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beagel
topic
05:05:18 PM Jul 7th 2014
I'm confused, what is this trope about? Black actors have it better today as they get roles (the first paragraph) but now they don't get roles because just recently people don't want black people in movies because for a long time being white has been a sign of beauty? I get that it's somehow about black actors being discriminated against, but could someone please clarify the description? I can't because we don't really have these problems where I'm from.
madgodzulcan
07:45:26 PM Jul 7th 2014
Basically this trope is about portraying Black peoples appearance as closer to a white persons, such as making the skin appear whiter. It is as just having a black person in the cast to "satisfy" those who would see Monochrome Casting as bad.
BlackElephant
topic
10:27:10 PM May 18th 2013
Couldn't this trope also apply to facial features? Dark skin isn't the only thing viewers associate with being black.
Telcontar
moderator
04:31:26 AM May 19th 2013
Yes, it can.
Thecommander236
11:32:46 AM May 19th 2013
Depends on what you mean. Different races have do have difference bone structure. Like if you seen an albino kid of African descent, you can still tell the general race from the face.
sosaith
topic
12:16:05 AM Feb 8th 2012
I feel like this trope could use some changes. As it is now, it seems like a catch-all for any color related issues. It seems to applied inconsistently, and I'm honestly confused about what should and should not go here. Can we list all the light-skinned people who we believe are only famous because of bias and all the aversions who got famous in spite of being dark-skinned? Should we stick to talking about characters only rather than actors? How exactly do explicitly mixed race characters come into play? I think this trope should be simplified with more specific rules of what is this trope and possibly split into two or more tropes so that we can get into more complex issues without dumping everything all in one place.
TSims
09:33:43 AM Nov 26th 2013
that's not a bad idea. although tropes are flexible and colorism effects all ethnic groups though blacks seems to be hardest hit. colorism issues are unfortunately just kinda broad anyway.
OldManHoOh
topic
02:04:17 PM Jan 16th 2012
edited by OldManHoOh
  • The Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Assassin" features a cross-over between this trope and Did Not Do The Research. The episode features Torchwood's Indira Varma as a Tamil activist under threat of assassination. Thing is, Tamil people typically have very dark skin, while Indira Varma - in common with the actors playing her family, her staff, even children on a video she shows at a public event - has relatively light skin. In addition, the character has the surname Khan - hardly a typical Tamil name. Basically, the writers thought that the Sri Lankan conflict might make an interesting backdrop for an episode, but didn't know much about Sri Lankans.

Besides the fact that Did Not Do The Research is not a valid trope, well, actually that's about it. It doesn't seem to fit the page's description, just that they were unable to FIND many Tamils in New York (or didn't know what they looked like, which can't be said for blacks).
74.196.16.229
topic
04:34:43 PM Apr 10th 2011
Full metal alchemist should be in here or ambiously brown.

With Rose being pale in the manga, Dark in the anime and grossly white again in brotherhood.
GamerFromJump
topic
12:16:52 AM Feb 17th 2011
edited by GamerFromJump
Has anyone considered that part of the reasoning might be that hiring a dark black person reduces your plot options a great deal? If anything remotely bad happens to the character, or they're a villain, some dipshits are going to scream racism, and cost your company big? You can do anything you want to a white, Asian, or Ambiguously Brown character; beat them up, blow them up, push them to the Despair Event Horizon, what have you, whereas you as a writer take the aforementioned risk doing the same to a black character who's not played by Denzel Washington. So there's a certain practical aspect to it all, too.

Take Resident Evil 5, for example. 5 games of "white" (sort of) zombies is fine, but the first time the (white) protagonist fights black villains, it's armageddon. I wouldn't be surprised if Capcom takes the lesson, incorrect or not, that "black anything in game = problems", and never has another one, no matter what the context.
TheUrbanPrince
12:28:40 AM Feb 17th 2011
edited by TheUrbanPrince
Except it wasn't "Armageddon". One journalist made a remark and it went viral. Now all of a sudden one insignificant remark was spun into being this HUGE wave of people calling RE5 racist...which just isn't true. and the former part of your argument is frankly ridiculous. Especially when shows like The Wire has strong black support.
Jumpingzombie
topic
02:27:55 PM Jan 8th 2011
Ok, this example is bugging the crap out of me.

