pop break: racism and screen painting

I’m a little tired of death right now.  It’s been kind of a lot.

About movies. And race.

Marvel and DC both did Civil War type films. Yes you know. Yes yes. I’m slow at pop culture, okay?

It was kind of funny to me what different paths they took to end up in roughly the same place.

Marvel:

Racist? What? No no no! I’m not racist! In fact, my best friend is black!  And my frenemy’s best friend is black! 

Why don’t my black best friend super heroes ever get their own origin stories or even just non-origin movies where they are the title character and main protagonist?

Uuuuh…. Hey look! I have THREE black best friends!  And my third black best friend just learned a valuable lesson by watching my white super heroes grapple with their problems! Isn’t that cool?!  Even when white heroes are acting like moronic pieces of shit, they are teaching black people how to exist and black people would be lost without them!

 

DC:

Black people don’t exist.

Abuse survivors who question GOD are EVIL. Evil!! Evil MONSTERS who want to destroy the world and unleash MONSTERS on the world and who are all secretly EVIL and stuff. Especially if they like BOOKS and LIBRARIES and clearly have some kind of mental illness that keeps them from SPEAKING clearly. Because people who love books and the mentally ill are EVIL.

And the mastermind behind mysterious conspiracies is probably JEWISH cause their parent was nearly killed in the HOLOCAUST.

We’re renaming ourselves Budweiser for the summer.

 

 

My vote goes to Marvel for at least pretending.

*

The fun doesn’t end there of course. This is Budweiser- I mean America! We couldn’t limit our racism to just one or two movies in a genre created to give children heroes to look up to and heroism to emulate.

I love X-men Apocalypse so much.  And I loved Guardians of the Galaxy. Don’t get me wrong. But can we address the blueface please? EDIT: and greenface too!

In Guardians of the Galaxy, you had an entire universe filled with aliens species who looked like humans, which was speciest as fuck but we don’t know any aliens yet, so I’ll let that go. But what was with the fact that they all looked like WHITE humans?  I mean with the exception of the one black dude who was evil, clearly some one else’s minion and not in charge of his own destiny, and who had like one line.

And it wasn’t even like they all were supposed to be a single species. To give the impression of diversity, they painted their actors a bunch of colors. Like green.

But the facial structures, speech patterns, and futuristic hairstyles were all obviously of European descent.

Let that sink in.

We had an entire, diverse, universe filled with colored people- and all of them were white people with their skin painted.

EDIT: It was pointed out to me that Dave Babtista and Zoe Saldana are “mixed race”. I was happy to learn this fact and the names of these actors as I didn’t know them and did this rant without researching. But being the emotional basket case that I am, I reserve the right to still feel disgusted. Sort of- oppositely.

This is so much better! (sarc) We put the POC in so much face paint (digital or otherwise) that to the sad ignorant eyes of a white person they LOOKED white.

But the white main character and the aliens played by white humans didn’t need any makeup to be presentable?

Separate Phenomena.  Green Face.

Green is so much more acceptable in the Marvel-verse than… you know…

*

Which is sort of what made it morbidly funny in X-men Apocalypse when Marvel had a bunch of straight white superheroes on a personal journey to accept their true identities… as straight white people with blue paint on their still clearly European facial structures.

I’m mean, what the fuck?

The mutants who joined the Big Bad were- DRUM ROLL

the black one

the asian looking one

the gay looking one

And THE JEWISH ONE. Who survived the HOLOCAUST. And is CONSPIRING. To destroy the WORLD.

God!  What the FUCK?  WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?

None of THOSE people ever had to struggle with their real identities vs their perception by the wider population! Oh no! It was JUST white people!

And in true Marvel-is-a-friendly-dog-who-knows-they-shouldn’t-pee-on-the-rug-but-does-anyway fashion, the Team Bad mutants were sort of emotionally manipulated into joining the Big Bad.  And in the end mostly joined Team Good-

After learning valuable lessons from white people.

In face paint.

*

Some days I really hate people. And I’m not particularly thrilled with earth.

But there’s nowhere else that has shwarama.

 

 

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14 thoughts on “pop break: racism and screen painting

  1. Huh? You do realize that Dave Babtista and Zoe Saldana are anything but white under all the paint, right? With both of them being of mixed race? It is kind of offensive to claim that they look like painted white people because their facial structures are supposedly not showing their heritage….

    1. That’s super cool! I wrote based on what I thought I remembered without researching, so I didn’t know that. Score for guardians of the galaxy. 🙂

      so… they put mixed race actors in face paint which- to the uneducated eye of a tired white person made them look white- but left the white main character unaltered?

      1. Yeah, pretty much. Though Gamora was always green. But Zoe Saldana has to cover herself in paint way too much for my taste (to clarify, she is also the female lead in Avatar), though the roles when she does it tend to be her best ones….

        It’s a double edged sword, but I guess it is better if those actors get exposure this way than not getting any remarkable roles at all…a “covered in paint” role might lead to something bigger down the line, after all.

