Representation Of Minorities In Film

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Representation Matters Whether people realize it or not, media shapes their personalities by exposing them to select viewpoints and contexts. When the entertainment industry portrays minorities in specific situations, it can influence people’s perception of those minorities because people tend to comprehend their characteristics through visual and aural interactions. This one-dimensional characterization has closed off the true, multi-faceted culture of these minorities. For example, Hispanics are commonly labeled as border-hopping drug traffickers, and this perception is misguided. The media is responsible for society’s negative perception of minorities because the depiction of drug crime in film and TV places minority racial and ethnic groups…show more content…
It is difficult to point out distinct and homogenous tropes in “white film” because the portrayal of white characters in media receives far more attention than minorities. This happens for a number of reasons, one being Hollywood’s belief that white characters sell. It is common to see a series taking place in a minority-specific setting with a white protagonist front-and-center. For example, The Wire is a series that takes place in black neighborhoods in Baltimore, but the story is told through the eyes of Jimmy McNulty, a white detective. Huffington Post’s Amanda Scherker labels this tactic “whitewashing,” a practice Hollywood has been guilty of for decades. Because of this tactic, films that represent minority groups are marketed towards that specific minority rather than general audiences. The possibility of diverse and historically accurate casts are often unexplored when, in reality, white people make up barely over half of moviegoers as of 2014…show more content…
Mafia families are a popular portrayal of white crime and have had a presence in America’s history since the mid-20th century and an even larger presence in the film industry. The mafia has been glorified in media for decades, most notably in films like The Godfather and Goodfellas. The latter follows Henry Hill, who grows up in an Italian-American neighborhood. In this area, the Lucchese, a powerful crime family, take Hill in as he becomes increasingly involved in their jobs. Hill sells cocaine, yet his gangster lifestyle is glamorized. At the beginning of the film, Hill claims that he “always wanted to be a gangster”; by the end of the film, after being forced to leave his mafia family, he laments, “I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook”. Mafias are very rarely portrayed as anything other than glamorous, even in scenes of drug use in the case of Goodfellas. Drug deals in these films are seen as just business rather than the identity of the characters which further proves that white actors are given roles with more

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