Skip to main content

Painted Down: The Ernie Robinson Story

  • Nonie L. Robinson, Director/Producer
  • Quincy Jones, Producer

A black and white photo of two African-American man showcasing their stunts.

About the Project

The granddaughter of Ernie Robinson takes us through her journey, learning about her grandfather’s legacy. A pioneer black stuntman and the very first Black Stunt Coordinator and Founding President of the Black Stuntmen’s Association. He was one
of the few willing to put a target on his back to fight against racism and bigotry in stunts in film and television history working to eradicate a practice called “painting down” where a white stuntman/woman is painted with black paint (blackface) to double a black
actor instead of hiring black stunt performers. Which still happens today.
Standing up for women and minorities, training and mentoring other black stuntmen and women, hiring them to work. Thanks to the LEGENDARY Carey Lofton and Bud Ekins
who saw his talent and ability and trusted him. In case you didn’t know Carey and Bud created the “car chase” and worked with the iconic Steve McQueen on many classic films. Paving the way for my grandpa to work beside legends like Hal Needham and
Paul Knuckles as he moved from Stuntman to Stunt Coordinator to 2nd Unit Director - the FIRST black stuntman to hold those titles.

Stunt performers are extraordinary people, mastering specialized skills, yet hired to be invisible and fearlessly face the terrible threat of constant danger. They make our favorite films and television shows fun, exciting and even iconic, all-while making history
exposing Hollywood’s dirty little secret of painting white stuntmen in racist blackface makeup. Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Lou Gossett, Jr. and Executive Produced by
Quincy Jones.

Please join our campaign to fund this dynamic film, a window into an unknown chapter of our civil rights history, told through the thrilling backdrop of stunts.

Every donation big and small goes straight into post production, and helps support the IDA! Please Like our
FB page, and follow our journey. Thank you so much for your support.