[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.

Calm down Larry, last I checked Smith only slapped Rock, no guns or machetes were involved. Of course walking out and telling the throng of reporters how inappropriate and insulting the joke was would have been the better response. I'm just very tired of seeing Rock's part get downplayed as just making a joke and people pretending like they wouldn't be even the slightest bit tempted to do the same if it were their spouse having a medical condition used to publicly insult them. Identifying Rock's joke as the provocation it was isn't an attempt to excuse what Smith did, but goes a long way to understanding why he did it.

Stengah wrote:

Calm down Larry, last I checked Smith only slapped Rock, no guns or machetes were involved. Of course walking out and telling the throng of reporters how inappropriate and insulting the joke was would have been the better response. I'm just very tired of seeing Rock's part get downplayed as just making a joke and people pretending like they wouldn't be even the slightest bit tempted to do the same if it were their spouse having a medical condition used to publicly insult them. Identifying Rock's joke as the provocation it was isn't an attempt to excuse what Smith did, but goes a long way to understanding why he did it.

We’re probably on the same page as far as that’s concerned. Just a semantic misunderstanding between friends.

But I do want to warn against the blasé “no guns and machetes were involved.” Being violent in a fit of anger involves grabbing what you have on hand and using that to harm others. I think it’s a total fantasy to imagine that a person who was inclined to violent action in a fit of rage would necessarily have the discernment not to use a knife or a gun if either were easily available at hand.

The inclination to violence is a very dangerous thing, and it’s just one of the many excellent reasons I have for not having a gun around the house.

LarryC wrote:

Ironically, if the Smiths had just quietly walked out of the hall, the Academy would have had a much bigger problem and Rock would have likely come off a whole lot worse. This isn’t about being the bigger man. This is literally the best thing and the most effective attack they could have done to Rock.

Emphasis mine.

STRONGLY disagree. Comedians love ableism and jokes about disability (evidence point, Dee's video of Chris Rock using the r-word). I have strongly advocated and talked with people about the use of the r-word, especially in comedy, and I get met with "it's just a joke". Meanwhile I feel a deep pain any time someone uses that word recalling the years of abuse on the bus my sister with downsyndrome endured.

As Amoebic mentioned upthread. There's so much entanglement of race, gender, identity, disability. It's telling that this thread has seen the most activity in months over something that not a lot of us (I'd venture none of us) have the lived experience to actually discuss with nuance. It's frustrating to me that this gets boiled down to "is violence acceptable (Y/N)?" when it is instead a great opportunity for listening to voices in the communities affected and impacted and taking a critical look at the interactions we may be having or affecting in our own communities.

staygold wrote:
LarryC wrote:

Ironically, if the Smiths had just quietly walked out of the hall, the Academy would have had a much bigger problem and Rock would have likely come off a whole lot worse. This isn’t about being the bigger man. This is literally the best thing and the most effective attack they could have done to Rock.

Emphasis mine.

STRONGLY disagree. Comedians love ableism and jokes about disability (evidence point, Dee's video of Chris Rock using the r-word). I have strongly advocated and talked with people about the use of the r-word, especially in comedy, and I get met with "it's just a joke". Meanwhile I feel a deep pain any time someone uses that word recalling the years of abuse on the bus my sister with downsyndrome endured.

As Amoebic mentioned upthread. There's so much entanglement of race, gender, identity, disability. It's telling that this thread has seen the most activity in months over something that not a lot of us (I'd venture none of us) have the lived experience to actually discuss with nuance. It's frustrating to me that this gets boiled down to "is violence acceptable (Y/N)?" when it is instead a great opportunity for listening to voices in the communities affected and impacted and taking a critical look at the interactions we may be having or affecting in our own communities.

I’ll say that I won’t die on that hill. It’s plausible that Rock may not have come off worse. It’s a little less plausible that the Academy would have just selected another award winner on the spot. But maybe? I’m willing to accept that it wouldn’t have been as big of a deal and Rock would have carried on being a terrible comedian.

Jada has publicly talked about her hair loss, and has said (paraphrased) "it doesn't bother me if people talk and/or joke about it."

