September 6, 2011 |
In "The Help's" homespun story of racism in '60s-era Mississippi, some saw stereotypes. I saw pieces of my childhood — for better or worse. That's the inherent difficulty of deciding what is and is not a stereotype. How we view any character is grounded in personal experience — what you know well you see differently. What plays as exaggeration, even parody, can reveal deeper truths. And that was the case for me with "The Help. " When the subject is race, the stakes are ratcheted up, as we saw in the highly charged reactions in 2009 to "Precious" and "The Blind Side," very disparate films both pummeled for what some considered Hollywood's version of racial profiling.
May 12, 2004 |
Wanting to know what the mostly Asian American class considered desirable, professor Darrell Hamamoto asked: What posters are on your bedroom walls? After an uncomfortable silence, Hamamoto got the names he expected -- celebrities such as Brad Pitt. There wasn't an Asian among them, which reinforced what he has long believed: that cliches and stereotypes about Asian men have rendered them sexual afterthoughts.
June 19, 2008
Re "Obama scolds wayward fathers," June 16 I find it ironic that while those opposed to Barack Obama argue that he's inexperienced, irresponsible, Muslim and anti-American based on false stereotypes, Obama turns around and gives a speech using the same stereotypes about black men in an effort to endear himself to women and working-class whites. As a black man, I want nothing more than to see Obama sworn in as president, as his presidency will serve to dispel many myths about black men. I hope and pray that he doesn't use those same stereotypes to do harm.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 2, 1993
The article you published about Ernestine Hernandez, computing division head at Point Mugu, perpetuated the very stereotypes that she has broken in her career ("Naval Base Employee Fights Different Enemy," Dec. 2). You say she is "slim and pretty"--what did you expect and what if she hadn't been? What relevance does that have with the struggle of women and especially African-American women to get ahead? "Hair coiffed to one side, dresses in stylishly cut suits and is strikingly soft-spoken, with a voice that is slightly melodic."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 1987
Stereotyping of any kind is always anathema to me, but if there is such a thing as a totally objective view I would say Conrad has it. I, as a Jew, even as a parent with a child, look for integrity within myself and mine as a given. I think it is news (naive as it seems) even to my dearest friends that it is more shocking when morality fails me and mine than others around me. Conrad is a Catholic and a good person on all subjects, even the symbols of the Christian faith, the Immaculate Conception, the Pope and, yes, even the Cross.
January 24, 1997 |
Affirming that the second half of life is more than just "a halfway house to the grave," "Tom Tom on a Rooftop" at Theatre West proves a serviceable, if not particularly original, vehicle for putting a spotlight on the issue of ageism. Daniel Keough's good-natured new comedy is an upbeat urban myth about seniors in a run-down apartment building overcoming the stereotypes they've internalized about growing old.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 1992
When I hear young black men discuss their battles against present-day stereotypes, I, too, understand their feelings. I am a 22-year-old black female who holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Michigan and is presently teaching language arts at the junior high school level. I also enjoy blasting Ice Cube, Eric B. and Rakim and Public Enemy. And when whites see me "rollin' " in my GMC Blazer, they assume that I'm dealing drugs or that I'm the girlfriend of someone who does.
June 1, 1988 |
"Y ankee Dawg You Die." The words are both assaultive and funny, a throwback to those old World War II movies that pitted the brave American against a demonic, pidgin-talking Japanese fighter pilot. It's also the title of Philip Kan Gotanda's new play (opening Friday at the Los Angeles Theatre Center), an examination of the legacy of Asian stereotypes in American popular culture.
March 30, 2001 |
La Cosa Nostra and cement shoes revisited . . . Although Americans complain about organized crime, they are fascinated by it as long as it doesn't touch them personally. So coming to TNT in June is "Boss of Bosses," with Chazz Palminteri as Paul Castellano, notorious head of the Gambino crime family, in what's called "a glimpse inside the strong ties and brutal politics of the mob." But wait. Wasn't HBO's "Gotti" about the boss of bosses? Or was it Showtime's "Bonanno: A Godfather's Story?"
April 4, 1990 |
Will the real Boris stand up? This glasnost business is getting perplexing. For years we knew exactly who the Soviets were. We saw them in movies and on television, saw them in commercials, saw them depicted as shapeless women in boots and babushkas or as thick-necked brutes with bald heads. They were at once objects of our fear and the butts of our jokes.