If you’ve seen Orange Is The New Black, the new Godzilla movie, Pacific Rim, or any of a host of films and TV shows that have a white (usually male) protagonist front and center while the more interesting characters of color are pushed into the supporting roles, you’re probably familiar with this.
The mentality behind it is something like this:
“Well, audiences need someone to identify with in the story, and since mainstream audiences only identify with white people, we need to have a white person there to sort of sneak in the interest in the characters of color. We use that character as our Trojan Horse to get people to see the characters of color as people they can identify with and root for.”
In essence, because white people only care about white people, there needs to be a white character involved in the story even though, narratively speaking, it should be about the characters of color.
Like fucking Dances with Wolves. Everybody knew that the Lakota characters were way more interesting than John Dunbar’s white ass. As far as the story is concerned, Kicking Bird and Wind In His Hair were the real main characters.
Fucking The Last Samurai, which is Dances with Wolves Goes to Japan, but far less self-aware about those pesky issues like racism and imperialism. I don’t think anyone watching that movie needed Tom Cruise to help them understand these characters, their world, or their story.
Don’t get me started on The Help. Like any of us gave a flying fuck about Skeeter’s ass when Aibileen and Minny are the real heart of the story.
This Trojan Horse shit is so bad that even white folks are starting to notice this shit!
I would like to take this moment to say…
I’m so beyond sick of that shit! I’m so beyond sick of it that the next time it happens, I will not be held responsible if I go up to some random white guy and toss a bag of rabid opossums on his crotch. That’s how fucking done I am with that shit.
They think it’s so damn clever, too. “Have another attractive white man. SIKE!“
Really? That’s the best they can do? Not creating three-dimensional characters of color. Oh no, that would take too much effort. No, they gotta put boring-ass white folks in the center of the narrative because that’s what they say audiences want and expect. And yet those desires and expectations inexplicably have nothing to do with the ways that mass media force-feeds people white supremacy from the day they’re born. That whole message that only white people are important apparently comes out of thin air. It’s always, “The audience wouldn’t see that,” or “The audience doesn’t want that.”
How about this one: “I’m a lazy, racist asshole with no imagination, and I think everyone else is too.”
We don’t need that shit. We didn’t need that shit in Blade; we didn’t need it in Bad Boys (or Bad Boys 2); we didn’t need it in 12 Years A Slave; we didn’t need it in After Earth; we didn’t need it in The Butler.
So many movies already made a shitload of money with nary a White Tour Guide Character in sight. You don’t need a white character to ease the audience into giving a shit about characters of color. You just need to give characters of color the same care and attention as you would the white characters. As a matter of fact, all that time and energy spent on this random-ass white dude or white chick would be better spent on giving the characters of color more to do in the story besides help some white person fulfill their destiny or whatever the fuck these assholes think people of color ought to be doing.
These muthafuckas need to cut the fucking shit and just admit that they don’t wanna see our Black and Brown asses on screen more than they absolutely have to unless we’re helping white folks or making them laugh at us.
Or, at the very least, stop breaking their arms patting themselves on the back so hard for deigning to have a Brown or Black face in the supporting cast.