February 15, 2017

"The white guy wants to preserve the black roots of jazz while the black guy is the sellout?"

"This could be a deliberate ironic twist, but if it is, it's a distasteful one for African-Americans. One legitimate complaint that marginalized people (women, people of color, Muslims, the LGBT community, etc.) have had about Hollywood in the past is that when they were portrayed, it was done in a negative way. The ditzy blonde, the Muslim terrorist, the gay predator are all familiar stereotypes from years of TV and movies. So much has been done in recent years to overcome those debasing images, but we still have to be careful. It's not that a black man can't be the sellout or the drug dealer, it's just that they shouldn't be if they're the only prominent black character in the story. Whether it's intentional or unintentional, that sends a bigoted message rippling through our society."

Writes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in "How 'La La Land' Misleads on Race, Romance and Jazz."

Part of the problem is that there are too few black characters in Hollywood movies (not counting the movies that are specifically about black culture and history). If there's only one black character, he's going to be perceived as representing more than an individual.

And to be more than an individual is to be less than an individual.

ADDED: At Vulture, "The Six Shadiest Lines From Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Analysis of La La Land."

112 comments:

mockturtle said...

It's not that a black man can't be the sellout or the drug dealer, it's just that they shouldn't be if they're the only prominent black character in the story.

What about Training Day? IMO, Denzel Washington's best role.

n.n said...

[class] diversity

rehajm said...

Kareem does a great job representing Kareem in movies!

Z said...

I'm naive enough to hope people just represent people and that the Black guy in LALA Land isn't what we expect to be is refreshing.
Meanwhile, Black singers are now upset about Adele beating out Beyonce at the Grammys..."only 2 Black women have had best albums in 20 years". Don't tell me there are those, like these critics, who think Grammy voters are mostly conservatives and acting from their 'typical racist roots' :-) (sarcasm here)...
If you want a best album, make a better album.

Professional lady said...

I saw LaLa Land last weekend. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. I must admit that I checked my watch a few times during the movie. Neither the dances nor the songs were really memorable. I really don't understand why it got 14 Academy Award nominations. I don't think the white guy was trying to preserve the black roots of jazz as much as he was interested only in a certain type of jazz that he considered the real thing. The Black guy had a broader point of view.

Ipso Fatso said...

"...it's just that they shouldn't be if they're the only prominent black character in the story."

B.S. The story is the story and it is what it is. That is entirely up to the author. Deal with it Jabbar. Just more PC crap from a left sports figure.

Scott McGlasson said...

There's absolutely no "right" number. The Walking Dead bends over backwards to make it's cast racially diverse and black men, in particular, still bitch about it.

Kevin said...

MLK weeps...

J. Farmer said...

"As Baudelaire and Oscar Wilde knew, neither art nor the artist has a moral responsibility to liberal social causes." --Camille Paglia

Earnest Prole said...

to be more than an individual is to be less than an individual

Perfectly put.

buwaya said...

"Part of the problem is that there are too few black characters in Hollywood movies "

Part of the problem is there are too few Filipino characters in Hollywood movies.

No, really, there are too few. Equal time would mean 1 role out of 13 or so "black" roles.
This doesn't happen.

Note that Spanish people are wildly over-represented, mainly because of Antonio Banderas.

Rick said...

And to be more than an individual is to be less than an individual.

Why would this be a problem for people who evaluate equity according to group membership?

AReasonableMan said...

Jazz has taken a beating at the collective hands of Hollywood. I can't think of a single jazz movie that I thought was any good. I love a subset of late classic jazz (mid 50's to the start of jazz rock). It's small delicate scale doesn't lend itself to the movies. Older movies featuring big bands might work, but I am not familiar with these.

Jack Wayne said...

I think it's time the SJW's moved on from highlighting black (12%) angst and started highlighting Asian (6%) angst. It's time the real minority is given prominence isn't it? It would be a refreshing change of pace, amirite? More Gran Torino, less The Butler. /sarc

rehajm said...

There could be a Grammy category for Best Lecture by a Black Man to a White Man About Jazz.

buwaya said...

