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The “Whiteout” of American Culture

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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 09:27 AM
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The “Whiteout” of American Culture
Last Sunday night’s Grammy awards offered non-whites an increasingly rare opportunity to be seen on a mainstream national entertainment show. With the ten Oscar-nominated films whiter than those in 1940, and scripted network and cable television shows as white as the days before I Spy, it seems that African-American entertainers are only visible when singing or playing sports. It’s even worse for Latinos.

Despite steadily rising population numbers, Latinos are virtually invisible in mainstream movies and television. Nor are they given voice on national or cable news shows, including the “leaning forward” MSNBC. A troubling feature of this racial “whiteout” is that movie and television industries are not run by Tea Partiers, but by the type of celebrity progressives who blog on the Huffington Post. While these entertainment leaders donate to Barack Obama, their “whiteout” of American culture promotes cultural ignorance and helps ensure that issues affecting minority communities – such as the plight of our 13 million undocumented immigrants or the hardships of inner-city unemployment-- stay ignored.

As census figures show the United States becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, those who fund mainstream culture in the United States are going in the opposite direction. Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott detailed the decline of African-American movie roles in the February 13 New York Times, noting that most of the Oscar-nominated films lacked even a remote connection to the lives of African-Americans.

But the world of scripted television series is no better. The standard situation comedy directed at twenty-somethings (i.e. Friends) is an all-white affair, and so-called “premium” cable is just as racially exclusive.
http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=8902
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Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 04:17 PM
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1. This article is spot on. Brilliant. And all too true
But I'm past the point of thinking that "mainstream" media (tv, film, magazines, books) creators care. They have proven time and time and time again that we aren't even an equation when putting together the next big thing in media.

And they can't even argue that black tv/films etc. don't do well as The Cosby Show comes on five times a week down here in freaking Australia 20 years after its last show on NBC. When one of the stations here played Boyz in the Hood recently, the response was so good they played it THREE MORE TIMES. And I'd pay money to be able to see In Living Color back on tv. But yet, I can seemingly count on one hand the number of black movies that have been made in the last 12 months and black tv shows and characters are even more scarce.

We are not even a factor. We will continue to be invisible. The NYTimes piece on this is fabulous too. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/movies/awardsseason/1...

P.S. The author sort of loses his mind at the end of the Beyond Chron article when he talks about the lack of black advisors and members of Obama's inner circle. Between Reggie Love, Valerie Jarrett, Desiree Robinson (even though she's no longer at the White House, there's no way in hell she's not still close to the Obamas after 20+ years of friendship), Susan Rice, Regina Benjamin, Eric Holder, etc. etc. etc. he loses the plot right there.
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Brewman_Jax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 09:21 AM
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2. Read the article
and, sad to say, there's nothing new. Outside of the record-breaking double-Oscars win of Halle Berry and Denzel Washington in 2001, not much has changed in Hollywood. Even the above-noted Oscar winning roles are Hollywood stereotypical, Denzel as a crooked cop and Halle as the victimized black woman that has to be "saved" by Y.T. IMO, they had better roles that were just as noteworthy in Malcolm X and Swordfish, respectively. As for Tyler Perry, a survey of the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com ) shows that the serious majority black cast films don't make the money, the Madea movies do.

It's discouraging that this article is still the same one that could been written anytime within the past the 40 years. :(
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