PC in Film

Does anyone think that modern films are too PC (politically correct)? You know what I am talking about. Strong female roles that are so over the top that they are not believable, gay characters who have for no good reason have their sexuality a focus of the film, yada yada yada. There are many more but these are a couple to start.

I feel this way. I feel this way because I can watch any modern film and expect that blacks will play victims, white conservatives will be the bad guys and some noble liberal will save them all. The Help, 12 Years a Slave, American History X. Hell, even old films are not exempt. Does To Kill a Mockingbird ring any bells?

It’s not to say that you cannot have liberal white saviours or conservative white villains in films. You absolutely can and should. With this in mind, should we not diversify roles in Hollywood? I think it would be a good idea if film production companies would go against stereotypical characters. Perhaps minorities can play something other than misguided henchmen or minor heroes. Major characters. Like a James Bond type character or a Joker-like villain. It would be better than continuing to play secondary characters like Oddjob or Lucius Fox.

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3 thoughts on “PC in Film

  1. I’m confused. The movies that you reference, 12 years of slave and The Help, are movies intended to show racism, slavery and white privilege. That’s the point of those films.
    I can’t tell if you’re mocking female and gay people’s roles? Then asking for diversity? When female and gay characters are providing diversity? It sounds contradictory.
    Maybe I missed the point you were trying to make. Could you explain more please?

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    • Sure, I’ll explain. I understand that these films are meant to show past wrongdoings.

      This is not what I am complaining about.

      My complaint is about how these films are stereotypical and clichéd with how they portray characters. Minorities are generally stock characters who are not fully developed. They usually are victims of some form of discrimination and nothing else. They also tend to take a back seat to virtuous white characters and evil white characters.

      Essentially, minorities in Hollywood are nothing but political pawns of an upper-class, white system.

      There are exceptions. Although a TV series, The Wire is an excellent example of art that allows minorities to be seen as round, fully developed human characters. There are good black people, bad black people and black people in between. They have genuine personal and social struggles. They are not on the show to appease white issues. They ARE the show.

      In addition to a non-stereotypical portrayals of black, The Wire also shows a realistic portrayal of working class whites, the LGBT black community (which has a black lesbian cop AND a gay black man in its main cast), and black politicians.

      If you have not seen this show, you should. It shows you what Hollywood and TV should be like, but isn’t. It doesn’t have the stereotyped roles that most films or shows have.

      As for female and gay roles in film they do not provide much diversity if I can expect them to be the same in every film I see.

      Fargo is a film that properly portrays a strong woman. The lead character is Marge Gunderson, a pregnant cop who investigates a homicide. While a strong character, her role is never preachy, unrealistic or attached to some over-the-top,”girl power” theme in which she is some sort of invincible superhero who can do no wrong. She is a sweet-but-flawed, fully realized, authentic female character. I can’t explain too much more but do watch this film. It’s great and only 98 minutes.

      I hope I have answered your questions. The whole point of my post was that to say that the presence of minorities in film is meaningless if they all act the same, as if they are supposed to be on screen solely to make white people feel good or bad about themselves. Minorities, like straight, white men are first and foremost, individuals and should be treated as such. They cannot always be grouped together as nothing more than collective victims (although I do see your point about 12 Years a Slave), as this deprives them of any individuality.

      If you have any more questions, just ask.

      Brent

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      • I see what you’re saying! Instead of clichéd roles that are simply doing it for the sake of doing it, roles that are actually inclusive and diverse should be focused on more. I agree. I think that by having minority characters, women, POC (people of colour), LGBT* characters, play main role characters and not your stereotypical version is fantastic. Having them play roles and be humans is a great stride towards equality.

        The only thing I disagree with you about is that white, straight men are minorities. I think that is the only group of people in the world that are not oppressed or discriminated against. Even if there are fewer white, straight male characters in a show/film, I wouldn’t say they’re a minority.

        But thank you for clarifying! 🙂

        Like

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