What They Say, What We Say

I've just gotta say somethin' 'bout Wonderful World.  Based on watching the trailer:


What They Say: Oh, goodie! Someone finally wrote a movie for the post-racial era!

What We Say: *twitch* A white person wrote this.

What They Say: What country is "Sanaa Lathan" from?

What We Say: What is Sanaa doing in this movie?  And where'd she get that God-awful accent?  Did she need a check?

What They Say: See?  We don't ask black people to serve us.  They just do it anyway.  It's probably part of their culture.  Is that what started slavery?

What We Say: *sigh* A white person wrote this.

What They Say: So, basically, that girl is going to have, like, an African stepmom!  How exotic!  Like...her siblings are going to be part black!  She's going to have a diverse/multicultural family!

What We Say: The Mammy Stereotype. *nods grimly*  We meet again.

What They Say: I bet Sanaa must have really enjoyed being Broderick's love interest.  She's probably seen his old movies in her country and thought he was cute.  I bet she had a crush on him.

What We Say: Sanaa must've really needed that check.

What They Say: She's pretty for a black woman...and kinda lighter than her brother.  Maybe they have different dads.  Maybe hers was white...like a European or something.  Maybe her dad was a white South African, like DiCaprio in that diamond movie.  Maybe that's where she's from!

What We Say: They couldn't bother to cast two black folks who actually look like?  Are we that interchangeable to them?

What They Say: So basically, her cooking, cleaning, dancing, superstitions, and "lion" sexing make him brighten up and see the world in a better light.  How romantic!

What We Say: *shudder* Um...Massa's Favorite Magical Wench anyone?

***
So...did I miss anything?

Comments

  1. In the post-racial world, everything is about white men!

    I wonder why it's called "Wonderful World"? Is that a Louis Armstrong reference? Because adding black people makes things wonderful?

    I used to enjoy watching all the trailers when I went to the movie theatre... and I guess I still do... but I enjoy it less when it's really hard to ignore that every protagonist is a white dude.

    This past weekend my aunt said I had to see this movie called Cairo Time, because it was so different from Hollywood movies. After we saw it, and my aunt was no longer in the room, my sister commented that it's the standard "older white woman goes abroad and finds unexpected love" story, only set in Egypt instead of Italy, which meant that there was some extra exoticization of the "other" and pontificating about the status of Muslim women. Another example of white film-makers thinking they're being cutting-edge when really, they're not.

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  2. 1. women who look like Sanaa would not let men who look like Mathew touch them, it ain't happening
    2. Omar from the Wire! I love him but not enough to support this movie
    3. Sanaa's accent = FAIL
    4. Black people volunteer to cook for you after you free them from the backwards homeland, RIGHT
    5. Black people will teach you how to dance

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  3. Ok, I know nothing about this film, but I am not sure if I agree with:

    "I bet Sanaa must have really enjoyed being Broderick's love interest. She's probably seen his old movies in her country and thought he was cute. I bet she had a crush on him."

    I get the idea (a black actress must be happy to be a white man's love interest and must like him because he's white), but... Matthew Broderick? He's not ugly or anything, but I don't think anybody see him as a hot guy.

    Also, I can't believe whites never heard of Sanaa Lathan!

    But the other comments are spot on. And to reply to

    They couldn't bother to cast two black folks who actually look like? Are we that interchangeable to them?

    Duh! Yes. All black people look alike. There's no need to discuss this, it's a fact. Those who happen to look different than the other blacks are mixed (with white).

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  4. I may have a permanent squint from all the glowering I did while watching that trailer. Why call it 'Wonderful World'? Why not just be honest and call it 'Unlucky Everydude Scores Exotic African Pussy'. -eye roll- I lost count of how many tired tropes and stereotypes where in the trailer.

    Sometimes I get mad at the actors and actresses who appear in the roles, but then I remember the prospects for POC and hey they've got student loans and mortgages and utility bills to pay, and I just feel sad.

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  5. I get the idea (a black actress must be happy to be a white man's love interest and must like him because he's white), but... Matthew Broderick? He's not ugly or anything, but I don't think anybody see him as a hot guy.

    I specifically mentioned his "old movies" because he was actually quite cute...25 years-ish ago.

    Also, I can't believe whites never heard of Sanaa Lathan!