So, basically this is saying if those actresses with lighter black skin get paired up with a black lead, they're making him look racist/bad/whatever? I'm not sure what this is trying to imply. Can someone give me a better explanation for this because I'm really tempted to cut it.
TheUrbanPrince
10:44:15 AM Jan 13th 2011
Your interpretation is apt. It basically looks bad for black men.
Jumpingzombie
09:52:53 AM Jan 20th 2011
edited by Jumpingzombie
Also, I noticed someone put Jessica Alba for Dark Angel as an example......

ummm...she's not black or half black. She's half Mexican (or half Mexican American). Why is she on there? It doesn't seem like she should apply to this.
MegaJ
09:57:26 AM Jan 20th 2011
Other races can be included.
Jumpingzombie
12:59:23 PM Jan 20th 2011
edited by Jumpingzombie
EDIT:Disregard this. I read through the description again.
TheUrbanPrince
08:55:25 AM Jan 22nd 2011
No problem great eye though..
JackMackerel
topic
07:39:18 PM Jul 17th 2010
Why does this thing sound like an excuse to bitch about light skinned blacks? That's got Unfortunate Implications within itself.
MegaJ
09:02:05 PM Jul 17th 2010
This isn't "bitching about light skinned blacks/other races (though there is some of that in the article). There is a true problem of colorism in the media, and it is tropeable.
JackMackerel
07:46:39 PM Jul 20th 2010
edited by JackMackerel
Tropeable, as in "leaping at anything that may be colorism", or ACTUAL colorism? Because, most of the time I see Unfortunate Implications, it's someone being oversensitive, and it sounds like this page has a lot of the former.
MegaJ
08:56:15 PM Jul 20th 2010
edited by MegaJ
Unfortunate Implications is extremely subjective, so there's no real right or wrong here. I mean, it has the subjective tag right above it. Some people think "oversenstive/PC-ness" is a defense for wrong-headed ideas so, Your Mileage May Vary. Greatly.

I've looked at the page again, and while there is some grumbling, I think most of the examples are valid points raised. There is some natter and some cases of "A dark-skinned black person was portrayed as BAD so it fits" which isn't the trope, sorta. Kinda. Maybe.
TheUrbanPrince
02:11:06 AM Jul 21st 2010
edited by TheUrbanPrince
agreed, people using the "oversensitive card" is stating to turn it into the reverse "race card". it's as if it's a defense for completely stupid and ignorant attitudes.
JackMackerel
04:33:53 AM Jul 21st 2010
agreed, people using the "oversensitive card" is stating to turn it into the reverse "race card". it's as if it's a defense for completely stupid and ignorant attitudes.

"She's a bit white." "OH NO DISCRIMINATION"
MegaJ
10:03:48 AM Jul 21st 2010
edited by MegaJ
The trope is pointing out that light-skinned blacks or other races with varying skin color are preferred and have more visibility in media than their dark-skinned counterparts. You may not like it, you may think it's "oversensitive," but no amount of grumbling will deny the fact that it happens. It happens all the time. Name five black female sex symbols that are well known and then count how many are dark-skinned.
Westrim
10:46:37 AM Jul 21st 2010
The Williams sisters
TheUrbanPrince
08:03:15 PM Jul 23rd 2010
lol that was until Serena went off on a ref...
TheUrbanPrince
08:07:41 PM Jul 23rd 2010
edited by TheUrbanPrince
"She's a bit white." "OH NO DISCRIMINATION"

actually it more like OH NOEZ Political Correctness Gone Mad!!, that's a very popular statement these days.
JackMackerel
11:36:19 AM Aug 8th 2010
actually it more like OH NOEZ Political Correctness Gone Mad!!, that's a very popular statement these days.

That doesn't answer why someone who isn't dark being used in photoshoots are a bad thing.
MegaJ
12:12:27 PM Aug 8th 2010
Because of the over-representation of the light-skinned black females in the media. It's put under "Unfortunate Implications." Not BAD, just the implication is well...unfortunate.
helterskelter
02:41:07 PM Aug 14th 2010
I think it's prehaps the tone of the article that's the problem. I brought this up in the old discussion page, and I'll bring it up again:

"True Blood plays it straight and then averts it with the same character: in the unaired pilot, the Black Best Friend Tara is played by the very light-skinned Brook Kerr, then for the series, the role was recast with the much much darker Rutina Wesley. The other two black characters in the show are also aversions."

How the hell can you play it straight and avert it? The specific shade of her skin was unimportant. I would say this page sees Political Correctness Gone Mad from both sides—people in support and against it.

