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JulyDiaz

EPISODE 70 — Racist Stuff White People Believe

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The entertainment industry has a great way of being subtly racist while proclaiming their open-mindedness. Case in point: the Sony email hack revealed the studio didn't pursue a sequel to the Denzel Washington film 'The Equalizer' because "the international motion picture audience is racist." No, not America, we solved that whole racism thing, it's the rest of the world that's racist.

 

Look at the triumph of new network shows like 'Empire' and 'Black-ish.' The media decries their success as random or flukey when actually there's a much simpler and less demeaning explanation for their accomplishments: people want to watch shows about the African-American experience and it's a market that's vastly under-served.

 

This week on the podcast, Cracked editor-in-chief Jack O'Brien sits down for 3 conversations about the racist stuff in pop-culture that white people just don't see. First, he is joined by Kevin Avery of 'Last Week Tonight' and 'Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period,' then he hops on the phone with Kid Fury and Crissle West from 'The Read,' and wraps up with a conversation with 'Yo Is This Racist?' host Andrew Ti.

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I have to say, I found this ep a little bit lacking? As a Black guy, there are certainly perspectives which aren't communicated to the general, mainstream audience (ie. White people)- but this episode seemed a bit narrow (IMO). Was expecting something more along the lines of the Moral Panics episode.

 

Also, there was quite a bit of reverse American exceptionalism- instead of saying that we're the best,, Mr. O'Brien declares us (Americans) the worst, based on the OKCupid studies. But, to defend Whitey for a second, it seems to me that internationals on OKC are probably more comfortable with dating internationally, because they're on an American website (or are just Americans living abroad). And being more open to the idea doesn't make them not-racist, by the way- it's like saying White guys aren't racist because a lot of them are super into Asian women.

 

On the plus side, I have listened to a few eps of the "Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time, Period" podcast, and enjoyed them. Will check out the "The Read" and give them a shot, also.

 

 

 

 

PS. I am a regular listener, don't mean to come across as a hater.

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I'm white and I thought this episode was super awful, Yo is that racist?

 

Please don't ask your guests from this week I have a pretty good idea of what they'll say.

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THIS IS THE FUCKING BEST!!!! EVERY PODCAST I LISTEN TO HAS COLLAPSED INTO ONE!!!!

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Interesting stuff. I wish it had been longer. I'm not sure the OKcupid study really amounts to much. I heard a story on NPR last week about how much more racist other countries are, but I suppose any data can be made to support anything that can always be influenced by perception.

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it seems to me that internationals on OKC are probably more comfortable with dating internationally, because they're on an American website (or are just Americans living abroad).

 

Yeah, now that you mention it, that would explain why his going on about the OKC findings didn't quite sit right with me, either.

Otherwise, I enjoyed this ep rather a lot. Kid Fury and Crissle West were new to me, I've since sampled some of their podcast and appreciate the introduction.

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I have to agree that the defense of something/ someone racist or otherwise problematic mostly by fans end up being more off putting than whatever the controversy was originally about. Whether it's Donald Trump's comments about Mexicans or Muslims or how fans defend xyz celebrity caught using a slur eg Gary Oldman, doing race face eg Colton Haynes, or stereotyping a marginalized group eg Adam Sandler.

 

Not to mention the difference in response if a talent of color does something problematic or outright wrong. Like the response to Bill Cosby as compared to Woody Allen, up and until court transcripts and been released there was no "proof" other than the accusations themselves but responses and support were much different. Did Judd Apatow come out and openly attack Woody Allen, he was accused by his own daughter, which has a kind of subjective weight. How folks still revere John Lennon despite being a domestic abuser just like Chris Brown. Critiques of a women of color compared to white woman, how Beyonce is not feminist for wearing skimpy outfits and twerking but Miley Cyrus is a feminist icon for being naked and twerking.

 

Then there is the rationale by the offender themselves. Ridley Scott and Darren Aronofsky's explanation for why they whitewashed Exodus and Noah is more offensive in the end than the whitewashing itself. Or when Emma Stone, Johnny Depp, Tilda Swinton, Christian Bale, etc tell us why they took xyz role; ranging from privileged ignorance, their intent over impact excuses, or straight up denial that anything's wrong. Similar to how straight and cisgender actors are cast to play queer characters.

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