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Reblogged from oldfilmsflicker  4,688 notes
oldfilmsflicker:


In Jonah from Tonga (a 6 part ‘mockumentary’ tv series to be shown on HBO) the main character, Jonah, is a criminal teenage Australian boy of Tongan roots. There are several areas of serious concern with this series.First, Jonah is played by a Caucasian, 39-year-old Australian in brown face make-up and a curly haired wig. Brownface in 2014, really?Second, Jonah is clearly identified as ‘Tongan’. The name of the show is Jonah from Tonga. The series starts in ‘Tonga’. The logo is a caricature of of a ‘Tiki’ carving. Etc. We get it. You want us to think it’s about a Tongan. And for Americans, most of whom have little previous knowledge about Tonga, this series will shape the way they think about the nation, its culture, and its people. So what will they learn?1. All the teenage ‘Tongan’ boys shown in the series are low achievers, gang members, or in jail. The school’s high achievers are Caucasians.2. Much of the ‘comedy’ is derived from this blackface/brownfaced ‘Tongan’ character’s acts of violence, sexual aggression, ignorance and profanity. This is problematic not only because of the show’s astounding inherent racism, but because much of his behavior is deeply counter to Tongan culture. He swears at his sister and his father. He is extremely disrespectful to teachers. He makes sexual edvances on his cousin. He is sexually suggestive to his Aunt and a Nun. And much, much more. All this is deeply offensive in Tongan culture. Tonga is a devoutly religious country, very family-oriented, with one of the highest PhD rates per capital. None of this is reflected in Jonah from Tonga.3. In another nod to the racism of minstrel shows, Jonah’s only saving talent is presented as dancing, and his brother’s as singing.4. The excuse given for all this is ‘lighten up, it’s only comedy’. First, even reviewers who liked it thought it was not that funny. A typicalreview is: “the documentary truth of the situation and the people seems more important than the laughs here” (Julia Raeside, The Guardian). Which captures the problem  — many viewers will assume there is a ‘documentary truth’ in the series that teaches them something about Tonga. And it will be equally unfunny when a Tongan boy, already doing his best to fit in an American high school, gets taunted with a variation of ‘Hey Jonah - show us your dXXk tattoo!’Tonga is a loyal friend of the US. It has troops in Afganistan, large, devout communities in Salt Lake City, academics in US higher education,  and players in major US sports teams. This show drives a wedge in that relationship. And for what?  The only saving grace is that Jonah from Tonga was a ratings disaster in Australia and the UK.Young Tongans have been taking to Change.org, Facebook and Twitter (#MyNameIsNOTJonah) to try to get the message out that they are not like Jonah. They are listing academic achievements, work in the community, the fact that they have no criminal record. They shouldn’t have to. Please HBO, Mr. Lilley, Ms. Brunt and Ms. Waters, please don’t slander a whole nation and sacrifice the future of young Tongans for the sake of this series. It WILL affect them.We, the undersigned, ask you to please do the right thing and pullJonah from Tonga from the schedule. It won’t cost you that much but running it will cost Tonga, and Tongans a lot, for years to come.

Petition | Please pull Jonah from Tonga from HBO | Change.org

oldfilmsflicker:

In Jonah from Tonga (a 6 part ‘mockumentary’ tv series to be shown on HBO) the main character, Jonah, is a criminal teenage Australian boy of Tongan roots. There are several areas of serious concern with this series.

First, Jonah is played by a Caucasian, 39-year-old Australian in brown face make-up and a curly haired wig. Brownface in 2014, really?

Second, Jonah is clearly identified as ‘Tongan’. The name of the show is Jonah from Tonga. The series starts in ‘Tonga’. The logo is a caricature of of a ‘Tiki’ carving. Etc. We get it. You want us to think it’s about a Tongan. And for Americans, most of whom have little previous knowledge about Tonga, this series will shape the way they think about the nation, its culture, and its people. So what will they learn?

1. All the teenage ‘Tongan’ boys shown in the series are low achievers, gang members, or in jail. The school’s high achievers are Caucasians.

2. Much of the ‘comedy’ is derived from this blackface/brownfaced ‘Tongan’ character’s acts of violence, sexual aggression, ignorance and profanity. This is problematic not only because of the show’s astounding inherent racism, but because much of his behavior is deeply counter to Tongan culture. He swears at his sister and his father. He is extremely disrespectful to teachers. He makes sexual edvances on his cousin. He is sexually suggestive to his Aunt and a Nun. And much, much more. All this is deeply offensive in Tongan culture. Tonga is a devoutly religious country, very family-oriented, with one of the highest PhD rates per capital. None of this is reflected in Jonah from Tonga.

