[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.

Web series about a black kid and his mom and they both have super powers.

first season is on youtube and the web. Second season is being crowd sourced. Episodes are only about 10 minutes.

Haven't watched, just imagining some kid finding out his mother has the same powers: "Holy crap I have super powers. This is awesome. This is amazing. This is.. Mom has the same powers....sh*t."

Baron Of Hell wrote:

On a related topic I just found out how racist HP Lovecraft was in life. Sure most people of his time were racist but he seems to have been a engine for racism. His racism isn't always reflected in his works but it is there and not just in a way that reflects the time. So I decided to stop reading his stuff. There are plenty of authors that didn't publicly endorse racism that I can read.

On a slightly different note does this mean I should stop consuming anything that makes reference to Lovecraft's work. ..

I think you're overthinking it. Also you just might underestimate the time he be reflectin'.

I'm gonna write more, because it'll tie into my point, which may be wrong. I haven't researched his racism that deeply. I heard about it, reflected on the words in his stories and thought, "Yep, that checks out." He may have been a truly hateful f*cker. I dunno. It seemed his views were more of the classical, "people in my group are better then people outside my group". It's like asking some stereotypical American if his country is the greatest, or asking some farmer in the middle of China, "Are the Chinese the best?" or asking someone in the middle of Russia, "Are the Russians the best?" And they will absolutely say, "Of course we are." Well, why? "I dunno, we just are." (I find it highly amusing that people opposed to racism forget this exists, or think they're immune).
I say that because it seems clear that his line of progression from best to worst starts in England and radiates outward. He doesn't seem to be driven by particular conflicts or issues. It seems more abstract.

Flintheart Glomgold wrote:

OK I'm engaging the hive mind.

A little background, I'm Chinese (from Singapore) but have been living in the US for about ten years. The opposite party I consider a friend but not a close friend - we get together from time to time and communicate through Facebook and texting. He is white (from Michigan) and has gone a little politics crazy after the election - I will call him "Justin."
*Justin proceeds to do dumb sh*t*

I believe Justin should read this little ditty.

Ah yes! What I came to post!

Just an observation, thinking on past, what I describe as "intrapersonal, interpersonal, and social dynamics comprise the plot" type movies. So on those rare days when a majority black cast are in such a movie, thinking about "How Stella Got Her Groove Back", "Why did I get married?", and that movie based on the Steve Harvey book, The Rules? or something.

The entities portrayed are always people first, characteristics second. Then I think about majority white cast movies and it's reversed. I remember their character more than their individuality.

South African modern western.
Five Fingers for Marseilles

I'm not hip to the South African movie scene but this looked interesting to me. The police are corrupt and terrorizing the town Marseilles. Five Fingers is defending the town.

RolandofGilead wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:

On a related topic I just found out how racist HP Lovecraft was in life. Sure most people of his time were racist but he seems to have been a engine for racism. His racism isn't always reflected in his works but it is there and not just in a way that reflects the time. So I decided to stop reading his stuff. There are plenty of authors that didn't publicly endorse racism that I can read.

On a slightly different note does this mean I should stop consuming anything that makes reference to Lovecraft's work. ..

I think you're overthinking it. Also you just might underestimate the time he be reflectin'.

I'm gonna write more, because it'll tie into my point, which may be wrong. I haven't researched his racism that deeply. I heard about it, reflected on the words in his stories and thought, "Yep, that checks out." He may have been a truly hateful f*cker. I dunno. It seemed his views were more of the classical, "people in my group are better then people outside my group". It's like asking some stereotypical American if his country is the greatest, or asking some farmer in the middle of China, "Are the Chinese the best?" or asking someone in the middle of Russia, "Are the Russians the best?" And they will absolutely say, "Of course we are." Well, why? "I dunno, we just are." (I find it highly amusing that people opposed to racism forget this exists, or think they're immune).
I say that because it seems clear that his line of progression from best to worst starts in England and radiates outward. He doesn't seem to be driven by particular conflicts or issues. It seems more abstract.

