Running head: ETHNIC AND RACIAL STEREOTYPES IN FILMS AND TELEVISION 1 Ethnic and Racial Stereotypes in Films and Television Student’s Name Institutional Affiliation
ETHNIC AND RACIAL STEREOTYPES IN FILMS AND TELEVISION 2 Ethnic and Racial Stereotypes in Films and Television Media campaigns have created awareness about promoting racial diversity in movies and TV shows such as Hollywood. However, diversity in television and films is not the only problem because the way African Americans are stereotyped on television screen remains a primary concern (Thompson, 2016). In many cases, actors from minor racial groups with roles in TV shows and films are often asked to play stock characters such as thugs, maids, and subordinates. The racial stereotypes of diverse ethnicities such as African Americans, Asians, and Arabs have always persisted. Therefore, it is essential to discuss the ethnic and racial stereotypes in television and films in the United States. The TV shows featured herein include “The Good Times,” “My Wife and Kids,” “The Cosby Show,” and “A Different World.” Examples of Ethnic and Racial Stereotypes in Films and TV Shows. Americans of Eastern Heritage and Arabs have experienced stereotypes in Hollywood movies. In typical cinema, Arabs were perceived as oil sheikhs, harem girls, and belly dancers. Currently, the traditional stereotypes about Arabs upset the Middle Easterners living in the United States. For example, the Coca-Cola advert featured on the 2013 “Super Bowl” showed Arabs riding through the deserts on Camel, attempting to beat their rivals to a bottle of Coke. According to Thompson (2016), the advert caused Arab Americans groups to accuse the advertisement of stereotyping them as “camel jockeys.” Moreover, Arabs have been perceived as anti-American villains before the terrorist attacks. Furthermore, in 1994, the film entitled “True Lies” featured Middle Easterners as terrorists, therefore, causing them to protest against the movie. Also, in 1992, Disney’s movie depicted Arabs as backwards and barbaric. Native Americans have diverse cultural experiences and customs. However, American Indians are subjected to broad generalizations in Hollywood. In most Hollywood movies,
ETHNIC AND RACIAL STEREOTYPES IN FILMS AND TELEVISION 3 American Indians are presented as either silent or bloodthirsty people who are focused on harming the whites. Although the native Americans are characterized more favorably in other occasions, the characterization is through the stereotypical lens because they are depicted as witches or medicine men. Besides, the television and films depict American Indian females as “squaws”, beautiful princesses, or maidens (Thompson, 2016). Hollywood stereotypes have caused native American females to be subjected to sexual assault and harassment in real life.
- Spring '14
- Bill Cosby, The Cosby Show