Posts tagged race
Posts tagged race
Yesterday, I managed to catch this episode of Phineas and Ferb. “On the Savannah”, where the boys go to Africa. Where in Africa? I don’t know, because they never tell you.
This is a thing I’ve noticed in media: everyone wants to avoid acknowledging that Africa is not monolithic, so whenever they *include* African characters, their country of origin is rarely ever specified, or when they have their white American characters travel to Africa, exactly WHERE they go is never specified. Because that would mean picking a country (of the 50 on the continent) and actually getting the cultural setting right—which is just too much for the poor little Hollywood producers who have unfathomable budgets and resources at their fingertips. (have you ever noticed that you don’t know where Cady from Mean Girls is from? She’s just “from Africa”. All 50 countries of Africa. All at once.)
This particular episode of Phineas and Ferb really bugged me because you could tell they were trying so hard to be ~progressive~. There’s a scene where they meet the ~African~ who’s going to be their tour guide, and this conversation happens:
Candace: Please tell me you have cell phone reception
Mr. Flynn: Well, of course, they do. Africa isn’t as primitive as you’d think.
Dialog like this is problematic because it’s trying so hard when the setting is just a massive fail. It makes it seem like they’re so ahead of the game when, really, they’re just perpetuating the same stereotypes you’ve been taught about Africa.
I mean, they go on A SAFARI. BECAUSE THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO DO IN ~AFRICA~. GO ON A SAFARI. How groundbreaking and progressive and informative. That’s actually just some bullshit.
Then, there’s a musical number where Candace (who has been stressing about her boyfriend, Jeremy, not being able to reach her) sings about leaving behind things like “a house, a car, cell phone, stress” so that she can ~live at peace in Africa~. Let me repeat that: this was a very recent episode of a kids’ television show where a white girl talked about how leaving America for ~Africa~ literally meant leaving civilization.
Tell me that’s not supposed to piss me off.
OH, AND THEN to add insult to injury, Phineas comments, “wow, looks like Candace is really embracing Africa” when he sees her wearing a cheetah-print Flinstones-esque dress. Then, he asks how they’re going to get back to their campsite, and Candace yodel-calls an elephant. Because now that she’s bonded with Africa, she can now speak to animals. The episode ends with Baljeet (the token Indian kid) telling us the moral of the story: “I guess living in the wild isn’t as hard as we thought”. Because that’s what Africa is. “The wild”. *my rage*
I love Phineas and Ferb—which is why this episode left me furious. Like, blood-boiling, seeing-red furious. Because a lot of kids watch this show. And there was just so much fail in this episode.
I’m tired of this. I’m tired of being misrepresented in American media. Protip: if you’re too lazy to do your research on ~Africa~ (hint: you can start by not treating it like it’s all one country), then don’t write t.v.shows/movies on it.
Also, I don’t appreciate the female representation on this show. Candace has only one friend, who she only talks to about Jeremy. Her entire life revolves around the guy she wants to be her boyfriend, and busting her brothers. And it seems like the only way they could justify Isabella’s presence is by giving her a crush on Phineas, even though she’s a pretty kick-ass, determined character on her own. Thanks, Disney.
I’m so tired of all of this.
[continued from same anon]: Also seriously. I’m white; in the sun for an hour and I will look Spanish from how dark I get. People don’t mistake me for being Latino or anything like that. Your arguments are just stupid
your response is actually pretty typical. There are so many things wrong with your argument that I’m not actually sure where to begin. If Bane can go from Latino wrestler to white guy in the movie, then Selina Kyle doesn’t have to be a white character. Like I said before, Selina, and variations thereof, are popular enough Spanish names that it’s not ridiculous to suggest that a Latina woman could have played Catwoman. Oh, and just in case you missed it, I (and Sardonicsasquatch) also invalidated your whole “everyone else is white” argument (it seems you haven’t been paying attention to what we’ve posted)
Where are these “many black characters” of whom you speak? Oh, right—those few were paid to stay out of the Batman movies.
in response to “Because they don’t cast a black person for a white character’s role makes them sexist”: first of all, just…no. to that entire statement. I’m not annoyed because Selina Kyle wasn’t Black—I’m annoyed that she was white when she could have been Latina…or, really, anything else but white. I’m tired of white being the default. sorry I’m not sorry.
Spanish people come in all different shades—but I didn’t expect you to have realized that Latina doesn’t always equal Spanish. I bet I just blew your mind a little bit there—am I mocking you? only a little ;)
Also, I promise you that you are the only person who thinks you “look Spanish” just because you’ve gotten a tan—though, that is the sort of basic, simplistic, idiotic “logic” I would expect from someone who sends me a message like this.
—The most annoying person (because, apparently, criticizing the lack of racial representation in media makes you “just the most annoying person…I guessed you were white before you even told me.)
YES. I AGREE. I was just ranting to a friend about this the other day (WoC seeking media representation as something other than maid or generic “other”). Also, I feel like Catwoman was whitewashed (I mean—really, the character’s name is SELINA and he casts a white girl?! *sigh* of course, he does…) Sometimes I don’t like to talk about this stuff because a little part of me dies every time I realize that Hollywood insists on leaving out people who may vaguely resemble me or my friends.
