Racial Stereotypes in Comedy Hollywood films, for centuries, have been using American comedies to humorously naturalized the beliefs of racial differences that construct the Ideological basis of racial hierarchy. In American history racial hierarchy refers to the ranking of different races or ethnic groups. Professionals have found a ways for these films to provide the public with a positive source of pleasure In the negative portrayals of their own race and no reactions to produce oppositional discourse. In today’s society race plays a erroneous role in economic class, educational status, and social being.
All throughout mass media you see images and videos that the media is constantly portraying and reinforcing racial and ethnic stereotypes. In some ways may be extremely offending and in other ways may have a neutral effect on a person. But the power of comedies can play with these ideas and typical stereotypes to generate humor for their audience. J. H. Park produced an excellent article, “Neutralizing racial differences through comedy: Asian, black, and white views on racial stereotypes in Rush Hour 2”. Using his Intellect I was able to come up with a textual analysis of my own on the American comedy, Guess Who?
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This film directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan In 2005, gives a perfect Interpretation of race relations In America In the form of a romantic comedy. Which covers the problematic barriers of an Interracial romance of a white man with a black woman in today’s society. From the beginning of the film you already get hit with interracial relationships in the background, whether it was friends eating together, people walking on the streets, or couples kissing on he street. You immediately see the culturally diverse city and the people interacting with each other.
The main character Theresa Jones takes her fiance, Simon Green home to meet her parents for their 25th wedding anniversary in hopes to surprise them with their exciting secret. Theresa has also not communicated with her family that Simon Is white. When they arrive at her parent’s home, Percy Jones Thresher’s father, Immediately Introduces himself and shakes hands with the driver thinking he’s the boyfriend of his daughter because he Is black and then continues to Insult ND order Simon to drop the bags off at the door or the “big square with the hole In it. This is a play on social stereotypes and the racial hierarchy because Percy wrongfully reverses the roles by having the white male be the cab driver inferior to the black male getting driven by him. During conversation Percy ridicules Simon for not have played any sports in his past. In attempts to impress him Simon lies to by saying he was a MASCARA Pit driver for Jeff Gordon, not realizing that Percy was actually one of his biggest fans.
Simon figured he could just lie on spot about this because MASCARA is depicted to be one of the “whitest” sports known to man along with hockey Simon Jokingly states in the film. This is also an example of how this comedy inverts stereotypes to generate humor. Although the film picks back up with typical stereotypes later In the film when Thresher’s sister comes in the home greets her with a warm hug excitedly asking “where Is he”, looks at Simon and then with great concern states, “Oh my god are we being audited”?