The recent widespread calls for social and racial justice and equality is very much a good thing, but just like any global movement, there’s a lot of people that don’t seem to understand the fine lines between genuine issues that need to be tackled and faux outrage just for the sake of it. As an industry that generates billions upon billions of dollars in revenue and contains some of the most famous faces on the planet that can reach out to millions of people with their opinions to try and reinforce change, Hollywood should and looks to be leading the charge.
However, people who have never seen Tropic Thunder but based on a single image alone began demanding that Robert Downey Jr. publicly apologize for his role in the movie is nonsense. As is a single person’s claims that classic family comedy Kindergarten Cop reinforced the idea of a police presence in schools causing the movie to get pulled from a drive-in theater.
The latest person to make connections that very clearly aren’t there is Brock University’s Professor Tamari Kitossa, who recently penned a lengthy piece on how the Alien and Predator franchises are both based on racist representations of black people, even though we’re literally talking about two fictional alien species that have spent decades as the stars of sci-fi horror movies.
There’s reaching, and then there’s this, and you can get an idea of how Professor Kitossa is trying to manufacture outrage out of thin air once you’ve seen a couple of the more interesting quotes, which you can check out below.
“Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise, with its vicious and endlessly breeding carbon black alien mother, came at the height of neo-liberal experiment and in the U.S. especially, an all-out assault on black people. In the context of anti-black culture, the film signifies the black woman as an un-killable and ceaselessly breeding alien who threatened the body politic. In terms set by historian Lothrop Stoddard’s white supremacist 1920 book The Rising Tide of Color, a black woman’s sexual reproduction is imagined to signal the genetic extinction of the white republic.”
Using a book written by a white supremacist 100 years ago and somehow connecting it to the Alien Queen is crazy, but Kitossa then makes similarly-absurd claims about the Predator, an extraterrestrial bounty hunter that ended up being defeated in hand-to-hand combat by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny Glover and even Adrien Brody of all people.
“In the context of racially charged white anxieties about immigration and social order, the historical demonization of black men is a trope, a stereotype, that easily maps onto cinematic typecasting. The 1987 Hollywood film that launched the Predator franchise fits this pattern. Predator depicted a black, dreadlocked, large and super-virile male in a way that converged white art with white political history. Hollywood and the media paint black people as sexualized, superhuman monstrosities and that this meshes with racialized political discourse.”
Quite what possessed him to blast Alien and Predator as examples of continued and systemic racism is anybody’s guess, especially when it doesn’t make a lick of sense. Let’s just hope that Professor Kitossa doesn’t find out that they crossed over in two movies or he’ll hit the roof.
Source: Bounding Into Comics