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    riseofthemoose asked
    Ok but with the impossible, first of all the area where the tsunami hit was in a HUGE tourist location, as in thousands of tourists were in the city when it hit, a lot of them white. Also, they chose to follow the story of that particular family bc of the seemingly impossible miracles that brought a family together after surviving one of the most devastating events in history, they didn't do it bc they're white. I know white washing is a huge problem, but this movie isn't a good example of it

    beaniebum asked
    Can we PLEASE talk about Hours, the new Paul Walker movie? I love Paul Walker (R.I.P.) but really...a movie about Hurricane Katrina and the main character is a white man? It could have so easily starred a black actor which would have been MUCH more realistic. And I know there are white people in New Orleans, but COME ON. The city is almost 70 percent Black. I just saw the trailer and got really angry and thought I'd share.

    Answer:

    This is one of those situations where the whole “If the main character could be a white dude then it probably will be, but if the main character could be a person of color, then it probably won’t be” Hollywood trope comes in.    Especially in tragedy movies.

    Sure, a movie about the genocide in Tibet could feature a Tibetan main character, but let’s make the character a white guy.   Want to make a movie about the Indian Ocean tsunami set in Thailand?   Sure, the family the story follows could be a Thai family, but why do that when you can feature European tourists (and anglicize them, to boot)?  Want to tell a story about the Rape of Nanking?   We could focus on the women, white and Chinese, in Nanking at the time of the mayhem, or we could make up a completely made up white man and make the movie about him!  

    Because white folks were there, too!   Sure, they weren’t the ones who bore the brunt of these tragedies—not the ones facing genocide, not their cultures or homes or countries being systemically destroyed.   But a non-zero amount of them were there, so that’s accurate.  

    And  you can always find opportunities to plug them in—even if you have to make up a white male character—because they could have been there.   That’s why when Hollywood wanted to adapt the story of Chong Kim—an Asian American trafficking survivor—they wanted to create a heroic white male rescuer to save the woman who, in real life, saved herself.  

    So if you want to make a movie about this huge natural disaster and how the mismanagement of it was one of the most egregious examples of institutionalized racism in modern American history, sure, you could make it about some of the real people who were affected by the double whammy of natural disaster and systemic racism.

    Or you could create a completely fabricated story starring a completely fabricated white dude character.  After all, many of the people impacted by Hurricane Katrina were white.   And you can bet that if a movie is made about it, it will be a story about someone who looks like them.  Even if Hollywood has to make one up.

Reblogged from 2brwngrls  4,011 notes

In a lot of ways Piper was my Trojan Horse. You’re not going to go into a network and sell a show on really fascinating tales of black women, and Latina women, and old women and criminals. But if you take this white girl, this sort of fish out of water, and you follow her in, you can then expand your world and tell all of those other stories. But it’s a hard sell to just go in and try to sell those stories initially. The girl next door, the cool blonde, is a very easy access point, and it’s relatable for a lot of audiences and a lot of networks looking for a certain demographic. It’s useful.

By

Jenji Kohan, showrunner of “Orange is the New Black” on stories about privileged white women and criminality. (via racebending)

This is really, really sad. 

(via 2brwngrls)

Reblogging this post to add an editorial from The Nation by Aura Bogado: White is the New White. An important read. Bogado writes:

Slave narratives became most fashionable among abolitionist circles in the mid-nineteenth century. These narratives remain deeply powerful, yet each one is framed by a white introduction, which authenticates the black experience. The white practice of verifying the lives of black fugitives who were skillfully plotting their own liberation has changed in circumstance and in medium—but the role of white people at its center has not. Today, its latest manifestation is playing out in the Netflix hit series, Orange Is the New Black.

…As a bestselling author who’s sold the rights to stories of women that aren’t even hers, [Piper Kerman has] profited from the criminalization of black and brown women who are disproportionately targeted for prison cages.

…I will acknowledge that Orange Is the New Black has created a credible role for a trans black woman, played by Laverne Cox, an actual trans black woman. And I can’t deny that the series has created a payroll for many actors of color. But again, just like the practice 150 years ago during the height of the slave narrative era, those experiences are first authenticated by a white person—in this case, a white woman whose prison stint can never be a substitute for the violence institutionally carried out against women of color in the criminal justice system.

Hollywood eventually came calling. Kim was approached by various writers and producers who wanted to adapt her story, frequently inserting male characters in savior roles.

“They wanted to keep the Asian girl,” Kim recounts, “but have someone like Russell Crowe or Johnny Depp to play an undercover cop or a customer and go after these people, and he meets Eden and he’s so captivated. First of all, I never had a love story like that …” Kim begins.

Chung chimes in, “I love how men love to romanticize being a customer and then falling in love and rescuing the girl. It’s like, that shit never happens. Noble guys don’t go to brothels.”

By

An excerpt from KoreAM magazine’s interview of Chong Kim and actress Jamie Chung. Jamie Chung stars in “Eden,” a film based on Chong Kim’s experiences as an Asian American teen who was sold into a sex ring. When Hollywood grew attracted to Kim’s true story, producers wanted to insert a white male savior figure.

Thankfully, “Eden” was made independently with a meaty role for an Asian American actress still intact. The film has earned accolades at SXSW and has found international distribution…but has not managed to find a movie studio to support distributing it in the United States.

