[Discussion] On Television, Cinema and Race

Thread for race issues in media.

Birth Of a Nation
This movie isn't do so good. I think this is because black people are tired of slave type movies, white people don't want the white guilt, and everybody else is turned off by the rape case. I mean this in general. This is just a perfect storm for the downfall of the movie.

Surviving Compton
Straight out of compton left out the ladies. This lifetime show means to correct that. I believe all of the production was done by women.

Mulan live.
All Chinese cast. Maybe the dumb choices of Gods of Egypt are over.

Certis wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:

The new Star Trek series will have a black female captain. The actress from The Walking Dead will be playing her. I'm sure the internet will be calm and rational and not spew racist comments about this.

Oh this probably means The Walking Dead will be killing off a black actor. I don't see how she can do both shows. hmmm I guess she could just leave the group for parts unknown.

I thought she was the lead, but the show was focusing on a Lieutenant, not the captain? Last I heard she would be on both shows for a while.

They've said she's at least a lieutenant commander to be referred to initially as Number One in homage to Majel Barrett's character in the first TOS pilot. And I doubt AMC would want to spoil a major character death after the nuttiness that led up to this season's premiere of The Walking Dead.

What you call it matters a great deal. It's one thing to claim that it's because of racism and completely different picture when it's part of a whole string of intertwined factors such as %age of the population, market demand/profitability, target audience(kind of connected to the previous one), genre of movies, interest in under-represented groups in the industry in terms of consuming and creating, budget and who knows how many more factors can be at play.
Again I ask, given what you think on the subject, what do you think is the ideal situation in which there wouldn't be a problem? Is it only a matter of every movie (other than period pieces, and other more specific settings) having an equal %age of cast that represents each group in the US population or is it something else?

Of course it's racism.. racism has always had nice neat words to justify it. As you have stated Market Demand/Profitability has replaced "God's will" as justification to discriminate.

As the article linked PoC are depressingly below representative numbers of demographics and honestly it's worse than that since PoC are frequently relegated to substandard roles with minimal lines and impact in the story.

It's next to impossible to find PoC in roles where they are the hero, savior and even when they "appear" to be it's frequently a trope of sorts (Magical Negro is a Hollywood fav)

If White people are uncomfortable viewing PoC in starring roles where they are the heroes or they are portrayed in "respected" roles rather than gang members or criminals then what else is it other than racism? Just look at the last Star Wars and the melt down of the internet over a Black StormTrooper.

Trophy Husband wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:

I actually first heard of this on a forum where a lot of the posts were racists losing their minds over a black female captain.

Where was that? I haven't seen much of a negative response at all.

The Star Trek series has always striven to be racially diverse. I can't imagine a Trek fan being upset by a PoC in a primary role given the trail blazed by their predecessors.

I am not sure. I know a lot of racist Star Trek fans. The fact that it has a racially diverse message doesn't make the viewer open minded as much as it makes the show subversive.

On the one hand, I'm uncomfortable with quotas. But on the other hand, shows like Luke Cage are demonstrating that at least the black talent pool for actors is really, really deep, and the fact that we haven't seen more of them already is a freaking travesty.

So I simultaneously dislike and like this move. It's a little weird.

I'm 100% fine with quotas if it forces racists to stop acting like racists in order to make money. It's not about changing their minds.. they will still be racists.. it's about normalizing the appearance of PoC as the heroes and main characters of stories with interesting and diverse backgrounds.. rather than "tropey" bullsh*t. We can't save the existing people.. but we can educate and show the next generation.

It's a good step, but it's not nearly as sweeping as originally reported. It only applies to two of the 25-ish awards.

Slate wrote:

Correction, Dec. 20, 2016: This post originally suggested that films that did not meet the diversity requirements would be ineligible for all BAFTA Awards. The requirements only apply to the Outstanding British Film or Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer awards.

Malor wrote:

On the one hand, I'm uncomfortable with quotas.

Based on the credits of the vast, vast majority of movies made in the last century, this means that you should have been uncomfortable at every point up until now, too.

Jonman wrote:
Malor wrote:

On the one hand, I'm uncomfortable with quotas.

Based on the credits of the vast, vast majority of movies made in the last century, this means that you should have been uncomfortable at every point up until now, too.

