Hollywood Shuffle

Black Sell-Outs


Willie D has recently taken a shot at some of his own people for “cooning.” He criticized Charles Barkley for talking down on his own race in order to please white people. Willie D claims that Charles Barkley was bought out and turned his back on his people for money from TNT. The money and the fame Charles Barkley has accumulated caused him to forget where he came from. He then proceeded to say “you kissed a man in the mouth for real dudes that’s a no no, when you gonna come out the closet you fucking homo,” questioning Barkley’s sexuality. He called Barkley a “dumb nigga” for commenting about slavery not being that bad.

He later proceeded to call out Steven A Smith for and Raven-Symone for “cooning for capital.” He also attacked a lot of other media personality.

I strongly suggest we listen to this song. We can see that even the year of 2016 we still have conflict on “how to be black in America.” What acceptable before for both black men and women. This song can be compared to many movies that we have seen such as Bamboozled, Hollywood Shuffle, and Get on the Bus.

Most importantly, I feel like this song is a great response to Chiraq. Especially since I just saw a documentary done about destroyed black lives. Basically, Spike is saying when black people kill each other we shouldn’t take it serious. Instead we should be satirical about it.

Roadblocks in Hollywood

I recently stumbled across an article, “What it’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood (if you’re not a straight white man.)” and wanted to bring us back to the earlier discussions of Hollywood Shuffle and the exploitation of people and races through the entertainment industry. As Bobby struggled to find accessibility into this industry, many actors, male, female, African American, Latino, Asian, and more, continue to be confronted with the same roadblocks even today.

Hollywood Shuffle identified a theme of black actors having to assume a specific role, rather than being afforded the same freedoms white actors have of playing a character. The sheer availability of roles for black actors were limited to stereotypical depictions of criminals, slaves, pimps, or butlers, and denied black actors the ability to play anything outside of that. This doesn’t only limit the entrance for Black actors into this particular industry, but creates an environment where African American actors are treated as indispensable, as interchangeable goods rather than people. When Bobby finally realizes he can’t stomach perpetuating the inaccurate stereotypes of “blackness” on the screen, he is quickly replaced by a number of men on the set- including the man who recognized the racialization of the industry as “bullshit”.

The article presents quotes from a number of established actors and actresses in the industry and confront the realities of finding success as a minority. There are issues with “sell-ability” of a particular race, where the only opportunities for people of color continue to lie in assuming a fixed role. There is no room for those who reject perpetuating inaccurate stereotypes. Asians depicted with thick accents just for the sake of it, Latinas are hyper-sexualized, while Latino men are crooks. There are also persisting issues with those who drive the industry; accomplished women and minorities are beginning to fulfill roles as actors, producers, directors, but are still required to answer to wealthy white executives who make final decisions.

The difficulty of pursuing a dream while being degraded doing it is confronted in Bamboozled. We see Delacroix and Mantan grappling with whether the pursuit of their careers is worth the exploitation and degradation they face while performing and executing their performances. The idea that you have to sacrifice one for the other, identity for your dreams, is an unfair stipulation of the entertainment industry, and one that is only asked of by minority actors and actresses.

“The gatekeepers are not usually people of color, so they don’t understand you should be looking for way more colors of the rainbow within that one ethnicity.”

 “…just because the surname is Latino, that automatically means you have an accent. I’ve been told that I wasn’t Latino enough, which was code for street enough.”