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Ferguson, MO: You can thank Hollywood, and specifically The Amazing Spiderman 2.

August 21, 2014

We watched The Amazing Spiderman 2 last night, with Jamie Foxx playing the role of the villain.  He and his interviewer talk about his role in this article, and how it’s great that he’s an African American playing a lead role in a superhero movie, etc…the sad thing is that his role probably did nothing whatsoever to combat the problem of racism and black profiling in places like Ferguson, MO.  Why?  Because he’s the only leading person of color in the entire film.  Sure!  Make the only black man a villain! (And a total dweeb before his tragic transformation.) That’s PROGRESS!  Give me a break. Jamie Foxx should have accepted the role only on the condition that some other people of color be cast in other, lead, non-villain roles.  This is Manhattan, after all!  You’ll be hard pressed to find a block without a non-white person!

 electro-spider-man-2What other movies have you noticed perpetuate race problems?

 

 

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2014 10:56 pm

    Maybe I am in the minority here (no pun intended), but I neither see the connection between events in Ferguson, MO and a Hollywood film nor do I accept your point. For every example like this we could provide a counterexample to argue the opposite. This is an isolated movie/casting decision that apparently stuck out in your mind because the legitimate concern of racial profiling in our world was fresh in the news. I fear that when we jump to conclusions like this we are only adding fuel to the fires of racism, no matter how good our intentions, and artificially create a greater racial divide. It would behoove us to watch our films colorblind. While I am normally critical of Hollywood, I think this problem rests more with (us) the viewers than the filmmakers.

    • August 22, 2014 12:49 pm

      Yes, the connection between Ferguson and Spiderman is definitely an exaggeration to make a point, but the connection between Ferguson and how African Americans are portrayed in the media in general, at large is not, I believe. The first paragraph of this webpage supports my assertion : http://web.stanford.edu/class/e297c/poverty_prejudice/mediarace/portrayal.htm

      I also have been frustrated that the focus in social media on combating racism has made some of us who were already color-blind less color blind (myself included). Yet that doesn’t mean that the lack of positive and balanced portrayals of blacks and minorities in the media is not a problem. What people watch, do, read, and surround themselves with does have an impact on their subconscious assumptions.

      • August 22, 2014 1:11 pm

        Matt mentioned that the movie does have one thing going for it, regarding this issue- Jamie Foxx’s character has nothing to do with race relations in the plot.

  2. August 22, 2014 2:26 pm

    Reading the Stanford paper introduction clarifies a bit, but I still don’t think it is fair. As I said before, you can find examples to support that thesis but you can also find counterexamples. I have not seen the Spiderman 2 movie but I think Matt is spot on – if the character/portrayal has nothing to do with race relations in the plot it seems counterproductive to make exaggerated connections or escalate this detail into a larger issue. That’s my 2 cents, though I admit that I may have blinders on or be too sheltered…

    • August 26, 2014 12:18 am

      Well I feel like our friendship has gone to a deeper level…we have found something of importance on which we actually disagree! lol

  3. Caitlin permalink
    August 25, 2014 10:17 pm

    I had the same thoughts when watching that movie. Things like this are the reason that we can subconsciously develop stereotypes from a very young age. Although the media/Hollywood has made some big strides just in the last 10 years or so, it’s sad that examples of Blacks getting positive lead roles in movies are still the exception rather than the norm.

  4. August 25, 2014 10:22 pm

    I think I was telling you guys about this study. It’s based on the study done by Kenneth and Mamie Clark in 1947 and it’s very interesting.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/13/doll.study/

  5. September 2, 2014 1:56 am

    This is so sad. Black man arrested back in January by St. Paul MN police for no good reason, and caught on video. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/08/the-problem-is-im-black/379357/

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