    You'd be surprised. Remember when she was confused for Naomie Harris? In America, this sort of thing happens all the time.

    Black people will teach you how to dance

    *snaps fingers* I knew I left off something!

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  6. Notice the symbolic "taking out" of the MoC. First, he's written as her brother. Then - just to make sure the black man is really neutralized - he's put in a diabetic coma.

    You're telling me there was no other way to introduce these two? Is anyone else having flashbacks of Monster's Ball?

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  7. I specifically mentioned his "old movies" because he was actually quite cute...25 years-ish ago.

    True, he was cute, but that's not the point. The point is, majority of the white female audience don't fantasize about him. So they would not be that hurt to see him with a black woman. But a guy who is considered super-hot alpha male? George Clooney, Brad Pitt (or whoever is popular these days). No way!

    Remember when she was confused for Naomie Harris?

    Actually no, I didn't know about it. Why did people think it was the same person? Because all blacks look alike?

    (Now, they are close in age and I don't know, they both have features that whites don't usually see as "typically black", but still...)

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  8. The point is, majority of the white female audience don't fantasize about him. So they would not be that hurt to see him with a black woman.

    That's not what I meant. I meant, they'd look at her think, "Oh...she must feel lucky to be love interest of a white guy" (doesn't matter which one). Like she got a cookie or something.

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  9. That's not what I meant. I meant, they'd look at her think, "Oh...she must feel lucky to be love interest of a white guy" (doesn't matter which one). Like she got a cookie or something.

    I know what you meant, and you're right: whites tend to see it this way (even if black person is gorgeous and white one average or below average). But the way you worded, it sounded like there's something special about Broderick himself- but there isn't and whites know it.

    I think they see things along the lines of:

    "I bet Sanaa must have really enjoyed being Broderick's love interest. It's really great to see a diverse couple. She must be proud to be in this movie. It's a great opportunity for an actress like her to appear in a movie with Broderick".

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  10. Oddly enough, what you're saying brings up another issue.

    When the future King Arthur kisses a Black Guinevere, it's an "issue".

    When Spock kisses Uhura, it's an "issue".

    But when Matthew Broderick kisses Sanaa Lathan, it's "great".

    *shudder* All more reason she shouldn't have gone anywhere near this film.

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  11. Well, I must admit I'm making this up as I go, since I haven't seen the film. But I believe audience is not as passionate about Broderick as it is about Spock and King Arthur. Whites are ok to see men like Broderick or a non-iconic movie character with black women because diversity! post racial world! cute brown babies! But don't you DARE to touch their true heroes, icons or wet dreams.

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  12. On a side note (and a bit different, since it's a black man/white woman pairing), I am sick of "House MD" fans who discuss relationship between Omar Epps and Olivia Wilde's characters. I'm sick of hearing how she's amazingly gorgeous and how their relationship lacks chemistry. (In fact, it does lack chemistry, but because she's crappy and average. In short, he's the one who is too good for her and that's why the coupling seems forced).

    The point? This sort of thinking goes for black man/white woman TV pairings.

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  13. @ Mira

    I haven't seen this movie either, nor do I have any intent of seeing it. The trailer alone made me retch.

    When Kutner committed suicide for absolutely no reason whatsoever (other than the staff was mad at Kal Penn for appropriately abandoning an obviously sinking ship), I lost my will to watch. He was all that kept me coming back.

    Epps & Wilde lack chemistry to the point that it's agonizing. I cringed every time I saw them, and yes, he is too good for her. That's what happens when you hire someone to strictly be eye candy.

    Epps should've taken Penn's cue and bounced several seasons ago. The paycheck must be huge for him to stick around on that sorry-ass show.

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  14. Well, I must admit I like the show very, very much (mainly because of Hugh Laurie's portrayal), but when it comes to race, it's a solid racefail. It has it all, from token black to ignoring racial issues even when talking about race. Still Epps managed to make his character decent and real and not a perfect & boring token we often see.

    As for Penn, I always though he was the one who wanted to leave and his character to die- he wasn't fired.

    Epps/Wilde coupling doesn't make sense because it's obvious (to me at least) how forced it is. And he's TOO GOOD for her!!!

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  15. As for Penn, I always though he was the one who wanted to leave and his character to die- he wasn't fired.

