[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.

Not really Television or Cinema, either, but the Decoder Ring Podcast (my current favorite podcast after I binged all of "You're Wrong About") just had an episode about the Truly Tasteless Jokes books that were popular in the 80s and several of them were on the New York Times bestseller list. They included chapters on dead baby jokes and the like, along side chapters of Black, Polish, Asian, Jewish, WASP, etc. jokes that included all of the worst stereotypes.

In the podcast, they talk about some of the defense of these books was that they were making fun of EVERYONE so it was okay. And they do a good job of explaining why that argument falls flat. They also interview the woman who wrote/compiled all the books and have an interesting conversation with her about her "legacy".

As someone who remembers these books, and remembers reading them- probably over at friend's houses or at the public library because my mom would have never let me bring them into the house- it was interesting to look back 40 years and wonder how they got so popular and mainstream. Personally, I read them because I knew they were wrong and taboo- sort of in the same way I liked the humor of Cards Against Humanity. But I also knew that I shouldn't repeat the jokes to others either- however, I knew many people who had no problems repeat those jokes among friends.

Looking back, I also see how much I've changed perspective in the last 40 years, and how I probably still have some ideas "baked in" to my brain growing up in white America that still need to change.

If anyone is interested the podcast is here or can probably be found searching whatever device/app you use for podcasts.

No idea where to put this, so I'm putting it here:

Can TV take down the cult of the tech founder?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: FU*KIN LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL ARE YOU SERIOUS

On Foundation.

So foundation has some gender and "race" changes from the books. This has angered some people. I was just watching a white woman go off about this in her review. Note I haven't read the books or completed season one of the show. So far I am enjoying the show. I have watch other reviews that were okay with the "changes".

From my understanding the characters race is never brought up in the books. I believe people like the lady reviewer just assumes whiteness as the default. Funny enough I believe the author also believes that and that is the main reason race isn't brought up. This book was written when there was only white heroes. In fact having a non white hero would probably mean the book wouldn't be published.

Then it is also the same with women. Very few if any sci fi books had female heroes or in intelligent roles. Women were regulated to a trophy for flash gordon types to rescue. The author was born when women didn't have the right to vote.

When a author is born and the time period in which they write their books is important when thinking about the characters within those books. If black people can't ride in the front of the bus or go to school with white people what are the chances a book is going to have a black captain of a space ship? If women can't get jobs as lawyers, doctors, scientist, police officer or anything other than teacher do you think any of the female characters of a book from this time will be the hero?

Again I haven't read the books but I highly doubt race or gender were that important. From the reviews I read Foundation is more about events spanning thousands of years. People from planet X or Y were important as a group but real world race and gender didn't matter.

Personally I haven't seen any good reason for having the characters be white males especially considering the time the book was written.

It's something my wife mentioned about Foundation is how effortlessly diverse it is. While the race is pertinent to this thread, even Gaal Dornick and Salvor Hardin were gender-bent with interesting results.

Didn't have any issues with race. Like mentioned above, the only thing I recall from the book is it being an anthology of sorts with problems that different people had to solve.
A pity the show isn't very good.

There is quite a bit of context missing here-- as nearly as I can determine, Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head (which is due to disease-related hair loss) which is what Smith took exception to.

I'm a little fuzzy on what any of that has to do with race.

Edit: Found another clip that includes the joke that Smith took exception to, with the aftermath bleeped.

Something seems weird about this. In the shot where you can see Jada rolling her eyes at the joke, Will seems to be genuinely laughing. Then about ten seconds later he's up on stage slapping Rock across the face.

I wonder if charges will be pressed?

That's what made the damn thing so confusing at first was because at first blush with the audio muted for a minute it seemed like a bit. And I only posted it here because we don't have an "Crazy Incidents At Awards Shows" thread elsewhere on this site. And because white people are probably going to blame the incident on Blackness.

To me it could also go under “what’s the limit for defending your wife/partner” in the masculinity thread. Guys all have limits but at first glance Rock didn’t make any joke that was completely out of line.

The sad thing is White hosts like McFarlane definitely deserved to get hit for some of their Oscar antics but it’s always going to be Chris Rock and Will Smith who get talked about.

I believe the female celebs were in on McFarlane's infamous "We saw your boobs" song.

You can see the unedited footage from non-US broadcasts. The slap looked fake, but I think it was real, just awkward. Smith yelling afterwards definitely looked real.

Yeah, but Smith is also really good at pretending to feel emotions. Wasn't he just up for some big award for that?

Yeah but when he won his award just 15 minutes or so later, you could see him calculating in his mind how much of his acceptance speech should be turned into an apology (and a half-assed one at that).

hbi2k wrote:

Yeah, but Smith is also really good at pretending to feel emotions. Wasn't he just up for some big award for that?

Smith never swearing because his grandma found curse words in his rap book is part of his origin story, so that would be some Kaufmann level trolling there.

jdzappa wrote:

To me it could also go under “what’s the limit for defending your wife/partner” in the masculinity thread. Guys all have limits but at first glance Rock didn’t make any joke that was completely out of line.

