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Racist Stereotypes

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1. The passage starts with the following question: “Repressed Brits, evil Mexicans, Arab villains: why are Hollywood’s animated movies full of racist stereotypes?” Define the word “stereotyping” and cite TWO examples.

Stereotyping can be defined as a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. Stereotyping makes people believe certain people will act or behave in a certain way. Stereotyping is usually connected to race, gender or demographic location. I am going to illustrate stereotyping by means of the examples below. Rugby supporters are white, beer drinking males with beer bellies. Women are to stay home and cook for families, doing their clothing and raise babies. Newland rugby supporters are rude and drunk coloureds.

2. Paragraph 2 discusses the ways in which “dodgy racial politics” have “quietly found a home” among the youth. Provide the reasons (from the passage) why people seem oblivious to the racist content of some animated movies. The reasons why people seem oblivious to the racist content of some animated movies are primarily because:

Parents are too tired busy doing homework and the television set are a companion for the child;
Talking animals are cute and innocent and the children love them.

The modern life style does not give much time for the family and the television set are a way of keeping children occupied and quiet.

3. Describe the subtle racial prejudices that are present in the Rio 2 animated movie. Focus specifically on the portrayal of black as well as
Hispanic people. The lead characters in Rio 2 are Blu and jewel and they are voiced by white Americans. Jewel however was born and raised in Rio. Jewel’s father is voiced by Cuban-born Andy Garcia and her aunt by Puerto Rico-born Rita Moreno. As a lead character Jewel however must be voiced by a white voice, Anne Hathaway. The African-American actors, Jamie Foxx and Tracy Morgan are voicing a hip-hop fluent bird and a dim-witted bulldog.

Rio 2 gives us a clear indication how the racial pyramid works in the animated movies industry. White voices for the characters on top or in the lead, other ethnicities below and the darkest skinned characters at the bottom.

4. In the penultimate paragraph, the author says that “They could put a warning on the certificate: “Contains mild fantasy violence, very mild language, a white-supremacist subtext, and grotesquely derogatory portrayals of ethnic minorities.” What inference can we make from this statement?

The inference we can make from this statement is that we must warn people that by letting our children watch these movies; we are raising them to be racist. We unconsciously are teaching them to be racist. They grew up with the idea that white people are supreme to other ethnic groups.

The author sees it in the same seriousness as the warnings on liquor and tobacco products. He strongly feels that the viewers and the parents of the viewers must be warned against the racist stereotyping found in these animated movies.

5. After a careful reading of this article, summarise in less than 50 words the author’s views on how Hollywood animated movies stereotype African-Americans. Avoid quoting whole sentences from the passage.

African Americans are portrayed as lazy, dumb, illiterate and people who likes a lifestyle of partying. The movies Madagascar, Rio 2 and Dumbo are evident of this. They are not to voice the leading characters and this evident in movies like Rio 2, Dumbo and Madagascar.

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