Saturday, 27 December 2014

ORPHAN “ANNIE” AND THE CULTURAL WELFARISM OF BLACK AMERICA

Tomorrow...more White roles will be given to Blacks.


It’s a familiar narrative by now in the multicultural West – the Blackification of former White characters and cultural icons in movies.

Often it is just floated as a possibility – as it was with James Bond a couple of years back – in order to raise the media profile of a coming release and save money on advertising. But sometimes it actually happens, as with Annie, a recent release from the troubled Sony Pictures, which casts Black “actresslette” Quvenzhané Wallis in the role of the red-haired feisty orphan girl (the red hair had to go and the freckles became a whole lot bigger!).

When this happens, the usual reactions emerge. Conflicted race realists denounce the film as “inauthentic” or find other flaws to quibble about, while social signalling liberals, keen to make their racial blindness or reverse racism as visible as possible, will make exaggerated claims about how wonderful and “vibrant” the film is and how unimportant the race of the actors or actresses is.

Here is some detritus culled from social media to demonstrate the latter. All comments are by Whites:
“IF YOU’RE MAD ABOUT THE NEW ANNIE BEING CASTED AS A BLACK GIRL, YOU’RE RACIST… NO IFS, ANDS, OR BUTS”

“IF YOU REALLY CARE IN ANY WAY AT ALL THAT THE NEW ANNIE FILM FEATURES A BLACK GIRL PLAYING ANNIE, THERE’S A 10/10 CHANCE THAT YOU’RE RACIST.”

“OMG, I’M DISGUSTED BY THE RACIST COMMENTS ABOUT THE REMAKE OF ANNIE JUST BECAUSE THE GIRL IS BLACK. #STOPRACISM #ANNIEMOVIE”

“PPL GIVING ANNIE BAD RATINGS BC “THE MUSIC IS ANNOYING” MORE LIKE “I KNOW IT’S A CHILDREN’S MUSICAL BUT I’M SECRETLY A LITTLE RACIST”
This will occasionally veer into outright self-loathing racism directed at Whites:
“CALL ME RACIST, BUT A BLACK ANNIE IS MUCH MORE PLEASING TO THE EYE THAN THE CREEPY RED HEADS WHO’VE PLAYED HER BEFORE.”
What this narrative fails to deal with, however, is much more significant than what it does deal with. There are two main points. First, this appropriation of White culture by Blacks is largely not done by Blacks but by other Whites and Jews; and secondly the traffic almost never flows the other way. I can’t think of a single example – even an exception to prove the rule – of a remake where a former Black role was given to a White.

Jamie Foxx doesn't get to kill all the White people in this movie.

Most of the people behind the scenes of these White-into-Black movies – the directors, the producers, the movie company executives (especially the ones that count) – are White and more probably Jewish. Their motivations will mainly be financial, although ideological considerations may also creep in, where these can be accommodated without pushing the film into obvious turkey territory.

Annie is unusual because the producers are Black – Will Smith, his family, his Black business partner, and Jay Z. For this reason, it at least represents some sort of progress for Blacks. They can now appropriate White culture on their own, with a little help from White/ Jewish creative types – director/ writer Will Gluck and co-writers Aline Brosh McKenna and Emma Thompson.

But much more significant is the fact that characters or film remakes have to be given over to Blacks. There is a long history of this. One website mentions the following examples of films remade with Black characters in the starring roles:
THE PREACHER’S WIFE (1996)
THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (1996)
DR. DOLITTLE (1998)
LOVE DON’T COST A THING (2003)
MAN ON FIRE (2004)
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (2004)
THE HONEYMOONERS (2005)
FOUR BROTHERS (2005)
LAST HOLIDAY (2006)
I AM LEGEND (2007)
THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1-2-3 (2009)
THE KARATE KID (2010)
DEATH AT A FUNERAL (2010)
This push into the dark also includes secondary characters, such as the Nordic god Heimdall in Thor (2011), Felix Leiter in recent Bond movies, and most laughably the misplaced medieval character of Morgan Freeman’s Azeem in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991).

A lot of this is inevitable given two facts: (1) Hollywood is known for recycling material; and (2) the great change in the cultural prominence of Blacks since the 1960s.

Written by a White man,
played by a White man.
As the kaleidoscope of cultural material is recycled against a rota of actors that has come to include more Blacks, then remakes like Will Smith’s retreading of Vincent Price and Charlton Heston in I Am Legend (2007) or Eddie Murphy’s Dr. Dolittle (1998) naturally arise.

But there is something else to consider. Even if you wanted to impose actor apartheid and constrain Black actors to authentically Black roles, it would be impossible simply because of the enormous mismatch between Blacks’ unduly high social prominence, reflected by an overly sympathetic Hollywood, and the niggardliness of their actual cultural creativity.

Genuine, original material written by and for Blacks is relatively scarce, while many of the most famous Black roles – from Othello to Hoke Colburn (the driver in Driving Miss Daisy) – were written by Whites or Jews.

In a just society, the low cultural contribution of Blacks would be reflected in the movies, with only a few Black actors appearing in starring roles or in minor films directed at purely Black audiences. This would perhaps allow Black cinematic culture to develop its own identity and characteristics. When White roles are given to Blacks, as with Annie, they often end up ringing false even if they are drastically reinterpreted. Even from the trailers, Jamie Foxx as Daddy Warbucks is an obvious absurdity.

But, of course, America is not a just society, but one that instead prides itself on an artificial and spurious egalitarianism. So, as with food stamps, free healthcare, Obama phones, and other welfare, Blacks also have to be provided with the ill-fitting rags, leftovers, and hand-me-downs from the big house of White cultural creativity.


Originally published at THEDEN.


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