figures’
opening was actually about the same as that of Redtails
, George Lucas’ similar movie mythologization
of the Tuskegee Airmen
—which subsequently nosedived
. My prediction: after initial black audience enthusiasm, white audiences will not materialize for a movie blatantly designed to make them feel guilty. And international
moviegoers will have even less interest.
But that’s not to say the PTB aren’t trying. Consider:
- The movie receives an astonishing 93 percent "fresh" rating at RottenTomatoes.com, the industry site for aggregating reviews of films. Of the top critics in American cinema, a laughable 35 or 36 give Hidden Figures glowing reviews. Virtually every top movie critic in America apparently felt obliged to hail this movie as a near-masterpiece (here's the list of the top 100 movies all time according to Rotten Tomatoes). This is reminiscent of a Third World dictator deciding to direct to a film and his cowed subjects clamoring what they've just seen is a masterpiece beyond words.
- Michelle Obama hosted a special screening of Hidden Figures at the White House, with Jet and Ebony magazine both dedicating issues entirely to promoting the film to their exclusively black audiences. [Michelle Obama to Host ‘Hidden Figures’ Screening: FLOTUS will host the cast at the White House, JetMag.com, December 15, 2016]
- Very unusually, the movie boasted a marketing budget nearly as great as the production budget. Ads started airing on August 14, 2016, with Variety.com estimating the total spending around $22.14 million. Between December 26, 2016 and January 1, 2017 alone, television advertising alone for Hidden Figures was estimated to have a media value of $6.88 million through 12/26/2016 - 1/1/2017. There were 1,653 national ad airings across 39 networks, primarily NBC and BET, as well as during NFL games. And this number doesn't account for ad spending for the past week ['Hidden Figures' Tops Studios' TV Ad Spending, Variety, 1-2-2017]
- Forbes Magazine’s Scott Mendelson (tweet him) posted an embarrassing piece arguing that the movie must be a huge success (“vote with your wallet and turn it into 2017’s first big hit”) or we'll always get movies with just white people and a never-ending parade of #OscarsSoWhite controversies—a reminder of just how ensconced anti-white attitudes are in the Main Stream Media [For 'Hidden Figures,' Boffo Box Office Is More Important Than Oscar Nominations, January 3, 2017].
All of which is quite a heavy burden to lay on the life story of Hidden Figures’
protagonist, the extremely light-skinned Katherine Johnson. Indeed, when she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it was hard to tell if she was actually black.(See picture at right) [98-Year-Old NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson: ‘If You Like What You’re Doing, You Will Do Well,’
by Caitlin Keating, People
, November 4, 2016].
More importantly, at a time when the Main Stream Media is crusading
against supposed “fake news,” Hidden Figures
is something which we can call “fake history.” My VDARE.com critique has been more recently confirmed, albeit cautiously, by an analysis on the mainstream website History vs. Hollywood:
Did they really think Katherine G. Johnson was the janitor there to empty the garbage can?No. This story does not appear in Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures book, on which the movie is based, and seems to be an element of fiction created by the filmmakers. It should be noted that the movie was actually based on just a 55-page proposal for the book, which might in part explain some of the movie's deviations. The book was released on September 9, 2016, long after production on the movie had wrapped. However, the filmmakers did have access to the author and her notes. -Space.comIs Jim Parson’s character, NASA engineer Paul Stafford, based on a real person?No. In fact-checking the Hidden Figures movie, we learned that white collar statistician Paul Stafford, portrayed by Jim Parsons, is a fictional character. He was created to represent certain racist and sexist attitudes that existed during the 1950s. In the film, he thwarts every effort Katherine (Taraji P. Henson) makes to get ahead, including reducing her job qualifications to secretarial duty, omitting her byline on official reports, and telling her it's not appropriate for women to attend space program briefings. By the end of the movie, Stafford's fictional storyline includes the character having a change of heart, which is emphasized when he brings Katherine a cup of coffee.Is Kirsten Dunst's character, Vivian Mitchell, based on a real person?No. Hard-nosed supervisor Vivian Mitchell (Kirsten Dunst) is a fictional character created to represent some of the unconscious bias and prejudice of the era. She is at best a composite of some of the supervisors who worked at NASA Langley….What is probably the biggest difference between the Hidden Figures movie and the true story?"You might get the indication in the movie that these were the only people doing those jobs, when in reality we know they worked in teams, and those teams had other teams," author Margot Shetterly explained. "There were sections, branches, divisions, and they all went up to a director. There were so many people required to make this happen. ... But I understand you can't make a movie with 300 characters. It is simply not possible." -Space.com[Hidden Figures, Accessed January 9, 2017]
In other words, the perceived racism these black women supposedly faced was mostly made up by Hollywood, with racist white characters invented so the screenwriters could have villains.
What’s more, as black author Shetterly
] admits in the History vs. Hollywood
article above, the women lionized in the movie worked in huge teams double-checking each other’s work. The premise that a few black women got us to the moon is laughable.
The true pioneers and heroes of the Space Race are being ignored simply because they were white males. After my earlier VDARE.com piece debunking the entire premise behind Hidden Figures
, an anonymous reader who says he worked for NASA emailed me: "Research the name Dr. Jack Crenshaw
So I did. And it turns out that Crenshaw, a white graduate of Alabama’s Auburn University, is basically responsible for the bulk of what Katherine G. Johnson etc. is credited with in Hidden Figures
Dr. Jack Crenshaw was one of the pioneers in designing the figure-8 trajectory which became known as the free-return trajectory. The early Moon missions set off for our closest celestial neighbor in the free-return trajectory which, if uncorrected, would loop them around the Moon and return them straight to Earth.In order to orbit the Moon and land on it, the Apollo spacecraft’s Service Propulsion System (SPS) engine had to fire in order to slow the vehicle down and settle into lunar orbit. Delicate calculations were needed in order to ensure the orbit would not bring the craft into a collision with the lunar mountains.Bill Michael came across a paper by Hans Lieske and Bob Bucheim of RAND Corp., who had studied the circumlunar trajectory. Michael asked Crenshaw to study it in more detail, using a computer simulation of the Restricted Three-Body Problem. The study was later expanded to include a full 3-D, N-body simulation.Michael and Crenshaw authored the paper Trajectory Considerations for Circumlunar Missions, which was presented at the Institute of Aerospace Sciences 29th Annual Meeting in New York in Jan. of 1961.[Jack Crenshaw: the space pioneer you never heard of, by Collin Skocik, SpaceFlightInsider.com, March 27, 2016. Link in original.]
In other words, Crenshaw laid the groundwork for Apollo. And he used a computer, not a slide rule.
But Dr. Crenshaw was just another white male. And the individual and collective accomplishments of white males are something that Hollywood, and the PTB, do not want to celebrate. Instead, we get more anti-white propaganda.Hidden Figures
is Fake History. But the anti-white Narrative
that drives our entire culture is all too real.Paul Kersey[Email him] is the author of the blog SBPDL, and has published the books SBPDL Year One, Hollywood in Blackface and Escape From Detroit, Opiate of America: College Football in Black and White and Second City Confidential: The Black Experience in Chicagoland. His latest book is The Tragic City: Birmingham 1963-2 013