14 April 2012

Will krump for change

Spike Lee came up with the term; "Super-Duper Magical Negro" in describing a black stock character in film who is there to help the white protagonist or add a level of black hipness, Spike conveniently stops there. A trend started in the 80's with "the smart black man with the clueless white man" or the "white buffoon" made popular in the "48 Hours" and "Beverly Hills Cop" movies with Eddie Murphy that's as insulting to whites as black face is to blacks. Now Hollywood can't help itself with putting at least one black character who isn't just on equal footing with the rest of the white characters in what's usually an action film, but somehow above them in job position (head of departments or agencies who often bark orders or patronize white subjects), or life status or one-upmanship (Morgan Freeman and Samuel L. Jackson could make a living just off these roles). In the "buddy cops" genre, the black man is the only one who has a level head when partnered with a white partner ("Lethal Weapon" series, "National Security," or any movie with Bruce Willis when he has a black partner) and every Will Smith movie is an exercise in this "black man is above" strangeness (just how many times is he going to play a king ("The Last Pharaoh"), superhero ("Hancock"), saint ("Seven Pounds") or save the world ("Independence Day") with his black man blood ("I Am Legend")?). You'll never see a movie where a white will make the black look foolish, never. Blacks went from under representation and token in film to over representation and our overlords on the big screen. White run studios who are on this black sensitivity high stuffing black people in movies like they were over stuffing a pillow. The truth is Asians and Hispanics are a greater percentage in the US than African Americans yet they lag way behind in film representation. I'm all for equal screen time, but I don't want to see a fag in every movie just so I can feel myself included; give me, and my self worth, more credit.

2 comments:

  1. I would be annoyed if there were suddenly token gay characters in everything. Oh wait. There are, and it is annoying. Most of the gays I socialize with either don't like socializing with breeders or only hang w a group of straights or a group of queers but never at the same time. We certainly don't wait at the heels of large groups of heteros waiting for the conversational cast offs the way token gays in media do

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  2. I was going to bring up the "gay bestfriend" in romantic comedies who's job is to help the girl over the bumps in the road of life, but I wanted to stick with the subject.

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