Racism And Stereotypes In Hollywood Movies

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Racism And Stereotypes In Hollywood Movies

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How Hollywood Sidelined Black Actors - NYT

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The south supposedly lost the civil war. There is an overused cliche which suggests that the winners write history. Is this true? If it is, then why do all these relics of the losing side still circulate in this society so many years after the civil war ended? The point is, films like Gone With the Wind should have been held accountable a long time ago. It was celebrated for its technological mastery of visual storytelling, yet its narrative is nothing more than racist propaganda. The heroes of the film are the Ku Klux Klan who ride in at the appropriate climactic moment to save the day.

The Birth of a Nation is at the root, so if racism is at the root, the fruit that emerges from this tainted root can only be the fruit of racism. An overt attempt to erase the savage brutality of slavery during the age of Jim Crow white supremacy, a revisionist history began to emerge which suggested that though the south had lost the civil war, the fight itself had been a noble cause that was predicated on an attempt to preserve a cherished way of life. While The Help is not Gone With the Wind, it is another in a long line of more recent films where the trope of the white savior is celebrated, while the black characters on screen are used as racial props so as to bolster themes of benevolence, generosity and overall white goodness.

The sassy, cantankerous, asexual Mammy was a caricature of black womanhood and McDaniel was made to endure the implications of this caricature in the racist treatment she received on and off screen. As we reconsider so many things in this moment of reflection on the debilitating legacy of white supremacy, movies cannot escape our critical focus. Many mistakenly assume that because numerous actors and other creative figures in Hollywood are vocally liberal that Hollywood itself is liberal by default.

This is not now, nor has it ever been the case. And sure, "Temple of Doom" is not saying they are, but for people who don't know anything about the religion, it sure looks that way. Perhaps it was a change of pace from fighting the Nazis. But casting Mickey Rooney as I. Yunioshi was really a faux pas. The actor wore makeup and prosthetic teeth to play up the stereotype of an Asian man. The role is still protested today. In , a free outdoor screening of the film in Sacramento was changed to "Ratatouille" because of the racist portrayal. A young man gets into Harvard but realizes he can't pay the tuition.

So what does he do? Dons blackface to get an affirmative action scholarship, of course! How long is he going to have to stay black? Why would anyone believe he is black in the first place? This is a prime example of stupidity in storytelling. Light-skinned apes take over Earth and control dark-skinned apes while also subduing the remaining human survivors. This comedy if you can call it that follows two FBI agent brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans who must go undercover in whiteface as the socialites they are tasked with protecting.

The brothers make a whole lot of jokes about white people, attempt to wear thongs, go shopping and sing Vanessa Carlton. Mike Myers tries to recreate his winning Austin Powers formula by playing a completely ridiculous character in this horrendous movie about a football player who enlists the help of a fake guru to get his mojo and his wife back. The movie was critically panned and won three out of its seven Razzie nominations including worst movie. Shirley Temple stars as Virgie Cary in this Civil War-era film about a young girl who goes to Washington to ask President Lincoln to pardon her father, a Confederate soldier, after he is arrested.

Even though Temple was adorable as always in the film, "The Littlest Rebel" glorifies Confederate ideals. Even the slaves nervously wonder what will happen if they are set free -- they're not too pleased about the possible consequences. They're especially frightened when the Union soldiers show up to the plantation to find Cary's father because they believe the Union soldiers are evil. The child humiliates Pryor's Jack by making him play ridiculous games and pulling pranks on him. Eventually, they end up becoming friends. There's also a side story that involves crashing a Ku Klux Klan fundraiser.

This film was trying to show that a friend is earned by showing respect, not by being bought. But many believed Pryor's role was modern-day slavery, and degrading on all counts. This film, which Paramount deemed too controversial for release, is about an unnamed German Shepherd that is trained by his previous, racist owner to attack black people. The racial stereotypes are brought out beautifully in the movie Crash. The movie shows a myriad of people from different walks of life and different races who have their paths cross over a twenty-four hour period and how these racial stereotypes affect their interactions with each other.

The movie has a number of characters who start out with strong racial prejudice but over the course of the movie, realize how wrong these prejudices were. It is not possible to discuss each and every one of these characters and how they become aware of their racial prejudice but a few of these examples will help demonstrate how we are subconsciously misled by this stereotypes. Crash is a perfect example of how we subconsciously size up others and even ourselves based on the race and how these preconceived notions of race can be so wrong. The character of Tom Hanson in the movie thought he was not racist but at a subconscious level he too was affected by the racial stereotypes just as many of us are unaware of how we subconsciously behave in a particular way in the presence of people of certain race.

Hanson, a rookie policeman was outraged when his partner John Ryan pulled over an African American couple and harassed them. Later, when Hanson, mistakenly shot Peter, his action was a direct result of a subconscious stereotyping. Hanson was the last person anyone, including Hanson, expected to be racist. However, when he shot Peter, Hanson realized that he too had been a victim of racial stereotyping. This particular storyline is a perfect example of how we do not even know ourselves how we are affected by cultural stereotypes. In modern world, we are taught at an early age not to discriminate on the basis of the color of the skin and most of us believe that we are broadminded.

Unfortunately, the racial stereotypes are all around us and we are constantly bombarded by these stereotypes through movies, newspapers, commercials and even through our discussions about these stereotypes with other like-minded people. When we constantly see and hear that a the people of a particular race are much more likely to be criminals or snobs, we start seeing them as criminals or snobs even without realizing it. So Hanson saw a criminal in Peter, even without realizing it and by the time he realized it, Peter was already dead and Hanson was aware that he too was affected by cultural stereotypes. Anthony, like many African Americans lived his life to reflect all the racial stereotypes of his race and doing so he and people like him strengthen the established stereotypes which makes it even more difficult for the society to become less racist.

Anthony rationalized that since people already expected him to behave in a certain way, there was no harm in doing so. So, he carjacked, stole, and refused to tip because it was expected of him. Anthony believed that everyone around him was racist and judged him based on the color of his skin. He also believed that the white people were responsible for all the problems faced by black people and so by hurting the rich people he was only getting even. As it turned out, Anthony had got himself caught in these racial stereotypes. He assumed that all black people were poor and traveled by bus and that all rich people were white. He even claimed that he would never rob a black person.

So he was taken by surprise when he realized that Cameron, one of his rich, carjack victims was black. Anthony had built his own world based on his interpretation of racial stereotypes and found it difficult to except that people could exist outside of these stereotypes. Like Anthony, many of us get caught up in the cultural and racial stereotypes we grow up with.

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