Re "La La Land" -

"Umbrellas of Cherbourg" was better.
Even "Demoiselles de Rochefort" was better.

buwaya said...

"started highlighting Asian (6%) angst."

Angst is no good really.
Angst is for losers, beggars, people looking for pity and charity.
Angst is for people doing something wrong - don't be that guy!

No, what we need is is Asian triumph and glory.

Sebastian said...

"too few black characters in Hollywood movies" By what standard? There are too few good businessmen and conservatives and Chinese and cricket players and ugly people and Mormons in movies.

Ken B said...

Movie where black guy preserves traditional jazz: stereotype!
Movie where white guy preserves traditional jazz: racist!

mockturtle said...

"Part of the problem is that there are too few black characters in Hollywood movies "

What about Asian characters? Aside from Bruce Lee and the like? But I haven't heard Asians bellyaching about it.

buwaya said...

Given that its proven that you just can't win on all this, best to hand the industry over to the Chinese.

No, really, they resolve all these conflicts by making stuff their own 4x greater audience wants to see. If they include you its according to their whims and on their terms. They can't be argued with, and there is no longer going to be any point in arguing with each other.

mockturtle said...

ARM, I loved jazz from Miles Davis to John Coltrane. You are right--it has disappeared outside the occasional festival.

Laslo Spatula said...

" If there's only one black character, he's going to be perceived as representing more than an individual."

Does this make it more or less important if the Black Actor has Unethical Hair?

Or Un-Ethnic Hair?

Is Un-Ethnic Hair Unethical?

I am Laslo.

Basil said...

Why are leftists and Muslims so fixated on skin color?

Which begs the question, when is Justice Roberts going to free us from this destructive skin color obsession?

How many years ago did he tell us that the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.

After all, this is what the 14th Amendment was supposed to do. In 1868.

Wilbur said...

First World problems.

The Bear said...

It is so wonderful the attitudes that are being spat by all out by our so-called "talent" on a daily basis ... it is thanks to them that I discovered the wonderful world of KPOP.

Thank you, Hollywood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2OFPvYxZuY

Unknown said...

I was puzzled to see Kareem mention gay predators. What movies portray gays in a bad light? I mean, considering you cannot even say a man and a woman belong together without becoming a victim of the LGBTWTFBBQ bon fire, I cannot possibly see them letting a movie slide where a gay man is preying on people.

--Vance

mockturtle said...

I was puzzled to see Kareem mention gay predators. What movies portray gays in a bad light? I mean, considering you cannot even say a man and a woman belong together without becoming a victim of the LGBTWTFBBQ bon fire, I cannot possibly see them letting a movie slide where a gay man is preying on people.

I've been scratching my head over that one, too, Vance. Gays have been sacrosanct to Hollywood ever since I can remember.

Farmer said...

Whether it's intentional or unintentional, that sends a bigoted message rippling through our society.

Tough shit. Art's not supposed to teach lessons, or refrain from making people uncomfortable. Don't like it? Don't watch it. I'm sure "Girls" sends a message rippling through society that lots of people approve of. I think it's an idiotic pile of shit. So instead of trying to make rules for it, I don't fucking watch it. It's really simple!

Rick said...

There were protests over Basic Instinct which was released in 1992. Those are the most recent I remember.

Ken B said...

Incidentally, how does that "mislead"? All black guys like 50s jazz? All white guys are sellouts?

J. Farmer said...

The "gay predator" trop is actually a pretty popular trope that fell out of favor in the 1980s and 1990s. Vito Russo's book The Celluloid Closet discusses this. Suddenly Last Summer and Cruising are two films from the top of my head that I recall the book discussing.

Roughcoat said...

Given that its proven that you just can't win on all this, best to hand the industry over to the Chinese.

At least then we'll be assured of having movies featuring blonds with big tits.

mockturtle said...

Tough shit. Art's not supposed to teach lessons, or refrain from making people uncomfortable. Don't like it? Don't watch it. I'm sure "Girls" sends a message rippling through society that lots of people approve of. I think it's an idiotic pile of shit. So instead of trying to make rules for it, I don't fucking watch it. It's really simple!

Exactly, Farmer!



Freder Frederson said...

