Author Topic: Conspiracy Culture  (Read 2364 times)

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Offline the_squid

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #195 on: March 08, 2021, 12:56:47 pm »
I find it equally outrageous.  What's your point?

A gay actor has to play a gay character?    ???
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Offline BC_cheque

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #196 on: March 08, 2021, 12:59:34 pm »
A gay actor has to play a gay character?    ???

Not so much, but when actors and actresses put on blackface to play historical people of colour I find it very offensive. 

Offline Black Dog

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #197 on: March 08, 2021, 01:09:29 pm »
Everyone in society.

What happens if we stop "worrying about race"? Will the racism and inequality baked into the system just magically go away?

I mean you seem to think race wasn't relevant to the Cosby Show, which is about as bad a take as you could get.

Offline MH

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #198 on: March 08, 2021, 01:50:21 pm »
1. What happens if we stop "worrying about race"? Will the racism and inequality baked into the system just magically go away?

2. I mean you seem to think race wasn't relevant to the Cosby Show, which is about as bad a take as you could get.
1. He thinks it's gone away already, I suspect
2. They were Black, I think.

Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #199 on: March 08, 2021, 01:53:30 pm »
I mean you seem to think race wasn't relevant to the Cosby Show, which is about as bad a take as you could get.

It wasn't relevant to the show being good.  It had some racial messages put in there by Cosby, which is good and fine because they were well done, but it was a well-written show regardless.

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What happens if we stop "worrying about race"? Will the racism and inequality baked into the system just magically go away?

I think we can worry about racism without being obsessed with race and ticking off boxes.  Like Jerry Seinfeld said, does every TV cast have to have the same breakdown as the census or else racism/sexism?  Can a period piece in England exist without a black character and not be racist?  Is Family Matters racist because the entire cast was black?  Does any sane person give a hoot?  If there's black characters in Bridgerton i don't really care, nor would I care if there's no black characters, or if all the characters are black.
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Offline Black Dog

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #200 on: March 08, 2021, 02:57:18 pm »
It wasn't relevant to the show being good.  It had some racial messages put in there by Cosby, which is good and fine because they were well done, but it was a well-written show regardless.

Race was fairly central to the premise of the show.

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I think we can worry about racism without being obsessed with race and ticking off boxes.

I have no idea what, in practical terms, you're talking about here.

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Like Jerry Seinfeld said, does every TV cast have to have the same breakdown as the census or else racism/sexism?  Can a period piece in England exist without a black character and not be racist?  Is Family Matters racist because the entire cast was black?  Does any sane person give a hoot?  If there's black characters in Bridgerton i don't really care, nor would I care if there's no black characters, or if all the characters are black.

Most of this is just strawmen, eg no one is saying a show that doesn't feature POC actors is racist or that they need to feature X number of woman/POC actors or be considered racist.

It's funny to see a super privileged white male like Jerry Seinfeld dismiss concerns about representation and diversity because it's pretty clear he's never once thought about who gets opportunities to showcase their talents and who doesn't.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 03:01:23 pm by Black Dog »

Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #201 on: March 08, 2021, 06:19:46 pm »
It's funny to see a super privileged white male like Jerry Seinfeld dismiss concerns about representation and diversity because it's pretty clear he's never once thought about who gets opportunities to showcase their talents and who doesn't.

He said things like gender, race etc aren't factors in who he has on his show, because race/gender have nothing to do with how funny a comedian is.  And he's right.  He's had women and black people on his show.  One can assume it's because he thinks Dave Chappelle and Ellen Degeneres etc are funny.  This is how a person who isn't racist or sexist thinks.
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Offline Black Dog

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #202 on: March 08, 2021, 08:46:09 pm »
He said things like gender, race etc aren't factors in who he has on his show, because race/gender have nothing to do with how funny a comedian is.  And he's right.  He's had women and black people on his show.  One can assume it's because he thinks Dave Chappelle and Ellen Degeneres etc are funny.

Race and gender have nothing to do with how funny someone is, it's true. But race and gender are absolutely factors in who Jerry has on his show because race and gender play a big part in who is considered funny and who gets opportunities. In other words, he's drawing from a talent pool that is shaped in large part by racism and sexism. Unless you think the fact that the vast majority of stand ups being white men is simply because they are actually funnier, then you have to concede there's something else going on.

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This is how a person who isn't racist or sexist thinks.

No this is how a rich old white dude who has never considered these things thinks. I doubt Jerry has ever given a passing thought to any social issue outside of age of consent laws.
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Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #203 on: March 09, 2021, 03:45:43 pm »
Race and gender have nothing to do with how funny someone is, it's true. But race and gender are absolutely factors in who Jerry has on his show because race and gender play a big part in who is considered funny and who gets opportunities. In other words, he's drawing from a talent pool that is shaped in large part by racism and sexism. Unless you think the fact that the vast majority of stand ups being white men is simply because they are actually funnier, then you have to concede there's something else going on.

It could be that there's sexism or racism in the stand up industry.  The problem is how do we show evidence that this is the case, and to what extent is this the case?  Your evidence is that a large # of white men are stand-up comedians.  That's not good enough evidence.  That's like saying the NBA is racist and sexist because most players are black men, or universities are sexist because the majority of graduates are women. 

