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Super Social Analysis: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and LGBT in Movies

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Tyler Perry being successful  is where  this conversation got started. Someone said that Black dramas don't do well, but comedies do. And I was speculating that it might be because so many dramas with Black casts are about The Struggle, and maybe people want something else.

Tyler Perry is successful, and like him or not like him, he makes movies that are Black centered, not just Black vs white. There is a lighter quality to them, too-- some are flat out comedies and others are dramas but not HEAVY dramas about people being completely alone while being crushed by injustice or having to fight like hell against horrible odds.

I would say Tyler Perry's success supports what I've been speculating about.

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On 1/10/2020 at 8:40 PM, possibilities said:

White lead movies are varied, with lots of romances and other types of stories. Lots of heroes and family issues and relationship stuff. I think that when there is less representation overall, it becomes more fatiguing when a particular type gets over-represented.

Hidden Figures did well.

I know I feel this way about movies that feature lesbians, or disabled characters (I'm a lesbian and I'm disabled). The number of coming out stories is sickening at this point, compared to anything else that gets written about lesbians. And the number of stories about "learning to accept the disability" or "the pain of being disabled" is just waaaaaay too much compared to anything else we get to do.

I haven't done a study to see exactly what % of movies are on various themes. But I do think A LOT of the ones that get funded with Black casts are focused on oppression, vs the number that get funded for, say, falling in love dramas, or any other topic.

That said, I do want to see Queen and Slim. But I also understand that it might be not so fun. Sometimes people want something to tell them what they don't already know and aren't already living, or just want to have a good time or get relief from the grind.

ITA. Re: coming-out stories for LGBTQ characters, one thing I really adored about Can You Ever Forgive Me? is that it's a movie with queer leads that's not ABOUT coming out, homophobia, or HIV. Lee Israel and Jack Hock are both gay because they were in real life, and the story is just about this wild thing that Lee did. I loved that, a movie where "being gay" wasn't the main source of conflict/drama in the film.

Of course, things change depending on your vantage point. I'm asexual and aromantic, and BoJack Horseman is the ONLY time I've seen an ace character go through the process of realizing they're asexual, accepting their identity, and coming out to other people. It's a tired plot for a lot of LGBTQ identities, but for asexuals, there's still so much untapped potential for ANY kind of story.

For any type of representation, I think the answer is just, "We need more." There needs to be room for love stories, action movies, dramas, off-the-wall comedies, incisive satires, terrifying horror films, and beyond. Because sometimes, people may be in the mood to see a story about The Struggle, but other times, they just want to see people who look like them in (insert type of story here.) And we need all of it.

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I used to love those coming out movies. Some of them were quite good (others were horrible). So I agree SOME of that stuff is fine. And when it's the only representation available, it can feel like a big deal to have it, until you just get sick of it and start to feel like it's creating a whole new kind of erasure.

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Then you have a movie like Joker where the lead’s criminal and awful behaviour is explained  by how he was treated. Hardly a fun time, but is an awards success and a big comic book box office hit. 
 

I think there’s a space for a real tear jerker with a prominent African American cast. O tragic romance of some sort. The Hate U Give may not have been able to overcome its YA pedigree, but I hope those types of films can still be made. 
 

I am ready for a truly great western romance between two Asian leads. As a Canadian of Vietnamese heritage, I think Asian cinema does sentiment with sincerity and little irony very well. I want that explored in an English language movie.

Edited by memememe76
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Re: coming-out stories for LGBTQ characters, one thing I really adored about Can You Ever Forgive Me? is that it's a movie with queer leads that's not ABOUT coming out, homophobia, or HIV.

I did love Call Me By Your Name because it wasn't really a coming out drama; it was just about two guys falling in love over the course of one summer.

Quote

I think there’s a space for a real tear jerker with a prominent African American cast. O tragic romance of some sort. The Hate U Give may not have been able to overcome its YA pedigree, but I hope those types of films can still be made. 

Waves gets really close to this, but within the context of a successful black family feeling the pressure to have to stay on top because black people aren't given many chances to fail.

My biggest criticism of the movie though is that I thought 

Spoiler

it spent way too much time with Lucas Hedges's dealing with his father's death. I get the purpose of that, and I understand that it's used as a catalyst for the daughter to come back home and make her peace with her family, but we literally only get like two or three scenes with the mother and dad dealing with the consequences of their son murdering his girlfriend. I felt like for a movie that was supposed to show how devastated the family is,  they didn't really elaborate on it as much as I thought they would have in favor of watching Taylor Russell and Lucas Hedges frolic with manatees in the Florida mangroves.