An awful lot of the stuff that's happened, I've pretty strongly disagreed with.

For what it's worth, I'm equally uptight about racial quotas in college, which is pretty much affirmative action for white people. If we can't compete with Asians, we shouldn't be there.

(and, for what it's worth: of course we can compete with Asians, we're just not willing to put in as much work as they do.)

Think of "quotas" as applying pressure to stop the bleeding--you're not going to be doing it forever, but you need to stop the bleeding.

This, incidentally, seems less a "quota" and more "an organization electing to decide the standards by which they will grant awards, the standard in this case being to require candidates reflect the world in theme and production."

Malor wrote:

On the one hand, I'm uncomfortable with quotas. But on the other hand, shows like Luke Cage are demonstrating that at least the black talent pool for actors is really, really deep, and the fact that we haven't seen more of them already is a freaking travesty.

So I simultaneously dislike and like this move. It's a little weird.

I'm more uncomfortable with the fact that we need quotas to push society and especially the next generation of society to a place where quotas will no longer be necessary.

Anyone one have any non white reviewers you like on youtube? Just noticed all the regular reviewers I watch are white. I want to hear from some different people.

Don't think they're on youtube, but the /Filmcast--they're a podcast, though.

Cool, close enough. I need diversity in my podcasts also.

liquid wrote:

@Seth,
1. I don't see how thinking that hiring people based on arbitrary characteristics outside their control instead of merit is even remotely racist. Can you elaborate?

It doesn't have to be! But it can be: there are tons of ways subconscious biases can make you think you're hiring on merit when in reality you are not. People are remarkably good at ferreting out the race of other people based just on the sound of their voice and their first name: so while you may strongly believe that you picked Jennifer, Tiffany, and Andrew over Darnell based on merit, it's equally likely that your subconscious bias made the decision.

2. I didn't say diversity is bad, I said hiring someone just so you can have a diverse workplace is not helpful, even if the person is qualified. It is essentially putting race/gender/etc over capabilities. Especially if others know about the hiring policies, quotas and things like that, it can lead to people doubting the capabilities of said hires - is he/she in because he/she deserves the job or is it because of race/gender and someone better qualified was left out?

This is a false statement, which I believe I said earlier. Diversity for diversity's sake is proven to be helpful, even if the person is unqualified. To repeat: in some instances, having a diverse workforce is better than having a segregated workforce with better "on paper" capabilities.

It's like seeing the boss hire his son in law for a position, especially one with more authority, of course it is going to raise some suspicions.
https://hbr.org/2016/01/diversity-po...

What you are describing is nepotism, which generally sucks (although, having owned my own business, it's pretty easy for me to make a case for nepotism). That said: Did you read that article? The reason why diversity policies don't work is because white people are so racist and sexist they assume every nonwhite nonmale person there is part of a quota system. Kinda disgusting, isn't it?

that HBR article wrote:

In a recent experiment, we found evidence that it not only makes white men believe that women and minorities are being treated fairly — whether that’s true or not — it also makes them more likely to believe that they themselves are being treated unfairly.

Given that the very presence of a diversity policy makes white fragility flare up so badly that they assume they are being persecuted and....well, maybe some white men should feel threatened a little more often.

Also comparing a regular workplace to a cast for a movie/tv which is based on a script is not the same thing as your regular business office workplace. What will surely help is hiring the best people for the job.

I don't understand this comment. We all agree that what helps is hiring the best people for the job. We just apparently disagree on who those people are.

Edit: I'll add an anecdote here because that's what people do. I'm proud of the fact that my staff is diverse. We've all learned so much from each other: things that we never would have learned had my staff been nothing but white people. Make no mistake: I could have hired a 100% white male staff yet still claimed I hired "only based on merit," because there are more qualified applicants than there are positions. I remain glad -- indeed, grateful -- that I did not.

While watching Christmas movies I noticed some of them 100% white. I was left debating with myself if I should give them a pass for being old or drop them.

On thinking about this for a couple weeks I came to the conclusion that I can't enjoy these movies anymore. It is like the Orson Scott Card books. I don't see any homophobia hate views in his books but I still can't read one because I can't help but think about how much I hate OSC.

As I watched the OA on Netflix I thought to myself..man this show is super white..

http://io9.gizmodo.com/dear-hollywoo...