I also highly suspect that Will laughing at it, then looking over and seeing Jada not happy with him laughing at it had something to do with it.

I am also very sad that this is drowning out Lady Gaga's interaction with Liza Minnelli and CODA winning an Oscar.

LarryC wrote:
Stengah wrote:

Calm down Larry, last I checked Smith only slapped Rock, no guns or machetes were involved. Of course walking out and telling the throng of reporters how inappropriate and insulting the joke was would have been the better response. I'm just very tired of seeing Rock's part get downplayed as just making a joke and people pretending like they wouldn't be even the slightest bit tempted to do the same if it were their spouse having a medical condition used to publicly insult them. Identifying Rock's joke as the provocation it was isn't an attempt to excuse what Smith did, but goes a long way to understanding why he did it.

We’re probably on the same page as far as that’s concerned. Just a semantic misunderstanding between friends.

But I do want to warn against the blasé “no guns and machetes were involved.” Being violent in a fit of anger involves grabbing what you have on hand and using that to harm others. I think it’s a total fantasy to imagine that a person who was inclined to violent action in a fit of rage would necessarily have the discernment not to use a knife or a gun if either were easily available at hand.

The inclination to violence is a very dangerous thing, and it’s just one of the many excellent reasons I have for not having a gun around the house.

Which is why Smith's reaction was still wrong, even if it was understandable. It's also wrong though to talk like Smith is inclined to violent action. The sheer awkwardness of it is a good indication he wasn't used to doing to what he did, and he did show some level of discernment in using a single slap rather than a sustained attack or even a single punch. I don't think there's any chance he'd have used a knife or a gun had either been available to him.

LarryC wrote:
Stengah wrote:

Calm down Larry, last I checked Smith only slapped Rock, no guns or machetes were involved. Of course walking out and telling the throng of reporters how inappropriate and insulting the joke was would have been the better response. I'm just very tired of seeing Rock's part get downplayed as just making a joke and people pretending like they wouldn't be even the slightest bit tempted to do the same if it were their spouse having a medical condition used to publicly insult them. Identifying Rock's joke as the provocation it was isn't an attempt to excuse what Smith did, but goes a long way to understanding why he did it.

We’re probably on the same page as far as that’s concerned. Just a semantic misunderstanding between friends.

But I do want to warn against the blasé “no guns and machetes were involved.” Being violent in a fit of anger involves grabbing what you have on hand and using that to harm others. I think it’s a total fantasy to imagine that a person who was inclined to violent action in a fit of rage would necessarily have the discernment not to use a knife or a gun if either were easily available at hand.

The inclination to violence is a very dangerous thing, and it’s just one of the many excellent reasons I have for not having a gun around the house.

On the other hand, people don't always go straight to 11 on the violence scale. You can see people that will react (relatively) in line with a given offense. That still doesn't mean you should strike another person, but a push, is not a slap, is not a punch, is not a stab, is not a shooting, etc.

lunchbox12682 wrote:
LarryC wrote:
Stengah wrote:

Calm down Larry, last I checked Smith only slapped Rock, no guns or machetes were involved. Of course walking out and telling the throng of reporters how inappropriate and insulting the joke was would have been the better response. I'm just very tired of seeing Rock's part get downplayed as just making a joke and people pretending like they wouldn't be even the slightest bit tempted to do the same if it were their spouse having a medical condition used to publicly insult them. Identifying Rock's joke as the provocation it was isn't an attempt to excuse what Smith did, but goes a long way to understanding why he did it.

We’re probably on the same page as far as that’s concerned. Just a semantic misunderstanding between friends.

But I do want to warn against the blasé “no guns and machetes were involved.” Being violent in a fit of anger involves grabbing what you have on hand and using that to harm others. I think it’s a total fantasy to imagine that a person who was inclined to violent action in a fit of rage would necessarily have the discernment not to use a knife or a gun if either were easily available at hand.

The inclination to violence is a very dangerous thing, and it’s just one of the many excellent reasons I have for not having a gun around the house.

