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Links 1 through 10 of 102 by Latoya Peterson tagged Hollywood

"Jim Crow segregation survived long into the 20th century because it was kept alive by white Southerners with value systems and personalities we would applaud. It’s the fallacy of 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' a movie that never fails to move me but that advances a troubling falsehood: the notion that well-educated Christian whites were somehow victimized by white trash and forced to live within a social system that exploited and denigrated its black citizens, and that the privileged white upper class was somehow held hostage to these struggling individuals.
But that wasn’t the case. The White Citizens Councils, the thinking man’s Ku Klux Klan, were made up of white middle-class people, people whose company you would enjoy. 

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"Brad Pitt is producing an adaption of 'Twelve Years a Slave.' The memoirs were written by Solomon Northup, who as a free black man in 1841, was kidnapped and sold into slavery in D.C.

"Northup was taken to Louisiana as a slave and wasn’t able to escape for another 12 years. A film about his journey is being welcomed by those panning the recent film 'The Help' as another 'Noble White Ladies Meet the Civil Rights Movement' movie..."

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You *know* it's bad when the historians got to jump in and correct folks.--AJP

"We respect the stellar performances of the African American actresses in this film. Indeed, this statement is in no way a criticism of their talent. It is, however, an attempt to provide context for this popular rendition of black life in the Jim Crow South. In the end, The Help is not a story about the millions of hardworking and dignified black women who labored in white homes to support their families and communities. Rather, it is the coming-of-age story of a white protagonist, who uses myths about the lives of black women to make sense of her own. The Association of Black Women Historians finds it unacceptable for either this book or this film to strip black women’s lives of historical accuracy for the sake of entertainment."

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"Ms. White never achieved the stardom she hoped for and believed she deserved. One issue—the larger one—was a paucity of roles for black actors, period, no matter the shade or hue of their skin, she told The New York Times in 1968. 'We have one Sidney Poitier and one Diana Sands, and bang!—the door closes,' she said."

"The situation became only more complicated for mixed-race actors like herself, she said. As she wrote in a 1992 essay, light-skinned actors of her time were still routinely dismissed as too white for black parts. They had to lighten their complexions for white parts and, in the case of light-skinned women appearing opposite black men, darken their appearance lest the black man 'seem to be involved with a white girl—horrors!'"

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"She was also, like me, Latina. Or at least, I thought she was. It's only now, as I see her character's full name spelled out in online obituaries, that I realize perhaps she was meant to be Italian. In fact, Charles, who was born Annette Cardona, was of Mexican and Italian ancestry. She certainly looked Latina to me. And at the time I'm recalling — this was the mid-'80s — there weren't too many representations of Latina women on film and TV. Those that did exist were often portrayed as the other, as my women's studies professors might have once put it, pushed to the margins of the narrative."

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:I knew something seemed unusual when I looked at Entertainment Weekly’s new cover featuring Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, and Viola Davis, three of the stars of the new film The Help. Is it the lighting? Emma Stone’s curiously nondescript expression? Nope, it’s that we haven’t seen a black actor or actress featured on the cover in quite some time. Can you guess the last black thespian to land the cover of EW? If the term “actor” is tripping you up, the amount of black non-actors on the cover is just as low. In the past four years, only Randy Jackson (appearing as part of the American Idol ensemble), Tyra Banks, Alicia Keys, and Usher have appeared — along with a few tiny heads in various collage covers. Weird."

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"Celebrities change their appearances for all kinds of reasons, but praising a racially motivated, excrutiatingly painful cosmetic procedure as 'worth it' is, at best, insensitive. (And at worst? I really don’t want to break out the 'r' word.) Did Hayworth look better than Cansino did? That’s subjective. But there are some ugly, ugly implications attached to glorifying a makeover designed to hide Hayworth’s heritage. I mean, what’s the reader takeaway supposed to be here? That everyone looks better as a white person? That the agony Hayworth must have gone through was 'worth it' to not look Hispanic?"

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"In the past 70 or so years, the character Captain America hasn't changed much; he was a propaganda tool in the 40s and continues to be one today. Can't we cope with our history? Isn't it a good thing that we have been working hard to eradicate the wrongs we see in our society? Why is it that we insist on sweeping our shortcomings as a nation under the rug?"

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"Hispanics, now the second-largest group in the U.S., are more likely to go to movies, the Motion Picture Association of America says. Last year, 43 million Hispanics purchased 351 million movie tickets, an MPAA report says, an uptick from the 37 million who bought 300 million tickets the previous year.

And in 2010, when Nielsen examined that coveted group of heavy moviegoers -- people who see on average 16 movies a year and contribute to 63 percent of ticket sales -- it found that Hispanics make up 26 percent of those frequenting theaters."

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"The second study looked at romantic comedies. And race definitely played a role when it came time for on-screen kisses.

“'The higher the percentage of black actors in the movie, the less interested white participants were in seeing the movie,' Weaver wrote of the second group. 'Importantly, this effect occurred regardless of participants’ racial attitudes or actors’ relative celebrity … This finding would also seem to lend credence to producers’ concerns about casting black actors into these kinds of romantic roles.'”

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