I’ve seen several articles as of late praising the new CANDYMAN (as they should) but some of them saying some version of the same thing, that the new film “reclaims” the story from its white creators. Besides not always sitting well with me because, sometimes, it feels like there is this faint hint of condemnation if one reads between the lines (“What business does a white dude have telling the story of a black character?” some extremist might say, forgetting that, for example, Black Panther was created by a white guy) it’s also not altogether true. Maybe no condemnation was intended, and it’s for certain that far too many times black and other minority characters *have* had their stories coopted by white storytellers. But as far as “reclaiming” Candyman from white creators, no such reclaiming is necessary, not completely , because Candyman was never just the creation of white writers.
Yes, the original story upon which the original CANDYMAN movie is based was written by Clive Barker, a white dude. And the director of the original film was Bernard Rose, also a white dude. But neither of those guys created Candyman, the character. Barker created *a* character named Candyman, who bears some resemblance to the character from the movie. But like Bill Finger and Batman, while Bob Kane got all the credit for far too long, undeservedly, as Finger provided most of the creative pieces from which Batman was fashioned, Candyman is by and large the creation of Tony Todd—a black man. Give Tony the credit he deserves. He may have to share credit with Clive Barker for Candyman, but Daniel Robitaille is all his. Sweets for the sweet.