Other Cool Blogs: i09 March 4, 2017

Meme created by Erin Penn

Cultural appropriation is a bitch – a bitch to define and a bitch to have happen. One of the easiest versions to spot is Whitewashing, where a written work is converted to the screen (movie or TV) and the main character is replaced with a person of the dominant-economic-melanin levels for the culture. In normal words – when Hollywood takes a black, yellow, or red character and washes them with white big-ticket lead.

The spectrum of humanity should be seen in books AND on the screen. i09 website wrote an article about a “Powerful video shows why Ghost In The Shell whitewashing has real consequences.”

The video talked about in the article is below:

For the fifth Thursday of the month, I am going to review the 2017 portion of my blog for the Smurfette Principle, the Bechdel Test, plus the gender and melanin splits as promised during last year’s “Made Me Look“, “Fail (Part 1)“, and “Fail (Part 2)” blogs. The world is diverse, writing should be as well.

WATCHING EXERCISE: Go through you recent Netflix watched list, your DVD collection, or what is playing and/or coming out in movies – look at at least 30 of them. How many of the movies are whitewashed? How many star female characters with agency and how many have male leads? Are any characters non-binary? How many of the movies have characters which are not “you” (i.e., black, white, Asian, male, female, etc)? How many leads are non-white? (In a group of 30 movies, if going with America’s racial mix, 4.5 should be black, 1.5 should be Asian, and 4 should be immigrants.)

WRITING EXERCISE: Choose a movie to watch where the director made a conscious choice to avoid whitewashing the characters. Write a blog or a Facebook post reviewing the movie.

Word of mouth drives Hollywood, make a difference.


ADDITION: Whitewashing can involve fictional covers. See “Sci-Fi Author Nnedi Okorafor Says Publishers Whitewashed Her Book Cover” (Huffpost by Maddie Crum, 3/14/2017)