8.31.2008

same old summer movies

Here's another great piece by John Ridley for NPR, on the pathetic state of minority representation in Hollywood, particularly in this summer's big movies: Minorities Get Little Respect On The Big Screen. He brings up the small role Asians had in the voices of Kung Fu Panda, Mike Meyers doing the Hindu/Indian stereotype thing, and Jennifer Hudson fetching Carrie's coffee on Sex and the City. And of course, there's this great part about The Incredible Hulk:
Yes, there was Will Smith as a superhero. An alcoholic, abusive, foul-mouthed superhero. And, yes, there was redemption at the end of Hancock, but the path was so coarse as to be unsuitable for my kids to watch. So, the only hero of color they saw this summer was The Incredible Hulk. Which, by the way, why does a movie with nary a minority in it have to end with the Hulk destroying Harlem?

Honestly, this summer's offerings couldn't have been any more offensive if they released the director's cut of Birth of a Nation. On Blu-ray.

Out of 36 films put into wide release between May 2 and Aug. 22, only four had any minorities in leading roles.
Four minorities in leading roles. Okay, this isn't telling us anything new. We're lucky if we see four wide releases with Asians in leading roles in the course of an entire year. Even then, it's usually some combination of Jackie Chan, Jet Li and/or Chow Yun Fat. But it's a good commentary, so check it out.