If you want a best album, make a better album.

Except for the inconvenient fact that Adele thought Beyonce's album was better than her own.

Mattman26 said...

Okay, minor point to be sure, but women are not "marginalized people." Jesus.

Michael in ArchDen said...

I didn't find Kareem's point on race as interesting as our hostess did, but this jumped out at me:
"I'm equally interested in how the film portrays romance, because pop culture (movies, TV, books, music) is the major source of information about romantic relationships for our youth. That's where they learn about what to look for in a mate, what a relationship should look like, how to treat each other."

The problem with American culture in a nutshell. When people learn from movies what a relationship should look like, and not from the example of their parents, there's bound to be more drama...

Sorry to go off-topic, and rest assured, I'm NOT trying to tell you what to blog about!

AReasonableMan said...

mockturtle said...
ARM, I loved jazz from Miles Davis to John Coltrane. You are right--it has disappeared outside the occasional festival.


Check out Kamasi Washington, not dead yet.

AReasonableMan said...

Freder Frederson said...
Except for the inconvenient fact that Adele thought Beyonce's album was better than her own


After this affair I went and listened songs from both albums. They both sucked.

Unknown said...

Maybe we should go back to the sanitized movies of the 1960s? Like the westerns where the good guy shot the gun out of the bad guy's hand? Or where there was no blood after a shootout? We should make movies be pretend nice?
In fact, let's look at the TV series Law and Order. Of the crimes, probably 90% of the murders are whites, perhaps because this way they can make a more complex plot. A simple gang shooting isn't very interesting TV. But is this proportion "real"? Hardly. Hell, they have more Russian gangsters than black ones on that show. The Jewish murderers are WAY out of proportion. Murderous businessmen? A dime a dozen but in reality very very rare. Should we have quotas for bad guys?

Curious George said...

"Freder Frederson said...
If you want a best album, make a better album.

Except for the inconvenient fact that Adele thought Beyonce's album was better than her own."

It's called being gracious.

rhhardin said...

He can only represent what is already a stereotype, in which case the stereotype has a role in the plot.

The attempt for white supremacists inflicting civil terror becomes unintentional comedy instead of representation.

A backfire.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Minoities get fussy because white folks enjoy interactions w/ white folks in the roles of minorities.

It's the not that crackers don't like minorities as minorities, too. But, Rick Bayless et. al. are more relatable.

It works the other way too, just look at Fonzworth Bentley.

SeanF said...

Freder Frederson: Except for the inconvenient fact that Adele thought Beyonce's album was better than her own.

You misspelled "said".

Regardless, why would Adele's opinion carry any more weight than all the other music industry professionals who voted?

rhhardin said...

The Guard (2011) goes meta on black stereotypes.

His stereotype is that blacks are hypersensitive about stereotypes.

jimbino said...

What we need, of course, is a documentary that shows the Black, Brown and
Native Americans in the national parks and forests of Amerika. HINT: there aren't any, even in NatGeo, Discovery or Burns' documentaries on the subject.

This country is nothing if not 100% racist.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

https://sanceau.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/p-diddy.jpg?w=650

buwaya said...

" Should we have quotas for bad guys?"

Yes, that may demand more creativity from the writers.

Laslo Spatula said...

The Incomplete Evolution of the Black Actor:

Stepin Fetchit Role

Criminals and Drug Dealers

Bad-Ass Blaxploitation Star

Angry Black Side Character (Sixties)

Poor Black Guy helped by Noble White Man

Poor Black Guy helped by Noble White Woman

White Hero's Sidekick (Comedic)

White Hero's Sidekick (Gets to have gun)

Historical White Guilt Figure

Inner City Saint Figure (drug addict)

Inner City Saint Figure (inspirational)

White Person's Magic Negro

The Black Voice of Enlightened Conscience

Angry Black Star (Modern non-Blaxploitation)

Angry Black Star on a Plane with Snakes


Which Denzel Washington Movies fit which Template?

Will Smith?

Samuel L. Jackson?

Morgan Freeman?

That Black Guy with the Sleepy Eye?


I am Laslo.

AReasonableMan said...

