Sensing a trend here? Not to mention, how many Black actors can you think of in a recent mainstream film which isn't specially geared towards Blacks? How many actresses who don't look like Halle Berry? I don't know why, but there seems to be more and more But Not Too Black applied lately. What does that mean? Is it so difficult for Whitey to relate to a Black guy simply because he's... well, you know what I mean. And not that! We already know that it's difficult to relate to female main characters but why should it be so difficult to relate to Black main character, when the likes of Blade, and any role held by Samuel L. Jackson, have proven to be highly prized by viewers? Is it just me or Unfortunate Implications much?
It becomes especially grating considering that The Nineties had several black movie and tv stars whose race was incidental to the characters they played. What happened since then?
I don't know but this trope has become a little too ubiquitous to be coincidental. I understand that Hollywood writers are mostly White males but believing that a White male audience can only relate to some variation of the Mighty Whitey is very risky. First of all, assuming that viewers feel threatened in their manhood by a strong, Black male is patronizing to White males. It implies that White men are insecure in their manhood. Second, Black men have proven to be just as relatable as White men if the story isn't some kind of Jive Turkey or isn't about racism or any variation thereof. White women can perfectly relate to a Black woman as well. Third, dismissing African features in women as unattractive is likewise patronizing and this time outright racist. Not to mention that many White guys find Black girls beautiful because they're non-standard. Lastly, viewers are not morons. We don't need to be Black to see how racist a show can be and no we're not okay with that. Presenting Mighty Whitey as inherently more important is becoming trite and ridiculous. Additionally, dark skin isn't scary, White people like it and find it cool. Why would so many White guys act Black otherwise?
The Flanderization of this trope bothers me. It should be about Hollywood's lack of darker skinned black actors, but instead it became about its use of lighter skinned ones and generally criticizing light-skinned black people in general. We have the Half Breed Discrimination trope for a reason, people. For example, if Halle Berry were to star in a movie about the Rwandan Holocaust, that would be this trope. If Halle Berry were to play an NYPD officer fighting a Cthulhu cult with no mention of her race other than a passing reference, that would not be this trope.
The latter would be this trope if Halle Berry were to play an NYPD officer fighting a Cthulhu cult and she was the ONLY black person.
(op) I disagree. She should not be critisized about how "bleached black" she is in a movie that doesn't have anything to do with race. Movies with color-blind casting (like said fake NYPD vs Cthulhu movie) shouldn't be bitched at just because the only black character is light skinned. This trope has changed, basically, to an anti-light-skinned black rant.
Complaining about the constant favoritism of Light-skin blacks is not being "anti-light-skin". NOBODY was criticized in this article for BEING light skin. we're apparently reading 2 different articles. I'm a fair skin black woman my self and nowhere in this article did i see people ATTACKING light skin blacks. i wouldn't allow it since i edit this page from time to time myself. Also while we at it, why do movie studios assume the public can't relate to a black character when anecdotaly all i hear is people saying that's not true. so what the hell are the studios basing their assumptions on??
My guess is that most studio writers go by the creed Write What You Know and since most of them are Straight White males, there is almost always a White Male Lead because they have trouble thinking out of the box. In terms of pure demographics, the biggest segment is NOT White males though, it's White FEMALES (cue Twilight).Plus, most of them being rich, sheltered and usually quite disconnected from the rest of the world, they usually don't know much about Black folks and believe that, because they wouldn't be able to relate to a Black character, neither would the moronic viewers. Executive Meddling might also come into play for the exact same reason.
I've got to wonder how much this is driven by makeup and lighting concerns rather than implicit or explicit racism.
There could be overlap in that regard.
That's usually due to photographers/videographers/make-up artists being inexperienced with dark skin or used to working with white skin.
In regards to this view, obviously modern filmmakers wouldn't be at fault for this, but I read an article once that basically said the way film was first developed back in the day actually favored white features, and that if the inventors of film had done things differently, we would have ended up with film that favors dark features but poorly captures brighter colors.
Does anyone think that darker skinned african men tend to be violent or barbaric while lighter skinned women are gentler? I know its alread a double standard for women to be "Smarter" but it seems odd after watching the hunger games movie that the darkly skinned black man kills a girl with a rock while the lightly skinned black girl just hides and everyone riots at her death.
Two problems with this example. One: in the film, Thresh (the big black guy) bashes Clove (the girl he killed) against a wall until her spine or neck snapped. The rock thing was the book's version of that scene. Two: you're forgetting the size and age difference between the two black characters. Thresh is about 18, more than capable of directly handling any attacker. Rue (the black girl) is twelve (as character, not sure what the actress's age is). She is also extremely small, especially noticable in the book. If the two black characters were the same age you might have a point, but they aren't. Their sizes and ages cover why they are the way they are in the film.