With a conversation in our culture focused on systematic racism and the treatment of blacks after the death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis police, some reassess the on-screen portrayals of racism in Hollywood.
And we must tell you that some of them have not aged well.
Partly because Taylor is a white man, who has been commissioned to lead a story about a pair of dark maids, Aibileen Clark (played by Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (played by Octavia Spencer), which takes place in Jackson , Mississippi during the civil rights movement.
These voices got louder after the movie hit theaters, as many complained that it focused more on the white character of Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (played by Emma Stone).
And while her performance earned Spencer Best Supporting Actress Oscar, Davis has since said that she regrets accepting the role.
“I just felt that at the end of the day, it wasn’t the maids’ voices that were heard,” Davis told The New York Times in 2018.
Earlier this week, Bryce Dallas Howard, who played Hilly Holbrook in “The Help,” suggested ten other films to consider to learn more about the history of racial inequality in the United States.
“The Legend of Bagger Vance” (2000)
Directed by Robert Redford and with Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron, “The Legend of Bagger Vance” has been criticized several times for advancing the “magical negro” trope.
The terminology was first popularized by black director Spike Lee and refers to Hollywood’s use of a black character to improve the lives of white characters.
In some cases, the black character has supernatural qualities, as is the case with the character of Smith in the film, the mysterious golf caddy, Bagger Vance.
“Black people lynch left and right, and [Bagger Vance is] more concerned with improving Matt Damon’s golf swing, “said Lee at a 2001 conference at Yale.
“Green Paper” (2018)
Critically acclaimed (it won a better picture, the best original screenplay and star Mahershala Ali won the best supporting Oscar), the film was also very controversial.
Located in 1962, Ali plays musician Dr. Donald Shirley opposite Viggo Mortensen as driver and bodyguard, Tony Vallelonga, in a dramatization of the pair’s real friendship.
Shirley’s family members have complained that the film was a “symphony of lies” in terms of his distant portrait of his family.
“It was very hurtful,” his nephew Edwin Shirley III told Shadow & Act. “It’s just 100% wrong. ”
It has also been criticized that the plot of the film helped advance the cinematic trope of the “white savior,” something the director and co-author of the film, Peter Farrelly, told Vanity Fair.
“These guys help each other,” said Farrelly. “Tony Lip takes Don Shirley out of some earthly problems, but Don Shirley saves Tony Lip’s soul. “
“Song of the South” (1946)
Disney + refused to release “Song of the South” as part of their classics with the streaming service that debuted.
The combination of the animated film and the live action offers what are now considered stereotypical and offensive representations of African Americans – ranging from the dialect of the black character to their submission to the white characters.
The plot centers on a boy named Johnny (played by Bobby Driscoll), who is educated and entertained by the lessons given to him by a former slave named Uncle Remus (narrated by James Baskett).
“Even the animated footage is not without controversy,” noted CinemaBlend. “One of Br’er Fox’s plans to capture Br’er Rabbit involves the use of a black tar golem which the fox calls a… baby tar. “