On the other hand, people don't always go straight to 11 on the violence scale. You can see people that will react (relatively) in line with a given offense. That still doesn't mean you should strike another person, but a push, is not a slap, is not a punch, is not a stab, is not a shooting, etc.

It’s true that people don’t always reach for the gun. But sometimes is already too often.

mudbunny wrote:

Jada has publicly talked about her hair loss, and has said (paraphrased) "it doesn't bother me if people talk and/or joke about it."

I also highly suspect that Will laughing at it, then looking over and seeing Jada not happy with him laughing at it had something to do with it.

I am also very sad that this is drowning out Lady Gaga's interaction with Liza Minnelli and CODA winning an Oscar.

Jada has not publicly said she was fine with people making jokes about her hair, she's said that she was embracing her alopecia and in December made a video showing off her bald spot so people wouldn't start gossip about it.

Nevin73 wrote:

Rock made a bad joke. But the whole "talk sh*t, get hit" is not how it works in society. Sure, there are other consequences for speech but anyone should be able to say whatever the f*ck they want, good or bad, without fear of physical violence. Personally I would've pressed charges.

That actually _is_ how it works in society. I strongly disagree that people should be able to say literally anything they want without fear of consequence. Sometimes, physical violence is a consequence. Obviously, that is not a good thing in virtually all instances. This is not a case where physical violence should have been the response. However, talk sh*t, get hit. If you were going to say things that are inappropriate, you run the risk of inciting this response.

Just so that I am not misunderstood, I absolutely think that Chris rock has some of the blame for this. Again, it doesn’t excuse will smiths behavior.

EDIT: I don’t think that Will Smith should be free of consequences of his actions, either.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

Rock made a bad joke. But the whole "talk sh*t, get hit" is not how it works in society. Sure, there are other consequences for speech but anyone should be able to say whatever the f*ck they want, good or bad, without fear of physical violence. Personally I would've pressed charges.

That actually _is_ how it works in society. I strongly disagree that people should be able to say literally anything they want without fear of consequence. Sometimes, physical violence is a consequence. Obviously, that is not a good thing in virtually all instances. This is not a case where physical violence should have been the response. However, talk sh*t, get hit. If you were going to say things that are inappropriate, you run the risk of inciting this response.

Just so that I am not misunderstood, I absolutely think that Chris rock has some of the blame for this. Again, it doesn’t excuse will smiths behavior.

EDIT: I don’t think that Will Smith should be free of consequences of his actions, either.

I can’t get behind that one should be able to say whatever they want without consequence (of X type). I’m raising my daughter to be peaceful and kind but if someone bullies her with words and she and I have done everything we can to make it stop peacefully….at some point I’m expecting her to slap someone.

As well I’m raising her to step in and defend if she sees someone being bullied and nobody is doing anything. Words can hurt just as much as anything else.

It's really easy to Monday-morning quarterback what Smith should have done.

And that's why I like it, because it's easy. Just sitting here in my comfy chair, theorycrafting. So I'm going to do some of it when I say that walking out was almost certainly the best thing Smith could have done. No statement about how insulting and inappropriate the joke was, nothing. Let other people explain about Jada's alopecia and Rock's history of needling the Smiths. Let the awards presenter awkwardly fumble through an explanation that Will Smith has declined to be present to accept his award and while he has declined to state why, we can only assume etc. etc. etc.

There would, of course, be plenty of folks mocking the Smiths and saying they "need to learn to take a joke," but those people are doing that anyway. Being the adult in the room means you keep the moral high ground among those who care about such things. Resorting to violence just muddies the waters and gives those who don't more ammunition.

The only thing I'm sure of is that this tiff between a couple of multi-millionaires has sucked up far more air than it deserves.

*Legion* wrote:

The only thing I'm sure of is that this tiff between a couple of multi-millionaires has sucked up far more air than it deserves.

Yeah I’ve avoided bringing this up because I’ve learned that class doesn’t totally negate race. But Will Smith is one of the richest and most influential people on the planet so I’m struggling to empathize with him. Heck I’m even wondering if I should stop supporting his work even though I was a former fan.

jdzappa wrote:
*Legion* wrote:

The only thing I'm sure of is that this tiff between a couple of multi-millionaires has sucked up far more air than it deserves.

