People think of Hollywood as the most liberal place in the known universe, but really that only goes as far as the drugs and orgies are concerned. When it comes to minorities, Hollywood still seems to have a few shamefully corny and simplistic roles in mind. Here's the six Hollywood stereotypes that can't die soon enough:
6The Magic Negro
As Seen in:
The Green Mile, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Shawshank Redemption, Bruce Almighty, Song of the South
The Magic Negro is a simple, humble person. Perhaps he is a janitor, or a farmer, and he doesn't know anything about those fancy colleges or them modern sciences, but what he knows, he knows from the heart, and that makes it truer than any of your whitey statistics, facts or pie charts.
He can have actual magical powers (Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile) or simply possess an extraordinary level of earthly wisdom (Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption).
In all cases, the Magic Negro has zero ambitions of his own. His entire existence revolves around the lead white character, whom they help with their simple, rustic wisdom even if it costs them their lives. It's as if they have nothing better to do, which they don't, because the plot is about the white guy achieving his goals.What's So Bad About That?
Notice that the Magical Negro's powers are not in any way due to his own work or training at all. He's no Batman. And why do they have to be prisoners or janitors again?
Also, notice that they're still acting as the servant here. They only exist in the story to help the lead white character. That's right, black youth of America: even if you discover you have powers that transcend time and space, you'll still wind up serving the white man. Hell, Morgan Freeman's God in Bruce Almighty basically alters the whole fucking universe, just so Jim Carrey can get his priorities straight.
5The Gay/Effeminate Psychopath
As Seen in:
Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, Dune, 3:10 To Yuma, The Powerpuff Girls, Braveheart, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Rob Roy, The Lion King, countless anime.
The Flaming Homo Bad Guy only has one goal in life, to be gayer and more evil than anybody else. If he sees a guy in a salmon-colored shirt and white khakis clubbing a baby seal, the Flaming Homo Bad Guy will put on a pink tutu, gather up some baby seals, kittens and puppies and rent a wood chipper.
He may actually be overtly homosexual (Braveheart) or he may just carry out his evil with a series of effeminate gestures and phrases and show a creepy, semi-erotic fascination with the male hero.What's So Bad About That?
You may be asking why we included this instead of the "Bad Guy With Foreign Accent" seen in countless action movies--the Die Hard films, just for starters.
The difference there is at least there's usually some sort of reason in the plot why the foreign bad guy is foreign. The movie Red Dawn may have been propaganda, but the bad guys were Russian because it was about a war with Russia, not because Russians are inherently dicks.
The effeminate bad guy, on the other hand, plays right to the insecurities of the young, male audience those movies are aimed at, taking everything they find disgusting about homosexuality and using it to ratchet up the horror.
"Look! A serial killer!"
"And he's dancing around naked in a room full of body parts!"
"That's pretty gross, I guess."
"And he's stuffed his junk between his thighs so he looks like a woman!"
"OH JESUS GET OUT OF MY WAY I'M GOING TO BE SICK."