SeanF said...
Regardless, why would Adele's opinion carry any more weight than all the other music industry professionals who voted?


She is not senile.

Larvell said...

It must be tiring perpetually looking for insignificant things to be aggrieved about. Maybe someone should ask Lew Alcindor his views about cultural appropriation. Check your privilege, Lew.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

My favorite black gay thug was Omar Little.


Amadeus 48 said...

This post is my contribution to Black History Month.

We went to see "Hidden Figures" recently. It is a nice film "based on a real story" about three black, accomplished women who worked various spots in the NASA program in the 50s and 60s. I did a little research so I would know when and where the film veered off into fantasy. In essence, the film compressed roughly eight years into the year leading up to John Glenn's orbital trip. Characters were added to provide tension (why not have the white obstructionist supervisor look exactly like Pee Wee Herman?). But the women portrayed did have the achievements dramatized--it just occurred on a different and much longer timeline.

But to Althouse's point about too few black characters in Hollywood--I would recommend that anyone and everyone go see the movie because it fills in some of the blanks about the intellectual achievements of African Americans before the age of affirmative action and the soft bigotry of low expectations. These women in real life had the approximate achievements (allowing for dramatic license) set forth in the film, and they did it, I am sure, with a level of dignity and decorum that we have lost as a society since those days. America needs to fill in the gaps in our knowledge of our own history. Films like this, which have no extraordinary merit, help to do that.

It would be OK if Kellyanne Conway touted the film from the front porch of the White House.

Mike Sylwester said...

This helps me to understand how Socialist Realism was established as a mandatory genre in the arts in the Soviet Union.

Just as the Soviet government required artists to portray the politically loyal working class in a positive manner, US liberals now likewise require artists to portray politically loyal (Democrat voting) "marginalized people" in a positive manner.

On the other hand, just as capitalist remnants had to be portrayed as "wreckers" in the Soviet arts, so likewise White men must be portrayed as the wreckers in the USA's arts.

bagoh20 said...

I guess I missed the news that we made contact with aliens, because this guy must be from another planet. He isn't describing the culture in see everyday. For example: the so-called "marginalized" people are about as far from marginalized as you can get. Every TV show, movie, magazine, and newspaper seems unable to leave them out for a single day. When was the last time you got through a day without hearing about them and their struggle? If they were hats every celebrity, artist, writer, and politician would be wearing one, and competing to wear the biggest one.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"It must be tiring perpetually looking for insignificant things to be aggrieved about."

It actually seems to be invigorating and provides some sense of purpose or comradery, sorta like folks fussing about the war on Christmas.


Carry on.


Dude1394 said...

And all fathers are shown as wife-beaters and child molestors.

Get a new shtick Jabbar.

Dude1394 said...

""It must be tiring perpetually looking for insignificant things to be aggrieved about."

It actually seems to be invigorating and provides some sense of purpose or comradery, sorta like folks fussing about the war on Christmas.


Carry on.
"

It gives their privileged lives something to do.

buwaya said...

"White Person's Magic Negro"

A popular character. An easy cop-out for some movies, as its generally a minor role.

"Oh Brother Where Art Thou" (which I like a lot) had -

A Magic Negro
A Musical Sidekick without many speaking lines
A Greek (Black) Chorus

Considering the subject and setting, the black people seem to have been there mainly as part of the scenery.

William Chadwick said...

Don't know that much about jazz to comment, but I remember when Ayn Rand biographer and jazz enthusiast Chris Sciabarra commented in his blog about the Ken Burns miniseries "Jazz" that Burns seemed to be saying, "Black jazz artists are influenced by other Black jazz artists; but when Bhite jazz artists are influenced by Black jazz artists, they're ripping them off."

The Godfather said...

So if you follow Kareem's lead, you'd need to hire a white actor to play the jazz sell-out part, right? Tough for John Legend to lose the paycheck, but hey you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs. So who do you hire instead? I suggest Ben Stiller. He's Jewish, which would be perfect, because we all know that Jews are sell-outs just after the bucks, right Kareem?

Unknown said...