3. In another nod to the racism of minstrel shows, Jonah’s only saving talent is presented as dancing, and his brother’s as singing.

4. The excuse given for all this is ‘lighten up, it’s only comedy’. First, even reviewers who liked it thought it was not that funny. A typicalreview is: “the documentary truth of the situation and the people seems more important than the laughs here” (Julia Raeside, The Guardian). Which captures the problem  — many viewers will assume there is a ‘documentary truth’ in the series that teaches them something about Tonga. And it will be equally unfunny when a Tongan boy, already doing his best to fit in an American high school, gets taunted with a variation of ‘Hey Jonah - show us your dXXk tattoo!’

Tonga is a loyal friend of the US. It has troops in Afganistan, large, devout communities in Salt Lake City, academics in US higher education,  and players in major US sports teams. This show drives a wedge in that relationship. And for what?  The only saving grace is that Jonah from Tonga was a ratings disaster in Australia and the UK.

Young Tongans have been taking to Change.orgFacebook and Twitter (#MyNameIsNOTJonah) to try to get the message out that they are not like Jonah. They are listing academic achievements, work in the community, the fact that they have no criminal record. They shouldn’t have to. Please HBO, Mr. Lilley, Ms. Brunt and Ms. Waters, please don’t slander a whole nation and sacrifice the future of young Tongans for the sake of this series. It WILL affect them.

We, the undersigned, ask you to please do the right thing and pullJonah from Tonga from the schedule. It won’t cost you that much but running it will cost Tonga, and Tongans a lot, for years to come.

Petition | Please pull Jonah from Tonga from HBO | Change.org

Chris Lilley

thatalienatedblackgirl:

I remember first being introduced to Chris Lilley via his show Summer Heights High on HBO. I loved it and thought it was funny. So when his new show, Angry Boys, was announced I was ecstatic.

Finally, a show that was funny and different. But all that changed when I saw this 30-something year old white Australian man not only in blackface, but yellowface.

Even though I knew what black and yellowface were and that they had long racist pasts, none of that clicked in my mind while I watched Angry Boys. My mind didn’t put two and two together—that a white man in brown make up donning an Afro wig and appropriating AAVE playing as a wannabe rapper and that same white man in a black wig speaking tight, broken English playing as a Japanese woman who was trying to make money off her son by saying he was gay (he wasn’t)—meant that he was a disgusting human being.

For whatever reason I never saw him as racist. I felt very uncomfortable whenever these two characters showed up on screen, but I couldn’t place where these feelings were coming from. That uneasiness, that discomfort.

One could say it was because of my age. I think I was barely in high school at the time these shows were on but that still doesn’t make any sense. For one, I’m black. I think I should know what’s racist and what isn’t. Yet oddly enough I couldn’t. For some strange reason I could not.

It’s not until now that I’m 17 that I can see racism (and sexism, for I am a girl) from a 10 mile radius. I can now see all the blatant racist, homophobia, and sexism in Lilley’s shows that was staring back at me 3 years ago as if from now open eyes.

So when I discovered that Jonah from Tonga was a new show where Lilley was going to star as another character from his previous series Summer Heights High via Wikipedia with the description of

"The mockumentary series follows Jonah Takalua, a rebellious 14-year-old Australian boy of Tongan descent (played by 39 year old Caucasian Chris Lilley in brownface make-up and a curly wig) who was previously seen in Lilley’s series Summer Heights High.

[…]

The series was called “racist”,
[8] “creepy”[9] and “dreadful”[10] and spawned an online protest movement by young Tongans concerned at how Lilley’s inaccurate portrayal might affect their communities and futures.” (X)

I realized how deeply ingrained his racism was in his so-called “comedy.” It pulled back S.mouse and Jen Okazaki from Angry Boys and Jonah Takalua and those racist moments with Ja’mie from Summer Heights High.

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I now know that I cannot watch another one of his shows. I cannot support a man—a white man—in any way that is making money off of being a complete and utter racist when there are so many other ways to be even slightly “funny.”

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Reblogged from raptorific  1,343 notes
    Anonymous asked
    Wait wait wait, Jar Jar Binks is annoying, but I've never heard people say he's racist. I'm not disagreeing, I just want to know how he's supposed to be racist.