This is where I'm at. Did he do this for himself or for his wife? I doubt Mrs Pinkett-Smith wanted him to go slap Rock on stage honestly.

This doesn't seem to be the appropriate place for this, but anyway...

He was laughing at first (maybe fake laughing), but his wife didn't take it well, which it's probably what prompted him into self-defense mode. Not that uncommon.
It was still the wrong thing to do, and, yes, I think it was real. It would be much better for him to walk away from the event in protest.
What next? Comedians can get slapped or worse whenever someone doesn't like a joke?

I am sure my thoughts on this will evolve as I learn more, but my initial reaction to this was that though I agree with folks that say that Smith went too far, I can definitely see how the factors leading up to the slap add context that make the issue a lot more complicated. And yes. It does have to do with race, cinema, and public image.

Discrimination against black women whose hair presents as anything but white is rampant. Stories about black women being denied employment or promotion because of "unprofessional appearance" are EVERYWHERE -- even today. It wasn't until earlier this year that such discrimination was even addressed in federal employment through the Crown Act. This is the context in which hair, particularly the hair of black women, matters.

As folks have already reported, Jada suffers from a condition that has affected her hair and image. She was brave enough to share her struggle with such to the world. It was an attempt to destigmatize it and empower women dealing with similar issues to have the strength to face those challenges as well. It is very easy to see how mocking her hair could be seen as mocking her struggle.

Should Chris Rock have known all of this? Well, he did make a documentary about black hair called.... Good Hair. So I would think he would. Given this context, I can understand how Will may have thought he could not do nothing. And unable to think of an appropriate way of responding, he chose an inappropriate one.

Any guesses on what the Fox bobble heads will be talking about tonight? Carlson probably peed himself a little.

dejanzie wrote:

Smith never swearing because his grandma found curse words in his rap book is part of his origin story, so that would be some Kaufmann level trolling there.

Well, he may not have to cuss in his raps to sell records, but I do. So f*ck him and f*ck you too.

Just in case anyone doesn't get the reference, it's an Eminem lyric. You're cool.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/rzRnNTA.jpg)

Chris Rock made a movie on black hair but not one on Jada Smith. Did Chris Rock even know she had a disease? Her daughter was sporting the same haircut does she have a disease? Why is implying someone looks like gi jane a major insult that is slap worthy? Demi Moore was hot in that movie and the movie was pretty good. Would Will be insulted if Chris Rock said Jada looked like she was going to be in Black Panther 2? Oh no my wife looks like a hot bald woman.

This just sounds stupid to me. If Will Smith didn't slap Chris Rock no one would be talking about the joke. Not a single person would be like Chris is insulting black women hair. Also how the f is a buzz cut associated with black women's hair? Do you think white women that shaved their heads are trying to be black?

If what Will did is okay is it okay for those idiot parents to attack teachers because they think they are teaching CRT. No this is not okay in any way. Will should have used his words. Now I have to suffer through how this proves something about black people one way or the other by people that think we all think alike. That reminds me I'm late for our monthly black meeting. Today's agenda is Clearance Thomas yay or nay.

I am not sure how, in the moment, I would have reacted, but with the benefit of nearly a full day of hindsight, I would like to think I would have gone up on stage, grabbed the mic, let him know it wasn't okay to mock someone's trauma, tell the audience that countless women struggle with the stigma of hair loss, black women are unfairly judged for not presenting as white in their hair, and that I could not be more proud of my wife for having the courage to tell her story. Then I would like to think I would drop the mic, stare a hole through Rock for a full 20 seconds on live tv, and walk back to my seat.

I am surprised no one ever told them that you don't sit in the front row at the comedy club.

Paleocon wrote:

Discrimination against black women whose hair presents as anything but white is rampant.

Baron already mentioned it, but GI Jane was portrayed by a white woman, so I don't think this is the case. I think this had more to do with "attacks" the Smith family have been enduring for quite some time.

Still no excuse.

I lost a lot of respect for Rock for that joke. I lost a lot of respect for Smith for that smack. I think they will both be ok.

SallyNasty wrote:

I am surprised no one ever told them that you don't sit in the front row at the comedy club.

Also Chris Rock made a Macbeth joke before that. Lucky he didn't get stabbed for saying that word in a theater.

First thought I had when I saw the clip is that it looked staged and no one involved seemed all that committed to the bit.

ruhk wrote:

First thought I had when I saw the clip is that it looked staged and no one involved seemed all that committed to the bit.

Not sure if it's in the links above or I saw on Twitter, but the full video from other countries is uncensored. Japan, Australia, etc. I saw several. You can catch Rock swearing and Smith yelling after he's seated, with lots of swearing too. None of it sounds like an act.

That’s the one that I saw, he yells but neither he nor Rock ever look all that concerned throughout any part of the exchange despite a fight being instigated on live tv. Everyone processes sh*t differently I guess.