Damn it, people. I post that I’m trying to finish a novel by the end of the month, and what do you go and do? You post Fisk Bait articles like this on my Facebook page.
As a D List novelist, I should be cranking out more cismale gendernormative fiction, but oh no, you guys had to go and tag me with an article about how all of our entertainment needs to be filtered through the lens of righteous Social Justice, and if you don’t find racism in absolutely everything, then racist. Obviously.
This is so dumb, how can I not take the time to make fun of it?
As usual, the original will be in italics and my comments will be in bold.
Here is a link to the original article on NPR. Since this is NPR you need to imagine the article being quietly narrated in the most boring, pretentious, monotone, nasal tone possible. Trust me. It makes it so much better.
Why Aren’t Top Films Diverse As The Real World? They Miss Hispanics
Imagine you were the most loyal customer to the hottest restaurant in town. And when you walked in the door, you were given the worst seat in the house.
That’s kind of how Hollywood is treating Hispanic filmgoers,
No it isn’t. Your analogy sucks.
if you believe the results of a new study by the University of Southern California. It shows that the 100 highest-grossing films of last year underrepresented nonwhite characters in speaking roles.
Oh no. I can’t wait to hear about how awful and racist America is. The funny part is that Hollywood is who casts actors, and Hollywood is as liberal as it gets. But it is always entertaining to watch libs freak out at other libs for not being liberal enough. Holy shit, I can’t believe I’m about to defend Hollywood…
One big reason, according to the numbers in the study, was a lack of nonwhite Hispanic characters in the 3,932 speaking roles analyzed. Just 4.9 percent of those parts were filled by Hispanic characters, though they are 16 percent of the U.S. population.
I’ve never taken the time to be offended by the fact that Hispanics are underrepresented in my imaginary space battles. Thanks NPR.
But Hispanics also buy 25 percent of all movie tickets, leveraging $1 trillion in spending power. Which means Hollywood isn’t paying much of a price for ignoring a loyal constituency.
And all this time I thought that Hollywood was only ignoring me by optioning my novels and then letting them sit in development limbo.
Wait a second, me and my movie going children all fit into that 25%, because we are legally Latino and would show up that way on this survey, but you wouldn’t know what we are by looking at us… Oh, but don’t worry, I’ll get back to that.
Other numbers are less problematic.
In other words, every other possible ethnic combination came out okay in the numbers, but Social Justice Warriors need something to flip out about.
White characters were slightly overrepresented at 74.1 percent (they are 72 percent of the population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census);
Oh shit. Movies about imaginary things were off of reality by 2.1%?!?
black characters were also overrepresented at 14.1 percent (12.6 percent of the population);
Wait… What? Shoot. I was all ready to get my outrage on.
and Asians were at 4.4 percent (4.8 percent of the population).
Damn your Asian privilege!
Overall, nonwhite characters filled just 25 percent of speaking roles, though nonwhite people are 37 percent of the U.S. population and buy almost half of all movie tickets.
I’m in a unique position, on one hand I’m a really successful writer who understands storytelling, and on the other hand I’m a retired auditor who made a great living being a statistical bullshit detector. Off the top of my head I can think of a whole bunch of reasons these numbers might skew. I don’t have any raw data, but a couple of guesses:
- The popularity of British/Australian/Canadian actors in American films. When NPR isn’t looking under every rock for racism, they’ve also done interviews about why directors love those types of actors for what they bring to the roles. Basically, these commonwealth types are sneaking over here and stealing our jobs!
- Many speaking roles belong to the bad guys, and Hollywood is so scared of Social Justice Warrior’s perpetual outrage that they are hesitant to cast anybody who doesn’t look like Dick Cheney as antagonists. That’s why books that have Muslim bad guys have them mysteriously turn into white supremacists or some sort of pseudo-Blackwater when they’re made into a movie.
- It might have something to do with much of Hollywood being scared of doing original things, and instead doing reboots and remakes. So if something stared a white guy when your parents watched it, the new version probably stared a white guy too. There are some obvious switches, like Will Smith in Wild Wild West or Denzel Washington as the Equalizer (I’m really looking forward to that one, because nobody does Retired Badass like Denzel).
- Movies based on comic books make up a huge part of the market, and these comic books and their characters have been around for such a long time that they predate any of these demographics. Hispanics didn’t make up 16% of America’s population when Stan Lee was making these characters up back in the sixties, not that Stan Lee probably would have cared, because he strikes me as the kind of guy who’d say Shut Up and Enjoy Your Awesome.
And as much as people might hope successful minority-centered films such as 12 Years a Slave and The Butler may have shown increasing diversity in film roles, the study shows the percentages haven’t changed much in seven years.
Did anybody outside of NPR actually watch The Butler?