Yeah I’ve avoided bringing this up because I’ve learned that class doesn’t totally negate race. But Will Smith is one of the richest and most influential people on the planet so I’m struggling to empathize with him. Heck I’m even wondering if I should stop supporting his work even though I was a former fan.

Kid Rock attacked Tommy Lee at the MTV awards yet you are still Kid Rock's biggest fan. Miss Piggy has attacked many people and other muppets on The Muppet Show yet you are still president of her fan club. The way I see it is if someone is a white man or pink muppet you are all for violence but if a black man puts the smack down on someone it is oh I can't get jiggy with it, he aint my fresh prince, or my parents don't understand that guy.

Maybe just maybe we should consider who we look up to in media. This is why I support Dr. Dre, he would never slap anybody. I still listen to the album he made about people suffering from chronic back pain.

Baron Of Hell wrote:
jdzappa wrote:
*Legion* wrote:

The only thing I'm sure of is that this tiff between a couple of multi-millionaires has sucked up far more air than it deserves.

Yeah I’ve avoided bringing this up because I’ve learned that class doesn’t totally negate race. But Will Smith is one of the richest and most influential people on the planet so I’m struggling to empathize with him. Heck I’m even wondering if I should stop supporting his work even though I was a former fan.

Kid Rock attacked Tommy Lee at the MTV awards yet you are still Kid Rock's biggest fan. Miss Piggy has attacked many people and other muppets on The Muppet Show yet you are still president of her fan club. The way I see it is if someone is a white man or pink muppet you are all for violence but if a black man puts the smack down on someone it is oh I can't get jiggy with it, he aint my fresh prince, or my parents don't understand that guy.

Maybe just maybe we should consider who we look up to in media. This is why I support Dr. Dre, he would never slap anybody. I still listen to the album he made about people suffering from chronic back pain.

I’m sorry Baron I’m a little lost at the Kid Rock/Miss Piggy reference. I figure you’re talking in general but if you’re referring to some of the Kid Rock memes I’ve posted in the past, I was making fun of him.

I’m open to reflection if I’m being too harsh to Will - I recognize that I have biases and that maybe I’m overreacting based on those biases. I’m not saying he’s in Kevin Spacey or Woody Allen territory for me where I’ll never watch one of his movies again. But I also wouldn’t go see a new film of his in the theater either but rather catch it on Netflix. It’s less of “this is a terrible person I want to punish” and more “there are many other great artists I would rather support at this time.”

FD Signifier and T1J did a thoughtful April Fools prank that I will not spoil.

I mean, I know it was at least half tongue in cheek, but I kind of thought it was cool when Kermit broke up with Miss Piggy in one of the more recent Muppets shows and it sparked a little bit of a discussion about how she was frankly abusive toward him for decades and we all laughed it off, and whether we would have been as willing to accept playing something like that for comedy for all those years if the genders had been reversed.

The whole 'talk sh*t and get hit' response makes me very sad. Is that what we've come to as a society? Rather than talk out an issue, let's assault someone instead? F**k yeah, 'Merica! Pew pew pew! That view It reeks of insecurity.

g_Rm wrote:

The whole 'talk sh*t and get hit' response makes me very sad. Is that what we've come to as a society? Rather than talk out an issue, let's assault someone instead? F**k yeah, 'Merica! Pew pew pew! That view It reeks of insecurity.

Rather than saying America has come to be like that, perhaps it’s more of America has been something like that for a very long time, and it’s probably not that bad comparatively speaking?

I keep harping on against violence partly because I know I regret my own actions in the past, but also because in my country, it does often involve large bladed weapons and firearms. Rhetorically, words hurt as much as anything else. But literally, they don’t hurt nearly as much as bits of lead propelled at supersonic speed towards your skull. Walking away was an action I believe Will Smith wishes he had done at the Oscars. I know I wish I would have done it a lot more often. And too many people won’t be walking anymore because they failed to do it when it was imperative that they did.