I want to see a truly radical film: One where we have some poor 12 year old kid (race doesn't matter, let's try black) and his 11 year old sister being abused and taken advantage of by some proud members of the UEA Teachers Union, with a gay teacher preying on the boy and another (Muslim) teacher preying on the girl, protected by the powerful interests of the local Democrat run union and CAIR.

They don't need any artistic license at all; just go find a few stories out of New York City.

Maybe at the end the powerful Democrats are defeated by a plucky young conservative teacher who starts a charter school or something. Of course, the abusers are not in jail because Democrats never, ever allow something like putting a gay or Muslim man in jail.

--Vance

Larvell said...

"this guy must be from another planet"

Hey, you drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes and see how human you feel.

Laslo Spatula said...

"A Musical Sidekick without many speaking lines" -- a musical variation of the White Hero's Sidekick (Comedic).

"A Greek (Black) Chorus" a group version of the Black Voice of Enlightened Conscience.

I am Laslo.

FullMoon said...

One legitimate complaint that marginalized people (women, people of color, Muslims, the LGBT community, etc.) have had about Hollywood in the past is that when they were portrayed, it was done in a negative way. The ditzy blonde, the Muslim terrorist, the gay predator are all familiar stereotypes from years of TV and movies.

Confirmation bias. He sees what he wants to see.

rhhardin said...

Character development only happens to white people.

The others are constant good.

Mike Sylwester said...

We have movie awards for Best Supporting Actor.

We could have also awards for Best Marginalized Actor.

This would be an easy fix, adding only few minutes to the awards show.

traditionalguy said...

Seven foot tall privilege.

gadfly said...

I think that I might have given more attention to a basketball legend turned movie critic if Lew Alcindor was the guy's name.

Paddy O said...

"Hey, you drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes and see how human you feel."

Roger, Roger.

Boxty said...

Blacks are over represented in pro sports despite its predominately white fan base. Whites have no problem watching blacks perform. Maybe blacks are great ball players but shitty actors?

LarsPorsena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAORE said...

" I know I'll be watching it again and again over the years, just as I'll be listening to the wonderful soundtrack. But every time I do, along with the immense joy, I'll have a tiny feeling of KA-J nagging."

JAORE said...

Last spring the Telegraph had an article about the 30 best Jazz films: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/jazz/the-best-jazz-movies-and-biopics/

I scrolled down and saw "High Society" with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra (minor role for Louis Armstrong). Never did explore all the others if that one made the list... Pretty sad compilation.

But I had placed it in a music bookmark, so there it is.

Bay Area Guy said...

Somewhere in the bowels of the DNC, there's some committee of Dems whose job it is to monitor the internet, and they are screaming at each other, "That Goddamn Althouse is yapping about Jazz, and Valentines and all sorts of trivial bullshit, while her fascist neanderthal commentators lap it all up -- doesn't she recognize that Trump is a public menace and must be stopped at all costs!"

tcrosse said...

Laslo - Excellent contribution to Black History Month, but you left out the Sidney Poitier whiter-than-white-folks oeuvre.

Andrew said...

It wasn't Ivy League blacks that preserved the roots of jazz in recordings, it was whites.

David Begley said...

Loved LA LA Land because it was so different from all of the other movies of today. I didn't realize there was a race component to it. John Legend had a great song.

rehajm said...

We could have also awards for Best Marginalized Actor.

This would be an easy fix, adding only few minutes to the awards show.


The Oscar for Best Marginalized Actor would be presented at the technical awards luncheon that's mentioned briefly on the prime time telecast.

The winner would be cropped out of the group photo.

buwaya said...

Sidney Poitier was from the Bahamas, so he may not actually count.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Odds are neither Kareem Abdul-Jabbar nor Ann Althouse has seen La La Land. I know I haven't. I am curious to see how Hollywood pulled off making a musical about jazz without making a jazz musical, but not curious enough to go to a movie theater. No one ever complains about the cultural appropriation of pop music, or show tunes.

Fernandinande said...

Z said...
Meanwhile, Black singers are now upset about Adele beating out Beyonce at the Grammys..."only 2 Black women have had best albums in 20 years".


Math is racist. Assuming one "best album" per year, that's about 50% more than would be expected by proportion of population: black women = about 6.5% of population, but get 10% of the "best albums".

buwaya said...

