Thursday, March 27, 2008

Acting White: King Kong Meets Fay Wray, Side Bar #3

Some people are pissed about LeBron and Gisele together on the cover of Vogue. Now it is not hard to see the cinematic symbolism of big dark scary LeBron (which he is) and wispy, fair and pretty Gisele (which she is). Does it play off stereotypes? Yes. Are there ‘kernels’ of truth supporting those stereotypes? Yes. Does it create sexual/racial tension? Yes. Does tension sell? Hell Yes. Is it in good taste? Perhaps not. Is it racist? Well, yeah - but hold on a minute. I am proposing that some race-plays are reasonable, in context. In fact, drawing boundaries of acceptability for things racial is good for us, as it gives us room to recognize race without threat of insta-banishment to the dungeon of political-incorrectness.

James C. Collier

Addendum HatTip to the Field Negro and his buddy Tom. The only difference, unlike Fay Wray, Gisele looks ready to party.


READ MORE ACTING WHITE...

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8 comments:

CW said...

Actually, I've seen this photo on several blogs....I don't know how to feel about it yet...

Martins said...

hmmm all white men's are racists :D!!

Heavy D! said...

It's not the picture I would have chosen, but is it really something to get worked up about? No. It's a picture on a magazine cover.

The fact that it's possible to see racism in everything and get pissed off about it doesn't mean that we SHOULD see racism in everything get pissed off about it.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was sexy and exciting. She's looking ready to dance and he's got a positive look to him. Wouldn't you want to be where they are?

angel said...

Lebron is an idiot..This is the reason why they shouldn't let these athletes forego college to play in the NBA. He clearly wasn't smart enough to realize how he was being portrayed as a gorilla. Education is the key.

And before anyone sais..this magazine cover is "sexy"..or "not that bad"..Look at the meaning of GORILLA in the websters dictionary.

1. the largest of the anthropoid apes, Gorilla gorilla, terrestrial and vegetarian, of western equatorial Africa and the Kivu highlands, comprising the subspecies G. g. gorilla (western lowland gorilla), G. g. graueri (eastern lowland gorilla), and G. g. beringei (mountain gorilla): now rare.
2. an ugly, brutish person.
3. Slang. a hoodlum or thug, esp. one who threatens or inflicts violence.

Miss_Jolie said...

I dont like the magazine cover at all... it has very racist undertones... I dont think its fair to bring Lebron down and call him an idiot or uneducated... But I do agree that "they" are portraying him as a beast/gorilla. I mean look at the stance and the expression. Surely he wouldn't have approved this picture to be published????

Kai said...

Do you realize you said Lebron is big dark and scary? Whats so scary about Lebron? smh

James C. Collier said...

Well, dark clothes + dark skin + 6'10" = big and dark. A facial expression that says, 'i'm gonna kick your ass' + (big and dark) = scary.