Tag Archives: blackface

Acting in Blackface is BACK, Unfortunately

Acceptable????  Buffoonery???  Right, Buffoonery!!! Let one of my fav bloggers, Jasmyne A. Cannick,break it down for you. OH, and check out CNN’s take on it from this morning.

Buffoonery: Get some at a theater near you

Hollywood has finally found a way to get around hiring Black actors to portray Black people while at the same time further destroying the global image of the Black male-and make a couple million dollars in the process. Buffoonery, yes, it’s headed to a theater near you.

The latest assault on the Black image from Hollywood is the film Tropic Thunder that stares Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Hollywood’s favorite “white” drug addicted actor Robert Downey Jr.-in blackface.

In Tropic Thunder, a movie about a movie (how original), Downey, whom did I mention is white, takes on the character of an Oscar-winning actor named Kirk Lazarus-whose character in the war movie they are filming, Sgt. Osiris, is Black.

Still with me?

Now for the record, I don’t for one minute expect for Hollywood to take into consideration the history of blackface in America and how it makes me feel as a Black woman. I mean this is the same industry that forced Norbit on us-which single handedly managed to reinforce the negative stereotypes of obese Black women in 102 minutes to the tune of $95 million.

But at the same time, I know, like you know, that there won’t be any movies opening anytime soon that poke fun at or mimic their experience or their people.

I’m just saying that when it comes to Hollywood, the history of Black people in this country, and our image as a people, it’s like, “how much money do you need and how fast can you get the film done?”

Films like Tropic Thunder, to me, just open the floodgates and validate the use of blackface for entertainment purposes.

Consider this. Continue reading

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Warner removes racist cartoons from YouTube

We posted the YouTube link to a posting of these videos a few months ago.  I think it’s a very important thing for people, especially black folk.  They are part of the very racist history of American media and the sterotypical representations of African Americans on TV and film.  We love to post that type of stuff because in the present day people like to act as if racism has been done away with and that it doesn’t exist.  From the posts to the comments on this blog, it’s clearly alive and well.

From NY Times/Photo: Youtube
Among the millions of clips on the video-sharing Web site YouTube are 11 racially offensive Warner Brothers cartoons that have not been shown in an authorized release since 1968.

Despite efforts to suppress them, racist cartoons from the 1940s have been circulating on the Web.

Some of the cartoons were removed on April 16. A message saying the cartoons were no longer available because of a copyright claim by Warner appeared in their place. By evening the messages disappeared, and some of the cartoons were back. Representatives for YouTube and Warner would not confirm whether the companies had tried to remove the cartoons.

The cartoons, known as the “Censored 11,” have been unavailable to the public for 40 years. Postings no longer appear if YouTube is searched for “Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs,” a parody of “Snow White” and the most famous of the cartoons. But a search for “Coal Black” does find the cartoon.

These cartoons were controversial when first released; the N.A.A.C.P. unsuccessfully protested “Coal Black” before it was shown in 1943. Richard McIntire, the director of communications for the N.A.A.C.P., wrote in an e-mail message that “the cartoons are despicable. We encourage the films’ owners to maintain them as they are — that is, locked away in their vaults.” Continue reading

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So Racist: From Piglet to “Niglet”

I was looking for information on racist comic act “Shirley Q. Liquor” and ran across this info. Oh my! It’s interesting how young white people these days are so comfortable with racist imagery and blackface, to the point where they just post things all over the net. CRAZY.

From Ban Shirley Q. Liquor – University of Alabama student Elizabeth Dennis recently changed her Facebook profile image from Piglet, a Winnie the Pooh character, that was in blackface with one hand holding a watermelon and the other holding a bucket of KFC Fried Chicken, with the word “Niglet” underneath. After it got around that the photo was up she posted a new pic and added the confession “the profile pic was a joke … Sorry if I offended.”

But after looking at all of the photos that she posted of herself in blackface, I am even more disappointed that she was apparently supported by other brothas and sistas to do what she did.

Elizabeth must have missed the big speech yesterday because these photos were up TODAY.

But America’s transcending race and blacks need to get over it. Yeah right!

I wonder what’s the percentage of white college students dressing up in blackface to black college students dressing up in whiteface and then being stupid enough or smart enough, depending on how you look at it, to post the photos on Facebook or Myspace. Continue reading

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New Ben Stiller comedy, featuring a black Robert Downey, Jr?

