Racism in the Media

Topics: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Naboo Pages: 3 (1196 words) Published: November 8, 2005
Racism in the Media (Revised)
Movies and magazines have come under attack. Movies such as Star Wars have been accused of using characters that are racist symbols. Magazines, specifically fashion magazines, have been accused of racism for not displaying many African American women on the covers. I will prove that these accusations are seemingly far fetched. This is not racism; it is the use of demographics and marketing towards their target audiences. I will also argue that stereotypes, if used in the correct context, can add understanding and humor to racial barriers. Star Wars being accused of blatant racism is seemingly implausible. George Lucas may have used icons from real life, but I don't believe there was any intent to play off racial stereotypes in the movie. The character that is most prevalent in the media as being a stereotype is Jar Jar Binks. Jar Jar Binks is a computer generated character that assists the heroes in the film to navigate the planet of Naboo. Jar Jar Binks is said in the article "Fu Manchu on Naboo" "to have his head flaps drawn to look like dreadlocks" (Leo, 498). This is a stretch because to most people, mainly children, they would resemble floppy dog ears. Jar Jar resembles more a bipedal dinosaur than anything. This would easily be the inspiration for this character. The Anatotitan, a dinosaur that lived during the late Cretaceous period, walked on two legs, had a duck bill, and spent most of its time in swamplands and marshes feeding off vegetation; much like the swamplands of the planet Naboo. It seems that most people are becoming too sensitive towards ideas viewers could stretch to be considered racism or bigotry. "Fu Manchu on Naboo" accuses the character of Watto of being one of three different stereotypes; an anti-Semitic icon, a crooked Middle Eastern merchant, or an Italian. If you cannot pick which ethnic group is being stereotyped, then you cannot accuse something of being racist. Another point that is never addressed...

Cited: Aamidor, Abe. "What 'cha reading?" The Indianapolis Star 31 July 2005.
Carr, David. "On Covers of Many Magazines, a Full Racial Palette is Still Rare."
Everything 's an Argument, Third ed.
CIA - The World Fact book. 2005. 28 Oct. 2005 .
Heldenfels, R.D. "HUMAN FLAWS OFTEN DISHED UP AS FUNNY." Akron Beacon Journal 18 Aug. 2005.
Leo, Jon. "Fu Manchu on Naboo." U.S. News & Weekly Report (1999).
McIntyre, Michael K. "WIT AND WISDOM Comedians spread smiles, understanding across cultures." The Plain Dealer 18 June 2005.
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