by Carmen Van Kerckhove Update: Lyonside totally called it. They just announced that Washington entered…
by guest contributor Rachel Sullivan, originally posted at Rachel’s Tavern
I saw this great post on the All Things Considered Blog about love scenes in the top grossing movies. The author, Steven Barnes, reviewed love scenes in the 350 films that have earned more than $100 million dollars. Barnes found that 50 of these movies had loves scenes, which he operationalizes as scenes that insinuate sex, but not one of those scenes included a male actor who was not white.
If you scan the same list for American films with non-white leads (again, there are about 50), you’ll find love scenes in zero percent. That’s right, zero. No blacks. No Latinos. No Asians. Hollywood makes such films; you can find them further down on the list. But America won’t watch them.
Barnes goes on to make an argument that I don’t agree with. He says that the problem is about “male territorial behavior,”
I’m convinced that the problem is not just “Hollywood executives.” They’re no better or worse than the rest of us. They simply try to keep track of what the audience wants and rejects, as measured by box office receipts.
And I don’t believe there’s something especially twisted or limited about the white majority. I think this little statistical blip has to do with human perception itself — and most specifically, male territorial behavior.
When confronted with this statistic, some people ask why I don’t count movies such as Will Smith’s delightful Hitch. Simple: There are no love scenes. Hugs and kisses don’t make babies. I suspect that it’s the depiction of specific reproductive behavior, even at a genteel When Harry Met Sally level, that triggers the most powerful negative response, especially in male alpha-warrior types.
This is where he and I part ways. This can’t just be reduced to male on male competition, and better analysis would incorporate the structures of race, gender, and sexuality.
I think one of the primary ways that groups are marginalized is through control of their sexuality. The control can be exercised directly through sexual violence (i.e. rape), forced breeding, and coercion. It can been done indirectly through stereotyping and erasure. I think one of the primary ways that Black, Asian, Latino, and American Indian sexuality is controlled today is through what Patricia Hill Collins calls controlling images. Popular movies, TV programs, music, and almost every other major form of popular culture contribute these controlling images when they avoid showing African Americans in intimate, loving relationships. Not only are people of color not shown in loving relationships, we also rarely see intimate family relationships. Read the Post Hey Hollywood, Black, Asian, and Latino Men Do Fall In Love!
by guest contributor HighJive, originally published at MultiCultClassics
“People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?”
That’s a tough question to answer, based on the last few weeks in the advertising industry.
Anheuser-Busch pulled the plug on its Bud Light campaign starring Zagar and Steve. Native American groups complained Zagar — who bears an uncanny resemblance to a Yanomamo tribesman — displayed stereotypical and racist characteristics.
An Ohio auto dealership sparked outrage by trying to air a radio commercial with blatantly anti-Muslim messaging. The announcer copy proclaimed the car seller was “declaring jihad on the automotive market.”
The Chicago Creative Awards sunk to new lows with Master of Ceremonies Tony Little, accompanied by two scantily-clad, large-breasted bimbos. The lecherous Little literally groped female award recipients when they stepped onto the stage. Next year, maybe the Chicago Creative Club will book Neil French to host.
CBS reality TV series “Survivor” segregated contestants by ethnicity, ultimately polarizing advertisers as well. After two episodes, the producers switched to a multicultural merging with no explanation.
Plus, a contender in Advertising Week’s annual icon contest is none other than Aunt Jemima.
The continuing diversity soap opera inspired plenty of ugliness too.
Advertising Age conducted a poll that showed 93 percent of respondents did not think the agreements signed by New York shops would solve the exclusivity problems.
Advertising Age followed through with a cynical editorial that stirred controversy when the iconic publication declared The Human Rights Commission is “asking the industry to lower its standards” by hiring minorities. Subsequent “clarifications” by AdAge were delivered with a bumbling incompetence reminiscent of the infamous Al Campanis perspective on Blacks in sports. Read the Post Racism in the advertising industry