Flintheart Glomgold wrote:

OK I'm engaging the hive mind.

A little background, I'm Chinese (from Singapore) but have been living in the US for about ten years. The opposite party I consider a friend but not a close friend - we get together from time to time and communicate through Facebook and texting. He is white (from Michigan) and has gone a little politics crazy after the election - I will call him "Justin."
*Justin proceeds to do dumb sh*t*

I believe Justin should read this little ditty.

I think trying to equate your average American or Chinese thinking their country is the greatest and racism is dangerous. Thinking my country is the best isn't even in the same arena as thinking another race is subhuman and only worthy of enslavement. Few people actually think that just because America is great means your average Chinese person is subhuman.

Chances are if they do they are also racist.

Lovecraft wasn't just "normal" old-timey racist, he was vehemently racist and it showed up in many of his stories. He was an avowed white supremacist and antisemite. Anglo-nordic people (particularly ones of English descent) were his master race, with all others being less evolved. Disparaging description of "lesser races" is a recurring theme in his works. Many of his friends and contemporaries remarked on his unusually racist attitudes. When his jewish wife would remind him of her background, he'd claim she "no longer belonged to these mongrels.” She later noted that he would get livid with rage just from being in mixed crowds. After he died, she wrote to a friend that she believed that he likely would have supported the Holocaust had he lived to see it.

I don't like to refer to bad people at monsters. But Lovecraft was a diabolical piece of sh*t. He's pretty close to monstrous.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

South African modern western.
Five Fingers for Marseilles

I'm not hip to the South African movie scene but this looked interesting to me. The police are corrupt and terrorizing the town Marseilles. Five Fingers is defending the town.

Hasn't seen this yet. Our movie industry is bad comedies and worthy but depressing allegories of apartheid, so I don't follow the industry much. Looks amazing.

I thought this was a really, really great article about "cultural appropriation" and my issues with the discussions around the term, both from it's supporters and it's detractors.

Prederick wrote:

I thought this was a really, really great article about "cultural appropriation" and my issues with the discussions around the term, both from it's supporters and it's detractors.

It was a great article.

It was very enlightening to hear the Gray talk about the economic aspects of cultural appropriation and highlighting how the real issue comes down to who makes money from an aspect of someone else's culture.

I wrote a lot more about some issues I had with what I felt was Gray's unstated definition of cultural appropriation--you can borrow as long as you're respectful of the source culture *and* you don't profit from it--but deleted it because I need to think about it more.

I think her examples of the music industry were the clearest because of the long and blatant history of it. But the appropriation issues of other specific artists, chefs, and authors were much more vague and, again, whether or not they should be called an appropriator kinda boiled down to if their art was successful.

Again, I need to think about it more and maybe get some longer perspective. I mean is Rick Bayless really a serious cultural appropriator as Gray described him? When he got his first PBS cooking show America was like maybe 5% Hispanic. Now it's pushing 18%. Did Bayless exploit Mexican cuisine (and was he able to because he was white) or did he help promote and popularize it? And how much of that is on him versus white America?

Glad to see this, going to read the article today. Bayless comes up whenever my wife and I talk about cultural appropriation. It's a really good example to test your own feelings and see where you (or others) stand.

I'm not Hispanic, but I wouldn't mind having a Bayless for Filipino cuisine. The important thing is that Bayless always, always is constant about his callbacks and his admiration for Mexican cuisine and culture. He doesn't stop flogging it. If you're going to do something that much, maybe it's okay that you can actually make a living off of it, rather than having to work a construction job and then promote Mexican cuisine as a nonprofit advocacy.

At least part of his personal profits goes right back into trips into Mexico to mine it for inspiration, so that at least is one more tourist going around throwing dollars. So the real question there is, does Bayless also promote Mexican chefs?

He does a lot of work for/with the immigrant community in Chicago, too, including training. Not sure how much he works with people at his own level.