    Answer:

    raptorific:

    chimalpahin-sama:

    raptorific:

    When I was a child, I read a Boondocks strip starring Jar Jar Binks. Unsure of what the joke was, because the strip had him talking exactly like he did in the movie, I asked my father. He explained that the joke was that many people viewed Jar Jar Binks as a racist stereotype. I was very confused and asked him what he meant. 

    The next day, my dad sat me down and had me watch a movie starring Stepin Fetchit, as well as an episode of Amos n Andy, and several blackface minstrel performances. The common thread in all of them was that at least one character had an identical voice, identical body language, and near-identical mannerisms to Jar Jar Binks.

    Some of them even added “-sa” as a suffix to seemingly random words. When I asked my dad why they kept doing that, my dad told me to notice who they were talking to when they said “yessa” or “nosa” or “mesa” or “yousa.” As it turns out, they only seemed to do this when talking to a white man, and they weren’t saying “-sa,” they were saying “sir.”

    I wish I could find the clips my dad showed me again, because they’re pretty damning, but all I can do is give you the Boondocks strip that originally piqued my interest by combining blackface minstrels’ mannerisms with Jar Jar’s mannerisms and demonstrating that they are indistinguishable from one another:

    Note: Both George Lucas and Ahmed Best, the actor who played Jar Jar Binks have claimed Jar Jar isn’t a racist caricature. On a related note, George Lucas and Ahmed Best are capable of being wrong.

    Yeah I doubt he intended it but intent here is subsumed by the result

    It may have been unconsciously racist, but it was not coincidentally racist. The odds that George Lucas independently invented a character that is identical to a blackface stock character are about the same that someone would write a song that is word-for-word and note-for-note identical to Bohemian Rhapsody without ever having heard it. 

    Like, even if we assume that it was totally unintentional, the best-case scenario is that they heard Bohemian Rhapsody, forgot it, and then unwittingly pulled it from their subconscious, believing it to be an original composition, and the worst-case is that they were jut hoping nobody would notice their song is just Bohemian Rhapsody.

Reblogged from wocinsolidarity  732 notes

wocinsolidarity:

Campaign shows effects of ‘subtle racism’ on Indigenous Aussies

black-australia:

Thirty seven per cent of respondents said they thought Indigenous Australians were “sometimes a bit lazy” and one in five said they would move away if an Indigenous Australian sat near them.” 

But racism doesn’t exist in Australia, right? 

Reblogged from thisisnotlatinx  1,854 notes

thisisnotlatino:

Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire A Black Actor Unless The Role Calls For One

So, you know Woody Allen, of course. The filmmaker who’s seemingly been a critics’ darling, since the early 70’s; Your typical liberal New Yorker, who also loves to play jazz. But there’s that one thing though. You know what I’m talking about. That one thing that’s been whispered about, or even loudly discussed, ever since Allen’s started writing and directing his own films. And that thing is, the fact that you never see black people in his movies.

And considering that most of his films have been set in New York, one of the most racially diverse cities on the entire planet, how is it that black people are virtually non-existent in his films?

Well that’s not entirely true. There have been a few exceptions. There was Sonia Rolland playing Josephine Baker in “Midnight in Paris,” although she was basically relegated to the background, as an extra with no lines. And there was Hazelle Goodman in his 1997 film “Deconstructing Harry,” playing… take a guess, a prostitute but of course.

And that’s about as much as I can come up with.

So what’s the problem? Why hasn’t Allen had black actors in his films?

Well, he was just recently asked that question in a profile about him, in the New York Observer (HERE). When asked why black actors haven’t appeared in his films, the writer of the piece states that Allen was “horrified” when the subject was brought up.

But Allen has his reasons. It’s very simple. According to the filmmaker: “Not unless I write a story that requires it. You don’t hire people based on race. You hire people based on who is correct for the part. The implication is that I’m deliberately not hiring black actors, which is stupid. I cast only what’s right for the part. Race, friendship means nothing to me except who is right for the part.”

O.K. you want to run that by me again. Talk about contradictory. He doesn’t hire a black actor unless the story requires it but at the same time he doesn’t hire based on race. HUH? I’ve read it a few times already and still doesn’t make sense.

But not to fear because Allen is friends with both Chris Rock, who he once took out to dinner in Rome and Spike Lee “I’m friendly with Spike Lee. We don’t socialize, but I don’t socialize with anyone.” There’s a punchline: “I don’t have white friends either.”

