Stop the Stereotyping by having People of Color in the Writing Rooms

Posted: October 21, 2015 in Anti-stereotyping/racism/xenophobia, Uncategorized, [Social] Media
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Coming across this video, I had to include it in a blog post (below this paragraph). Hollywood, especially through movies and sitcoms, is THE leading perpetrator of stereotypes against people of color (POC) on Earth, reducing Latinos to people with funny accents; Black people as the most dispensable characters in the story line (only person in the movie, first one to die); Black women in particular to angry women, prostitutes and/or ‘Mammies’; and Asians as asexual, feminine, and socially ‘awkward’. There are a few exceptions to this phenomenon but that has a lot to do with the fact that POCs are in the writing rooms of those shows, they are the directors of those movies. Check out the below video created by slate.com…it explains it all. Also, check out this article written by Aisha Harris, an excellent commentary on the issue.

 

Personally, I rarely watch sitcoms and find it difficult to allocate the time and energy to watch whole movies these days. Over the years, I’ve become disheartened and straight out bored with what Hollywood has to produce. As much as the discourse on stereotypes, racism, Orientalism, bigotry, representation and cultural imperialism has increased to include POCs in the discursive struggle, we still see the same racist ass shit on our television screens. I never watched an episode of Homeland; as soon as I read criticisms for the show’s absurdly sweeping stereotypes of the Middle East, I immediately boycotted it. I was absolutely tickled at the news of artists who took the opportunity to demonstrate to the world the stage crews’ sheer orientalist ignorance. After being asked to build a set of an ‘authentic’ refugee camp, they did this:

 

Awareness on what it takes to to bring more diversity into Hollywood is painfully lacking for those who have benefited the most by the current status quo. Matt Damon, the guy Hollywood LOVES to spend so much damn money saving, simply has no clue.

Saving Matt Damon

The cringe heard around the world, Matt Damon tried to give a lesson on diversity to producer Effie Brown. It was truly painful to watch him ‘equate diversity to compromising on ability, talent and creativity… that White Male Hollywood exists purely on “merit”‘.

 

There already exists a way to bring more diversity and better representation of POCs onto movie screens and into our living rooms, and that is to bring more POCs into the writing rooms of TV series and sitcoms, to bring more POCs onto the production teams of films. So until Hollywood gets with the program, I think I’ll read a book or two.

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