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This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: CNN’s Tedious Commenters

June 19, 2010

Well, she was good in Suddenly, Last Summer.

CNN’s latest example clown horn journalism – White actors snagging minority roles causes furor – captures what they do best:

  1. Post a poorly researched, half ass, provocative post riddled with essentialist language and devoid of nuance.
  2. Allow their bigoted, douchebag masses to post incredibly offensive, hateful garbage, which CNN will then use to beef up the sparse content of their next craptastic post.

The article is supposedly an examination of the whitewashing of films in Hollywood and what that means for your weekend. It’s hardly worth summarizing, but I do have a favorite passage:

“There appears to be no hard and fast data on how often white actors are cast as characters of color, but some industry observers say it happens enough to raise the ire of some fans.”

Yes, because the lack of data is the problem. Until we get some data on this situation, I suppose it’s just not really a situation, only a theory or wacky assumption. Who writes this horseshit?

And these freaking assclown commenters! It’s getting so, I can’t be arsed to read CNN’s bullshit content because you’re forced to contend with a slew of ill-informed, blathering chowderheads who clearly do not realize nobody gives two shits what they think about issues whose effects do not touch their lives. It’s like don’t these jive ass janky mofos have similarly minded jive ass janky mofos they can have these conversations with privately, so the rest of us can be spared? They act as though they are the only folks holding the unique viewpoint that others place too much emphasis on racial dynamics and the continuous effects of historical injustice.

From the brilliant mind of OneCarlos:

“Here we go again with the race issues….WTF get over that crap……This is life and no matter what the media or King Kong prefers to see this will continue on as long as we have choices. This producers are spending their money making this multimillion dollar films and now you want to tell them who to cast. When they hire a specific actor for their next film they have in mind that they are making a good investment because they know there will be a greater chance that people will go see that specific actor or actress than someone no one has ever seen. That is part of their advertising strategy. get out the damn box. Look at it in the producer’s perspective and live happy.. Worry free. :”

From this erudite individual, KJW414, whose birthday is probably April 14th:

“Nick Fury is played by a black guy now, he’s always been white in the CBs. Dean Cain was an Asian Superman. 90% of NBA players are black in a country that’s 80% white…But who cares? I don’t. Raise your kids to be colorblind and you’ll allow them to get through life without frivolous complaints. “

Watch your back, bell hooks, dfresh61 is the new racial theorist in town:

“Anyone who criticized Denzel Washington’s portrayal of Don Pedro, a caucasian role, in Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 Much Ado About Nothing would have been branded as either close minded or racist, in spite of his unconvincing and lackluster portrayal of the character (however admittedly better than Keanu Reeves as Don John). Is there a double standard ? No — closed minded, racist people come in all colors.”

You get the picture.

Most of the comments framed any discussion of racial inequalities as being “too PC” or “racist” or ” playing the race card” and rarely stopping to entertain the possibility it has little to do with casting Angelina Jolie as Cleopatra. I don’t have a huge issue with that other than at 35, she’s probably too old for the role. Ten years ago, I suppose would have been okay. I don’t think it’s ageist of me to say, “Get someone age appropriate to play Cleopatra, if you’re actually striving for a shred of authenticity. And a Greek actor in the role might also be a step in the right direction – albeit not without its own share of controversy. Of course, it would be new controversy!”

America still doesn’t know how to have a honest conversation about race – regardless of how its framed – and perhaps until they do, CNN can give up on its pathetic attempts at being interactive and get back to trying to craft stories better than the ones rejected by Parade Magazine.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 19, 2010 7:52 am

    The opening line of the CNN story — “There was a time when if a white actor or actress was cast in the role of a character of color, there was very little outcry. “ — seems to be begging the commenters to reminisce about the “good old days” when it was patriotic to be a white racist.

    The comments look like a case study of “derailing for dummies” with all the academic arguments about how black Cleopatra may or may not have been.

  2. June 19, 2010 9:49 am

    Dear OneCarlos:

    I feel like I should point out that one of the “biggest” films coming out this summer is also one that does the most “whitewashing.” The Last Airbender actually features characters that are originally Asian, but have mostly white folks cast to play them. White folks that NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD OF. So, would it really have hurt to have a few more (not the whole cast, Heaven forfend! But a few more) non-white actors/actresses? And don’t give me no lip about the kid from Slumdog Millionaire…he’s been cast as the villian, and we really don’t want to get into race politics about skin tone and perceived goodness, do we? And don’t even get me started on Prince of Persia.

    In other news, I don’t read CNN anymore. I still haven’t gotten over their new layout. Or the influx of idjits that’s taken over the site. And also, I kinda enjoyed Denzel as Don Pedro. So pffffft.

  3. June 20, 2010 6:38 pm

    Commenting on most sites is horrifying. Youtube is one of the worst, but at least it’s not trying to pass itself off as serious, fair and balanced news. Or serious anything for that matter. Actually, even the comments on food sites like Serious Eats and Chow is horrifying. Any dipshit who can use google thinks they’re a fucking expert on everything now… context or analysis be damned!

  4. June 23, 2010 1:06 am

    @p0plife! Ugh, Youtube scares me. Sometimes I want to link shit and find that I have to search for a version of the video where the user has rightfully disabled commenting, since I cannot vet every single comment before posting them to sites. There is just far too much fuckery.

    @redlami: definitely. Cleo’s racial and ethnic background is not the issue!

    @eieioj: ha. I like Denzel and I like Don Pedro, but I was only mildly entertained by Denzel as Don Pedro.

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