Comic book Bane is a latino wrestler. “But, this is a movie—Nolan didn’t have to stick to the comic book interpretations of the characters” You might say, but let’s pretend for a moment that the Joker and Scarecrow didn’t stay pretty true to the physical appearances of their comic book characters. You’re still going to have to explain to me how in the hell a man who spent a significant part of his life in the Middle East comes out of a pit (where like none of the guys speak English) with a Western dialect and English accent. Same for Talia, even though I know some people are going to argue that she was raised somewhere else and blahblahblah. In that case, I would very much like to hear more of her back story. How, exactly, did a Middle Eastern woman grow up to be an English sophisticate with no apparent cultural ties to ~anything~? um, okay, Nolan. It’s sad because I love all of the actors in DKR (though, on a vaguely unrelated note, I think Anne Hathaway and Marion Cotillard should have switched roles).
A certain part of me doesn’t always want to talk about these things because it breaks me. It breaks me because I’m not the only one to bring it up, and you and I weren’t the only ones to notice the whitewashing in DKR—other people have presented lengthier and more eloquent dissertations of the problematic ways Hollywood treats race. People with more leverage have brought this to the public eye. Hollywood just doesn’t give a damn.
Right now, as a PoC, I just see Hollywood movies as white boys and girls playing dress up.
http://www.movieinsider.com/movies/-/2013/ <—some upcoming movies, aka White People Doing Shit, with the token Tyler Perry release :/
foodieamazon (always here to discuss when race and gender intersect)
How all the time I hear “[x minority] are drug-abusing blahblahblah” and yet, a movie about two marijuana growers trying to save a kidnapped girl has a white main cast, except for the bad guys (the drug cartel) who, obviously, were going to be brown.
drug-dealers in every other movie are Black/Hispanic. when they’re the bad guys. but, when you want them to be the good guys, suddenly your drug-dealing heroes are all white. and it’s always going to be about saving the white girl, because no one would ever believe a non-white girl was worth saving, amirite, Hollywood?
#when race and feminism intersect.
White people need to find ways to form relationships with people of color, based on what white people perceive as love, that are not also relationships where their own domination over the person of color is unacknowledged or taken for granted. That ain’t love! Is The Help a book and movie about real love, or is it about how wonderful white women are, to the point that being their nanny means being blessed, and how could anyone not love and covet white children?
The majority of my friendships with white people have been based not on real love, but on circumstance, and as such have been totally lopsided. You can ask those white people about our friendship, and they will have good things to say about me and how we got along, but I don’t have similar good things to say about them, if they never checked the dynamics in our friendship, they never checked what things they were saying to me that might be racist or erasing people of color and would make me less psyched about hanging out with them, if they acted like their presence was a blessing for me to bask in, if they never really listened to me (at least not when it was difficult), if there were always reminders that I was their “black friend.” If you never thought about these things and how they might play out in our friendship, we were not friends and there was no real friend-love.
None of what I’ve seen about The Help screams “friend-love story!” to me, having had white people think I was their “black friend.” If anything, it screams the awkward extent to which white people take their delusions of grandeur and the humiliation black women will suffer to feed their families. Again, doesn’t sound like love.
I am not convinced that a white person, most of the time, is going to actually love their first or only POC friend. I have been in the unfortunate situation of being white people’s first/only black friend way too many times, and I never felt loved. I felt like a testing ground.
True thoughts. The way I see it, it’s impossible to even consider cultivating love unless there’s a foundation of respect. On a foundation of respect, I think it’s possible to build trust and reciprocity. Once all of that is in place, we can begin to contemplate a deeper connection — but not before.
so this is Rihanna’s new video, Man Down, in which, spoilers, the character Rihanna plays kills her rapist.
If you google this video the first thing that pops up is some advocacy group getting pissy because the video is “too violent”. In case you didn’t watch, the instances of violence in…
White actors/roles? Are in abundance.
POC actors/roles, especially lead ones? Are not.
Representation of white folks? Everywhere you open your eyes.
Representation of POCs? Squint and you can find a handful as auxillary characters to a majority white leads.
Why is it that even when roles should have the possibility of POC actors (The Hunger Games, Akira, The Last Airbender, 21…), people need to jump to the defense to explain why yet another role went to a white actor instead? Like they’re hurting for representation or work?
and POC can have lighter skin and European features, but the point is that they use these two points (White people can look ethnic! POC can look white!) as an excuse to cast white people in POC roles and to secretly throw in POC who can blend in into otherwise white casts/roles or have them be the TOKEN ETHNIC PERSON and tell us to be quiet when we want more representation.
So we need to be more clear about what we want. We want a range of representation that shows people of different COLORS (NOT just ethnicities) and different HAIR TYPES and different ETHNIC FEATURES and different CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS, don’t just throw us the lightest, most Western acting, Midwestern accented, and assimilated person you can find and erase the rest of us.