Thirst Trap: Too Black, Too Strong
Why won’t Hollywood give us the Black thirst traps we deserve?
Alright, I admit it. I’m a thirsty old bitch. The thing is that before I started online dating, I entirely enjoyed men as a concept. After numerous failed attempts at relationships, I’ve created a paradox wherein the knowledge I’ve gained that men are trash has not precluded my desire to smash with them in any conceivable way. Therefore, until further notice, I’m putting myself on a timeout and only admiring the finest selection of their species from afar. The latest resurgence of superhero flicks and TV series has been making my decision a bit easier. I’d like to give a special shout-out to the Marvel TV and Cinematic Universe. What other franchise is serving you three of the four most popular Chrises all on the screen at the same time?
What I like most about the eye candy from the MCU is that it offers a little something for everyone, from the smooth zaddy vibes of Robert Downey, Jr (54) to Tom Holland coming through with that high school crush realness. He’s 23 now, by the way, just in case you were worried — uhh, wondering. What? Am I the only middle-aged slag that Googled his age after watching him gyrate in drag to “Umbrella” on Lip Sync Battle? IDC! IDC! On the Kinsey Scale, my sexuality is Tom Holland in a black bob wig, fishnets, and spandex foil hot pants.
Black Panther was a total game-changer for black thirst trap representation, but let’s get real here. If you took a poll playing fuck, marry, kill with M’Baku, Killmonger, and T’Challa there’s a strong chance the Black Panther might end up with a toe tag. T’Challa is hot like that college professor who taught African Studies at your HBCU. That’s hard to compete with M’Baku’s thick thigh swagger, and I swear on all things ungodly I’d let Erik Killmonger ruin my life.
Here’s my problem. Take a minute to think of any other black actor besides Michael B. Jordan that meets all of the same criteria as any single one of the Hollywood Chrises:
- In the prime of their career-building age, ideally between 30–40 years old.
- Unreasonably good-looking by any objective standard. I don’t fucking care if he’s not your type.
- A ripped, muscular body worthy of gracing a trashy romance novel cover.
- Consistently cast in major films as a heroic, charismatic, and/or romantic lead.
Tyrese Gibson(40)** comes close with supporting roles in both the Fast and the Furious and Transformer franchises, but damn. Tyrese is like that hot guy you take home to blow your back out until he inevitably says something so dumb you can’t go through with it. We should have never let his dumb ass off of the bus in that Coke commercial. I do not consider him a win.
However, there are a lot of other smoking hot black and black-biracial actors in this category who are criminally underrated in the industry or whose sex appeal is being buried under lackluster supporting roles. I think we all know the reason why, but let’s take a look and see.
Aldis Hodge (32)
Leverage was my show, but I still blame Alec Hardison, the hotshot computer hacker, for Hollywood’s latest obsession with quirky, non-threatening blerds. OMG, just look at those abs. Is a bitch gonna have to pay for Showtime just to see City on the Hill? Cause even his exquisite half-naked form on Underground couldn’t get me to watch one more show about slavery. The fact that this hard-bodied hottie is cast in The Invisible Man (2020) but not as the title role is incredibly ironic, to say the least.
John David Washington (34)
Yes, as in Denzel Washington’s son, and former football running back. As you can see, the snack doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s a damn shame he had to wear that big ass afro in Black KKKlansman and contend with a pre-certified thirst trap like Adam Driver threatening to steal his shine. Will he be able to capitalize on his heartthrob legacy or is the next breakout star destined to play another useless, goofy dad? Inquiring minds want to know.
Trevante Rhodes (29)
Hello, do you remember Calvin Klein’s ad campaign featuring all the stars of Moonlight? CAUSE I SURE DO! Man, after all that hype and accolades, I really thought we’d be seeing this piece of muscular man-cake everywhere. I can’t believe his next big role was saving Sandra Bullock and them nameless little white kids in Birdbox. I just knew he wouldn’t make it to the end of the movie 😭😭😭.