    Yes, Penn wanted to leave, but his character didn't have to be killed off. There was a lot they could've done. When his character got axed, fans had a massive WTF moment.

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  16. True, it was WTF, but I still believe it's a common practice for your character to be killed off if you decide not to come back to the show. The problem is not that they killed the character, but the way they did it.

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  17. That's what I'm trying to say and not saying it well. Murder or an accident would've been better, because that whole suicide thing came out of NOWHERE.

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  18. I was planning on doing a post about the show so maybe we can discuss it then & there.

    As for Wonderful World, not sure what to say except that it's sad to watch a trailer and know exactly what's going to happen in the movie, to the last cliche.

    The problem with white audience is this: they don't want to watch shows/movies in which race issues and white privilege are shown the way they really are. So tons and tons of "let's get along", "colour blind" or "white guilt" movies are produced, which makes whites believe it's the true... and all those blacks are just whining because they are irrational like little kids.

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  19. Damn, like good dick, roles are rare for Black Actresses as hen's teeth and frog hair.

    White folks write these movies and we should see them as great insight into the White psyche. They're showing us what they feel is their perfect world one where either PoC don't exist/are GONE or where we're happy lil, darkies, always ready to serve.

    Yeah, BP LOVE slavin' for WP. Girl, if I had a nickel for every stank face I got from a WP because I DIDN'T fall on my knees and beg to wait on them hand and foot, I'd have enough to hire a team of THEM to do that for ME! The idea that PoC actually have lives, hopes, dreams and wishes OF OUR OWN that do NOT in any way involve serving or servicing WP must be a part of that cullud craziness.

    I'd betcha they'd have a collective stroke to find out most PoC do NOT believe that White folks smell like sunshine and lemon Pledge.

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  20. For real! White Americans DO expect PoC to serve them like slaves, maids and hired help, even when we're not. The idea of having a reciprocal relationship with Poc never crosses their minds. Their entitlement and arrogance makes them believe they are automatically deserving of these things. The reciprocity? Well, they ARE showing up WHITE aren't they?!

    Another fantasy WP have is that all they have to do is show up White to get the pick of PoC as romantic/sexual partners. I've actually talked to African women online and in person. No fuckin' way would they have cooked automatically for Broderick's character. They wouldn't have even stayed with dude. They'd have stayed in their brother's apartment (I'm assuming dude HAD his own place and wasn't shackin with Broderick) or with any family in the area. They wouldn't have been bothered with his ass. They probably wouldn't have even known or remembered who the fuck Broderick was as they'd be concentrating more on caring for their ill IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER. But of course, in White fantasy, PoC are more than willing to throw one of the their own under the bus for White attention.

    Secondly, an African woman as foine as Sanaa's character would NOT have looked at Matt's twice! More than likely, dude would have come onto HER in a very crude, "gimme sommuh dat choklit" way. First, like I said, she wasn't there to sexually service a WM. She was there to care for her ailing brother. And ANY man who'd try to get the cookies from her during THAT time would have gotten at LEAST a permanent gas face from her if not cussed out and read in at least THREE different languages.

    The African women I've talked to are WAAAAAY more choosy and picky about whom they LOVE and marry. They vet men. They look at much more than what a man looks like, but that don't mean sistas are fuckin' BLIND! I can see an African woman as stunning as Lathan (not necessarily looking like her. There are some dark-skinned, kinky short haired, wide nosed, big-lipped African sistas that'd make a straight woman "consider the possibilities" for more than a few minutes) seeing al' pudgy, hairy-ass Broderick and have the nether regions as dry as the Sahara. She'd KNOW she could do a hella lot better than him in a heartbeat.

    But that again is part of the White fantasy. Not only do White folks only have to show up White and PoC will rush to be their servant, fuck them and go all ga-ga over them, but that PoC don't DESERVE the best of WP while WP get to pick and choose the creme de la creme of PoC. That's why you get White folks having a conniption over HOT White characters loving up on PoC. And as you've cited, this is ESPECIALLY marked in White female audiences with hot WM and BW.

    Re: House and other shows with piss poor Black characters on them.

    Like I said, Hollywood ain't shellin' out role to Black thespians, especially Black actresses. That's why I don't blame Zoe Saldana for milking her brief time as a Hollywood "It" girl. I just hope she has good legal and financial people around her, because, more than likely, she'll be living for the rest of her life off the money she makes now.

