In another class I am currently taking, we discussed the racial controversy surrounding the soon-to-be-released Star Wars movie. We watched this clip from the Daily Show.

To me, the claims of the dissenters seem so absurd, so ignorant, so blindly hateful, saying that this movie is “anti-white” or has a “sinister multicultural agenda.” The Hollywood industry’s constant stream of commodified, white-washed media never ceases to amaze me, and yet, here we have an example of a movie that fights this trend, but it is met with such violent backlash. Particularly in the context of Star Wars, a movie abound with aliens, unusual facial features and skin types and colors, I simply cannot even begin to fathom how anyone could possibly feel justified in protesting this movie’s inclusion of a non-white protagonist in the cast, the majority of which is white actors. The lack of diversity in Hollywood films and TV in general is indicative of broader issues of color-blindness and explicit and implicit racism in the industry and society at large.

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2 responses »

  1. nlredmond says:

    I totally agree! I actually think that notion that the introduction of actors of color in the film is part of a “sinister multicultural agenda” is a amazingly ironic statement because, as you mentioned, the Hollywood industrial complex has historically had what I would call a white supremacist agenda, evident in the choices in actors, directors, producers, etc. This film is incredibly important because of the fact that it, to a degree, upsets the institution of whiteness that has been upheld in film up to this point. I definitely want to know how conscious the casting decisions were, though, because as that clip points out, the director still seems to have a colorblind/”all lives mater” ideology.

  2. katyschaefe says:

    I completely agree. This is a rare example of a film that is challenging the typical all white male cast. Having a non-white person as a lead character not only normalizes the perspective we have on people of color as people, it gives children of color role models that they can relate to. It is incredibly important to think about the ways in which people of color are represented in the media, especially because people of color in media are so rare. This means that the images we do see, if they are negative have the ability to be overwhelming.

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