Good read

You could've had the most inclusive cast in the history of television but it wouldn't get me past the moment in Episode V where...

Spoiler:

...two of the leads were prancing around and hissing at each other and wanted to find more people to prance and hiss at each other.

Golden Globes were interesting. Didn't think Atlanta would get any love but it did. Queen of Kitwe didn't get any love though.

Never heard of The Night Manager or maybe I did and forgot about it. No idea what it is even about.

I did see globesissoblack tags so expected to see some color in this show.

From Uberfacts
At the 2017 Golden Globe Awards, Tracee Ellis Ross became the first black woman to win Best Actress in a TV Comedy or Musical in 35 years.

Just watched the first episode of Star. The show is about a white girl trying to be a singer. The thing that stood out to me were the two trans women. One was called ugly and seems to be a stereotype. I'm not sure if the character is insulting to trans women. The character works doing hair, never seen that before. Maybe that is the only job trans women can get.

The other trans woman isn't a stereotype. They had a situation with her that I have heard about in the news a few times. So the show was trying to bring a serious real world issue to light. Or at least this character wasn't insulting.

I thought the polar opposite depictions of these two black trans women was interesting. I don't know if the actors are trans themselves. I couldn't find anything online about it.

Just watched Hidden Figures. The movie was fantastic. It wasn't perfect it had the usual forced romance and unnecessary characters.

The best scene had to do with bathrooms that reminded me of the situation with people not wanting trans women to use the women's bathrooms.

I am sad I didn't pick up the double meaning of the title when it was so obvious.

There's at least a triple meaning in that title. Maybe more.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

Just watched Hidden Figures. The movie was fantastic. It wasn't perfect it had the usual forced romance and unnecessary characters.

Saw and enjoyed it, too. Huge goof by one of the news broadcasters, but that's ok.

Hypatian wrote:

There's at least a triple meaning in that title. Maybe more. :D

And yet, they are significant figures!

Just watched the Trump episode of Blackish episode 3x12. Pretty sure a lot of people will not like some messages in it but I really liked it. I think there is something there for everybody. I wonder if Trump knew about this episode before his negative tweet about the show.

So I was watching Black Hollywood Live and one of the hosts was avoiding the show Star which I thought was odd because the show is like 99 percent black.

Well apparently the original lead was suppose to be black. The lead was changed to a white girl because the director thought American needed time to heal. I guess he feels Obama divided the country or something.

The director is a gay black man.

I have no idea how changing the lead gives America time to heal. It is not like tv is being flooded by shows with black female leads.

I couldn't find the full interview with the director but here is a quote that keeps popping up from it.

“I thought that it was important to address race relations in America,” he explained. “We are truly, I believe, in a civil war. And I think that when we understand that we’re all one that [we will] then understand America. And America is still to be understood by us.”

He continued, “I think this white girl is so fabulous that black people will embrace her, and white people will embrace her.”

There’s Nothing Funny About the ‘Cash Me Ousside’ Girl
The teen’s bad behavior helped make her a viral star, but it’s also highlighted the double standard between the ways Black and White teens are treated

But perhaps what’s most infuriating is that 13 year old Black girls who have to be tough, who really did procure their language “from the streets,” who steal and fight to literally survive when they are left to fend off poverty and unwanted sexual advances, are handcuffed and fingerprinted for their “troubling behavior.” They don’t get to make money off their authentic struggle. They aren’t redeemed by think pieces spinning their story in their favor. Their social media doesn’t blow up. They aren’t selling t-shirts and blankets. Nah, they are demeaned and degraded and kicked out of school.

Even more, we all know that in a few years, when Bregoli is 18, they’ll have her back on Dr. Phil to reflect on her immature antics. They’ll have a carefree laugh at how she’s blossomed into a beautiful young woman despite her start. Then she’ll have her own reality show where we’re privileged to watch her apply for college and try to shake the unfair image everyone has of her, while she collects checks for speaking engagements warning teens of the dangers of their “troubling behavior.”

The whole while, her Black peers will have rap sheets. Their Black parents will have permanent records of child protective service investigations as to why they couldn’t control their children. And nobody will give a damn about the double standard.