        Also, the good news is that the MCU is becoming more and more diverse. The casting for Spider-man: Homecoming is very diverse (because the director felt that this would be a proper reflection of Queens), and Luke Cage and Black Panther will both have an overwhelmingly black cast, allowing a lot of positive exposure for a lot of actors.

      2. Yes, I’ll be pretty happy about that, if it pans out. But my hopes aren’t up really high. I mean, Civil War was pretty diverse, but they managed to firmly convey the black characters as appendages to and learners from the white ones. Like, only.

        Not funny or cute.

      3. He got his own arc. Where he learned from white people that it’s bad to be vengeful and stuff!

        And Antman- who’s NOT the symbol of an entire people group who had been desperately oppressed by white people and symbol of their demand to not be oppressed and for their voice to be heard-

        Got his own movie.

    2. And have I missed something, or in the first 60 heroines on your blog are there honestly five non-humans and only three POC?

      Please tell me I missed some. I’m starting to think that solidarity is for white women or something.

      1. Not my fault. There are really, really few female leads worth talking about to begin with (I regularly have to stretch my own rules as it is) and even fewer PoC (ever noticed that while there have been a number of black male actors who won an academy award, Haley Berry and Lupita are still the only female ones, even though it is easier to win in the female categories to begin with?)- to be honest, it would feel like a lie if I got out of my way to regularly include PoC characters, because that’s simply not how the Media landscape looks like, and I also dislike to make articles about them too much about their skin colour, because that would feel like a disservice to their characters.

      2. “because that’s simply not how the Media landscape looks like”

        We create the world by noticing it.

        If you didn’t know that already, your blog would be all about men, wouldn’t it? That’s what the media landscape actually looks like.

        If you’re going by character, not actor, there are Zoe’s other two roles as Neytiri (in paint, as you pointed out) and Uhura in Star Trek into Darkness- where she actually brought a lot of depth to a role that in the Kirk era seemed fairly token to this non trekkie.

        There’s Raven of That’s so Raven, who’s hilarious and strong.

        There’s the mom in After Earth. Not much screen time, but she has a job and is in charge of important stuff.

        There’s Selma, and the chicks from The Help.

        Oh my gosh! And the chick in Gothika!

        And those are just off the top of my head. I’m sure The Google would find you more.

        What do you want the world to be like? Describe it for me.

      3. If you read my blog you might have noticed that I usually only honour female movie characters if they are the leads or the co-leads of the movie in question unless I do some sort of special series (the only reason why I covered some of the female Marvel characters was because I did a series dedicated to the improvement of the portrayal of females in the MCU). Of the characters you listed most of them either don’t qualify, or I simply never watched the TV show in question (isn’t That’s so Raven some sort of Disney Teen Comedy?) or, in the case of Avatar, I feel that the character (like all characters in the movie) is just boring and flat.

        Sure, I could do a blog about PoC in the media, but that is not what I decided to do – at least partly because I am not American and I have learned early on that the question what is offensive and what is a great portrayal differs greatly depending on the cultural pov. I am way more qualified to commend on what is good writing for a character (specifically a female character) and what isn’t. And you might have noticed that I prefer a positive outlook concerning social issues over a negative one…I always feel that it is easy to point out a lack, it is way more difficult to demonstrate how it can be done better, and if someone does, there should be a nod to it. Especially since no matter how much we fight and what we want, the world will never be totally fair and even.

  2. “And you might have noticed that I prefer a positive outlook concerning social issues over a negative one…”

    And white people over black ones, eh?

    Your blog literally looked like the goddamn apartheid.

    ” and I have learned early on that the question what is offensive and what is a great portrayal differs greatly depending on the cultural pov.”

    And your solution is to almost never allude to the fact that non-europeans exist? Good joooooooob!!! But the only culture you’re going to avoid offending that way is white supremacists.

    So I guess we know what culture—(is the only culture that)—- you care about.

    “I always feel that it is easy to point out a lack, it is way more difficult to demonstrate how it can be done better, and if someone does, there should be a nod to it.”

    Well, I am pointing out a lack- the media either doesn’t portray PoC or does so in a disrespectful and insulting fashion.

    If your ‘much better’ plan is to show how it’s done instead of just pointing out a lack, then your job is to showcases women of all races when you claim to be blogging about “women” in general… and not just white ones… as you unfortunately do.

    Instead of acting according to your stated plan of action, what you have done is come over to my blog and crusaded against my ?actually kind of funny? satire of two particular movies that have FUCKING WELL NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU OR YOUR BLOG OR YOUR ANYTHING-

    and then also gripe whine and beg for validation, as if I can magically pull a magic wand out of my ass and transform you into not a cringingly racist white feminist who 1)wants an award for not being racist without doing one goddamn thing to end racism, 2)actively erases non-Europeans in your active regurgitation and reinforcement of media portrayals of what it means to be female, 3)are bursting with so much white fragility that you feel a need to hunt down other white people who are ?less? racist than you and tell them to shut up because things/YOU aren’t that bad, okay!?!

    I’m not even black, bitch. I can’t grant you forgiveness. It’s not my place.

    And if you comment on this post again, I am deleting.

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