We see similar numbers in television. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation looked at diversity in the 2012-13 TV season, discovering that prime-time TV shows on the broadcast networks had 78 percent white characters, 12 percent black characters, 5 percent Asian characters and 4 percent Latino characters.
Wait… So what they’re saying is that other than Latino all of the others were within the margin of error of the actual population?
But since they are citing GLAAD, anybody want to take a crazy guess by what percentage gay characters are over represented on TV? In real life gays only make up between 1-3% of the population (don’t blame me, take it up with Gallup), but according to GLAAD 42% of FOX’s programming has gay characters, ABC is at 33%, ABC Family is at 50%, and FX is at 40%. I mean, since NPR is acting like entertainment should correspond exactly to real life demographics, do they really want to go there? http://www.tvguide.com/news/glaad-lgbt-characters-1071960.aspx
These are almost exactly the same levels of underrepresentation for Latino/Hispanic characters that the USC study found in movies.
So my earlier guess was correct. The Social Justice Warriors need something to be outraged about, so they’re constantly on the lookout. This time it is Latinos. Tomorrow it will be something else.
The USC study also found Hispanic women most likely to be shown nude or baring lots of skin (37 percent of Hispanic female characters had such roles), while Hispanic men were the second most likely group among males to be shown that way, at 16 percent of their characters.
That’s because us passionate Latins are smoking HOT.
No, seriously. Hollywood, that bastion of moral integrity and arbiter of virtue has good looking people take their clothes off. This is my shocked face.
As an auditor, when I see somebody cite one stat without the comparable stats I become suspicious. So 37% of female Hispanics had such roles, but what percentage were the others? Hell, Game of Thrones has all the white women get naked.
Also, “nude or baring lots of skin” there is a hell of a lot of difference now, isn’t there? If you take just shows shot in Miami like Dexter and Burn Notice, count the hot Latinas in the background shots in bikinis and you’ve got your 37% right there.
Now if I was a suspicious auditor I’d notice an article—so nitpicky that it gets into two decimals earlier—leaving out all sorts of data when it was conveniently trying to portray one group as being hyper-sexualized might possibly be trying to establish some kind of narrative.
The study doesn’t suggest many reasons why these numbers have played out this way, but I have a few theories.
Mine are better.
First, Hollywood doesn’t seem to be paying a price for its mistakes. To continue the analogy from above, if you keep going back to the restaurant after it gives you an awful seat, where’s the incentive to treat you better? If nonwhite consumers keep flocking to movies that underrepresent them, filmmakers have little reason to improve.
Yes, Latinos, NPR just called you stupid. How DARE you enjoy movies and be entertained? You should totally boycott them to salve some white suburban liberal’s white guilt!
Annoying twits put their perpetual outrage ahead of their enjoyment. Everything has to be filtered through their obnoxious white guilt. Meanwhile the rest of planet Earth is throwing piles of money at a movie with a sentient tree and a talking raccoon.
Secondly, Hispanic filmgoers don’t seem to embrace movies with high-profile Hispanic characters en masse in the same way black movie consumers do. Black-centered films like 12 Years a Slave and The Butler were championed by black people across the country as must-see viewing.
You ever catch that the Social Justice Warriors don’t like when a group of people turn out to be individuals instead of a homogeneous collective? Damn it. You all check the same box on an EEOC form! You should totally think the same, have the same opinions, and like the same things! Latinos are SUPPOSED to go watch Latino movies. Blacks are SUPPOSED to watch black movies… Noticing a trend yet?
But, perhaps because there are so many different cultures and nationalities defined as Hispanic in America, such waves of support don’t seem to happen as often for the few movies featuring Hispanic stars.
No kidding? And now the author accidentally pulls back the curtain just a bit to reveal the soft racism of the left.
Maybe those lumped into the “Latino” bucket are an incredibly diverse group of humanity who are going to watch whatever the fuck they feel like? Offically “Latino” includes people originating from the bottom half of one continent, top to bottom of another, a bunch of islands across every hemisphere, the Iberian Peninsula, and from that you get a few dozen competing cultures, thousands of years of history of badasses conquering shit, exploring the world, and making babies and bringing back wives from every genetic population on planet Earth, and NPR is upset that they don’t all fit in the same box?
But keep in mind, it is my side that gets called racist.
Also, it’s not always clear to audiences when a Hispanic actor is playing a Hispanic character. Zoe Saldana is Puerto Rican and Dominican, but in last year’s Star Trek movie, she played Lt. Uhura — a character who is of African descent in the TV series.
First off, you may have noticed that the movie diverged a bit from the TV show. Second off… is NPR trying to say that Puerto Ricans and Dominicans can’t have African ancestors? Does the staff of NPR ever leave their college campuses?
They left off a bit. In Guardians of the Galaxy, Zoe Saldana isn’t EASILY IDENTIFIABLE as Puerto Rican because she is GREEN.
