Does the King Kong movie have racist overtones?

by enlightenedcynic 97 Replies latest social entertainment

  • CaptainSchmideo
    Yeah, well at the 3rd International Artistic Convention in 1908, it was decided for the next hundred years Jews would be given all the good parts as they were bored with Fagin, Shylock, and all the other fun fun roles that had been written for them in the past millenia. Get over it, the agreement lapses in 2008. I think gypsies are up for the next hundred years of good parts, or is it the gays (remember only gay Jews could already get good parts)?"

    I just had to say that this was the funniest comment I read during this entire post!

    Reminded me of a line from the movie, "To Be or Not To Be", where Mel Brooks, the owner of a theatre struggling to survive in Nazi occupied Warsaw, says "Without Gypsies, Jews, or Fags, there is no Theater!"

  • seesthesky

    intersting discussion - those saying no racism exists in the KK movie and other flicks remind me of "white" people when i was growing up saying to non-white people whom they "befriended"-

    "you're not like other black/mexican/japanese people"

    then seeming befuddled when the object of their "affection" suggested that the comment had racist overtones -

    hell, how could a simple affectionate statement like that convey racism - and even if it did, it sure as hell wasn't intended to -

    which is precisely my point


  • Leolaia

    I just saw King Kong this afternoon....really blown away by the sensitive treatment of Kong and the inventive thrills on Skull Island (I am easily bored now by action pics, but this movie had some really entertaining bits), and Jack Black is fun as always. I was off put by the depiction of indigenous ppls as savages....if anything in the movie is racist, that is it. However, I noticed that the Broadway production that Black's character put on stage went much further into stereotypical territory of depicting the natives, which made me think that Jackson was trying to make fun of those old Hollywood stereotypes as much as draw on them....

  • bigmouth

    bigmouth finishes pissing himself and says:

    Peter Jackson and I would like to apologise for being the worst kind of people; white,middle-aged,male and New Zealanders.We don't have black people or monkeys unless they're visiting.

  • Abaddon


    Clever but sorry this arguement though has some truths doesn't really cut it.

    Simply ask any Black slave "you know it's 1750 everybody expects you to be a slave so do your bit for white society and don't worry be happy. Jolly good show"

    Slave, "Yes sir massa I is a happy slave I knows yo ain't racialist its 1750"

    Come on Spectrum, you're either misunderstanding or misrepresenting my argument. Where at any point did I say I was viewing it from the persepective of the oppressed in the time of the oppresion?

    I am viewing in the here and now the actions and views of people in the past in context with the standards of their time.

    Looking back one can clearly see the difference between historically acurate fiction where racism is portrayed in the narrative (as it happened in society at the time), and a propoganda piece with the explict purpose of expounding racist attitudes. Today it's no different; there is a clear difference between fiction where racism is portrayed in the narrative as it is seen in society, but where this racism is not endorsed or is even criticised, and a propoganda piece with the explict purpose of expounding racist attitudes.

    If you don't want to accept this, fine, but the difference is there.

    Older movies may indeed be racist by our standards today - 'Reefer Madness' for example - but you make it clear you're talking about modern movies.

    "Also, books and films do not always express the attitude of the author, but may present reportage or fictionalisation of actual events and attitudes."

    I know this abaddon. But reality is that too many hollywood films portray too many times the the groups I've mentioned in a bad light, whilst stereotyping their own in good light. That's just a fact. If you want to use that as ammunition to call me a anti-semetic it up to you.

    Hey, take responsibility for your own actions will you? But more about your belief that Hollywood is run by racist Jews later...

    "This showed convincingly that Rudyard may, compared to today, have had some racist attitudes, but that he mostly created characters like those in the world he saw around him; reportage is not racism.

    It depends what you do with it. What spin you put on it.

    Thank god you see that point;

    • Showing black people living in South Central L.A. breaking various laws is not racist.
    • Black people live in South Central LA and break various laws.
    • Portrayal is not racist.
    • Obviously white people in Derby, KA, break laws, but the laws that are broken in LA make for a more interesting movie, and the soundtrack will be better.
    • If Derby had a gang problem and was known for being a centre of Cow-Hop music, then maybe we'd have more movies based there.

    Now, if a movie is ridiculing the black people, if it is presenting them all as stupid, amoral, uneducated, then it's portrayal has a spin on it that does not fit with reality, and you're right to say it has racist attitudes.

    But if the white and black people portrayed are indistinguishable in their 'individual worth' (corrupt cops of all colours versus low-down dirty gang-bangers from the Hispanic and black community for example), then it ISN'T racist.

