Friday, September 15, 2006

Hollywood's obsession with the Great White Criminal

Douglas MacKinnon:

Political correctness and the fear of offending, or worse yet, getting sued or picketed, is such, that you will no longer see blacks, Hispanics, most minorities, or even women for that matter, commit a fictional crime. No. Hollywood and the ad agencies have decided that criminal activity on film is now the sole domain of the “too successful for his own good” white male.

Think I’m exaggerating? Watch any commercial on television for any one of the home alarm companies. One hundred percent of the time, it’s always a white guy breaking into the home. In fact, there is one spot now running, where we see an upper-middle class African-American family in a panic as a burglar is trying to break into their home. And just who is this burglar? Why none other than that well known and ubiquitous, evil white male.

Don’t like that example. Okay. Instead, watch any of the commercials for any of the credit card companies that try to sell you a card to replace traveler checks. As the commercial plays out, you see that some low-life, former Enron-like executive white male, has, once again, ruined the vacation of mom, dad, muffy and skip as they tried desperately to enjoy Paris before it too, was torched by insurgents in training.

Still not convinced. Fine. Watch any sitcom or one hour drama on television. Almost without exception, every fictional crime being committed in all of these shows is being done by a white male. “Case closed, Monk. Sanitize your hands and let’s lock up the Caucasian.”

Think the big screen is different. Wrong. Most crimes that take place on the silver screen are committed by white men. Of course, just for a laugh, Hollywood will, on occasion, out due itself as it stretches the bounds of political correctness, by throwing a completely impossible scene of reverse stereotyping at the film fan.

Case in point, the movie “Falling Down” where the defense contractor, played by famous white guy Michael Douglas, completely snaps and starts shooting minorities. My favorite part of the movie is where he goes into a burger joint that is supposed to be in South Central L.A. and is served by none other than Dee Dee Pfeiffer. A whiter than white Valley girl working in a burger joint in South Central.

My wife, who is from South America, once asked, “Don’t Hispanics ever commit any crimes in your TV shows?” My answer was, “Rarely. They will commit marginally more crimes on TV than blacks, but only because Hollywood is more worried about Jesse Jackson coming after them than Edward James Olmos.”

Blond Bad Guys—Hollywood’s Other Obsession


At 10:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another example: the (albeit funny)Citibank identity theft commercials here in the States. The person whose credit card has been stolen is shown in his or her own environment, taking on the personnae of the identity thief. So you see a hulking beast guy speaking with a Valley Girl voice,etc. These commercials have run for two years now, and not once has the thief's voice ever been identifiable as a minority. It is always either an obviously white man or woman, although the victims are sometimes black.

Somewhat divergent but connected is the male, usually a white male, as the only safe stupid person in a commercial. Hubby is always an idiot. Dad is always an idiot. Mummy is infallible, unless she is pitted against her kids, and then she is the idiot. This trend has taken on an insidious twist relatively recently. One of my children is still quite young, so I see children's commercials frequently. Young white boys, usually with blonde hair, are now shown as being witless wonders when dealing with anyone else, be it a minority boy, or any girl.

As the article points out, this is being noticed more widely. I hope that eventually white male's irritation with being endlessly portrayaed as gormless dorks will start to affect advertisers and encourage them to knock it off, or at least spread the disdain around more evenly.

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Rosco said...

These commercials have run for two years now, and not once has the thief's voice ever been identifiable as a minority

I've noticed that too. It's as if they believe that minorities never commit these sort of crimes.


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