Hollywood Narratives We Are Killing in 2019

article by: Imani Joseph
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A new year means new stories featuring marginalized communities hitting your local movie theater, streaming service, and television. White Hollywood has had a history of recycling corny tropes and stereotypes when portraying minorities’ stories; however, it's not just white Hollywood playing into problematic stereotypes, but these same marginalized groups cashing in on their peoples’ misrepresentation in the box office. Going into 2019 as a viewer and consumer, let’s try to avoid putting our money where ignorance is - let’s leave all of these overused, problematic tropes in the past:

  • Award winning movies about black people only involving slavery or Jim crow
  • Black women being portrayed as simply loud, bitchy, angry, or sassy
  • Leading women needing a male love interest
  • Two women's conflict focusing around a man (failing the Bechdel test)
  • Feminine gay men being the sassy sidekick, never the lead
  • Homophobic characters being secretly gay
  • Interracial couples always including one white person
  • Transgender people being described as ‘born in the wrong body’
  • Bisexual people solely interested in threesomes
  • Bisexual people involved in affairs
  • Light skinned Latinx and Black people taking on the majority of leading roles
  • Large women being portrayed as grandmothers or aunts, never lovers
  • Asian Americans having phenomenal standardized test scores, being violin prodigies, and having doctors for parents
  • Black men only being funny dressed up as women
  • Black kids having absent fathers
  • Queer stories entirely centred around homophobia
  • Domestic violence only shown in heterosexual relationships
  • Not acknowledging Mexican people can be brown, white, and black
  • Bisexuality being illustrated as a phase
  • All Mexican American people as poor and undocumented
  • Not acknowledging men are victims of sexual assault too
  • Women incapable of healthy friendships
  • Mexican Americans only having wealth through drug related business

This list was put together by asking my family and friends of different ethnicities, sexualities, and walks of life: it’s not an exhaustive list of all problematic narratives that exist. If you have any more narratives you think should die in 2019 comment below.