The cast of Think Like A Man is on a promotional blitz to ensure the film will be a hit with moviegoers, but will their efforts woo non-black film fans?

While the film, based on Steve Harvey’s bestselling book, features a majority black cast, Tarji P. Henson recently told theGrio she doesn’t think it should be labeled a “black film.”

Last week I asked if you thought TLAM would be able to crossover to non-black audiences, considering two of the film’s main characters are not black, and many of you wondered if this should even be the film’s intent.

Today, I found myself in an interesting conversation via Twitter about the universality of the film. One Twitter pal argued that TLAM limited its potential universal appeal by employing a majority black cast. While I understand his concerns—and even wondered why the commercials created for the film barely included its non-black stars—our conversation made me think.

When it comes to “universal appeal” why are films with black casts engaging in “normal” things like dating or trying to pursuing careers often seen as catering to a niche audience, while films with majority white casts are seen as universal and appealing to all audiences? In both instances diversity may be equally lacking and yet one film is marketed to a specific (black) audience, while the other is marketed broadly.

This conversation is at the heart of the discussions surrounding HBO’s newest series Girls, which lacks diversity, opting to use four white women as leads, and yet is sold as a commentary about millennials in the big city.

So my question is this: Are films and TV shows only “universal” when they include white folks? Can an all-black cast make a “universal” film?

Let’s talk about it!

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