"Assuming one "best album" per year, that's about 50% more than would be expected by proportion of population: black women = about 6.5% of population, but get 10% of the "best albums"."

The proportion of black women singers in popular music is certainly > 6.5% of the relevant population.

Jim at said...

Lew Alcindor is a ninny.
His opinion means nothing. It never has.

Carol said...

ARM, I loved jazz from Miles Davis to John Coltrane.

Same here. But you can tell it's dead, because it "lives" in Academe.

It's pathetic how little of it is left. Just compare it to the big SWPL Bluegrass/Americana/Roots music festival fad right now. I mean how white can you get?

I blame Baby Boomers.

Jim at said...

"Except for the inconvenient fact that Adele thought Beyonce's album was better than her own."

Good gawd.

One person's opinion - even if it is the artist in question - does not make it a fact.

I swear. Some of you get more and more stupid by the hour.

JAORE said...

Would KA-J have written the review, would it have been published, with out a racism hook?

Or does KA-J regularly review flicks?

GRW3 said...

You can make tens of dollars in jazz so really good musicians often "sell out" to feed their families. Aficionados are often white guys with money to spare. The same thing happens in Bluegrass circles but the ethnic group is Scots Irish based so it doesn't afford any basis for outrage.

John said...

Blogger buwaya said...

Part of the problem is there are too few Filipino characters in Hollywood movies.


Note that Spanish people are wildly over-represented, mainly because of Antonio Banderas.



By Spanish, do you mean hispanic (Mexico, Argentina, Peru etc) or Spanish (from Spain)?

Why shouldn't Filipinos be counted as Hispanic for movie representation?

They are just as Hispanic (or un-Hispanic) as Argentines, Peruvians, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans etc.

No reason to give them their own category.

John Henry

Known Unknown said...

"Except for the inconvenient fact that Adele thought Beyonce's album was better than her own."

Maybe Adele should apply to be on the Grammy committee, then.

You know what? Solange Knowles's album is better than both Adele's and Beyonce's works. Not even nominated.

The Grammys are crap. They've been behind the curve forever. Elvis's first Grammy was a Gospel one in 1973. The Rolling Stones never won an actual Grammy. Bob Dylan? He "won" best album (along with a bunch of other people) for "The Concert for Bangladesh" in 1973. Didn't win again until 1980.

Amadeus 48 said...

I only pay attention to the classical Grammys, which never make the TV show. Who is Beyonce?

Robert Cook said...

Of course, the the really noticeable flaw about LA LA LAND is that the one composition by Gosling's "pure jazz" advocate character that is played several times throughout the movie is pure schmaltz and treacle. Jazz? Ha!

I thought the movie was fair to good, but what was good about it came pretty much entirely from Emma Stone.

buwaya said...

"By Spanish, do you mean hispanic (Mexico, Argentina, Peru etc) or Spanish (from Spain)?"

Spanish, from Spain, European Spaniards. Very few ever came to the US. This included two of my great-uncles who worked in the US from the 1920's as shepherds. But all in all, Spain, of all European countries, seems to have been the least represented in US immigration. You got more Swiss and Slovenes and Danes than Spaniards. Even the Basques in the US are disproportionately French Basques, not Spanish.

Spain is a different world vis-a-vis Hispanic countries.

Known Unknown said...

Wait, I thought the black guy empowered the white guy so he could own his own pure jazz club?

Maybe I need some Kareem-colored glasses.

Rabel said...

"Part of the problem is that there are too few black characters in Hollywood movies (not counting the movies that are specifically about black culture and history)."

The Media, Diversity, & Social Change (MDSC) Initiative at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism annually reviews diversity in movies. In 2015 they studied 800 films and reported that 12.2% of actors were Black. They also reported that there was no change in the percentage from 2007 to 2015.

The Census reports that Black or African Americans made up 12.6 percent of the US population in 2010. There doesn't seem to be a shortage of Black actors in movies. In fact it looks like casting directors are well aware of the census data and cast accordingly. Perhaps you're not watching the right films.

Rabel said...

"My Dinner With D'Andre" would be a good choice.