That's amusing and pointed, but after reading, for example, what Chloe Bennet (nee Wang) had to go through for her acting career... Fortunately she has been very vocal about her treatment by casting directors. I think she can afford to because she has a solid job. Margaret Cho has always been in the forefront of this fight, too, because of both her ethnicity and her body type. I wish more actors were able to shine a light on these backward practices. I mean it's bad enough the way entertainment creators treat women, but to be Asian on top of that? And I'm sure black, Latino, desi, and every other even vaguely "ethnic" looking person has it just as bad.

Urg. Makes me furious.

Jolly Bill wrote:

Glad to see this, going to read the article today. Bayless comes up whenever my wife and I talk about cultural appropriation. It's a really good example to test your own feelings and see where you (or others) stand.

Basically, don't do this.

(The above article has nothing to do with television, but just...)

IMAGE(https://media.tenor.com/images/943c9749155767d167660c6a8e45357c/tenor.gif)

Prederick wrote:
Jolly Bill wrote:

Glad to see this, going to read the article today. Bayless comes up whenever my wife and I talk about cultural appropriation. It's a really good example to test your own feelings and see where you (or others) stand.

Basically, don't do this.

(The above article has nothing to do with television, but just...)

IMAGE(https://media.tenor.com/images/943c9749155767d167660c6a8e45357c/tenor.gif)

I thought that was the Bodega thing, this at least seems well-intentioned. If very, very ill-considered.

Oh crap. I really like No Diggity. Lose Yourself is dull though.

*Legion* wrote:

I like the way you work it

no diggity

IMAGE(http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bodybagging.jpg)

I got to bag it up

Star Trek Discovery discussion is driving me a little nuts right now. On the one hand, it's definitely a flawed show, and they've made some weird narrative choices. On the other hand, I suspect things are going to open up a little once we get more than a handful of episodes. But more relevant to this thread I'm absolutely positive that Michael Burnham would be getting a better reception if she weren't a block woman. To be clear, I don't think that's where all the hate for her character is coming from, but I don't think it's a non zero sum either.

kazooka wrote:

But more relevant to this thread I'm absolutely positive that Michael Burnham would be getting a better reception if she weren't a block woman.

No one told me that the new Star Trek was a mashup with Minecraft.

I find most of the reviews for Discovery are focused on things I don't care about so I haven't been following them that closely. However, I did notice that some reviews by black women were among the most negative ones. For example Anita and her black female cohost hate the show. They have reviews of each episode on Anita's youtube channel.

I'm sure there are a lot of negativity just because the main character is black. I'm not sure if that would change the tone of the reviews. I don't think we have a Dear White People situation here. Most of the negativity seems to be from people that want Star Trek a certain way and are bashing it for not fitting in with previous trek.

All things considered the show is doing extremely well so they are doing something right.

OG_slinger wrote:
kazooka wrote:

But more relevant to this thread I'm absolutely positive that Michael Burnham would be getting a better reception if she weren't a block woman.

No one told me that the new Star Trek was a mashup with Minecraft.

If that were the case it would have at least one redeaming quality to it, or at least closer to one. So far it's just abysmal in anything they've shown other than the CGI.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

All things considered the show is doing extremely well so they are doing something right.

Is it? Genuinely, is CBS actually putting out viewership or AllAccess membership numbers somewhere? Because I'd love to see them.

bnpederson wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:

All things considered the show is doing extremely well so they are doing something right.

Is it? Genuinely, is CBS actually putting out viewership or AllAccess membership numbers somewhere? Because I'd love to see them.

Nope, but the show was renewed and CBS stated it was doing well. They could be full of crap, but the show looks like it is to expensive to lie about.

Just checked out The Good Place. I didn't know the show was going to be so diverse. I found it very funny also.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

Just checked out The Good Place. I didn't know the show was going to be so diverse. I found it very funny also.

Wife and I just finished it. Neither of us realized that we were watching the last episode.

It's sillier than snake's kness, but a helluva lot more fun. Looking forward to more of it.