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  21. As for Wonderful World, not sure what to say except that it's sad to watch a trailer and know exactly what's going to happen in the movie, to the last cliche.

    Yeah...that pretty much was the whole movie.

    They probably wouldn't have even known or remembered who the fuck Broderick was as they'd be concentrating more on caring for their ill IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER. But of course, in White fantasy, PoC are more than willing to throw one of the their own under the bus for White attention.

    See...this is what I mean! They had to "take out" the only man of color we see, and they REALLY had to take him out. They had to make him as unthreatening as possible - a blood relative, so not likely to fuck his sister, the leading lady; comatose, so not likely to fuck anybody else; and forgettable, even though she flew all that way just to see him.

    And notice the "pitting". They made the white ex-wife bitchy and outspoken, and the African girlfriend eager to please and overall subservient. Translation: if you're married to a white American woman and she gets too "uppity", then by all means...get you a less mouthy, servile bitch from abroad.

    And we're getting all this just from the trailer! That really is sad!

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  22. On a side note (and a bit different, since it's a black man/white woman pairing), I am sick of "House MD" fans who discuss relationship between Omar Epps and Olivia Wilde's characters. I'm sick of hearing how she's amazingly gorgeous and how their relationship lacks chemistry. (In fact, it does lack chemistry, but because she's crappy and average. In short, he's the one who is too good for her and that's why the coupling seems forced).

    I also see comments like this in Merlin fandom about Gwen/Arthur. Some fans talk about how they lack chemistry or that Arthur and Gwen don't look right together. They also talk about Arthur's hotness and how GWEN is the lucky one who's not worthy and fickle for being conflicted about Arthur and Lancelot (and even having a thing for Merlin in the beginning).

    Initially I didn't ship Arthur/Gwen two because I thought that he was a tool and that she would be better off with Merlin or Lancelot. This is not to say that Arthur lacks good qualities, but it's pretty clear that he's becoming a better person because of the influence of Merlin and Gwen (especially since she calls him on his behavior). He's the one who has to prove himself.

    What witchsistah said is true. In white folks eyes, their heroes, their icons can do no wrong. The POC, in this case WOC, is usually the less worthy party who should be happy to be with a WP...even when she's the better person.

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  23. oh, don't worry about Zoe Saldana. I have a strong feeling that this chick will be just fine financially.
    DAMN YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

    TO Witchsistah,
    i've seen you and other black sisters on those anti-racist blog and kept thinking to myself...why are they there, sh**t is not gonna change just bcuz... I'm glad some of you left cuz i couldn't take it any more.

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  24. Caridad,

    I believe I'm pretty much done with trying to convince WP to treat me as human online or in 3-D. And I'm going to nice about it anymore in either realm. And I'm no longer going to excuse it as "stupidity" or "ignorance" make benign White sociopathy and continuing of being abusers of PoC.

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  25. WHAT THEY SAY: Ohhh, goodie!
    WHAT WE SAY: Awww, shit.

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  26. THIS movie is a fail I don't think I can add anything else to the discussion because you lot said it all.

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  27. I watched this movie. His unattractiveness was very high. The relationship was ludicrous cos there is no way in hell she would give him the time of day IRL. Just another white man's fantasy.
    As for Merlin, They can choke on the hate. As mentioned previously, Arthur is the one who has to prove that he deserves Gwen...seeing as he is an entitled and spoiled brat...but still cute. :)

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  28. WHAT WE SAY: Awww, shit.

    That's pretty much what I said...after mopping up my pool of vomit.

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  29. Concerning attractiveness (or lack thereof): I don't think it's important per se. There are many attractive women who are with not-so-attractive men (and vice versa). So it can happen. What I see as a problem is that it's never explained in this movie. As far as I understand, we never see what an attractive woman like Sanaa saw in a man like Broderick. Which makes another thing evident: filmmakers' didn't see it that way. For them, Broderick being white is all it matters. They probably thought they should explain why he wanted to be with her, and not the other way around.

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  30. As far as I understand, we never see what an attractive woman like Sanaa saw in a man like Broderick. Which makes another thing evident: filmmakers' didn't see it that way. For them, Broderick being white is all it matters. They probably thought they should explain why he wanted to be with her, and not the other way around.

    *nods* Pretty much.

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