    The portrayal of a black person as 'not nice' is not neccesarily racist, it is part of the range of characeters one will encounter in ANY movie or book. To insist, it automatically is racist is to imply that any portrayal of a white person as not nice is racist too.

    Lets talk about the recent history which still affects these stereotyped people. So we pick racist tendencies from the wider society I then happen to be a film producer and reflect all these in the films I choose to produce. I'll produce a string of negative stereotyping films to report on the state of our society. What's left is white society being reminded whose "good" and whose "bad".

    Okay, make your case rather than just making snide accusations;

    WHICH directors conform to your description "produce a string of negative stereotyping films to report on the state of our society" so as to "reminded whose "good" and whose "bad""?

    Wrong. Portrayal of Goebels is not justification or acceptence of his actions as a norm."

    That was my point. It's wrong.

    Are you saying ANY portrayal of Gobels is wrong as it will spread his attitudes? Or that only portrayals sympatheitic with his world view are wrong?

    You cite LA Confidential as an example. Hmmmm... how come two corrupt white policemen isn't a racist portrayl? Is the rape scene in Red Sun or Last Exit to Brooklyn or The Accused racist towards whites as all the rapists in those movies are white? Is the Godfather racist towards Italians? Schindler's List towards German?

    A predominantly WHITE society representing corrupt WHITE cops is not much of an issue.

    So you can portray white cops like that, but if you do it with a black cop it is racist? Hmmmm... that attitude is arguably in itself is racist! According to your logic, a docudrama about Marion Berry would be racist, but one about a white mayor who did exactly the same wouldn't. Huh?

    I notice no snappy answers for the examples of the Godfather and Schindler's List as - according to your logic - being racist towards Italians and Germans. Difficult to defend your logic against those examples? Or OK to be racist towards white Europeans?

    "You miss my point. If (as is so) black people are more likely than white to be a/ poor, and b/ have a criminal record, then a portrayal of areas with large black populations as being poor and criminal is simply reflecting society."

    "Like I said. Again. It's the frequency that is the problem."


    It is a fact no one would pay to either make or see a movie about a fraudulant white accountant in Boise, Idaho, whose 'bitch' is a white Elementary School teacher with an over-bite, and a soundtrack of "Songs about potatoes".

    You seem to miss that movies are commercial, so they have to make money, so they have to attract movie-goers. Using easily dramatised scenarios for action movies et. al., prehaps results in disproportionate numbers of movies about black criminal culture. But only because of the scenario's suitability for a dramtic film - unlike my example of a representative white collar (oh my god, the racism!!! I said white collar!) crime which would make people kill themselves from boredom.

    A thought occurs to me - as you freely admit you don't see all of movies, maybe you miss the contextualising bit, the sticky end for the nasty people, the revelation of humanity in an apparently brutalised young person?

    "The fact that black people are more still likely than white to be a/ poor, and b/ have a criminal record is a sign that despite efforts, in practise society in the USA is still racist even if far fewer individuals are racist than thirty years ago."

    And Hollywood knows exactly what to do with this racism.

    *sigh* Seems you are more interested in grandstanding a logically obtuse and indefensable stance than about the ACTUAL existence of racism in the real world. Try to find common ground with you and you're back on the soap box.

    "I think addressing the issues that prevents true parity in society no matter what race one is is FAR more important than assembling a list of movies someone can assert are racist. "

    Well meaning people addressing the issue of drugs is not helped by Hollywood's glamorisation of it. Racism likewise.

    Glamourise racism? What, like "American History X"? "Amistad"? "The Colour Purple?" - oh no, the last one is racist, it has not-nice black people in it.

    God, you find it easy to be critical. Bitching about movies will not change society. Get some prespective. If you put this fire and effort into political and social activism you might actualy achieve something. Do you even VOTE?

    Okay, you going to tell me black people are NOT disproportionately represented in American prisons? Well, you can if you want, but you'd be wrong. It is a fact. Rather than saying a thing about this awful fact, you talk about movies!!!!"

    I know it's a fact but "a black man in jail AGAAAAAAAAAAAAIN

    See? You'd rather bitch about movies than make one constructive response about real-life. Each time I look for common ground you repeat yourself.

    "Damage? There's MORE damage from the social ills that are portrayed than in the protrayal of social ills. And the existnece of social ills is where the real racism lies."

    Correct so let's not give the predominantly white society any more excuses to find these groups unsavoury.

    Man, you can't see it.

