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Thu Feb 7, 2019, 06:46 AM

Who is going to tell C Thomas Howell his career is over once this pic hits the papers?

Last edited Thu Feb 7, 2019, 07:31 AM - Edit history (2)



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_Man_(film)

Soul Man is a 1986 American comedy film about a white man who temporarily darkens his skin in order to pretend to be black and qualify for a black-only scholarship at Harvard Law School. The film was directed by Steve Miner and stars C. Thomas Howell, Rae Dawn Chong, Arye Gross, James Earl Jones, Leslie Nielsen, James B. Sikking, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

<snip>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_Man_(film)#Controversy

Controversy
The film was widely criticized for featuring a Caucasian actor wearing blackface. When the film was released, some protests took place within the black community.

NAACP Chapter President Willis Edwards said in a statement at the time, "We certainly believe it is possible to use humor to reveal the ridiculousness of racism. However the unhumorous and quite seriously made plot point of Soul Man is that no black student could be found in all of Los Angeles who was academically qualified for a scholarship geared to blacks."

In defending the film, producer Steve Tisch said it was like Tootsie. "It used comedy as a device to expose sexual stereotyping. I think Soul Man uses it to explode racial stereotyping."

"It was only controversial because Spike Lee made a thing of it," said Rae Dawn Chong years later. "He'd never seen the movie and he just jumped all over it... He was just starting and pulling everything down in his wake. If you watch the movie, it's really making white people look stupid... It (the film) is adorable and it didn't deserve it,""

"I always tried to be an actor who was doing a part that was a character versus what I call 'blackting,' or playing my race, because I knew that I would fail because I was mixed," said Chong. "I was the black actor for sure, but I didn't lead with my epidermis, and that offended people like Spike Lee, I think. You're either militant or you're not and he decided to just attack. I've never forgiven him for that because it really hurt me. I didn't realize [at the time] that not pushing the afro-centric agenda was going to bite me. When you start to do well people start to say you're a Tom (as in Uncle Tom) because you're acceptable."

Spike Lee responded by saying, "In my film career, any comment or criticism has never been based on jealousy."

"A white man donning blackface is taboo," said C Thomas Howell. "Conversation over ó you can't win. But our intentions were pure: We wanted to make a funny movie that had a message about racism."

Howell later expanded:

Iím shocked at how truly harmless that movie is, and how the anti-racial message involved in it is so prevalent... This isnít a movie about blackface. This isnít a movie that should be considered irresponsible on any level... Itís very funny... It made me much more aware of the issues we face on a day-to-day basis, and it made me much more sensitive to racism... Itís an innocent movie, itís got innocent messages, and itís got some very, very deep messages. And I think the people that havenít seen it that judge it are horribly wrong. I think thatís more offensive than anything. Judging something you havenít seen is the worst thing you can really do. In fact, Soul Man sort of represents that all the way through. I think itís a really innocent movie with a very powerful message, and itís an important part of my life. Iím proud of the performance, and Iím proud of the people that were in it. A lot of people ask me today, ďCould that movie be made today?"... Robert Downey Jr. just did it in Tropic Thunder!... The difference is that he was just playing a character in Tropic Thunder, and there was no magnifying glass on racism, which is so prevalent in our country. I guess thatís what makes people more uncomfortable about Soul Man. But I think itís an important movie.

The film was seen by Ron and Nancy Reagan at Camp David.:"The Reagans enjoyed the film and especially enjoyed seeing their son Ron," a White House spokesman said at the time.


The point of my post is the year of release (1986 - two yrs after the alleged Northam pic was taken) and the contemporary criticism of it.

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Reply Who is going to tell C Thomas Howell his career is over once this pic hits the papers? (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Feb 7 OP
brooklynite Feb 7 #1
Dennis Donovan Feb 7 #2
SidDithers Feb 7 #3
Dennis Donovan Feb 7 #4
doompatrol39 Feb 7 #5
Dennis Donovan Feb 7 #6
doompatrol39 Feb 7 #10
Dennis Donovan Feb 7 #13
doompatrol39 Feb 7 #14
RandiFan1290 Feb 7 #7
doompatrol39 Feb 7 #9
RandiFan1290 Feb 7 #11
Kingofalldems Feb 7 #8
manor321 Feb 7 #12
Dennis Donovan Feb 7 #15
SidDithers Feb 7 #16
Dennis Donovan Feb 7 #17
uponit7771 Feb 7 #19
aidbo Feb 7 #18
theboss Feb 7 #20

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 07:10 AM

1. When Howell decides to run for public office, let us know.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 07:17 AM

2. You missed the point - it was about contemporary criticism of blackface in a movie

...contemporary to the time the alleged Northam pic was taken.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 07:19 AM

3. +1...

It really is that simple, isn't it.



Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 07:23 AM

4. You missed the point as well, Siddy...



On edit: I put the important part in bold...

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 07:28 AM

5. So our position now is that blackface is o.k.?

Just checking because that's pretty much what DU is leading me to believe based on the frequent number of posts that seem to be stating just that.

And for the record many of us found that movie offensive at the time as well.

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Response to doompatrol39 (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 07:30 AM

6. So did I, as did many others...

Do people read past subject lines anymore?

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 07:57 AM

10. I apologize if I misinterpreted...

..I did read the article. I remember this was a pretty big discussion at the time. I was still unclear whether this was a justification of Northam or a condemnation. Apologies if I got it wrong.

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Response to doompatrol39 (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 08:09 AM

13. Condemnation...

I bolded my opinion at the end.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 08:10 AM

14. Got it. Thanks.

Again, my apologies. There is a lot of obfuscation and spin going on here lately so it's getting really hard to parse where people are coming from sometimes.

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Response to doompatrol39 (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 07:32 AM

7. That is not "our' position

Welcome back to DU and nice try

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 07:56 AM

9. It's not mine....

....and I don't believe it's yours. But for far too many on here it seems it is.

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Response to doompatrol39 (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 08:00 AM

11. Take it up with them and don't try to pin it on 'DU' nt

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Response to doompatrol39 (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 07:41 AM

8. Interesting post.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 08:01 AM

12. Why do people keep bringing up irrelevant parodies in the world of entertainment?

I'm baffled why anyone thinks this is relevant.

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Response to manor321 (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 08:11 AM

15. It it clearly started in the body of the OP, bolded...

The point of the OP was that it shows a contemporary account of how "blackface" was viewed at the time of the alleged Northam pics. It was widely condemned.

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Response to manor321 (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 08:30 AM

16. Because they don't understand the issue...

The OP is trying to paint an equivalency where none exists.

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 10:13 AM

17. You clearly didn't read it, Siddy...

Read what I bolded, Sparky....

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 10:32 AM

19. See your point but there's too much in bold, highlight the important parts that get to the point

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 10:31 AM

18. They didn't miss your point, you just didn't make a good point.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 10:33 AM

20. His career basically did end then. That's a terrible movie.

Mainly because it took a somewhat interesting idea and turned it into a cartoon.

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