Monday, April 27, 2015

Let's talk about Adam Sandler

©  Franz Richter 2009
So, by now everyone knows that Native Americans walked off the set of Adam Sandler's made for Netflix movie, The Ridiculous Six. It's because of the way Native American women are depicted in the western spoof of  The Magnificent Seven. They have ridiculous names, are dressed stereotypically and not authentically, etc, etc.

I think I'm kind of in the murky middle of the what's right and what's wrong about this situation. Don't get me wrong, I think that Native Americans have got a bad rap and taken a lot of crap for many years. And yes, I agree the stereotypes are tired and should probably just go away.

But here's the thing. They're not going to go away. Stereotypes have been and still are used all the time in film and TV. Women, the gay community, blacks, Asians, Hispanics -  they are all still heavily stereotyped, as well as many other cultural groups. From Birth of a Nation, Gone with the Wind and The Mask of Fu Manchu to 16 Candles, The Simpsons, and every Disney movie on the face of the planet, stereotypes have always been there and will always be there.  Does this make it right? Absolutely not. However, I think there is difference between stereotyping in the real world and stereotyping in the entertainment business, especially when it comes to comedy.

This is what brings me to Adam Sandler. This movie, The Ridiculous Six is not drama, is not a documentary, it's satire. This film is in essence, making fun of the old westerns AND the stereotypes they depicted. This is why I'm not really angry with Sandler. He's making fun of how those westerns used to be and how stereotypical they were. I mean, we're talking about Adam Sandler, here. He's made ridiculous, foul, crude movies since he started. Why are we suddenly expecting more out of him?

I personally am a fan of Sandlers, however, I've not liked every movie he's ever made. And this one doesn't sound good to me at all. By now, everyone should know what to expect from Sandler. Now we all know what to expect from this movie. Just like any fim, if it doesn't appeal to you, don't watch it.

This isn't the first movie made with awful stereotypes, and it surely will not be the last. Like, I said, I don't think it makes it right, but it seems like a futile battle. Let's fight the real racism - gender discrimination, bigotry against the LGBT community and all the minorities who are oppressed. Let's end racial profiling. That is where we should be exhausting our impassioned energy. That's where our outrage should lie, not over some silly movie.

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