    Most people here (majority white, majority American) think your attitude in this are is daft and that what you see as racism isn't. Your arguments fail to prove your point, they're just repetiton of your original contention, and "repetition for emphasis" of a silly idea just makes the silliness more obvious.

    Harsh but fair, sad but true. Thus what YOU see as racist and liable to "give the predominantly white society any more excuses to find these groups unsavoury" is not seen by the majority here as racist. Ever considered you might be wrong and taking PC too far?

    Please tell me exactly how, with your standards, one can ever portray a black person in a movie doing something wrong without it being racist?

    What next? Turn blackout into 'power outage' or 'wartime night lighting regulations'? In which case white-out should be changed to 'opaque liquid for correction of typing errors'. Blackboard into chalk board? In which case white boards would have to be 'marker boards or dry-wipe boards. How about niggardly? Is that word okay? I am sure there are a myriad of totally pointless things you could in some peope's minds ease racism. But they'd have as much effect on racism as calling a manhole cover a 'sewer egress hatch' would have on sexism.

    It reminds me of a lady who gave me a hard time for making a joke wherein Feng Shui was Chinese for 'gullable foreigner'. She didn't see the joke (Chinese people making fun of Westerners for picking up silly old supersticion), but though that it was critical of Chinese people.

    "I heard that very few mammals were caught out by the disaster. Their instincts told them to run for the lives.

    So, are you telling me Europeans are stupider than animals? OH MY GOD!!! "

    Abaddon what are you talking about? I was merely saying that animals had picked up on the ensuing disaster and scarpered saving themselves.

    The original comparison was against Europeans, so 'obviously' you are implying Europeans are more stupid than animals. But you don't get the point at all, do you? I'm merely illustrating how someone who wants to take offesne, will. Some one who wants to find the face of Jesus in a taco, will. Someone whose wants to see racism, will.

    Your standards for the portrayal of black people in movies are racist, as if applied they would put a lot of black actors (who don't feel they are Uncle Toming) out of work, purely because a over-senstive and highly imaginative minority are so eager to take offense.

    You also, without anything more than your say-so, are accusing Hollywood Directors and Producers of a concerted campaign of portraying black people in a negative light. Great conspiracy theory - as asked for earlier, please put some meat on the bones and give actual examples.

    I do hope you realise that was humour."

    Yes I did!

    Hmmm... given your inability to seperate fictionalised portrayals of modern society from propoganda movies... are you sure you got it? You not 'getting' fictional narrative or humourous counters would explain how someone who initially seems to be completely reasonable can see the world in an entirely different way to the majority.

    Abaddon you got the wrong end of the stick. "Poor rizzo" was written in a sacrcastic manner.

    I would believe that implicitly if it hadn't been for your implying that Hollywood is controled by Jews and anti-Gentile. As this is verbatim the sort of shit I have heard from real racists, for you to say something like this whilst standing in judgement of an entire industry comprised of people of all races is hypocritical. Deal with the reaction your own words provoke; don't make you putting your foot in your mouth someone else's fault.

  • rocketman

    All I can say is, if I ever find myself on an island like Skull Island, I'm bringing back a dinosaur, not an ape.

    Pick Something People Think Is Extinct Class

  • Naturist

    Hi All, It is very easy to get heated over such discussions. I my self speaking as a black person take possible depictions of racist attitudes with a light touch. If I had spent the last 400 years justifying the enslavement and exploitation of others and assuming supremacy based on something as flimsy as skin pigmentation, hell I'd probably be inherently racist too :^). The truth is racism is endemic in the Anglo Saxon protestant tradition, and to argue otherwise is just plain silly. The question then is what to do about it. Well as a black person, I feel that my primary responsibility is not to internalise it. I owe it to myself not to see racists hiding behind every corner (or every 2 tonne Gorilla). At the end of the day it is not for me to determine the internal thought processes of others. The KK film producers could be racists or they could be folk who thought it was a good idea to make a movie about a 2 tonne Gorilla, who knows (and who cares). Hey, I may even go and watch the movie myself if it turns out to be good entertainment. I have no problem with race other than my people have learned the hard way to be wary of other groups who may have a problem with our race. I see Racism as the white mans problem. It has taken him 400 years to get himself to this place, and it could take him another 400 years to get himself out. The strength of response to this post is testimony to how sensitive the issue of race still is. In the meanwhile I and many others of colour will continue to live on this planet as first class citizens, despite the prejudices and phobias of others. Have white people gotten over themselves yet? I don't know, and quite frankly I don't care. Peace.

  • Spectrum


    I'm going to make this my last lengthy reply to you. I think you are being obstinate and take no regard of what non-whites have to say about their portrayal in the most important film industry.