Reblogged from jedifreac  109 notes

jedifreac:

I (who is Asian American) have been having this frustrating and longstanding debate with my boyfriend (who is white) about Danny Rand aka Marvel’s superhero the Iron Fist.  This argument comes up every time there are rumors about a Heroes for Hire movie or more recently with Ultimate Spider-man (featuring Iron Fist and Luke Cage, too.)

Here is my (admittedly biased) recap of Iron Fist’s origin story: 

Wendell Rand “discovered” the mystical city of K’un-L’un when he was exploring the Himalayas as a young man.  (Well, technically the people living in K’un-Lun ‘discovered’ it first, but it only counted when Rand discovered it, I guess, thanks Marvel.)  

After he saved the life of Lord Tuan, the ruler of K’un-L’un (what is with the apostrophes?), Lord Tuan adopted Wendell as his adopted son.  Wendell had to contend with Lord Tuan’s jealous biological son, Davos, who was not happy with this interloper.

Wendell eventually decided to leave K’un-L’un, go back to New York City, and marry a wealthy socialite, Heather Duncan.  (Wendell and Duncan are both white Americans.)  They had a son, Daniel “Danny” Rand

When Danny was around 10, his dad decided to visit K’un-L’un.  During the mountain climb, Danny slipped and he and his parents end up hanging off a cliff held up only by their gear.  One of the members of their party (Wendell’s business partner and secretly in love with Danny’s mom) decides to ensure that Wendell dies during this accident.  Danny’s mom, not down with what happened, decides that she and Danny will journey on alone; she is eaten by wolves, Danny is rescuted by the people of the mystical hidden city of K’un L’un. 

True to the mighty whitey trope, Danny is the most gifted student of the martial arts in K’un L’un ever.  After killing a big serpent and plunging his hands into its heart he becomes the 66th Iron Fist (a generational mantle conferred on the champion of K’un L’un, like the “Avatar” from the Avatar: The Last Airbender series.)  

Essentially, like Snake Eyes from GI-Joe, both generations of Rands (the sole white guy who is completely new to the culture) easily surpass the (Asian) K’un L’un residents who have been spending their entire lives developing their talent, like eventual supervillain Davos the Steel Serpent.

Danny returns to New York where he has a lot of money (think Bruce Wayne) from his parent’s company, Rand International.  He eventually works with Luke Cage and starts to date Misty Knight.

The debate with my boyfriend argument goes like this:   I argue that the story would be sooo much better and more compelling and diverse and less “culturally appropriative” if Danny Rand were hapa or Asian American…actually related to or even from Kun Lun.  My boyfriend argues that this would fundamentally change the story of Iron Fist in a way that is different from black Nick Fury or black Heimdall, doorman to the Asgardians, and that it would make Iron Fist simply a rip off of Shang-Chi The Master of Kung Fu

Here’s my head canon for an “Ultimates” Danny Rand, though…and one that I hope comes to be if there is ever a Marvel Heroes for Hire movie.  It’s my attempt to maintain some of the generic fish-out of the water stuff that would come into play with a white Iron Fist while avoiding some of the crappy “resentful Asians can’t handle white man being better than them at stuff” villain motivations.

[The images are of Irish/Chinese actor John Foo]

Daniel “Danny” Rand is the Asian American son of millionaires Wendell (a white American) and Heather (an Asian American immigrant) Rand of Rand International.  Before becoming CEO of Rand International, rich playboy Wendell explored the world and almost perished while scaling the Himalayan Mountains.  There he discovered K’un L’un, a hidden city deep in the Himalayas (not in random dimensional space world) and started to learn more about the people who lived there.  In this head-canon, K’un L’un is hidden for political reasons.

It was there that he met “Heather” (insert generic Asian-ish Marvel name, I guess) who is the daughter of one of the leaders of K’un L’un and also one of the best martial artists of K’un L’un.  Eventually, Heather and Wendell fall in love and they decide to move back to the United States, in part because of the turbulent situation in Kun Lun.  Together, Wendell and Heather build Rand Industries and they have a son, Daniel.  

Young Danny studies martial arts with his mother and other teachers.  He grows up learning about her homeland and learning the language from her and other refugees.  However, like many Asian parents who have fled from a war torn homeland, Heather is reluctant to bring Danny to visit Kun Lun and Wendell defers to her wishes.  Eventually, they decide to charter a small plane out of Hong Kong, but this plane is sabotaged by a rival company (none of this fighting over ownership of Danny’s mom bullshit) and crashes.  

Danny is the sole survivor and taken in by the people of Kun Lun.  While he is a competent martial artist, it is because he has studied martial arts his entire life under the best teachers with all the money in the world.  While the other students resent him, it is not strictly because he is “white” or better than them but because he thinks he is better than them and is clueless about the amount of privilege he has as a millionaire and American, etc.

It’s late and I’m running out of steam so maybe I’ll expand on this tomorrow.  I know I would find it exceedingly hilarious, though, if in this alternate universe Davos really was instead the “mighty whitey” trope, as in, he was a white guy with this savior mentality (think Invisible Children/KONY) who stumbled upon Kun Lun and then expected to be the best at everything, and his grudge was based on that instead.

What do you think?  Is there a way to salvage Iron Fist?  Because I think it’s a damn shame that one of the most Asian-ish heroes in the Marvel pantheon is actually just another white American 1%er.  And honestly, who’s heard of poor Shang-Chi.