I'm kind of on the fence about this as well. I think it's important to note that he's not playing a black guy per se, he's playing a white guy playing a black guy...which seems like a kind of silly distinction, but in this case I think it's significant. It seems that they are lampooning and satarizing blackface--and Hollywood in general--more than they are taking part in blackface. I don't think we're talking C. Thomas Howell in Soul Man here.
That said, however; these instances of blackface as satire or parody seem to be becoming more prevalent and I think they serve, somewhat, to desensitize people to the white-person-in-black-face-paint phenomenon, which I don't really like to see. I think even when something is done with good intentions, you can't ignore or forget the history that it comes out of. I don't think it's necessarily a good thing for us to take the taboo off of blackface even when done in decent taste because it's a short step from decent taste to really, really bad taste. My fear is that something like this could lead to a bunch of "Hey, Robert Downey Jr. did it in a movie, why can't I do it for Halloween?" idiots.
But at least this is generating discussion and making us think, which is antithetical to the history of blackface, which was to not think. Generally speaking, blackface audiences didn't think critically about or consider the impact or consequences of what they were watching, they simply confirmed awful stereotypes and reduced serious, painful, real struggles to knee-slappers.
This is a "smart" community, very learned. I would say that the majority here know what Blackface is. I would say that calling this Blackface is a stretch and takes it out of context. Make-up looks awesome. Doesn't seem offensive me. However, I'm not the best judge since I am not exactly PC.
Maine has a good swing for a pitcher but on anything that moves, he has no chance. And if it's a fastball, it has to be up in the zone. Basically, the pitcher has to hit his bat. - Mike Pelfrey
Amazinz wrote:This is a "smart" community, very learned. I would say that the majority here know what Blackface is. I would say that calling this Blackface is a stretch and takes it out of context. Make-up looks awesome. Doesn't seem offensive me. However, I'm not the best judge since I am not exactly PC.
I will agree that there is a component of the Cafe that is very smart, and who most certainly know what black face is and what it was. There is also a component that has no idea what it is, or what it meant to race relations.
It was to the second component that my statement was directed.
This is why I am on the fence in regards to this topic. I think their is no malicious intent on the part of the filmmakers and crew. With that said, this may lead to an undesirable outcome for future lines to be crossed. If they open the door to this topic, all it does is allow someone who likes to push the edge of the envelope to exploit it in a negative manner. How long before someone to try and make a name for themselves by taking this a step further and turning it into a racial mockery.
I've learned through my fiance who comes from Dutch heritage (mother born in Holland) that they have a tradition during Christmas involving a black elf (I believe it's an elf, but I could be wrong). There is a Dutch store that both her and her mother would shop at when she was younger. During Christmas, they would hire a white person with black face paint walk around the store talking to the customers and handing out candy and such. I was shocked when I heard this. I don't think things like that set a good example towards our children and impressionable people in general. It creates a mockery out of a person, solely on their skin tone.
To echo Art's thoughts, it scares me to think that kids will be walking the streets come October 31st in black face paint going as a "black man or woman". I'm afraid all this may do is come off as ignorant and minimize the history of African Americans in this country, which can be classified as very prideful.
You have no frame of reference, Donny. You're like a child who walks into the middle of a movie...
Curious, but I've seen Eddie Murphy play white parts and female parts while fully in costume for the role. How is this different?
Yes doctor, I am sick. Sick of those who are spineless. Sick of those who feel self-entitled. Sick of those who are hypocrites. Yes doctor, an army is forming. Yes doctor, there will be a war. Yes doctor, there will be blood.....