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What Hollywood Keeps Getting Wrong About Race

What Hollywood Keeps Getting Wrong About Race

Update: 2019-02-2672
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Three decades ago, the highest honor at the Academy Awards was given to a movie about a white passenger learning to love her black chauffeur. Sunday night, the same award was given to a film about a white chauffeur learning to love his black passenger. We look at Hollywood’s obsession with fantasies of racial reconciliation. Guest: Wesley Morris, a critic at large for The New York Times and a host of the podcast “Still Processing.” For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

Comments (13)

Carly Tillotson

You hit the nail on the head with this one. " Do the right thing" and movies like it focus on the effects of racial infrastructure. To really be able to understand any cause requires transparency of the social construct. The attempt to end racism or shed light on the subject is never from the black persons view. The black person is not equal in the film. The message is the same. To a black person it says that no matter what, you will never be fully equal. We can be friends, but never bridge the world gap on racism. That message is true. Apology is fine and dandy, but when it comes to an artist who is trying to effect the same change from a black perspective, it isn't safe enough. Hollywood won't recognize that change to an audience who doesn't want to feel ashamed for it, moreso apologetic. The message in these films are spot on in regards to matched society. Spike Lee speaks from a raw perspective that the country refuses to tackle. Black film makers are on the rise and that is the light being shed on Hollywood, not second class maids, drivers, corrupt cops, drug dealers, bastards, or basketball players. If you can't understand that sentiment, then you will keep saying that it's just about a black winning an award for being black.

Feb 28th
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Rick Wagner

the media tries so hard to attack itself. at least Hollywood is trying to help send a message that racism is wrong. No movie will ever be the perfect solution to end racism but are we really relying on movies to save us? That's crazy! Hollywood isn't perfect but compared to other institutions it has done so much to help fight racism. Roots, 12 years a slave, boys in the hood, the list is endless. Is Hollywood perfect? nope but are they a business or a fix for society's ills? I'm very liberal but it angers me when we try and attack our own. the movie the toy was not racist! The book the Help was simply to show how awful black life was in the south. yes the book might have got some blacks fired so should we keep things the same so they can keep their jobs? This argument is crazy. If white people wrote a story about black people it must be wrong? This kind of thinking only hurts the people that try to help but are always told they should have done more. that's so easy to say from someone that has never done a thing.

Feb 26th
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Marek Milczarek

Wesley Morris is an idiot. Movies, especially comedies are meant to entertain. Not change the world and get rid of racism. He just wanted a "black" movie to win.

Feb 26th
Reply

Rick Wagner

Alex Mercedes I do think people are afraid to criticize movies that are made and have a large cast of POC. I think.k it's great that we are giving everyone a chance and I'm very progressive but we can't go to far. we need to focus on race but when we focus on it to much we cause harm. It's so complicated and just saying this as a white person is uncomfortable because it's as if I'm not allowed to have an.option on this. racism hurts my country and I hate it so I do get to have an option on it but if I critique too hard I'm racist and being called that is maybe the worst insult I could get and so not true

Apr 17th
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Marek Milczarek

Brittany Marie No kidding. This is supposed to be an award show for quality of movie, not quality of political correctness.

Feb 28th
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What Hollywood Keeps Getting Wrong About Race

What Hollywood Keeps Getting Wrong About Race