First off, Ryan Gosling isn’t the problem.
I’ll admit, he’s a pretty good-looking guy.
Yet, I cannot, and will not watch any more movies of his in the theater, cause I know if he’s involved, that means he’s either the lead, or the movie itself is composed of men and women who look like him: white, white, white as fuuuuuuckkk.
I wondered whether to express how I felt poetically or through an allegory, to keep it classy.
Instead, I’ve decided to be blunt.
I will no longer be paying to see movies that star white Americans or for that matter, that place white faces on a pedestal.
And yes, that includes the following:
The Big Short
In the Heart of the Sea
Actually, pretty much 99.99% of all movies made by Hollywood since the dawn of cinema (a.k.a. when Matt Damon awoke from his slumber to grace us with his mayo presence).
I tried. I really did.
I do feel some affinity toward movies like The Big Short even, since they do talk about the horrible things that U.S. banks did to the average person, but my god, every, single, person is a white guy: from Steve Carrell being Steve Carrell to Brad (I produced 12 Years a Slave) Pitt wearing a wig (?). Okay, again, this isn’t about Carrell or Pitt. I actually like their work and they seem like decent folks. But what I’m sick of is how little has changed in Hollywood and in mainstream cinema over the years.
Think about it.
The first film technically was Birth of a Nation. In case you don’t know, it was basically a movie about the “heroic” white mobs (KKK) fighting off black men who wanted white women…
That was the fucking story.
And even to this day, they still have awards based on that film.
So am I surprised that a full century later, and decades after movies like Gone With the Wind, we still have amazing actresses like Viola Davis playing maids…?
The sad thing is I’m not.
Not at all.
But what I am is sickened, and frustrated, and most of all, up to here with acquiescence.
Don’t get me wrong folks, I enjoy movies and I will still watch Place Beyond the Pines, but just not renting it. I’ll just wait when it comes back on the TV.
And since the holidays are upon us, including upcoming New Year’s, I implore all of you to join me, to stop feeding our money to an industry that doesn’t give a damn about representing all groups of people.
Just watch something, anything, that’s different.
May I suggest Chi-Raq (although to be honest, the sexual politics of it concern me…) or even Star Wars?
Better yet, go out with friends and watch an Indie flick. They are out there. Trust me.
In the meantime, do not buy those overpriced bags of popcorn while heading into something like the Revenant where you’ll just spend 90 minutes watching a white dude kill another white dude and then to avenge some other white dude, he’ll be roaming the forests, killing more dudes, including Native people.
Fuck. That. Shit.
Leo. You’re my boy. But, this is it.
In all seriousness, the country’s demographics are changing. Little brown and black kids growing up need to know that people who look like them matter, that their stories are fascinating too.
And if we want men of color, and women of color on the screen, portrayed as nuanced human beings, we have to do what we were taught to do in a capitalist society, and that is talk with our money.
Spread the word.
The revolution will be televised.