A true story that happen to young Baron coming home from work at the Aquarium gift shop. There he was sitting at the bus stop minding his business when suddenly this old man started yelling how he hated N words and other racist S. Well young Baron wasn't the only person at the bus stop. There was a group of younger than Baron black teens that were getting increasingly upset by this old white guy racist rant.

Young Baron being rather stupid made the decision that he would protect the old white guy even if it meant he had to fight a group of kids and probably get the S beat out of him. Young Baron was like look this guy is old and has no one that loves him. If he had some one that loved him they wouldn't allow him to be taking the bus alone late at night. Just ignore him. While young stupid Baron was talking racist white dude was still spouting off.

Lucky for everyone there was also a older than Baron black motherly type lady there that lent her voice for peace. She said all the right things that calmed everyone except the racist down.

So the story ends with the kids and myself getting on a bus and lady and racist were waiting for a different bus. Maybe she had a change of heart and killed him. I don't know. She probably got on her bus and he his bus and went on living. I'm sure the old guy is dead now because this was like 40 years ago. Baron is still alive to this day posting stupid S on forums and still kind of feels bad for sticking up for that guy. Those kids are probably doctors now.

g_Rm wrote:

The whole 'talk sh*t and get hit' response makes me very sad. Is that what we've come to as a society?

I'm still super lost on this "come to" part. Do people think "talk sh*t, get hit" was less acceptable 50, 100, 200 years ago than it is today?

Seth wrote:
g_Rm wrote:

The whole 'talk sh*t and get hit' response makes me very sad. Is that what we've come to as a society?

I'm still super lost on this "come to" part. Do people think "talk sh*t, get hit" was less acceptable 50, 100, 200 years ago than it is today?

I think folks 50 years ago were mostly okay with it as long as it was used to enforce white supremacy

Paleocon wrote:
Seth wrote:
g_Rm wrote:

The whole 'talk sh*t and get hit' response makes me very sad. Is that what we've come to as a society?

I'm still super lost on this "come to" part. Do people think "talk sh*t, get hit" was less acceptable 50, 100, 200 years ago than it is today?

I think folks 50 years ago were mostly okay with it as long as it was used to enforce white supremacy

Duels of all sorts are the formalization of “talk sh*t, get hit”. Meeting at the flagpole after school to fight is the same thing. How is this idea strange or surprising to anyone?

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Duels of all sorts are the formalization of “talk sh*t, get hit”. Meeting at the flagpole after school to fight is the same thing. How is this idea strange or surprising to anyone?

Dueling was falling out of fashion in the United States before the Civil War. Most of us grow out of "meet me at the flagpole after school" around the time we're leaving grade school.

The idea itself is not strange or surprising. The fact that anyone would seriously defend it in polite adult society in 2022 is.

I can’t help but think that Paleocon hit on an uncomfortable truth too, which is that a black man striking someone in public with no consequences is causing more hot takes than a cop with a taser, and that has some very uncomfortable implications.

I think the widespread protests that lasted most of 2020 count as "hot takes," although to be fair those were in response to murders and not a slap. I join you in wishing that every incidence of police brutality garnered as much attention as this did.

Edit: Misunderstood your post.

Seth wrote:

I can’t help but think that Paleocon hit on an uncomfortable truth too, which is that a black man striking someone in public with no consequences is causing more hot takes than a cop with a taser, and that has some very uncomfortable implications.

As a black man in America, it's not 'uncomfortable implications', it's just another day of the week. I want to hear what Chris has to say, having written and directed a movie about black women's struggle with hair... I hope for a mature and thoughtful response from him.

MotleyWizard wrote:
Seth wrote:

I can’t help but think that Paleocon hit on an uncomfortable truth too, which is that a black man striking someone in public with no consequences is causing more hot takes than a cop with a taser, and that has some very uncomfortable implications.

As a black man in America, it's not 'uncomfortable implications', it's just another day of the week. I want to hear what Chris has to say, having written and directed a movie about black women's struggle with hair... I hope for a mature and thoughtful response from him.

I'm curious how much of Rock's case of s "You didn't pay me to be nice. You paid me to be an ass." Knowledge or no knowledge of Smith's condition.
Same thing as Gervais.