 

Edited by methodwriter85
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I read an article that claims the upcoming Birds of Prey movie is the first featuring a team of superheroines (all female) - and I'm not sure that's true? Normally I'd go to BoxOfficeMojo and check, but they've changed. :(  I think the author was referring specifically to comic book movies, but I would widen the definition to include any action/martial arts/fantasy films with at least two* or more women as the central team.

Anyone know of some films that fit that criteria? I'm sure there are some anime ones, but I'm looking at live-action right now.

My quick skimming of Wikipedia seems to prove the author true. There's D.E.B.S., but I don't think there was a team aspect?

 

*(I want to say 3, but it's already slim pickings...)

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Maybe not all of these would count for you, but here are my examples:

Kill Bill 1 and 2 -- that might be a case of Uma versus a team of everyone else - Lucy, Daryl, Vivica, etc.  It's been ages since I've seen these.

Charlie's Angels 1 and 2 (early 2000s)
Charlie's Angels (2019)

Annihilation
Bad Girls (1994)
Ghostbusters (2016)
The Heat (buddy cop movie starring 2 women)
The Kitchen (cop movie starring 3 women)
Sin City (I don't know the plot of this one)
Set it Off (bank heist movie starring 4 women)
Spy
The Spy who Dumped Me
Ocean's 8   (heist)
Hustlers  (heist)
Whip It (?)
Widows  (heist movie starring a bunch of women)

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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On 2/4/2020 at 4:56 PM, Trini said:

I read an article that claims the upcoming Birds of Prey movie is the first featuring a team of superheroines (all female) - and I'm not sure that's true? Normally I'd go to BoxOfficeMojo and check, but they've changed. :

Do you have the link to the article?  I'm curious now.

I keep track of this stuff on Letterboxd and I find it very helpful.

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Thanks!

15 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Maybe not all of these would count for you, but here are my examples:

Kill Bill 1 and 2 -- that might be a case of Uma versus a team of everyone else - Lucy, Daryl, Vivica, etc.  It's been ages since I've seen these.

Charlie's Angels 1 and 2 (early 2000s)
Charlie's Angels (2019)

Annihilation
Bad Girls (1994)
Ghostbusters (2016)
The Heat (buddy cop movie starring 2 women)
The Kitchen (cop movie starring 3 women)
Sin City (I don't know the plot of this one)
Set it Off (bank heist movie starring 4 women)
Spy
The Spy who Dumped Me
Ocean's 8   (heist)
Hustlers  (heist)
Whip It (?)
Widows  (heist movie starring a bunch of women)

See, this is why I ask, because I know I'd forget some obvious ones! Charlie's Angels is probably the closest to what i was looking for, but your list is good. I had thought of a couple heist films, but I wasn't really counting those.

Sin City doesn't count, though.

I went back to the website, and they actually had their own list of "girl gang" films: The Craft, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Mad Max: Fury Road, Heathers, and Death Proof.
 

15 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Do you have the link to the article?  I'm curious now.

Here, and this was the quote:

Quote

DC Entertainment is about to achieve something that Marvel Studios hasn’t. When Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) opens on February 7, it will be the first comic book movie starring an all-female superteam. ...

 

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6 minutes ago, Trini said:

I went back to the website, and they actually had their own list of "girl gang" films: The Craft, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Mad Max: Fury Road, Heathers, and Death Proof.

I mean, if you're going to include movies like The Craft and Heathers, there are a million more examples that are like those.  Clueless, Mean Girls, Jawbreakers, Sugar and Spice, Bring it On, Practical Magic, Hocus Pocus, The Witches of Eastwick, Clockwatchers, The First Wives Club, blah blah blah blah.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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27 minutes ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

I mean, if you're going to include movies like The Craft and Heathers, there are a million more examples that are like those.  Clueless, Mean Girls, Jawbreakers, Sugar and Spice, Bring it On, Practical Magic, Hocus Pocus, The Witches of Eastwick, Clockwatchers, The First Wives Club, blah blah blah blah.

Pretty much; that's why I was trying to keep it to the action/hero genre, with a team aspect (which is more than just women in the lead roles).

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1 hour ago, Trini said:

Thanks!

See, this is why I ask, because I know I'd forget some obvious ones! Charlie's Angels is probably the closest to what i was looking for, but your list is good. I had thought of a couple heist films, but I wasn't really counting those.

Sin City doesn't count, though.

I went back to the website, and they actually had their own list of "girl gang" films: The Craft, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Mad Max: Fury Road, Heathers, and Death Proof.
 

Here, and this was the quote:

 

Written, directed, and produced by women.

