Hollywood Profiles

by on June 5th, 2013
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Gone are the days of black face minstrel shows, Amos & Andy and ‘my name Jose Jimenez the Mexican astronaut’ but where have these racist caricatures gone? Examples of modern day stereotyping racial and otherwise in motion pictures aren’t hard to find. ‘ Plantation’ (anti-bellum southern American sexual racial ethics) politics and policies are alive and well in sunny Hollywood, California. Case in point: when was the last time you seen a black man make love to a white woman? White men bedding African-American females in the entertainment industry are as ordinary as Pay-for-View television.

If you’ve been watching the Super Bowl for the past few years I’m sure you must have seen the TV commercial sponsored by a famous foreign furniture manufacture. Their Super Bowl commercial had a young white male literally throw a young Black woman on her back on to a small table. The couple simulated the sex act! The commercial’s ‘message’ was for viewers to buy their tables.

Think I’m joking? Reader, take a serious look at many films that feature African-American actors. Black actors no matter how talented are generally depicted as clowns, being highly sexed, sports jocks, ruled by domineering man-hating females, and are career criminals. These films focus on perceived negative attributes of the African-American community primarily Black men. Blacks watch movies that have too many pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers, single parent homes with fathers in jail, dead, Gay or getting high. Have you seen any Black movies lately that dealt with horror, science fiction, or contain serious intellectual content? They exist but are few and far between.

What about Black films that really made you think? The film noir genre, save for a few Spike Lee movies or films featuring prominent African-American actors has been largely absent from Hollywood. Is Hollywood simply afraid of generating controversy that will make viewers realize that being Black is not about basketball, sex, swearing, criminality, or drug abuse?

Movies about Latinos seem to fare little better. Many directors, producers, and directors continue to cast Latino in subservient roles. They seem to ignore the fact that hit television program ‘Desperate Housewives’ star Latino actors.

Cinematic giant Orson Wells’ 1958 landmark masterpiece ‘Touch of Evil’ that stared Mexican policeman (Charlton Heston) with white wife (Janet Leigh) is still considered a sexual taboo breaker even by today’s film standards.

If you think that Hollywood is only hard on racial groups then think again. The movie makers tend to make certain religious groups their ‘special targets.’ Movies that negatively portray the Catholic Church are another Hollywood staple though becoming less and less thanks to the vigilance of such anti-defamation groups like Catholic League for Religious and Civil rights. This organization is doing a splendid job of going after Hollywood types who defame the Catholic Church.

Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Films and Samuel Goldwyn respectively purchased the movie rights of The Magdalene Sisters and The Crime of Father Amaro both movies viciously unjustly attacked Catholicism. Catholic League president William Donohue commented that, ‘Harvey Weinstein of Miramax is known for such anti-Catholic movies as ‘Priest,’ ‘Butcher Boy,’ ‘Dogma,’ and ’40 Days and 40 Nights.’ Now he has added the Venice Golden Lion winner ‘The Magdalene Sisters.’ “This film is based on the allegedly cruel behavior of Irish nuns who maintained homes for wayward young girls and their babies in the 19th and 20th centuries. To be sure, conditions were harsh by today’s standards but they were not uncommon in their day: historians have recounted how Protestant-run institutions were similar. Moreover, in the absence of government agencies to address this problem, those girls who were left to fend for themselves were consigned to failure.

‘But such verities are of no interest to director Peter Mullan. “Listen to Mullan’s vintage anti-Catholicism: ‘There is not much difference between the Catholic Church and the Taliban'; ‘The film encapsulates everything that is bad about the Catholic Church'; ‘The worst thing about the Catholic Church is that it imprisons your soul, your mind and your d–k.’ No wonder a leading European arts critic compared Mullan’s work to that of Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler’s favorite director. Yet none of this fazes Weinstein-the same man who postponed the opening of ‘Gangs of New York’ from a year ago because of his ‘sensitivity’ to New Yorkers (it features violence and was scheduled to open after 9-11).”

‘Meyer Gottlieb and Daniel Birman Ripstein have bought ‘The Crime of Father Amaro’ for Samuel Goldwyn Films. It is a fictional account about a priest who impregnates a 16-year-old and features an old woman who feeds the Eucharist (Holy Communion) to her cat! Gottlieb can say all he wants how the movie ‘deals with issues that are topical': it would be just as topical to portray Muslims as thugs, yet no one in Hollywood would dare do so. Catholics should take note: this is Hollywood’s 9-11 gift to us?”‘

Italians are routinely portrayed as soulless Mafiosi’s. In Steven Spielberg’s Shark’s Tale, an animated flick geared for children, the gangster sharks all have Italian accents and names. In the movies China Girl, the entire Godfather trilogy, and so many other so-called Hollywood ‘classics’ Italians are lambasted mercilessly. Since most Italians are Roman Catholic Hollywood gets to berate two groups for the ‘price’ of one.