I said it last time, I'll say it here: This trope should probably only apply when there are several black characters, and the majority (or all) of them have lighter skin. If there's a mix, it doesn't apply. That brings up the Unfortunate Implication that only darker-skinned blacks should be hired.
MegaJ
08:55:41 PM Aug 14th 2010
I think this is a valid complaint, the trope isn't "a light-skinned character being used", it has to be a glaring thing like the statement you made or in a medium/show that has few black characters (such as Video Games) and they all fit this trope. Shall we take it over to the Trope Repair Shop?
sims796
06:59:16 PM Oct 15th 2010
"The trope is pointing out that light-skinned blacks or other races with varying skin color are preferred and have more visibility in media than their dark-skinned counterparts. You may not like it, you may think it's "oversensitive," but no amount of grumbling will deny the fact that it happens. It happens all the time. Name five black female sex symbols that are well known and then count how many are dark-skinned."

I couldn't agree more. The problem is that every time a controversial subject shows up -especially race- that points out(what seems to be) a flaw against a certain race, we immediately get "YUR BEIN 2 SENSITIVE!!!11! It may not be pretty, you may not want to admit it exist, but it does. Take RE 4, for example. The fact that they went to Africa killing black zombies is not the issue. The fact that the main African (native, I might add) heroine has to be light skinned, complete with a british accent, which kinda goes against what is being shown. She's basically a golden brown Laura Croft. It seems as if they wanted a black character that even white people (the majority people, thusfore the majority consumer) could "relate" too. Maybe it wasn't intentional, but a perfect example. Another great example is one that doesn't even belong on the page. The titular character Naruto was suggested by his creator to be popular with the American audience because of his blond hair and blue eyes. Again, this is not a bad thing, but still something that should be noticed.

Things like this happens. We will not get anywhere if we cannot even discuss it maturely. Trying to sweep anything like this under the rug is ignorant in and of itself. I have read the original page, and it doesn't seem like a bunch of whining, just pointing out where it happens.
TheUrbanPrince
03:08:27 PM Oct 16th 2010
sims796 possibly created the first Crowning Moment Of Awesome within a discussion page.
JackMackerel
11:46:46 AM Nov 4th 2010
edited by JackMackerel
So, apparently, every time someone casts a light-skinned African, they're not black enough? What is this implying? That light-skinned blacks are not black, or that they're pawns of the media to cater to obviously racist consumers of media?

The previous image suggested that Halle Barry would never have gotten far in the media if she was blacker than she was. Pardon me for being "lol sensitive", but that seems pretty damn unfortunate to imply she's not black and therefore can't possibly be African, ever.

I'm tired of anyone who says anything against Unfortunate Implications being labeled as "HERP DERP, YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY NOT PC AND THUS SOME SORT OF CLOSE RACIST!!!1"
TheUrbanPrince
04:26:56 PM Nov 4th 2010
Completely missed the point...
JackMackerel
07:04:21 PM Nov 4th 2010
Considering all you did was deflect my question by saying "lol un-PC", I find that ironic.
MegaJ
08:41:43 PM Nov 4th 2010
edited by MegaJ
"So, apparently, every time someone casts a light-skinned African, they're not black enough? What is this implying? That light-skinned blacks are not black, or that they're pawns of the media to cater to obviously racist consumers of media?"

Well, it's probably more of the latter, and it's more of a Viewers Are Morons thing where these advertising/tv/film casting agencies think that mainstream (read: white) audiences would accept a light-skinned actress (almost ALWAYS actress, not actors) would be "safer" and more attractive.

As for the Halle Berry thing, that statement wasn't implying she was "less African" but really, think about what I said upthread. How many well-known black female sex symbols can you think of? Most people would probably say Beyonce, Halle, Tyra, Mariah, Naomi Campbell and going back further, Vanessa Williams, and even further Josephine Baker, Eartha Kitt, Dorothy Dandrige. Almost ALL of these women have light skin or are But Not Too Foreign.

This trope is not saying these women aren't black or are less black. Just that usually these are the only blacks we see on TV.

ETA: Not to mention that other races are included in this trope and whether they are or aren't Western/European influenced generally have fair skin as a high beauty standard. I think it's pretty damn unfortunate to think that someone's skin color would look "just right" if they were lighter.
JackMackerel
04:29:19 PM Nov 6th 2010
Well, it's probably more of the latter, and it's more of a Viewers Are Morons thing where these advertising/tv/film casting agencies think that mainstream (read: white) audiences would accept a light-skinned actress (almost ALWAYS actress, not actors) would be "safer" and more attractive.

