VPAB07 Racial Stereotypes through Hollywood Films

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VPAB07 Equity and Diversity in Arts Organizations
University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)

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VPAB07 Racial Stereotypes through Hollywood Films

  1. 1. Racial Stereotypes Through Hollywood Films
  2. 2. The Middle East
  3. 3. All Arabs Are Muslims All Muslims Are Arabs
  4. 4. Negative Stereotypes <ul><li>“ The cultural other” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The new bad guy” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Savage” (romantic savages)” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Evil doers“ </li></ul><ul><li>“ Desert nigger” / </li></ul><ul><li>“ sand nigger” </li></ul>
  5. 6. Positive Stereotypes (?) <ul><li>The Kingdom of Heaven </li></ul><ul><li>Syriana </li></ul><ul><li>Enough </li></ul><ul><li>Lion of the Dessert </li></ul>
  6. 7. “ Arab men desire American women” (Cairo Time)
  7. 8. According to Said, Orientalism (at least the Orientalism associated with Islam and the Middle East) rests on four general assumptions. First,Orientalism is based on &quot;an imaginative and yet drastically polarized geography dividing the world into two unequal parts, the larger, ’different’ one called the Orient, the other, also known as ’our’ world, called the Occident or the West”. Consequently, the Orient has been regarded, “as if it were one monolithic thing”,which, furthermore, has been associated with, “a very special hostility and fear”.  This has resulted in a binary analytical approach that reduces the diversity of the Middle East to, “a special malevolent and unthinking essence. Instead of analysis and understanding as a result, there can be for the most part only the crudest form of us-versus-them”. Finally, as a consequence of this essentializing approach, Orientalism is marked by a tendency to leap from &quot;abstraction to a hugely complex reality”. (The Middle East As Narrative Space, Cultural Stereotype in Hollywood and Art Cinema. The Danish Institute of Damascus.)
  8. 9. THE “BROWN” RACE
  9. 10. SINGHSONS <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10hThCCJCBI </li></ul>
  10. 11. THE “BROWN” RACE <ul><li>“ Brown” is often the general term used to describe </li></ul><ul><li>the category of South Asian races </li></ul><ul><li>Although there are several countries who make </li></ul><ul><li>up part of this geographic area, most notably Indians </li></ul><ul><li>are stereotyped </li></ul><ul><li>Indians are the “comic relief” for dominant white </li></ul><ul><li>culture, including ridiculing other countries such </li></ul><ul><li>as Sri Lanka or Bangladesh </li></ul><ul><li>The following clips are examples of such stereotyping </li></ul><ul><li>in Hollywood films, mainly produced by the dominant </li></ul><ul><li>White society </li></ul>
  11. 12. VAN WILDER CLIPS <ul><li>1) Van Wilder (The Assistant) </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =A8dmSsObmkM </li></ul><ul><li>2) Van Wilder (Family) </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =l7B8ZiS6u5g </li></ul>
  12. 13. VAN WILDER CLIPS <ul><li>Their culture is ridiculed and set apart from the dominant American culture </li></ul><ul><li>Indian culture becomes a spectacle for amusement/entertainment purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Subservience of minority races to the cause of superior Whites </li></ul><ul><li>(Colonial Tendency- “The White Man’s Burden”) </li></ul>
  13. 14. BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM <ul><li>Trailer – Family scenes </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsmbObwStSQ </li></ul>
  14. 15. BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM TRAILER <ul><li>Emphasizes the overarching patriarchal structure of Indian people, stereotypes it, and imposes it on the characters </li></ul><ul><li>Again, Indian people are portrayed to be culturally backward, as compared to western sensibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot escape the illusion of typical Indians – scene with commentator shows dominant culture dumbstruck if Browns do not fit into their stereotype </li></ul>
  15. 16. HAROLD AND KUMAR CLIPS <ul><li>Airport scene </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =ivd0oXr5f-g&NR=1 </li></ul><ul><li>Airplane Terrorist Scene </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =SFhzFRoiM3Q&feature=related </li></ul><ul><li>Parent interrogation </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =zIaQ8kSQi2M&feature=related </li></ul>
  16. 17. HAROLD AND KUMAR CLIPS <ul><li>Stereotyped as naive and backward </li></ul><ul><li>Indians/Browns always act as comic relief in movies – never taken serious </li></ul><ul><li>Categorised as an inferior race, much like Arabs </li></ul><ul><li>Americans are shown as superior race, assume to better understand the foreign culture than those in it </li></ul>
  17. 18. CONCLUSION <ul><li>We have found that the “Brown race” is consistently stereotyped in Hollywood films </li></ul><ul><li>Significantly, the Indian race is the one that has the burden forced on itself, including that of all other South Asian countries, which in the end fuse into one generalised category </li></ul><ul><li>Race acts as “comic relief” for white Hollywood audience – never to be taken seriously </li></ul><ul><li>Notion of the savage entering the civilized world – need help from dominant culture to survive </li></ul>
  18. 19. Asian Stereotypes Exploring Chinese and Japanese stereotypes in Hollywood movies
  19. 20. Asian Stereotypes <ul><li>Stereotypes serve no purpose other than to degrade another human being and shouldn't be propagated for any reason </li></ul><ul><li>The Asian stereotypes we focused on are Chinese and Japanese </li></ul>
  20. 21. Japanese <ul><li>Japanese people are all workaholics </li></ul><ul><li>Most people (men) are wealthy because they work 24/7 </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese women are subservient to men and make the best wives </li></ul><ul><li>Good at self defence – Karate </li></ul><ul><li>Protective of their families </li></ul>
  21. 22. Karate Kid (Japanese) <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aYl7N0JPWs </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese Vs Americans </li></ul><ul><li>Through the teaching, Daniel learns not only karate, but also important life lessons, such as the importance of balance, reflected by the belief that martial arts training is as much about training the spirit as the body </li></ul><ul><li>Use karate for self defence – prove when fighting in the scenes </li></ul>
  22. 23. Chinese <ul><li>Tai Kong Dao </li></ul><ul><li>Kung Fu </li></ul><ul><li>Chinese people cannot drive – assumption by others </li></ul><ul><li>Asians are smart (esp in math) </li></ul><ul><li>Asians have small eyes compare to other cultures </li></ul>
  23. 24. Shanghai Noon (Chinese) <ul><li>http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =vX-drupmEZ4&feature=related </li></ul><ul><li>Jackie Chan (is an imperial guard of China) + Kung Fu </li></ul><ul><li>is a juxtaposition of a western with a Jackie Chan kung fu action movie with extended martial arts sequences </li></ul><ul><li>involves two men of different personalities and ethnicities (a Chinese imperial guard and a Western outlaw) </li></ul><ul><li>Title (a pun on the Gary Cooper classic ( High Noon) </li></ul>

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