Jennifer Lopez played a character called Leslie Rodgers in last year’s Jason Statham movie Parker and her mother was played by Patti LuPone. Though her ethnicity was never stated, Lopez’s character wasn’t easily identifiable as Hispanic.
If you rented a Jason Statham movie expecting nuanced discussion about race relations, you done fucked up. You rent Jason Statham movies to watch Jason Statham kick people in the face.
And is NPR implying that somebody who is genetically Latino can’t have an Anglo surname?
Oh, but wait… She isn’t EASILY IDENTIFIABLE as Hispanic. Because the SJWs are really all about keeping everyone in their proper place. Don’t worry, you let leftists run things long enough and eventually they make everybody wear these super helpful armbands for easy identification.
This kind of colorblind casting can have two effects on diversity. Supporting characters such as spouses, parents and siblings are less likely to also be Hispanic, and audiences that want to support Hispanic characters may be confused about which roles fit that bill.
I want you to read that paragraph and think about it really hard. Colorblind casting is somehow a bad thing.
Audiences might be confused what fucking box they should assign characters to? In other words, to the modern SJW, judging somebody by their character instead of the color of their skin is racist.
Finally, the USC study found that black directors were more likely to cast black people in speaking parts (white directors cast black characters in 10.8 percent of speaking roles, compared with 46 percent of roles for black directors).
The real question is what kind of movie was the director casting? What was the setting? What kind of characters did the story call for? If I was directing an episode of the Wire set in the projects of West Baltimore I’d probably cast more black actors than if I was directing an episode of Downton Abby.
Also, auditor hat on. How many black directors are there? What is the target audience of their films? Could the most prolific of the black directors be Tyler Perry and Spike Lee, who would skew the stats because they’ve cast more black actors for movies targeting a black audience?
Yeah… You know what Mark Twain said about statistics. Unless you’re a Social Justice Warrior, then racism.
But two of the most prominent films of last year led by Hispanic directors — Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity and Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim — had just one major part for a Hispanic actor between them.
Why do Latino directors have to have some sort of Latino solidarity? Why is NPR against ethnic mixing and free association? Why is NPR in favor of keeping everyone in their ghetto? Why does NPR get a dime of tax money to produce this bullshit?
Why is NPR interested in ethnic purity, where Latino directors pick Latino actors and direct Latino films, and white directors pick white actors for their white films? Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro are both brilliant artists making art. Why don’t you let them make their art, rather than lecture them about your artificial Social Justice bullshit? Nope. Instead SJWs try to paint artists as some sort of race traitors for not complying to their arbitrary rules.
Guillermo del Toro gave us Idris Elba rocket punching Godzillas with a giant Voltron. Your argument is invalid.
And that character, played by the Mexican-American actor Clifton Collins Jr., was a Chinese-American technician.
Wait… Earlier they were complaining about Jennifer Lopez’s character having an Anglo last name, but now they’re upset that another Latino who has a real life Anglo last name was playing a guy named Tendo Choi, in a movie where a black British actor played a man named STACKER PENTECOST?
Make up your mind, NPR!
Once again the SJWs try to suck all the fun out of everything.
Side note, Pacific Rim might help prove one of my earlier points about British actors sneaking over here and stealing all our jobs, since the “American” lead is from Newcastle upon Tyne, which I’m pretty sure isn’t in Nebraska.
The study’s numbers suggest that Hollywood continues to have difficulty featuring a world that’s as diverse ethnically and culturally as real life.
SJWs don’t want real diversity, like opinions, thoughts, tastes, or beliefs, but rather they demand simple, easily categorized, skin-deep diversity so they can keep everybody in their proper box.
But the reasons behind the lack of representation may be more complex and interconnected than anyone realizes.
NPR is looking to manufacture some outrage. They’re just pissed that Latinos aren’t conveniently confirming to their proper racist boxes. When NPR says that some of the Latin actors aren’t “easily recognizable” that means that they aren’t conforming to accepted liberal suburban Ivy League stereotypes. NPR wants Latinos to play beaners in sombreros, hotel maids, or gang bangers… Playing a computer technician, Alderan’s congressman, or captain of the Galactica is just crazy.
Latinos will continue getting roles in movies, just like they’ll keep writing books. Those that find an audience and succeed in entertaining them will get more work. Shockingly enough the entertainment industry is all about entertainment. And while us entertainers work, hustle, and make art, Social Justice Warriors will continue to bitch uselessly about “diversity”. In time more Latinos will have success in entertainment and NPR will still be whining about how come there aren’t more left handed, transsexual, robots represented.
The real problem the SJWs have with Latinos is that we actually are diverse, and not just bullshit skin-deep, check box diversity. Most of us here just think of ourselves as Americans and go about our lives. So I’m just going to assume that missing 11.1% of Latinos do exist in these imaginary movie worlds, it is just that they look more like my kids than they look like Machete.