By talking in our culture focused on systemic racism and treating blacks after the death of George Floyd while in custody by Minneapolis police, some are questioning Hollywood screen depictions of racism.
And we have to tell you, some of them are not well aged.
Twitter was boiling after a film by director Tate Taylor, and based on the 2009 novel of the same name written by Kathryn Stockett, it began to move as protests erupted after Floyd’s death.
There were concerns even before the film was released.
Partly because Taylor is a white man, tasked with shepherding the story of a pair of black maids, Aibileen Clark (played by Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (played by Octavia Spencer), stationed in Jackson, Mississippi during the civil rights movement. .
Those voices became louder after the film hit theaters, as many complained that it focused more on the white character of Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (played by Emma Stone).
And while her performance won Spencer for Best Supporting Actress Oscar, Davis has since said he regrets taking on the role.
Earlier this week, Bryce Dallas Howard, who played Hilly Holbrook in “The Help,” suggested ten other films to consider watching to better understand American history of racial inequality.
“The Legend of Bagger Vance” (2000)
Directed by Robert Redford and starring Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron, “The Legend of Bagger Vance” has been repeatedly pushed due to the advancement of the “Magic Black” trope.
That terminology popular in the early auli became black director Spike Lee and refers to the Hollywood use of a black character that serves to improve the lives of white characters.
In some cases, the black character possesses supernatural qualities, as is the case with Smith’s character in the film, the mysterious golf caddy, Bagger Vance.
Green Paper (2018)
Set in 1962, Ali plays musician Dr. Donald Shirley opposite Viggo Mortensen as his driver and bodyguard, Tony Vallelong, in a dramatization of the couple’s real-life friendship.
A member of the Shirley family complained that the film was a “symphony of lies” in the sense of his portrayal of the alienated from his family.
“These guys are helping each other,” Farrelly said. “Tony Lip pulls Don Shirley out of some earthly trouble, but Don Shirley saves Tony Lip’s soul.”
“A Song of the South” (1946)
Disney + has refused to release “Song of the South” as part of their classic streaming service.
The combination of animated film and live action film offers what are today considered stereotypical and offensive portraits of African Americans – ranging from a dialect of black character to their obedience to white characters.
The plot focuses on a boy named Johnny (played by Bobby Driscoll), who is educated and entertained by lessons taught to him by a former slave named Uncle Remus (told to him by James Baskett).