Who’s that man between Jack Black and Ben Stiller in this scene from the upcoming comedy? (Hint: he’s famous…and white)

TROPIC THUNDER How did people react at a test screening to Downey‘s character? ”It seems people really embrace it,” says Stiller Merie Weismiller Wallace
If you don’t recognize that African-American actor standing between Jack Black and Ben Stiller, there’s a good reason: He’s white. In Tropic Thunder, an epic action comedy co-written and directed by Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. plays Kirk Lazarus, a very serious Oscar-winning actor cast in the most expensive Vietnam War film ever. Problem is, Lazarus’s character, Sgt. Osiris, was originally written as black. So Lazarus decides to dye his skin and play Osiris, um, authentically. Funny? Sure. Dangerous? That’s an understatement. ”If it’s done right, it could be the type of role you called Peter Sellers to do 35 years ago,” Downey says. ”If you don’t do it right, we’re going to hell.”The film marks Stiller’s first directing effort since 2001’s Zoolander. With Thunder (opening Aug. 15), he takes aim at the sweetest target of all: actors. Downey plays one of a team of self-indulgent stars cast in the modern equivalent of Apocalypse Now. Stiller plays an action hero who has just adopted a baby from Asia but worries that ”all the good ones are gone.” Black portrays a comedian known for performing multiple roles in a single film — his latest is called The Fatties: Fart 2. But when the film’s director (Steve Coogan) and writer (Nick Nolte) get fed up with their prima donna cast, they drop them into the jungle to fend for themselves. The actors think they’re doing some sort of full-immersion filmmaking, but the danger they’re in is very real.Stiller got the idea for Thunder more than 20 years ago while shooting a small part in Steven Spielberg’s WWII drama Empire of the Sun. He’s continued to develop the script as his own star has risen, which makes taking on his brethren all the richer — watch for cameos from Tom Cruise and Tobey Maguire — and all the more perilous. For starters, Hollywood satires have a rocky box office record. And then there’s that little issue of a white guy playing a black guy. Stiller says that he and Downey always stayed focused on the fact that they were skewering insufferable actors, not African-Americans. ”I was trying to push it as far as you can within reality,” Stiller explains. ”I had no idea how people would respond to it.” He recently screened a rough cut of the film and it scored high with African-Americans. He was relieved at the reaction. ”It seems people really embrace it,” he says.Paramount is hoping so: The studio plans to debut the trailer online March 17, and Downey is all over it. (In one scene, he tries to bond with a real African-American castmate by quoting the theme song from The Jeffersons.) Downey, meanwhile, is confident he never crossed the line. ”At the end of the day, it’s always about how well you commit to the character,” he says. ”I dove in with both feet. If I didn’t feel it was morally sound, or that it would be easily misinterpreted that I’m just C. Thomas Howell in [Soul Man], I would’ve stayed home.”
Based on the pictue, I never would have guessed that he wasn’t really black… I can’t believe that’s Robert Downey, Jr.

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Scrub Me Mama: Classic Racist Cartoon from the 40’s

“‘Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat’ is a 1940 hit boogie-woogie song written by Don Raye. A bawdy, jazzy tune, the song describes a laundry woman from Harlem, New York whose technique is so unusual that people come from all around just to watch her scrub.

The cartoon rendition is set in ‘Lazy Town’ and is awash with blackface stereotypes of African American people and culture, and of life in the rural Southern United States.”

This has to be one of the most gross displays of the stereotype the black people are lazy…it’s just grossly grossly presented.

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Blackface: They went as Bobby and Whitney

Usually stories about college students going to parties in blackface doesn’t amuse me…but for some reason I smirked when I read that a Smith College student and a male friend recently went to a party as Bobby and Whitney.  The theme of the party was celebrity rehabilitation.  I was all braced to hear that they went with fake afro and gold chains…FUBU jerseys…you know.

I don’t think it’s ever appropriate for white folks to use black makeup to impersonate a black person.  However, is it ever appropriate for white people to dress up as black people and use dark brown makeup, or a brown tone that is similar to the one of the person they are dressing up as?  Many white comedians have put on beige makeup and performed white characters…is that white face?  Are we accepting a double standard?

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Blackface is never a good costume choice

Four Colorado College men’s hockey players recently completed a two-week suspension for wearing blackface and dressing up as black actors during a pre-season team golf outing Sept. 8.The players, including Brian Connelly of Bloomington Jefferson and team captain Scott Thauwald of Rochester Mayo, tried to look like characters on “Family Matters,” a TV show about a black family. Their teammates picked five other TV shows, ranging from “Baywatch” to “Scrubs,” in keeping with the theme of the outing.

“We realize now, even though there was no racial intent, that what we did was wrong,” Thauwald told a Colorado newspaper.

The four suspended players returned to practice Oct. 8 and are expected to play against the visiting Gophers in a two-game series starting Friday.

Source: DailyTribune.com 

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