Oh that Woody. Always good for a laugh.

So what do you say about this or you really don’t care? Or is Allen really being upfront and honest about how many filmmakers think. That is unless the part actually calls for a black or POC actor it’s not even on their wavelength. That should not be really surprise anyone should it?

The message is basically if you’re a black actor don’t bother showing up at any casting calls for Allen’s movie. But hey, Tyler is still hiring.


Slime ball.
-m

Reblogged from xo-xtina  422 notes

xo-xtina:

The protest demonstrations against The Mikado are over, but the work is not. I am relieved that I can take a break from hostile, misinformed, racist white folks.

Some of the comments said to us by audience members:

- I’m wrong.
- I shouldn’t be so sensitive.
- I’m too late. And I should have brought this to the attention of director and production staff.
- To go back to back to where I come from
- To get something better to do
- We support what you’re doing (but walk into theatre to watch show)
- Asked if I believe in diversity, because this is it.
- I’m an idiot.
- I need an education.
- You just don’t get British satire
- That I’m mispronouncing the name wrong. And we should learn how to spell.
- Yellowface isn’t racist. I’m fact, their faces aren’t painted yellow.
- I’m British. I should be offended, not you.

Seattle may seem liberal and progressive to white liberal progressives, but the struggle is real for people of color. While we stood there with our signs and flyers trying to share our perspective, hostility and disrespectful comments were hurled at us from fellow Seattleites.

Not everyone acted this way, but those who did, said their antagonizing comment and walked away. It was so hard to not engage back through anger.

Damn. I really love Seattle, but this is so not ok. Yellowface is not ok. And the negative and stereotypical portrayal of any community of color is wrong. Seattle is showing it’s true colors.

thank you for taking a stand against this racist production.

Reblogged from seattlish  398 notes

The problem, it seems, is actually the blinders—the inability to engage meaningfully in the conversation. According to the white fragility model, because white folks have the choice to move through the world not thinking about race very often, our race-thinking muscles atrophy and we (unless we consciously do some hard work thinking about these things) can collapse under the slightest weight when it comes to talking about it. We start to sputter, and get defensive, and become angrily dismissive instead of staying calm and talking it out in a sensible way.

By

Brendan Kiley’s piece on the Slog is a really good summarization of the whole Mikado/racist theater situation and the unbelievably problematic response. 

Seattle is a city with a race problem — and white liberals denying it isn’t making it go away. 

It’s like we’ve said before — even if you don’t see it as offensive, that doesn’t mean it didn’t offend someone, thus making it offensive. 

Our motto, with this and all situations like it: Just say you’re sorry and try to learn something, rather than doing mental backflips trying to rationalize why someone else’s offense at your action was the wrong response. 

ALSO — and here is a sentence I never thought I’d ever, ever type — go read the Yelp reviews. For the first time possibly ever in the history of that godforsaken website, they’re actually really insightful. 

(via seattlish)

I can’t accept that. I can’t accept that there was only one black woman in the entire film, who delivered one line and who we never saw again. I can’t accept that the bad guys were Asian and that although in [Taiwan], Lucy’s roommate says, “I mean, who speaks Chinese? I don’t speak Chinese!” I can’t accept that in Hercules, which I also saw this weekend, there were no people of color except for Dwayne Johnson himself and his mixed-race wife, whose skin was almost alabaster. I can’t accept that she got maybe two lines and was then murdered. I can’t accept that the “primitive tribe” in Hercules consisted of dark-haired men painted heavily, blackish green, to give their skin (head-to-toe) a darker appearance, so the audience could easily differentiate between good and bad guys by the white vs. dark skin. I can’t accept that during the previews, Exodus: Gods and Kings, a story about Moses leading the Israelite slaves out of Egypt, where not a single person of color is represented, casts Sigourney Weaver and Joel Edgerton to play Egyptians. I can’t accept that in the preview for Kingsman: The Secret Service, which takes place in London, features a cast of white boys and not a single person of Indian descent, which make up the largest non-white ethnic group in London. I can’t accept that in stories about the end of the world and the apocalypse, that somehow only white people survive. I can’t accept that while my daily life is filled with black and brown women, they are completely absent, erased, when I look at a TV or movie screen.

By Olivia Cole - Lucy: Why I’m Tired of Seeing White People on the Big Screen (via whatwhiteswillneverknow)