    Everything is hunky-dory now is it. Of course modern movies too. I mentioned The English Patient as an example. I almost fell off my seat when that scene was shown.

    I have no problem with some film portrayals of non-whites I've already stated that clearly.

    True, but when you keep banging at it you start to see a pattern, it is racist pattern. You said that old western were bad compared to today. Is that the best description you could come up with. They were racist against the Natives because the natives were always portrayed as savages - only a dead ingeon is a good ingeon.

    That's what I've saying all along. Goodmorning

    True, for the nth time the problem is when it is overdone.

    Hollywood mate.

    Good question. Showing constant portrayals sympathethic to Gobel's world view would be totally unacceptable to those that run Hollywood. They'ed cut their throats before they did that. However hollywood doesn't find it unacceptable to portaying their own racist views of Blacks, NA, Hispanics and now muslims at a constant predictable rate.

    So you can portray white cops like that, but if you do it with a black cop it is racist? Hmmmm... that attitude is arguably in itself is racist! "

    Most certainly not. It's your logic you need to check.

    Absolutely you are right but at the expense of the reputation and constant bad mouthing of these groups.

    No chance.

    I wouldn't have expected a different outcome.

    Very simple. Don't over do it. Think type caste then apply that to whole groups. What leads to type casting on an individual actor Abaddon. Yes that's right it's the constant portrayal of an actor in a particular type of role. Good actors hate it when that happens, guess what so do these groups we've talked about. Murderers rapist, savages, drugs lords, junkies.

    I don't think so. I was talking about Tarzan. Angaoowa!

    You also, without anything more than your say-so, are accusing Hollywood Directors and Producers of a concerted campaign of portraying black people in a negative light. Great conspiracy theory - as asked for earlier, please put some meat on the bones and give actual examples. "

    The minority takes offense, believe it. I've still to meet a black person and now good muslim friends of mine that hasn't taken offense from racist hollywood.

    Abaddon your living in cuckoo land.

    My, my. A racist industry run predominantly by Jews and I'm the racist. A group of people that guard the reputation of their own like there is no tomorrow but have no qualms about bad mouthing others more or less since it's inception.

    Anti-semetic charges are water off a ducks back for me. It's cheap. I call things the way I see them.

    Anyway Abaddon I like to concentrate on that reply to the evolution thread. Hope you are still talking to me.

  • Naturist

    Wow the discussion is really getting heated!! I think the trap that both Spectrum and Abaddon are falling into is to confuse the label with the thing. The label "racist" is a very powerful one. Labelling everyone from Hitler to the average Hollywood producer as the same thing is meaningless. General labels like black, white and racists encompass such a broad spectrum as to be meaningless. We all generalise, but as shown here over generalisation tends to create more heat then light. I still hold to my previous point: "The truth is racism is endemic in the Anglo Saxon protestant tradition, and to argue otherwise is just plain silly." So if certian attitudes are endemic in a culture then they are bound to show up in movies, literature, music etc. Does this mean all Hollywood producers are racist? Clearly no. Does it mean that there are some racists overtones in Hollywood? - Well obviously. The issue is degree. "400 years justifying the enslavement and exploitation of others and assuming supremacy based on something as flimsy as skin pigmentation,.. " It would be silly to assume that such an historical legacy would not have an impact on attitudes today, even if that impact is subtle and subliminal. The real issue then is what to do about it. Personally I prefer to ignore it. After all I can make movies too and write books. There are enough like-minded people out there to move the cultural centre of gravity in my favour. It may take time, but things are clearly moving in the right direction. Now you two kiss and make up :^)

  • hamsterbait

    The actress Anne, is white because in 1930, no woman of African descent would have been chosen for a starring filom role opposite a hunky actor of European descent.

    As for the island, this type of human sacrifice religion existed all over the world, including Europe. Look at the Incas and Aztecs. Look at the Druids, the Romans, the Babylonians. In some parts it was the custom for a fit young man on a certain day, to stand naked before an altar with a razor sharp knife. At a given signal, he would slice off his lips ears, genitals, muscle tissues, eyebrows, working as rapidly as possible. Once he was too faint from loss of blood, a friend would complete the job.

    Since by the 30s such religious practices no longer existed in the lands dominated by the europeans, it is inevitable that those who continued to practise them were not of white european descent.

    Is it racist to point out that female circumcision is practiced in some parts of Africa, but that it is illegal in Europe?

    In Papua, even now, it is considered respectful to eat ones dead relative. There are very old men who are proud to have eaten the penis of ther enemy. This is just fact.


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