Overweight persons (The Nutty Professor), Protestant fundamentalists, Catholics, and Italians Americans are among the very few groups that Hollywood can stereotype and slur without paying the consequences. Only two groups remain untouchable are Muslims and Jews though with the former group things are changing in view of the growing militant Islamic fascism.

Regarding sex, according to Los Angeles Times writer Howard Rosenberg, ‘TV has been teaching the American public since the 1940s. Movies, however, have been providing informal sex education since the turn of the century. But what have movies taught about minority teen relationships?

‘Seldom have movies seriously explored minority love. But they certainly have exploited minorities, particularly in the realm of interracial sex. Three minority teenage stock figures have become dominant in the Hollywood sexual pantheon.’

According to the same source this trend started during the silent film era. In those days is was common for pretty Mexican and Native American women to curry favor from young white pioneer men and cowboys in exchange for sexual favors. Nowadays it’s still common to see young minority women in film act as sex providers for young white males undergoing their so-called sexual rites of passage. You never see young minority males on the prowl in search of young white females for sex.

On television shows that have interaction between young African-American men and white women the Black male is either Gay, a ‘good friend’ to white females with nothing sexual going on between them, or if they are married or dating they never kiss and sexual intercourse is a definite ‘no-no.’ Case in point: In the 1978 hit movie Grease star John Travolta sows his ‘wild oats’ with the beautiful ‘Cha-Cha’ character before settling down with white female star Olivia Newton-John. Reverse the gender and the two stars become sexually dangerous.

Speaking about the silent film era the then popular films, ‘The Greaser’ film series and D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film classic ‘Birth of a Nation,’ both depict minority men as sexual predators lusting after white female flesh. Griffith took so much ‘heat’ with Birth of a Nation that a year later he made his film Intolerance that attempted to refute some of what his earlier film preached to mostly white audiences.

In the modern era the film 1983 Bad Boys Esai Morales rapes the Ally Sheedy character. The examples I’ve listed can be viewed as a recent example of minorities being manipulate by Hollywood by casting them in to aforementioned sexual predators lusting after white females.

With radical Islam succeeding where the Soviet communists have failed, trying to hold the globe hostage, Arabs have suffered from Hollywood’s incessant stereotyping. Jack Shaheen says that, ‘For years moviegoers have been offered stereotypical images of the Arab. The stereotype provides myths and misperceptions which then to influence public opinion and limit the formulation of a successful policy in the Middle East.

‘The Arab male is portrayed as a contemptible character – cowardly, primitive, ignorant, cruel, vicious, lecherous and, often, fabulously wealthy. An Arab woman is a sensuous belly dancer, whore, terrorist or a veiled, silent appendage to her husband.

‘Filmmakers too often dip into their script bags for the “Instant Arab Kit.” For women, it contains belly dancers’ outfits and veils; for men, it consists of kuffiyahs, flowing robes, sunglasses, scimitars, limousines and camels. Oil wells, sand dunes and souks set the scene.’ Only the Jewish community has hereto appeared to have remained largely unscathed by Hollywood minority witch hunts.

Hollywood is basically a ‘closed shop’ in which industry ‘outsiders’ and submitted works deemed too original in concept are unwelcome. The same holds true for stage, books, and screenplays that depict religious figures in a favorable light are routinely rejected upon submission.

What can viewers do to stop Hollywood’s wrongful stereotyping? This writer would like to make these recommendations:

· Boycott offensive movies. · Write strong letters of protest to offending studio executives and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). · Offended racial and ethnic groups should protest to through their own civil rights organizations (NAACP, Italian-American Civil Rights League, National Council of La Raza, etc.). · Push for legislation that would place spurious movies under the same statutes at the Civil Rights Act of 1964. · Tech savvy religious people should develop their own internet service over the World Wide Web. · Television stations example being Mother Angelica’s world famous EWTN network that fosters a positive approach to religion (Catholicism) should we widely supported by like minded people.

The big shot executives that own and operate the film and television industries are about making money. If you don’t like what someone is selling, don’t buy the product.

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