11 Reasons Why 'Barbershop' Is Still Relevant Today

Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Ice Cube, and Cedric The Entertainer in publicity portrait for the film 'Barbershop', 2002. (Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)

11 Reasons Why 'Barbershop' Is Still Relevant Today

The film opened in theaters exactly 15 years ago.

Published September 13, 2017

Fifteen years ago today, Barbershop hit theaters. Directed by Tim Story and starring Ice Cube, the film grossed over 77 million at the box office and got strong reviews. The story centered on the struggles of Calvin (Ice Cube) to keep his barbershop open. With some crazy characters like Eve as Terri Jones and Michael Ealy as Ricky Nash, the film was funny, witty and relatable. The barbershop is a known go-to place in Black culture and this film nailed every argument, laugh and heated debate.

On the film’s anniversary, we break down why this classic movie is still relevant.

  1. Ice Cube

    Hollywood is no easy town but 15 years later Ice Cube is still relevant as ever. He’s starred countless successful films since Barbershop: 2014’s Ride Along, 2017’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage and of course  he was one of the masterminds behind the Oscar nominated Straight Outta Compton in 2015.

    The first Barbershop

  2. Cedric The Entertainer

    Barbershop was Cedric's sixth major film and the comedian is still making the world laugh. He hasn't stopped working since and has two films currently in production.

  3. Hair Politics

    Barbershop was all about hair! And hair definitely is a big conversation today, especially on social media. Eve, who played Terri, also appeared in Chris Rock doc Good Hair in 2009. Hair and the Black community is a conversation that is always relevant.

  4. Michael Ealy

    In 2002, Michael Ealy was only 29 and Barbershop was his third film. Countless hit films later, he now stars on Being Mary Jane. Gotta love them eyes, too!

  5. Anthony Anderson

    Anthony Anderson had been grinding for years but Barbershop was a huge moment for the comedian. Now, he stars on Black-ish and is a Golden Globe and Emmy nominee. Fifteen years after Barbershop, Anthony is a household name.

  6. Tim Story

    Barbershop was Tim Story's third film and helped catapult him to huge success. Tim is more relevant than ever, having directed the Ride Along and Think Like a Man franchises. Ride Along 3 hits theaters in 2018. Tim never stopped winning.

  7. Cultural Appropriation

    There was a huge debate in the film if a white guy (Troy Garity) should cut Black hair. Without actually saying the term, the character was accused of cultural appropriation. This was before "cultural appropriation" was the topic of a billion think pieces.

  8. Comedy Going Too Far

    When the film was released, Barbershop was immediately slammed for jokes about  Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Al Sharpton and members of Parks' and King's families demanded a public apology for the jokes and wanted MGM to remove the scene from the DVD release. No one apologized and the scene was never deleted.  However, this joke pushed the boundaries of comedy, which is still a conversation today. Check out the clip below:

  9. Legacy of Black Films

    Barbershop was another step in proving the power of the Black dollar at the box office. Fifteen years later, we have the success of Girls Trip, which is partly because of films like Barbershop in the early 2000s.

  10. Barbershop Culture

    Barbershop culture was here before and after this film and thankfully it's not going anywhere. Check out Cedric's epic monologue, explaining the importance of the barbershop.

  11. Scary National Politics

    Fifteen years ago, we were trying to survive the Republican administration under Bush. Now we are trying to survive the Republican administration under the horror of Trump. Some things never change!

Written by Renee Samuel

(Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)

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