Film, media and Hollywood have shaped over the years how society views as the norm. They have dictated the way certain races or minority groups are portrayed. If it weren’t for people speaking out about injustices there would have never been a change in the film and media industry. Over decades African Americans have been oppressed and misrepresented in film. It has not only been African American’s but also women.
Defenders in the entertainment industry argue that those who continue to pin point the stereotypes in television and film are simply “exaggerating”. The characters portraying the groups are all fictional and have no impact in real life. For example, Soul Plane which was viewed as this African American movie showing them in the most stereotypical way. However, Chuck Wilson which was one of the script writers says it was nothing more than another Dumb and Dumber. Robert Mckee who is a creative writing coach says “they aren’t out here trying to change the world” (Mckee).
What we see in the movie is not what we see in real life. So does Hollywood really represent every ethnicity and stereotypes that the majority of the viewers agrees with? Stereotype creates more harm than good because they can influence so many minds. Even though we might find it funny and laugh that their strong accents or their strange culture, traditions, many Americans believe that Asians have an easy face because they get the best jobs and cars, but even this is a stereotype because not all Asians are having the best jobs or cars. Some Asian have the same struggles that many other races, face living in America being whitewashed in Hollywood.
When viewing any form of western media, it becomes quite obvious that there is a lack of representation of Asian Americans. If there is representation, it usually a one dimensional stereotypical character. There has especially been a lack of representation of Asian Americans in comedy. Therefore, there is gap in the analysis of Asian American comedy in academic literature. ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ is the second sitcom involving an Asian cast in America.
Growing up, I was constantly reminded that for whatever reason, Asians had it easy in America. Like somehow, professions in medicine and law were handed to us on silver platters because everyone expected us to become doctors and lawyers anyway. Of course, the multitude of Asian-Americans who do end up in these fields must have worked tirelessly to get there. But I often look back at my childhood thinking, “What if everyone had supported me becoming an actor in the same way they support future doctors?” My dream of working in entertainment was taken as joke, and growing up, I understood that I would have to work twice as hard to become successful in this field because people like me did not receive support in pursuing the arts.
Something that has been prevalent in our society for the past few decades is the image of racism; whether it be through social media, films or magazines. Unfortunately, the images we have witnessed regarding racism are very negative. These images often show the group who is being the victim of this behavior too often be at fault; almost saying that because they are a certain color or from a certain culture that they are set up for failure based on their actions. This is the case in the movie “The Help”, where viewers watch black women become domestic workers for white women in the southern states during the civil rights movements. With the help of theorist Stuart Hall and Michael Omi and Howard Winant, this essay will intend to show that Hollywood
Asian Americans were the first minority to appear on films. Their image changed from how Americans viewed them. The characters were flat, they did not have many characteristics or traits, they had a label and stuck to it. Asian American women in films were hard to take serious because of their lack of complexity. Sometimes they were cast by white actresses.
The American society has oppressed the black culture and society since the first slave was dragged onto American soil. Hollywood first embraced this oppressed image and depicted it on film. Early depictions of blacks on film (commonly played by whites in blackface) fulfilled the white stereotype of black society. As the American culture advanced, the image of blacks created on film was also altered. Blacks experienced a period of "whiteness" on film.
Portrayals of Racism in Films Racism can be described as discrimination directed against someone or a group of people of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior. As an ongoing issue throughout time, it has been represented in TV shows, films, literature, and art. Specifically, various films have portrayed racism through the oppression and segregation of African Americans. Films such as Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, A Bronx Tale, and Driving Miss Daisy depict the prejudices against African Americans in distinct and similar ways. To begin with, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner conveys the story of an African American man and a White woman, Dr. John Prentice and Joanna “Joey” Drayton, facing their parents and society for the first time as an interracial couple.
Moreover, lack of diversity of racial/ethnic minorities is evident in Hollywood film and Television. The hegemony of actors in film and television are white males followed by white females. Characters played by People of Colour often lack dimension, playing only stereotypical one-dimensional roles. As quoted by Erigha (2015), “Stereotypes portray groups in controlling ways, labelling some groups and their perspectives as socially normative and others as deviant, troubled, and problematic”. As a result ideologies of race and stereotypes are sustained, as there are limited positive representations that subvert negative portrayals due to the lack of diversity in film and television.