This question extends to a lot of industries.  There are all sorts of racial and gender disparities in a large number of industries/fields in society.  If a given population of employed people do not match the proportions of the general population, does that mean sexism, racism etc is occurring?  The assumption today is "yes", but this is just not always the case, though i'm sure sometimes it is.  So how do we figure out when it is and isn't happening, and to what extent?
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Offline wilber

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #204 on: March 09, 2021, 06:27:08 pm »
Interesting how some members here condemn the opposition for calling Chinese treatment of the Uighers what it is. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/china-responsible-genocide-independent-report-1.5942289, yet have no problem equating internment camps in the US with Nazi concentration camps.
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Offline MH

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #205 on: March 09, 2021, 07:18:35 pm »

Offline kimmy

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #206 on: March 09, 2021, 08:21:00 pm »

But the inclusion of black and asian characters reaches the point of diminishing returns...  it's radical tokenism.

It really depends on the execution.  Too often these are pointless characters that are clearly just there to tick some boxes, and I think that's kind of insulting to both the audience as well as the overall goal of on-screen representation.

I always think of what some studio exec said about Demi Moore's character in "A Few Good Men".  "She doesn't take off her clothes, she doesn't fall in love with Tom Cruise, so why is this character a woman?"  The assumption being that the character should have been male by default, unless she was going to be a love interest or provide some T&A. But why assume a character be male by default?  Likewise, why should a character be white by default?

I saw a movie with Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow a long time ago, called "A Perfect Murder".  Gwyneth's best friend in the movie is played by Sarita Choudhry, and her ethnicity plays no role in the film (I think Douglas's character teasingly calls her "the Bengalese Bombshell" at one point, and that's the only mention of it.)   I can imagine some studio exec might have asked "she doesn't do any ethnic jokes or cook curry, so why didn't we cast a white actress in this role?"  But there was also no reason why the character needed to be white.  So is it tokenism?  The character was part of the film, it's not like they invented a superfluous character just to tick some boxes. It's a character that was there as part of the story, and there was no reason why the character needed to be white, so why not cast an Indian actress in the role? It seemed fine to me.

On the other hand, when representation is done badly...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78TNeWXi2e4

 -k
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Offline Black Dog

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #207 on: March 10, 2021, 11:53:37 am »
It could be that there's sexism or racism in the stand up industry.  The problem is how do we show evidence that this is the case, and to what extent is this the case?  Your evidence is that a large # of white men are stand-up comedians.  That's not good enough evidence.  That's like saying the NBA is racist and sexist because most players are black men, or universities are sexist because the majority of graduates are women. 

This question extends to a lot of industries.  There are all sorts of racial and gender disparities in a large number of industries/fields in society.  If a given population of employed people do not match the proportions of the general population, does that mean sexism, racism etc is occurring? The assumption today is "yes", but this is just not always the case, though i'm sure sometimes it is.  So how do we figure out when it is and isn't happening, and to what extent?

I don't think in this case it's a question of "if". Just ask any women or POC comics about their experiences. How big a problem it is is difficult to quantify given the myriad ways racism and sexism can manifest themselves institutionally, but I don't think there's any doubt that it's a factor.

And no, this isn't like basketball or even university graduates where there's an objective standard of ability at play.

Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #208 on: March 10, 2021, 02:38:38 pm »
I don't think in this case it's a question of "if". Just ask any women or POC comics about their experiences. How big a problem it is is difficult to quantify given the myriad ways racism and sexism can manifest themselves institutionally, but I don't think there's any doubt that it's a factor.

So you think there's a problem because of some anecdotes, and this is enough for Seinfeld to change his hiring practices?  5 of the 10 highest paid comedians are POC or women, including the top paid, and there's also Dave Chappelle who is up there with Kevin Hart in popularity but not on the list.  How do we as a society address a problem if we can't define it or know how big of a problem it is?  Surely we can figure something out. 

How do we know when we, like Seinfeld, should hire more women/POC?  And how do we know when we've hired enough women/POC?  Is it based on gut feelings?  Should numbers be equal (50/50 men vs women) or match what the census makeup of the general population is?  Should we just ballpark it and hire a bunch until it kinda looks good?

How do we know the lack of female comedians is due to sexism?  Maybe more men are good at making people laugh than women?  Funny women seem to do well, like Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Amy Schumer etc.  To what extent is the lack of women an industry problem or a "less woman are funny" problem?  To what extent is this Seinfeld's problem, or his responsibility to help fix?

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And no, this isn't like basketball or even university graduates where there's an objective standard of ability at play.

So black people are better at basketball than other races?  And women are smarter and/or harder working than men?  How is there an objective standard in these 2 examples and there isn't for people who are good at making other people laugh?

How are there more university grads who are women, and more female medical doctors graduating than men, but STEM is sexist because of lack of women?  Is the teaching professional or medical doctor profession sexist because of lower male graduates?  Are anecdotes and number disparities sufficient to show sexism/racism?
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Offline MH

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Re: Conspiracy Culture
« Reply #209 on: March 10, 2021, 02:54:22 pm »
You can ask for general trends, and there are reasons for these things ... but the path is fraught with distrust and potential for misuse.