The Joker, Blacks in movies and Mel Gibson

Now here is some news that I’m seriously looking forward to. Mr. Christian Bale did a phenomenal job as the early Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins. Where Mr. Michael Keaton hinted at the darker aspects of the dark knight Mr. Bale really brought it to the foreground. Of course Mr. Bale was working on the script inspired by the Dark Knight series of comic books. I, like many, have looked forward to the next movie (an inevitable event considering how much money was made, and the current fad to bring the comic book heroes to the silver screen) and what may take place.

Happily I can say that the Joker will be in the movie. While Mr. Jack Nicholson did a fairly good job of the character, it was not the more gleefully evil character I grew up with. The manic joke of the Joker is the fact that he and Batman are 2 sides of the same twisted person. Driven with passion and determination that could be seen as unhealthy for either of them. This is why they pair off so well. There is an understanding of commonality between them, which is why Batman is desperate to cure the Joker rather than kill him (and no the Joker did not kill Batman’s parents).

This aspect between the character is critical. As is the joke that is the means of the Joker’s killing sprees. So which actor is going to be given this opportunity? Mr. Heath Ledger. Would I have picked him, probably not. And I not sure who I would have picked. But then again I wasn’t sure that Mr. Bale was up to the imposing figure that is Batman. Hopefully the script will be as strong or better than the first movie. And if the writer’s ever get to read this, don’t go killing off the bad guys just because the movie ends. Especially the Joker, he is an arch-nemesis for a reason. [As a side note, if they get around to it, as I recall 2-Face a.k.a. Harvey Dent is a Black African American. Sometimes reading the source material is a good thing for little details like that. Now watch someone correct me, that in the 40’s-50’s his character was originally white. But I don’t think so]

And it makes me thing of something else. A conversation I was having yesterday. Essentially I asked a question during my conversation that went like this ‘How many Black African American actors/actresses lead major films a year?’ My personal estimate is about 5. I do not count the 5-10 million dollar rapper-wants-to-be-an-actor films. [I find them to be exploitation films, little different than the blaxploitation films of the 70’s. Actually the ones in the 70’s were better in acting and script.] I mean films starring Mr. Denzel Washington, Mr. Morgan Freeman, Ms. Angela Bassett, Ms. Halle Berry et al. I believe the number in any one year is around 5, but those I was speaking with thought the number to be around 50% or more. I am not joking. When I asked them to name more than 5 films in one year I was told actors names, not movie titles. And even with that several of the actors were in support roles for several of the movies that were thought of. (IE. Mr. Danny Glover was a co-lead in the later Lethal Weapon series, but more support to Mr. Mel Gibson in the first. Or Mr. Samuel Jackson is often placed in a supporting role. While I am happy they are working, and getting good roles, they are not leading) Now I thought about this afterwards and to be fair, any actor in more than 2 major films in a year is rare. But the question remains, if it were 5 years, how many out of how many total films in that time period?

Why did this come up? We were discussing the inequality of Hollywood. How stereotypes still exist and how movie studios still consciously shift movies to exclude minorities even when its unnecessary. And that still today stereotypes are pushed by the mainstream. I mean many Black African American actors are cast as the muscle, and less intelligent characters. African American actresses are routinely cast as sexual objects. And in films of all sorts minorities simply don’t exist. [Maybe I like sci-fi a bit more because there tends to be more of a mix of peoples in this genre more than any other, with the exception of slasher films which require the ‘stupid black kid that gets killed in the early part of the movie’ and the ‘black girl that doesn’t run from an obviously bad situation and dies’.] Well if anyone does know what the percentage is, do let me know.

I did mention Mr. Mel Gibson above, and I want to go back to him for a moment. I notice that there is virtually nothing being said about his crime. It seems completely forgotten as many are lost in his drunken comments. Now he has admitted making the comments, and it is insulting. It is not surprising though. Mr. Gibson has never hidden his ultra-conservative religious beliefs. While I had no idea how deep his convictions went, it does not change his ability. And anyone who is upset, and not believing his recent apology, should simply not see any movies he produces or stars in. The message will get thru if enough feel the same.

While I find the comments to portray a smaller-minded man than I would have expected, the more important thing I’d like to see is his punishment for his crime. I do not want to see the media create a furor that will blow past his actions, giving the courts an opportunity to cast aside his penalty because of pity on his public thrashing. He needs to be educated, and really look at the world. I think some time in jail for verbal assault on the officers, drunk and disorderly, and DUI should be the perfect opportunity to re-think his positions. If it were me in the same situation, or any actor of lesser stature (I think), those are at the least the charges I’d get. They might have added a classification of the verbal assault as a hate crime considering the comments. But somehow I don’t see Mr. Gibson being given those charges. But that’s all I’ll say on that subject.

This is what I think, what do you think?

About the Author

Michael Vass
Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

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