Blockbusters Rogue One and The Power Rangers gain praise for featuring some of the most diverse casts we’ve ever seen on the big screen. The villains they team up to fight against however… aren’t so diverse.
Disney’s Star Wars: Rogue One and Saban’s Power Rangers have been the talk of Tinseltown lately. Featuring a stunningly diverse cast of characters, these films have broken new ground and provided positive role models that every minority audience can relate to. While most tongues (and pens) were set wagging about a power ranger representing the LBGT community, and Star Wars’ first openly gay couple, both films also deserve praise for another remarkable milestone. Billy the Blue Ranger and Galen Erso, a Lead Engineer working on the Death Star, are both autistic.
It’s refreshing to see the industry taking steps to come out of the Stone Age, considering that 19% of Americans report some form of disability- yet are practically invisible on the big screen. Unsurprisingly, these admirable initiatives to promote social change and diversity were met with a fair amount of criticism, some of which is bona fide and some that was less than credible. Militant bloggers and left wing journalists were the first on the scene with pitchforks raised as they cried that Star Wars’ groundbreaking gay couple Baze and Chirrut somehow just weren’t gay enough. Despite the inclusion of a scene in which one man caressed his partner’s face as he lay dying, liberal bloggers (unsurprisingly) complained that Producer J.J. Abrams had downplayed their relationship by not giving the couple enough screen time.
It seems as though some liberal bloggers wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than beefcakes shaking their junk in codpieces on a tabletop in a Mos Eisley cantina. But several legitimate grumbles about the way other groups were negatively stereotyped in these movies got swept under the table by a media dominated by the far-left wing ethos. The issue that nobody is willing to talk about openly now lurks like a ticking time bomb, primed to explode in the faces of the very same power players greenlighting the diversity campaign.
The uncomfortable truth is that white and latino audiences, who comprise the vast majority of box office ticket purchasers in this country, are getting sick and tired of being portrayed as the bad guys in movies and television. Every. Single. Time. Rogue One revolves around a ragtag squadron of 7 or 8 rebellion heroes (not one of which is a white male) as they fight the evil of the oppressive Empire. Which director Gareth Edwards chose to portray comprised solely of 4 Caucasian lead villains supported by hundreds of white male extras in stormtrooper armor. Minorities need not apply.
Ditto for the Power Rangers, which delivered us yet another boring white skinned villain out to destroy the world. A look back at other notable movies over the last year gave us more of the same tired old shtick with bankers, politicians, dirty cops, evil masterminds, and MBA’s all clad in whiteface to represent liberal elitest’s take on everything wrong with modern society today.
As well-meaning and altruistic as it is to establish positive role models for minorities to look up to, there is a dark flip side of that coin. It is psychologically harmful, AND disingenuous, to insinuate that every single ill afflicting society is the result of possessing Caucasian D.N.A. What right do filmmakers have to assert that everybody with white skin exists on a moral slippery slope inevitably leading to galaxywide domination and/or cornering of the Columbian drug cartels?
This isn’t an issue that’s going to go away, and unfortunately there are no easy answers. While it would be nice if everybody in this country felt free to engage in frank, respectful discussions about they way that we talk about each other, that is not a courtesy afforded to everyone. Republican-oriented politics may indeed dominate the business world, but the left wing still controls the press, key communication platforms such as Reddit, and most of the blogosphere. Sadly, the mainstream media simply won’t allow any voices to challenge the predominant narrative that “white privilege” equates to a free pass in life and sociopathic tendencies. Try telling that to every unemployed coal miner, and every computer programmer whose job has been shipped out to India.
The media’s clampdown on the genuine plight of the working class inevitably will force an economic showdown. One that will pit the majority of consumer spending versus the racist caricatures that “progressive liberals” think is morally acceptable content to mass produce. The very same Tinseltown execs gleefully padding their bank accounts selling us trendy “whiteface” racism today are going to be in for a nasty surprise tomorrow when ticket sales begin to drop off.
The disenfranchised white working class shocked the world by standing up for themselves at the voting booth last November. Now it is only a matter of time before they do so again by voting down racially charged Hollywood stereotypes with their pocketbooks.