Continued from the Marvel Movie thread, specifically from this point on cultural appropriation in Iron Fist:

cube wrote:
WipEout wrote:
cube wrote:
WipEout wrote:
cube wrote:
pyxistyx wrote:
Polygon wrote:

Sure, this is a show where a white male character explains how to punch to an Asian-American, female head of her own dojo, in her own dojo — wait, let me be painfully specific. A white male character explains his martial art — which was made up by white men in the 1970s as a nonspecifically Asian but definitionally more powerful technique than those invented by actual Asian cultures — to an Asian-American, female expert in actual martial arts developed by actual Asian cultures.

Yeah...I'll stop you there, I'll pass, thanks.

So basically, according to the reviewer, Asians are magic.

f*ck that review.

That's what you got out of that? Because it read to me as if the show is hamfistedly claiming that white men are better at developing Asian martial arts than Asian people.

Define "Asian martial arts".

Now tell me what part of that definition makes Asians automatically better at them than anyone else.

Bonus points if you can explain how, as that quote attempts to state, "actual Asian cultures" result in better punching.

Then tell me how any part of that answer isn't racist.

So... what? You're arguing that it's fair for, say, a Baptist to tell the Pope that he came up with a better form of Catholicism? Not just a better religion, but a better Catholicism?

You realize that the way the Baptist became a Baptist is because a whole bunch of people(most notably Martin Luther) did exactly that?

Luther started Lutheranism in the 16th Century, where he began as a Catholic and had differing ideas on how to reach salvation vs traditional Catholicism. Baptists branched off with English Separatist John Smyth in 1609. In neither case was Catholicism directly challenged by someone from outside of the faith entirely, so no-- Baptists did not "do exactly that."

WipEout wrote:

It's one thing to say one fighting style is somehow better or more powerful than another. It's even fair, I'd think, to say that someone has built upon the product of another culture and maybe even surpassed aspects of it in some ways (or for a story's sake, in every way-- and maybe that's how it actually goes down in the show, but I'm going off the Polygon quote).

I find it problematic for someone to come into a culture entirely different from their own, develop a product based entirely on that culture, then claim that it is their own, better version of that culture's product. It's not. It might be a better variation on that culture's product, but the creator should admit as much. At the very least, the creator/master (Danny Rand, in this case), would do well to at least be respectful of the giants whose backs he was able to build upon. And again, maybe he actually does. But from the quote, it doesn't really sound like it.

I agree with the 3rd to last sentence. That is true.

But everything else, I don't agree at all. Martial arts aren't some mystical thing that's a distilled version of a culture. Often, they have rituals and practices that are separate from the culture that they came from. They're a part of the culture, but not necessarily a product.

And finding better ways to punch people isn't just for Asians. It's a pastime for pretty much the entire planet.

My understanding is that a product of a culture is a part of that culture, but a part isn't necessarily a product. A product, in my mind, is basically something that is tangible or observable by others from outside of that culture. A martial art can be invented in a region, then be practiced elsewhere, and even improved upon elsewhere. There is no inherent problem with that. It becomes a problem when those who make any such improvements completely disregard where the whole thing came from in the first place, and instead claim it entirely as their own.

WipEout wrote:

Like I said-- what I got from the Polygon quote was that a white guy walks into a martial arts master's house, and basically says "my made-up Asian martial art is better than your Asian martial art, in spite of the fact that my made-up martial art is based on Asian stereotypes from the 70s while yours is based on a rich cultural history of a particular Asian nationality."

And this is exactly the point of my question. Explain in a non-racist way how real Asian cultures produce better martial arts. Bonus points if you can actually point out which cultures are involved.

Why would I answer your clearly rhetorical question?

Scratch that. Instead, please explain to me how my statements are tantamount to "how real Asian cultures produce better martial arts."

Because I really don't get where you're getting "Asians are magic" or "Asians are better at martial arts" out of Susana Polo's or my comments. And that was my initial point-- I seriously am unable to read her statement and glean the racism you seem to be, and was genuinely surprised that's what you got out of her statement. I'm talking about cultural appropriation (and I'm positive she is as well), but you seem to think I'm claiming only Asians can make martial arts or something. I already explained that different people can take things from other people and build on top of them and improve upon them. It becomes problematic when those people don't admit where they attained the knowledge in order to surpass it, and instead claim it wholly as their own.