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To be surprised at this Hollywood racism

(75 Posts)
mileend2bermondsey Sun 21-Jun-15 18:04:23

in 2005. I was watching the romcom Hitch yesterday and read a bit of trivia that Will Smith reportedly stated the female lead was orginally supposed to be Cameron Diaz but the studio changed her for Eva Mendez as they thought an interracial couple would be 'too controversial'

The thing is. The main couple were STILL interracial, black and Hispanic. Another couple in the film were Caucasian and Asain, and another white and Hispanic. So what they were actually saying is no one will root for a black guy being with a white woman. Am I BU to be shocked at this racism, even back in 2005?

MaggieJoyBlunt Sun 21-Jun-15 18:05:57

What was the source of the 'trivia'?

I'm struggling to believe Will Smith wore that TBH.

VixxFace Sun 21-Jun-15 18:08:13

More like they don't have 2 black people in a couple unless it's a black film.

mileend2bermondsey Sun 21-Jun-15 18:09:05

www.today.com/id/7019342#.VYbvXihwbMJ
www.femalefirst.co.uk/celebrity/Will+Smith-2966.html

MindMaking Sun 21-Jun-15 18:14:25

Could be racism. Unfortunatly, theres a lot of it about.

On the other hand, who knows what goes on behind Hollywood casting decisions really? I remember reading recently that Maggie Gyllenhaal was complaining she had been told she hadn't been cast in a part because she was too old to play the romantic female lead, and how this was ageist. But honestly I would say she's more of a character actress, and the studios were quite possibly being polite so as not to hurt her feelings.

MaggieJoyBlunt Sun 21-Jun-15 18:56:02

I think we've come further than that since the Pelican Brief, TBH.

I wonder if I have the energy to look up all the on-screen romantic pairings of Will Smith and Halle Berry?

MaggieJoyBlunt Sun 21-Jun-15 18:57:06

Which isn't to say we've come far enough. But if WS suspected that, he had the star power to challenge it ten years ago.

NorahDentressangle Sun 21-Jun-15 19:46:47

Seems feasible, I would say you don't see adverts in the US with mixed race couples like you do here.

ragged Sun 21-Jun-15 20:06:29

Lots of black people wouldn't like it either tbh. Not as controversial as black woman with white man, but still a tetchy subject.

chanie44 Sun 21-Jun-15 20:40:21

I can well believe this.

I think Hollywood is still very conservative as it comes down to money and so they go with the safe option.

I just googled 'will smith' films and in all of his films, the lady was either non-white (hitch, Independence Day) or he never got to smooch the white leading lady (I robot). I then googled 'famous black actors' and found denzel, Wesley, Samuel, etc. No smooching there. In fact, there are barely any women in a lot of the films. You could argue that the plot doesn't allow a romance, but let's face, what films do.

Then I moved onto women, and it seems that Halle and thandie can snog white men. More obviously was that leading men can be older than the ladies, who have to be young hotties. I always think about that film with Sean Connery and Catherine zita jones, which was creepy.

I'm going to declare a black woman here and I'm happy for my hypothesis to be proved wrong, but be nicesmile

TheHumourlessHarpy Sun 21-Jun-15 20:46:24

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TheHumourlessHarpy Sun 21-Jun-15 20:50:08

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museumum Sun 21-Jun-15 20:55:00

I notice very few interracial couples in American TV or films. Particularly up until ten years ago or so (when I stopped watching most rom coms).
I've always wondered if that's a reflection of America? Are there fewer interracial relationships? Or it might be me? I live in a city without a large black or African population and most people I know are in mixed relationships.

BonnieNoClyde Sun 21-Jun-15 20:58:07

yes, was it entrapment (with czj and sean connery). Gross but sure she's married to somebody nearly a hundred in real life.

MitzyLeFrouf Sun 21-Jun-15 21:48:08

I don't think interracial couples are as prevalent in the US as they are in the UK.