Sam L. said...

Ditzy blonde: I am reminded of an editorial in Astounding Science Fiction by John W. Campbell, entitled "Freedom For Dumb Blondes". As best I recall, he was pointing out that any character in a story did not represent all blondes, and should be taken as simply a part of the story. As I recall, that was in the early '60s, and maybe the late '50s.

William said...

The Big Bang Theory, Parks & Recreation, and Community are three of my favorite sitcoms. All three prominently feature an Indian in the cast. I have known a fair number of Indians. I was never particularly struck by their sense of humor. Are we creating a stereotype of Indian comic performers that many Indians will find it hard to live up to. I'd like to see more shows that feature Indians as the serial murderer rather than as just a comic presence.

William said...

I would say that Muslims commit about 95% of all terrorist acts in the world. Their representation in the movies is way below their real world participation.......If I have learned anything from watching movies it's that rogue CIA agents, South African businessmen, and neo Nazi groups are behind most incidents of mass murder.....When in doubt, make the villain a white male and give him an Anglo Saxon name to make doubly sure that no one is offended. In a way, that's a compliment. No one truly thinks that middle class, heterosexual white men are truly villains, unless they're Republican.

William said...

Hollywood used to use offensive stereotypes, but now they've gotten their act together. They're truly enlightened. You can believe everything they say about corporate types, Christians, and ante bellum white southerners.

Big Mike said...

@William, it would be really great if movies even portrayed CIA agents properly. The best agent is the one where the adversary counter-intelligence tell themselves that they are sure there were 30 people at the dinner, because there were 14 chairs on each side of the table and one at each end, but try as they might they can only account for 29 of them. If

buwaya said...

"The Big Bang Theory, Parks & Recreation, and Community are three of my favorite sitcoms. All three prominently feature an Indian in the cast. "

My favorite show is "Silicon Valley".
It has an Indian, and rightly so, for plausibility. They could probably use two or three more for realism vs their milieu. Big Bang Theory also absolutely needs an Indian. I don't know about the one they have however, and we quit watching that long ago.

buwaya said...

"William, it would be really great if movies even portrayed CIA agents properly. "

My experience (long ago of course) is that CIA agents abroad looked like the youngish expat wanker at the US multinational that never actually did anything.

William said...

We all know that the black guy has to be portrayed as the fine upstanding one. What the hell were these people thinking. Doubleplus ungood.

Big Mike said...

@buwaya, the fact that you could spot them means they weren't very good.

Jupiter said...

Jim at said...
"Lew Alcindor is a ninny. His opinion means nothing. It never has."

I will have you know that Mr. Alcindor used to be very skilled at a game involving bouncing and throwing a large ball. He could bounce the ball without looking! He could do it while running on a hardwood floor! He could throw the ball through a little ring with netting! Never doubt the sagacity of Mr. Alcindor. He went to a fine American college!

Clyde said...

Looks like Kareem picked the wrong week to quit smoking.

rcocean said...

"I will have you know that Mr. Alcindor used to be very skilled at a game involving bouncing and throwing a large ball. He could bounce the ball without looking! He could do it while running on a hardwood floor! He could throw the ball through a little ring with netting! Never doubt the sagacity of Mr. Alcindor. He went to a fine American college!"

LoL. To he honest Kareem's real talent was being 7/4 and being able to walk and chew and gum at the same time. That quibble aside, do we even know that Kareem wrote this? Or did his ghost writer, write it?

The Godfather said...

Sydney Poitier (the first Black mainstream movie star) said that he would consider that he had suceeded when he was able to play a villain. He played a villain in "The Long Ships" in 1964. If he played a villain in any movie after that, I don't remember it.

n.n said...

The double-edged scalpel of [class] diversity claims another naive colorful clump of cells.

M Jordan said...

Kareem is likely the best 7-foot tall African-American writer in the land. But he's still pretty terrible. He aims for the intellectual-who's-hip schtick but he's neither. He is 7 feet tall though. So give him that.

mtrobertslaw said...

Kareem seems to be worried about the disappearance of serious jazz like that of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Maybe he should train his sights on hip-hop and rap.