Unfortunate Implications: viewers are a bunch of Eurocentric rednecks.

As for the Halle Berry thing, that statement wasn't implying she was "less African" but really, think about what I said upthread. How many well-known black female sex symbols can you think of? Most people would probably say Beyonce, Halle, Tyra, Mariah, Naomi Campbell and going back further, Vanessa Williams, and even further Josephine Baker, Eartha Kitt, Dorothy Dandrige. Almost ALL of these women have light skin or are But Not Too Foreign.

And this is bad, why? I'm not saying "lol it's good they're white", but then you can get into film and you'd see a lot of dark-skinned actresses. Does this set back blacks for any reason? Make their contributions to acceptance any less?

This trope is not saying these women aren't black or are less black. Just that usually these are the only blacks we see on TV.

Unfortunate Implications sees a lot of things.

ETA: Not to mention that other races are included in this trope and whether they are or aren't Western/European influenced generally have fair skin as a high beauty standard. I think it's pretty damn unfortunate to think that someone's skin color would look "just right" if they were lighter.

Then why the "But Not Too Black" title?

MegaJ
07:48:00 PM Nov 6th 2010
edited by MegaJ
"Unfortunate Implications: viewers are a bunch of Eurocentric rednecks." Correct. That is also an unfortunate implication: that the audience is too Eurocentric/racist that they won't accept a darker skinned person or find them attractive. So it's offensive to all races.

"And this is bad, why? I'm not saying "lol it's good they're white", but then you can get into film and you'd see a lot of dark-skinned actresses. Does this set back blacks for any reason? Make their contributions to acceptance any less?" It's not like there aren't any dark-skinned actresses in Hollywood, but the fact that they aren't as well-known and popular as the actresses I named above does say something. And yes, they should be commended for breaking down the doors and contributing to the arts, but I don't see anything wrong with someone pointing this out since well, most of the actresses are light-skinned.

Then why the "But Not Too Black" title? -kanyeshrug- I wasn't involved in the creation of this trope, I suppose it grew to the point where it could be expanded to other races (and I actually did a redirect to Colorism.

Just curious, do you know the history behind this trope? I think if you did, it just might make a little bit more sense.

helterskelter
topic
04:03:00 PM May 18th 2010
edited by helterskelter
"•This is a disturbingly common problem in many games with a "Create A Character" mode. In many cases, the option to play a richly dark-skinned character doesn't even exist. This is especially jarring in games which allow you to play a "Dark Elf," which is black in the most literal sense, but do not allow you to make a dark-skinned human. Sometimes, even when there are options to darken the skin, there are still no facial features or hairstyles to match. So what's left is either Ambiguously Brown or the "white person in blackface" effect. Fortunately, there are some notable exceptions."

I feel the need to point out that most games that allow Character Creation are Western RP Gs, and many many Western RP Gs focus on some sort of parallel Europe, where it would be entirely unnatural to have a black character.

However, this still applies, which is why I didn't remove it—I just feel that this should be expanded on to explain which games this trope is woefully present, and isn't presenting Fridge Logic.
JackMackerel
07:47:18 PM Jul 20th 2010
edited by JackMackerel
Never mind, already removed.
TheUrbanPrince
topic
06:18:06 AM Mar 31st 2010
Who the hell keep nuking the quotes??
SomeGuy
06:55:30 PM Apr 3rd 2010
The first one doesn't really have to do with the trope, since the quote in question is about a woman saying she wouldn't date a Black man period, not that he's not Black enough.

Second one fits, though. Not sure why it was removed.
MadamShogun
11:27:28 PM Apr 3rd 2010
No the character was saying the guy in question was too black. And that her idol should date lighter. So Yeah it fits...
SomeGuy
08:04:42 AM Apr 4th 2010
You had to explain that to me. Out of context it sounds like she's saying they ought not marry black people in general, not black people who are too black.
DEFCON1
topic
08:34:09 PM Mar 23rd 2010
In response to the caption - Yes.
MadamShogun
09:11:03 PM Mar 24th 2010
Of course look at her facial features....
KJMackley
12:05:20 AM May 6th 2010
Honestly, the picture looks so surreal that I am not actually paying attention to her looks but the fake-looking glossy skin tone.
GamerFromJump
09:39:59 PM Jun 4th 2010
There are black women who have that shininess, though.
MatthewTheRaven
12:17:33 PM Aug 8th 2010
edited by MatthewTheRaven
There are black women who have a nice, light catching quality to their skin. But not a fucking metallic sheen.
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