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You’d think that with all the criticism Tyler Perry has endured for wearing a dress when playing the beloved character ‘Madea’, black male actors would think twice before cross-dressing for roles. Nope. Apparently cross dressing is still in fashion because Jaden Smith will star in The Good Lord Bird, a film adaptation of a highly acclaimed book by James McBride, which tells a story from the viewpoint a young slave … who coincidentally wears a dress.
In this satirical tale, “Onion” Shackleford, to be played by Jaden Smith, meets up with abolitionist John Brown to wreak havoc. As if pushing the satirical envelope wasn’t enough, Smith will be outfitted in a dress for the role, according to Deadline
“… the pic about “Onion” Shackleford (Smith), a young slave who links up with radical abolitionist John Brown (Schreiber) in 1856 Kansas and travels the nation with Brown’s motley crew of freedom fιghters. Story is told with a satirical bent through the eyes of Onion, who wears a dress and is at first mistaken for a girl…
Although McBride’s book was a widespread success, even topping the New York Times bestsellers list, it is unclear how black movie-goers will feel about yet another black man cross-dressing on the silver screen.