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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

From YKTTW
Following discussion moved from Da Black Donkey discussion

From YKTTW

Mister Six: Dudes, I wanted to make this one. And it was my idea. :(

Citizen: Discuss a rename in YKTTW, create a new page, move content, set up redirect, add to Cut List, ???, profit!

Phartman: I'd thought of this one, too; but I didn't do it because I figured one of the "regulars" would just take it out. Here's how it might go:

Regular: Even though it pops up in 75% of all comedies made since 1985, I've somehow never heard of it, I find it offensive for some reason, and I seem to think I run this wiki, so I'm taking it out.

Branfish: It's true that DaBlackDonkey is a rubbish name, though.

Jonny D: I also think Da Black Donkey is a rubbish name, so much so that it makes me sorry I ever suggested The Donkey as a name in the first place. It makes me feel like an accomplice to this travesty somehow. Black Donkey I could have understood but the Da just pushes it over the edge.

Ununnilium: But in a bad way. It's Anvilicious.

YYZ: Yeah. "Bix Nood," and all that other unpleasantness.

Mister Six: The Donkey has dubious connotations anyway; The Black Donkey makes it worse. Da Black Donkey is just... eurgh. And since it now includes comedy black heroes as well as sidekicks the Donkey thing is kind of irrelevant. I vote to change it to The Eddie Murphy.

Phartman: Wacky Black Guy, perhaps?

Mister Six: I don't see how being typecast has anything to do with the name of the trope. In fact, if you look at it from a certain angle, the fact that Hollywood had identified the funny black guy as a type and was actively casting black guys in that role kind of backs up the trope name. Anyway, as others have pointed out, Eddie Murphy did play a lot of both types of funny black guy - the sidekick and the hero.

Phartman: Surely you don't suggest that this is a dead or discredited trope, do you? If the output of the various Wayans siblings is any indication; this trope is very much alive and well. It's not simply an offshoot of the classic sidekick: It's a misguided attempt at wackiness; a grotesque marriage of the jerkass, the ethnic scrappy and the jive turkey all rolled into one, sidekick or no. All it needs is a more suitable name change and it'll be fine the way it is.

Mister Six: Put up a YKKTW to discuss a name change.

Moved discussion ends

Duckluck: There are black elves in D&D (at least in some settings). In third edition, at least, elves are described as generally having about the same skin tone as the humans living nearby. The notion that there are no black elves is really more the work of Lot R nerds than anything else.

Removed: " Especially notable since he at one point is given a Black elf (not a Black Elf) to flirt with, even though these don't exist in the game."


Kilyle: Although I don't much care for Jar Jar Binks myself (probably due to reading too much FoxTrot), I had no idea there was an accusation of racism leveled against the character. Until I read this article ([http://stardestroyer.net/Empire/Essays/Racism.html]). Which refutes the idea to my satisfaction.

The writer's basic argument, if I understand it right, is that you only perceive a slovenly, uneducated character as "a negative black stereotype" if you automatically associate those qualities with blacks to begin with. That is, if you've bought in to the stereotype. If you don't accept the stereotype, you don't walk away going "that guy was so totally meant as a slam against blacks." Similarly, you only go from a corrupt businessman to "a negative Asian stereotype" if you automatically associate corrupt businessmen with Asians.

We can accept a white actor playing this "black stereotype" character and see it as a subversion of the trope. We can't accept a non-human character with a "black voice" as not meeting this stereotype? As animated characters draw further and further away from the physical representation of the race that inspired the trope, at what point do we drop the association of stereotype and say it's merely a stylistic choice? Will black actors forever be unable to accept roles like these without being accused of perpetuating a negative stereotype of their own race?

I don't completely accept the theory as stated in the article, but it's a compelling argument. (But then again, tropes are here to highlight repeated patterns... which generally means that the pattern exists. And that we can follow the pattern back through time to see how it developed and how far it's come.)

Shiralee Jar-Jar isn't racist simply because of who is doing the voice. It's one of those double-standard moments, as it's pretty much his real voice slightly altered to be more alien-y. But if it were a white guy aping the voice/dialect of caribbean-born...yeah, wouldn't work. (note that I'm saying it's only in this instance because it's hard to tell for people unfamiliar with the nuances of Lucas.) In a characterization way it makes sense, but for a pretty dumb reason. I can just see Lucas thinking to himself "I bet they talk like Jamaicans or Cubans because they live around water!" (The reason I don't think it works. Dropping earthly assumptions onto an alien race.) Makes me glad they never gave english voices to the bar-room aliens in the old trilogy. I really like those snail people.

Insanity Prelude:
We can't accept a non-human character with a "black voice" as not meeting this stereotype? As animated characters draw further and further away from the physical representation of the race that inspired the trope, at what point do we drop the association of stereotype and say it's merely a stylistic choice? Will black actors forever be unable to accept roles like these without being accused of perpetuating a negative stereotype of their own race?

That's exactly what I was going to say. Maybe it's just my love of Disney, but I can't see, for instance, Mulan as racist just because Eddie Murphy voices Mushu.


Dalantia: I don't like the reference to Bad Boys in the main article - it's two black guys, both of whom have a penchant for being Bad Ass and blowing stuff up. I'd actually describe the Lawrence character as the zany one, honestly, but I don't want to just excise the part in the article, because it probably does deserve a mention. Suggestions?

Does the following Ford Bantam (pickup truck) count as a subversion? http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=D0Axwqy180I

pawsplay: I'm thinking the Orlando Jones example is a non-example. As nearly as I can tell, he was playing Bill Murray.


Johnny E: OK, what? Admittedly I haven't seen these movies, and if they feature Talking Animals with AAVE accents then I see the point - otherwise, where the hell does the issue of race come into it at all? If you're just saying they're Straight Man / wacky sidekick pairings, then that's just Odd Couple.

"* Although this one covers black stereotypes in buddy cop movies, white actors have also down this such as Jim Belushi in K-9, Owen Wilson in Shanghai Knights and even earlier than that- Jay Leno in Colision Course and Tom Hanks in Turner and Hooch.
  • Wasn't Hooch a dog?
    • As was Belushi's partner in K-9. Hanks and Belushi still played "straight-laced whitey" to the comedic activities of their respective partners... who certainly don't qualify as "white men" as most use the phrase."