Candyman Director Nia DaCosta launches the #TellEveryone Initiative

Candyman Director Nia DaCosta launches the #TellEveryone Initiative
Candyman 2021 poster (Image: Universal Pictures)

Candyman director Nia DaCosta, Monkeypaw Productions, and Universal Pictures have launched #TellEveryone, a social media initiative connected to the film.

According to Variety, this hashtag focuses on the social justice elements of the Candyman story and stars Candyman stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, and Colman Domingo. The film is set to debut in theatres Friday, August 27.

Bernard Rose’s 1992 Candyman film centres on Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), an academic researching the impoverished Cabrini Green apartment building and the mysterious origin of the Candyman urban legend. The new film sort of serves as a sequel but this time set in the art world where Anthony McCoy (Abdul-Mateen II) revives the Candyman legend through his artwork and his mysterious past connection to the character.

The Candyman movie website serves as a hub for conversation about social topics such as police brutality, discrimination, and slavery in context with the film and hashtags #TellEveryone and #Candyman.

The site splash page features a video recording of an intimate and candid conversation titled The Impact of Black Horror. Hosted by Domingo, he is joined by Dr. Wendy Ashley (Professor and the Associate Chair of the California State University at Northridge’s Masters of Social Work program), Lorenzo Lewis (founder of The Confess Project), Tananarive Due (UCLA professor of Black horror and Afrofuturism), and Yolo Akili Robinson (founder and executive director of the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective).

Due, who is one of the most influential academics regarding the state of Black horror as we know it, explains how the new film dives deeper into trauma at the heart of the Candyman legend.

“Really what was fuelling a lot of the fear around him was fear of Black masculinity, Black men, fear of the urban jungle,” Due said. “I mean, Cabrini-Green itself is a ‘monster,’ really some of the worst stereotypes around Blackness. So it was very, very important for Nia DaCosta and Monkeypaw to come and reframe a story about Black trauma through a Black lens, not through the white lens.”

I recommend watching the whole discussion on the website as it provides essential insight into the film’s mythos and how the Candyman story resonates in today’s tense climate.