MitzyLeFrouf Sun 21-Jun-15 21:50:14

Entrapment was weird! Age gaps are fine but writers, at least let it be acknowledged in the script that Sean Connery is 70 and CZJ is 30.

cowbag1 Sun 21-Jun-15 21:56:33

I'll always remember a (white) friend of mine saying some of the worst racism she and her (black) husband have ever encountered was when visiting New York. Shockingly blatant intolerance of interracial couples.

steff13 Sun 21-Jun-15 22:15:10

I work with the public in the US (Ohio) and I see lots of interracial couples. We have a few in our social circle. That's just anecdotal, though.

Interesting someone mentioned Halle Barry; she's actually biracial (black father, white mother). Rashida Jones is also biracial, with a black father and white mother, although she appears more white. So, when her character dated Chris Pratt's or Rob Lowe's characters on Parks and Rec, those were technically interracial relationships, as well as her character on The Office dated Jim.

Gross but sure she's married to somebody nearly a hundred in real life.
He's 70, I don't know that I'd call that nearly 100. He's closer to her age than he is to 100.

bobthetomato Sun 21-Jun-15 23:34:36

I'm going to declare a black woman here and I'm happy for my hypothesis to be proved wrong, but be nice

I think your hypothesis is generally correct, chanie44 , but I can think of one notable film exception.

Ever seen Save the Last Dance with Julia Stiles, Sean Patrick Thomas and Kerry Washington? It was about an interracial teenage couple, white girl and black boy. They did a good amount of snogging, and it's strongly implied that they had intercourse.

One of the themes the film touched on, which I've seen raised elsewhere, is black women's anger when "the best" black men, i.e. the the hard workers, the professionals, the ones with integrity, the ones who are going somewhere in life, pair up with white women.

In addition, there's definitely a deep-seated aversion in the U.S. to black men being with white women. In the not-too-distant past, black men in the American South would get lynched for anything resembling sexual interest towards white women, whereas white slave-owners often slept with their black female slaves.

Here's an interesting article about which interracial couples spark the most outrage.

Save the Last Dance seems to be an exception among films, though, and it does seem that, in general, Hollywood blockbusters aren't keen to rock the boat too much, i.e. alienate large swathes of fans by putting interracial couples front and centre.

BonnieNoClyde Sun 21-Jun-15 23:41:20

Interesting bobthetomato. I mean the theme that the film touched on, black women feeling annoyed that the best of the bunch end up with white women. Hadn't thought about that, but I can really see how that could be really annoying.

BonnieNoClyde Sun 21-Jun-15 23:46:52

Wow. I read that link. The mind boggles at the mindset of complaining about a mixed race couple on a cheerios ad.

Pretty sure there was a kfc ad shown here with a mixed race family. I can't rmember whether the man or woman was white though. I would like to believe there wasn't a ''back lash'' to showing an ad cast with actors both black and white.

MarchLikeAnAnt Sun 21-Jun-15 23:51:45

You hardly ever see a "full black" or very dark black woman play any leading/ important characters in films either.

MitzyLeFrouf Sun 21-Jun-15 23:58:04

Yes traditionally Hollywood's preferred black actresses have been light skinned. Hopefully that's changing a bit with the advent Lupita Nyong'o and Viola Davis. Actually I think Viola Davis has spoken out about this recently.

Atenco Mon 22-Jun-15 01:12:06

I haven't watch any American tv or hollywood films in about five years, but that was always the way. Couples were always matching pairs and my dd came home recently to tell me she had just seen a hollywood film where the black protagonist is surrounded by white women but falls in love with the only black woman in the story.

Such a racist country!

Username12345 Mon 22-Jun-15 02:52:01

Doesn't surprise me.

Anyone read about the leaked sony emails? I think it had to do with the whole Korean/Interview fiasco.

Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal discussing when she would meet Obama if she should ask him if he liked the Butler and Django Unchained.

And other executives saying Denzel Washington should not get lead roles in international films because he is black.

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