Whiteness in Hollywood Films The Depiction of Whiteness in Hollywood      From classic to modern times: 1. White Women vs....
•Difficulty to understandwhiteness?•Whiteness is not perceived as adistinctive racial identity•Therefore, most white Ameri...
 The modern concept of race and the notion of  whiteness were invented during the period of  European colonization of the...
White Women vs. Black Women/Men Gone with the Wind in early 1930’s The movie represents U.S. history (the Civil War)  an...
Gone with the WindWhite Woman -Scarlett   Black Woman -Mammy
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner             (1960) The images of African Americans have changed  very significantly from tho...
Mythic Superhero Heroic white self as a type of “messiah” figure for  people of colour, who saves them from misfortune H...
Indiana Jones: The White Messiah    Defeats Evil Religion (1984) The main character represents the mythic white  American...
Ninja Assassin (2009) Mythic superhero as Asian This shows the change of taste for audience that the role of white peopl...
Black and White Buddies:          Men in Black and the new                 immigrants http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvEl...
Men in Black and the new              immigrants The movie is thus an allegory about the new, “exotic” immigration to the...
The Authoritarian Assumptions of            Men in Black The movie seems acceptable because it  introduces the white-blac...
Conclusion The depiction of whiteness in Hollywood movies  that has been changed over the past decades Engagement in div...
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VPAB07 Whiteness in Hollywood Films

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

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VPAB07 Whiteness in Hollywood Films

  1. 1. Whiteness in Hollywood Films The Depiction of Whiteness in Hollywood From classic to modern times: 1. White Women vs. Black Women and Men 2. White male as superhero 3. White and Black buddies Jinny C
  2. 2. •Difficulty to understandwhiteness?•Whiteness is not perceived as adistinctive racial identity•Therefore, most white Americanseither do not think of their“whiteness” or think of it as neutral•White self-representation showsby interacting with people ofanother colour•“White does not have a colouruntil a person of colour entersthe room.”
  3. 3.  The modern concept of race and the notion of whiteness were invented during the period of European colonization of the Americas and African The key element to understanding racial thinking in Hollywood and in much of the world today is white superiority
  4. 4. White Women vs. Black Women/Men Gone with the Wind in early 1930’s The movie represents U.S. history (the Civil War) and U.S. racial relations are supposed to be about, from a white perspective Racist Film  white=heroes / black=stereotyped as loyal servants or mammies The position white women occupy over black men as well as black women http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0hTvKgsKsY& feature=related
  5. 5. Gone with the WindWhite Woman -Scarlett Black Woman -Mammy
  6. 6. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1960) The images of African Americans have changed very significantly from those of Gone with the Wind More Hollywood movies accept the image of intelligence, seriousness, and commitment for African Americans image Pressures of African American and other civil rights protestors for racial discrimination in the America since the 1950s
  7. 7. Mythic Superhero Heroic white self as a type of “messiah” figure for people of colour, who saves them from misfortune He finds himself by self-sacrifice to liberate the natives The messiah is marked by charisma, the extraordinary quality that legitimizes his role as leader in the foreign population http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy6hIJZS7oI&f eature=related
  8. 8. Indiana Jones: The White Messiah Defeats Evil Religion (1984) The main character represents the mythic white American hero, with doctorates in linguistics or archaeology respecting other cultures By knowing languages, he can communicate with the natives Most important, this fictional character is kind, fearless to risk his life for people of an oppressed race, the polar opposite of real-life colonial masters
  9. 9. Ninja Assassin (2009) Mythic superhero as Asian This shows the change of taste for audience that the role of white people can be not the protagonist, but also others
  10. 10. Black and White Buddies: Men in Black and the new immigrants http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvElfpgfLpc&featur e=related The opening scene is intended to neutralize the notion that the movie is anti-immigrant The U.S. Immigration Service stops a truck in the South Western desert and uncovers a group of Mexicans hiding in the back The MiB arrive and take charge, taking aside one large Mexican man for questioning  exposed as a hideous alien, hiding inside another! Whereas the MiB agent K speaks Spanish and is kind to the Mexicans, whom he welcomes to the United State, he kills the evil alien when it attacks
  11. 11. Men in Black and the new immigrants The movie is thus an allegory about the new, “exotic” immigration to the United States from Latin America and Asia and our need to distinguish between “good” immigrants- those who can assimilate into American society- and “evil” ones- those who are supposedly inassimilable, criminals, or terrorists
  12. 12. The Authoritarian Assumptions of Men in Black The movie seems acceptable because it introduces the white-black partnership that at the end, the white agent is replaced by the black man However, he still works under the largely white male organization Therefore, “Men in Black” could be seen as J is simply the black man who is inextricable from his race and serves the white male organization
  13. 13. Conclusion The depiction of whiteness in Hollywood movies that has been changed over the past decades Engagement in diversity through classic to modern Hollywood Not only the representation of white self image has been changed, but also the expectation of audience for white people has been changed too The growing American minority population and the non-white world will pressure Hollywood to be more inclusive and respectful in its racial and ethnic representations

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