50 shades of fed up: Racial stereotypes in movies must end

Jan. 25, 2016

Alexander Nedd
anedd@uccs.edu

While Stars Wars continues to bring in money at the box office, one film has caught my attention and a number of my friends’ wallets in the theater: “50 Shades of Black.”

A parody of 2015’s sizzling, romantic film “50 Shades of Grey,” the movie looks to spoof the iconic motion picture with a modern day American black cast and interpretation.

I admit, it looks good. I watched the trailer. I laughed at the jokes. It features and is produced by Marlon Wayans (“White Chicks”), so what’s wrong with this movie?

Everything.

It hit me when my friends started to comment on the film’s release.

“That movie looks funny as ****, I’m in.”

“Why are black people so freaking funny?”

“Alex we have to go see this. That is totally you!”

Working four jobs and obtaining my bachelor’s degree doesn’t show my true character or work ethic, but a three second clip of a black woman clapping her hands describes me to a tee.

Gee, thanks.

The success of “50 Shades of Grey” says a lot about its fan base as a whole. The movie glorified the aggressive sexual nature of Mr. Grey and began a worldwide conversation on BDSM.

While it may seem OK between two consenting adults, the fact that a woman is hit for sexual pleasure still doesn’t sit right with me.

I might not be able to fully relate to the controversies in “50 Shades of Grey,” but being black is a trait I am too familiar with.

The concept of “50 Shades of Black” is wrong. It features overused stereotypes that dominate black culture and tries to sell itself to a mainstream audience.

And guess who that audience is? White people.

Am I turning this into a race thing? Absolutely.

Am I being politically correct? Absolutely not.

Too often, racist jokes are tossed around with no real consequences. It’s sickening.

In a two-minute trailer on YouTube, a number of black characters are seen stealing a car, referencing a baby daddy and robbing a woman of her purse.

Aren’t you tired of hearing these jokes?

If five years of college has taught me anything, it’s that these jokes and behaviors of thinking are producing more harm than good.

I am not a stereotype.

Stereotyped roles that continue to be played in this film don’t help people of color get an Academy Award, or help our fight to be represented well and taken seriously in Hollywood.

We are taking a step backward in inclusion and equality.

I understand it is a movie, but there is much to be said about what we as an audience find funny and amusing.

The fact that this movie was given the green light and produced for widespread entertainment in the U.S. shows me we still have a long way to go on the topic of race in 2016.

I can’t accept movies like this. And if you do, then you are part of the problem.