Jesse Williams (38)
This woke bae of Swedish, Black and Seminole ancestry has been playing Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy since 2009. Regretfully, I cannot speak on the character of Dr. Avery because my heart never recovered after Denny Duquette died and I had to stop watching the show. Ten years on prime-time TV and not a single career-changing film credit for this delectable dewdrop. It’s like Shonda Rhimes is the only one looking out for us. 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾
Eka Darville (30)
This Australian bronzed Adonis was a Power Ranger before he played Malcolm Ducasse on Jessica Jones. I sure hope Disney does the right thing and decides to bring these Netflix Marvel shows back to life — except for Iron Fist, fuck that one. Malcolm looks too good to be such a punk ass bitch. He spent three seasons as a recovering drug addict, a fuckboi and a corporate sell-out but he was finally coming around! Shit, everybody on this show was pretty despicable, so I guess I can’t hold it against him.
Regé-Jean Page (29)
You’re more likely to remember this British-Zimbabwean actor from his role as Chicken George in 2016 reboot of Roots rather than the sexy dreadlocked Captain Khora in Mortal Engines because that movie FLOPPED. When you see him suited up on the red carpet, he looks like he could be the next James Bond. I can’t wait to see him in Bridgerton, an upcoming Netflix series from Shondaland based on best-selling historical romance novels. Shonda Rhimes just keeps on giving. Oooh, that British accent is gonna leave a lot of panties on the floor.
O.T. Fagbenle (38)
This British-Nigerian actor plays the husband of Elizabeth Moss in The Handmaid’s Tale. No, really. Given the world we live in today, that could be either the most or least believable thing about that show. Apparently, his next leading role is as the villain in the Black Widow coming up in 2020. A Villian? With that gorgeous face? I guess I wouldn’t mind seeing Scarlett Johansson getting her ass kicked a few times before she eventually has to kill him. Fuck her up, O.T., fuck her up!
Henry Simmons (49)
Yeah I know he’s almost 50, but 👏🏽look 👏🏽at 👏🏽him! Looking even better than he did on NYPD Blue. Simmons plays the undeniable voice of moral authority on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. as Alphonso “Mack” MacKenzie. Instead of sizzling like the hot fire he is on the screen, he spends most of the show brooding and looking *extremely concerned.* Eventually, someone will remind him he’s built like a truck, and they need him to go kick somebody’s ass. He did have a tepid love story on this show until she went rogue and lost both her arms. Oops, spoiler alert. Don’t be mad. If you were a real fan, you’d be caught up by now.
What the hell, let me show some love to all the black and black-biracial thirst traps over 40 that we’d all love to see more of, preferably wearing less. Besides, white leading actors don’t have to worry about their age in Hollywood; they’ll still get the same lead roles and the same young ingenues even when they start to look like a broken-down box of rocks. Meanwhile, here is Omari Hardwick (46), Shemar Moore (49), Michael Ealy (46), Morris Chestnut (50), Boris Kodjoe (46) and Daniel motherfucking Sunjata (47). Can you imagine him playing Batman with those lips? I would absolutely die.
I gotta say, it’s been a wild ride to see black actors shift from playing thugs to THEE most intelligent or powerful person in the room, while simultaneously downplaying their innate sexuality. There seems to be little argument around Idris Elba (46) being the sexiest man alive and yet there are only a handful of movies that start him opposite a love interest. And a black love interest? Tuh, forget it. That’s a whole ‘nother article I might speak on some other time.
The success of Black Panther may have finally begun to break the mold. When I heard Mahershala Ali (45) was cast as the new Blade, whew chile, the scream I let out!!! I can feel the heat emanating from the screen already. Here’s the live forecast of me at the movie theater:
When I see some brothers out here with all the charisma of a wet sock scoring some significant roles in film and on TV, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s sometimes hard to tell if the character is boring, the writing for them is terrible, or if they’re not good enough actors to pull it off. As you can see, Hollywood sends a clear message of who they think audiences should perceive as being “hot” and they’re so good at it, I frequently have to check my own biases. I hope now after reading this you’ll be checking yours too.
So that’s it. Thank you for coming to my TED talk. If I didn’t mention your fave, I would love to see him in the comments. Just know I purposely left out anyone undeniably famous or who was rejected by the Black Delegation for Thirst Traps. Sorry, but thems the rules. Stay thirsty my friends, and I’ll see you at the movies!
**Age of actors when article was originally published