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Nothing really new here, but this does mention the union requirements: 'Hollywood's Black Hair Problem on Set: "We've All Cried in Our Trailers"'

Quote

And yet, on Hollywood productions and photo shoots, many black actors continue to face challenges with their hair. In November, actress Gabrielle Union (an exec producer on Hair Love) claimed she was fired from NBC's America's Got Talent after being told that her hairstyles were "too black." Other actresses point to the discrimination that occurs pretty much every time they sit in a hair and makeup chair: There just aren't enough union stylists in Hollywood who know how to work with natural hair and darker skin.

"We've all cried in our trailers," says Laci Mosley, an actress on Pop TV's Florida Girls, who recently posted on Twitter about a bad makeup experience on a film set: "I'm a dark skin actress in Hollywood and like 3 union makeup artist know how to do my makeup and they're all busy as hell."

Mosley sees a problem stemming from a lack of union makeup artists and hairstylists that have a wide range of experience. "Everyone in the industry knows that there are certain barriers of entry when it comes to becoming a union makeup artist," Mosley explains. "Unfortunately a lot of the people who spend the most time with black and brown skin find it difficult to get these opportunities because the [unionized] makeup and hair industry is nepotistic in nature. Friends are hiring friends, and when it's an overwhelmingly white industry, nine times out of 10, those people's friends are white as well."

Adds Mosley: "This isn't specifically for vanity. It's the fact that systemic racism is so deeply ingrained in our industry that we are so forgotten about all of the time that this is normal."

[I don't know why the the strikeout is there???]

Edited by Trini
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I still think the Black Widow movie (which should have been made five years ago) could have been an all-woman affair.

Natasha as the protagonist, obviously, but with Sharon Carter and Maria Hill in a supporting/friend roles to actually make some use of the characters.

Then I'd have had Yelena be a villain who perhaps turns anti-hero through the movie, with the true villain being Viper. Instead, Marvel seem to have missed a trick by using Taskmaster as the big bad (although the possibility that Taskmaster is actually a woman under the armour is a cool idea... which will probably not come to pass) and by shoving a potential love interest character into the movie.

Edited by Danny Franks
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58 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

Natasha as the protagonist, obviously, but with Sharon Carter and Maria Hill in a supporting/friend roles to actually make some use of the characters.

Also Victoria Hand, if Agents of SHIELD hadn't already dispensed with her.

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Ok not a TV show but a movie but I didn't even know where to go with this... I was just looking at a preview for the new Dev Pastel Flick where he plays Sir Gawain from Arthur and Legend... Looked ok tense... Creepy.. I'll have to wait and see.. Anywhoo as you can imagine.. The reverse racism anti-diversity chuckleheads came out.. nod I just shook my head at most of them...

Then I read this.. 

" You can't complain about White-washing and then do the same thing...
That is the crap happening in Hollywood now.
Besides the white washing had a reason behind it. A lack of good actors to play the part. Now there are more better black and other ethnic actors.
It was never a racial thing, it was about making money.
It was wrong, especially in modern times. So things are moving away from it.
So why then go the other way and instead perpetuate this BS.

Also Ancient Egyptians weren't black, they were Greek or people from the "Levant". Literally proven via DNA.

Most of the time the "white washing" existed because of a lack of good and famous actors to cast in the roles to try and draw box-office attendance.".... 

I don't have the bandwith to respond.. But whoever that was.. I get the feeling they really believe that... Like no real animus.. Just a glaring and shocking level of ignorance... How does this happen? 

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13 hours ago, UNOSEZ said:

I'm probably just in a mood today.. But these casting directors or hair stylists  or whoever is in charge of this... They gotta quit with the curly flop fro that they seem to wanna stick with all us bi/ multi-racial black ppl.. Its just... Too much on tv today between shows and commercials I musta seen about 11 on boys and girls.. Men and women... I'm mixed.. Almost all my close friends were mixed.. Most of my family is mixed.. I don't know ANYONE who's ever had that hairstyle.. But seemingly every white parent with a mysteriously or tragically dead black spouse seems to have a kid with that ridiculous mess on their head ( I see you Richard flood on Grey's)...  Ugh

I imagine there are some people somewhere who would wear their hair that way, but it absolutely should not be the default hairstyle for bi/multi racial characters.  White characters have a range of hairstyles; there's no reason characters of color shouldn't as well.

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On 2/13/2020 at 7:07 PM, starri said:

Marvel has unveiled its gay couple.  A few minor spoilers.

  Reveal spoiler

They're both men of color and one of the actors is openly gay?  This is basically everything I wanted.

 

Here's hoping this is the first one of break the streak of the press hyping the "gay content" before the movie comes out FAR outweighing the actual content itself (i.e. dozens of articles for what amounts to like one blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene.) Based on stuff that's been said so far, especially from one of the actors involved, I'm hopeful but still waiting to see what we get before I celebrate too much - I've already done this dance with Star Trek Beyond, The Rise of Skywalker, Beauty and the Beast, etc.

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