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Sat Feb 2, 2019, 11:06 PM

trading places -- dan akyroyd in blackface

trading places has always been one of my favorite movies. certainly it's my all-time favorite movie *title*, as it's a clever play on words.

comedy aside, it plays with stereotypes of race and class as dan akyroyd plays the extremely privileged rich white guy on wall street while eddie murphy plays the black street grifter. until some older over-privileged white guys decide to engineer a swap of these two lives for the sake of a wager on the outcome.

all very interesting and good entertainment.

but then there's this:





in the context of recent discussions on du, i'm not sure what to make of it. dan akyroyd was obviously overplaying the stereotype here, but then, that is what actors generally do in hollywood comedies. both hollywood and comedy tend to lean heavily on stereotypes and tend to overplay them. put them together and the result is predictable.

does the context help?
the fact that it's a movie?
the fact that it's a comedy?
the fact that a black man is right beside him going along with the bit (hell, he might well have written the whole bit)?
or should we think the scene was meant more to make fun of the implicit racism in the target (beeks)?


i don't know, more questions than answers, sorry to say.

one thing i think, is that if this movie were to be remade today, they would likely rethink that particular scene....

18 replies, 1760 views

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Response to unblock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 11:18 PM

1. Its a movie

Fiction. You can't blame actors for the characters they play in movies.

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Response to jcgoldie (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 11:23 PM

3. I disagree, but then, if it's wrong, who should we blame?

If a blackface in a movie is wrong, is it only the writer who is to blame? The producer? The director?

As for the actor, they can certainly turn down roles or refuse to play certain scenes.

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Response to unblock (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 08:04 PM

15. what if they played hitler?

Doesnt someone have to?

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Response to jcgoldie (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 08:36 PM

16. *if* it's wrong, then I count the actor as among those

Who shoulder the blame.

I'm not saying it's always wrong, e.g., to play hitler.

I'm just saying the *if* a certain role or scene or costume or makeup is offensive, then the actor can't get away with saying hey, I was just reading a script and doing what the director told me to do.

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Response to unblock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 11:22 PM

2. Also, he wasn't using it in place of hiring another actor

How long ago was Tropic Thunder made?

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 11:25 PM

4. Yes, and he needed to be in *a* disguise. But not *that* disguise.

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Response to unblock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 11:27 PM

5. It's a derivative movie.

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Response to unblock (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 11:56 PM

7. Unrelated, but in the cargo car of this train Al Franken was accompanying a gorilla

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Response to question everything (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 12:51 AM

9. A gorilla that ended up being part of a rape joke.

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Response to unblock (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 12:22 AM

8. This is getting ridiculous

I guess it shouldn't be surprising that there's a coterie of people who fall into the category of IOKIYAD

You should realize that, in both Trading Places and Silver Streak, the "blackface" actor was trying to disguise themselves by trying to imitate their co-actor, and failing miserably. The stereotype is the joke. (And neither movie had a klansman.)

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Response to unblock (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 02:50 AM

10. Mary Poppins is branded racist by US academic over famous rooftop scene

‘Her face gets covered with soot, but instead of wiping it off, she gamely powders her nose and cheeks and gets even blacker.’








https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6661605/Mary-Poppins-branded-racist-academic-blacking-iconic-sweeps-rooftop-scene.html

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Response to unblock (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 06:10 AM

11. Dan should resign from political office.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 06:53 AM

14. Retroactively take away Akroyd's career

burn his films. Make sure he never makes another movie again.

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Response to unblock (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 06:30 AM

12. Merry New Year!

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Response to unblock (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 06:42 AM

13. what about eddie murphy's white face?

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Response to pansypoo53219 (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 10:57 PM

17. This is starting to sound like the racial draft on Chapelle.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 5, 2019, 04:57 PM

18. i know i am white. but i think the past is past. WHO IS HE NOW?

halloween in VA.

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