Detroit-set film 'Loqueesha' causes social media stir

'What in the blackface HELL is this?!!!' the internet asks, about film starring white man pretending to be a black female radio host

Adam Graham
The Detroit News
Jeremy Saville in "Loqueesha."

A Detroit-set film about a white man pretending to be a black woman has created a lot of buzz on social media, for all the wrong reasons. 

"Loqueesha," written, directed by and starring Jeremy Saville, is about Detroit bartender (Saville) who is struggling to make ends meet. He answers an ad to be a radio host, and on-air he pretends to be Loqueesha, an outspoken, opinionated black woman. And wouldn't you know it, the show becomes a huge hit.

Here's the film's trailer, which features a few exterior shots of Detroit: 

If the film's premise seems remarkably out-of-step with the times, well, the internet took notice.

Over the weekend, after a tweet from film critic Sean Mulvihill went viral, many people weighed in with opinions on the film's trailer.

"What in the blackface HELL is this?!!!" wrote the New York Times' Charles M. Blow, summing up the discussion surrounding the film. 

Even the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, the California film fest whose "official selection" stamp appears at the outset of the trailer, has distanced itself from the film. 

"In regards to the trailer for the film 'Loqueesha', this film was never selected, screened, or given an award at our festival. The SLO Film Fest laurels were taken without permission and we are currently working to have them removed," read a tweet from the fest. A follow-up tweet said prior to the festival in March, "Loqueesha" was pulled and never screened.

As for creator Saville, he's largely stayed out of the discussion, although he did post an undated photo of himself next to Marlon Wayans to Instagram on Friday. Without mentioning Saville, Wayans responded on Twitter, "I hate when people tag me in their (expletive). It’s annoying as (expletive)." 

All of which lays the groundwork for a hugely successful rollout of the film, but "Loqueesha" doesn't appear to have a distributor in place. It carries a July 12 release date, but a ticket link on the website only directs to Laemmle Theatres, a Los Angeles-based arthouse theater chain.