A Specific Style for African-American Actors?

I enjoyed Gates input on the film “Get Out” as I had never viewed it in the way he has, I have always thought of the film as displaying the struggles Black people face through a complex story line. However, Gates’ article did get me thinking about how we do perceive black people in films and media. When I think of Black films or television shows, or any media for that matter, featuring a person of color they are often playing a type of “role” that is common for a black person. In the television show “New Girl” for example, the main cast features a white female, two white males and a black male. The black male is cast as the comedic friend that does not ever have any serious storylines.

I find this style to be a recurring theme in media. I think black people, men especially, are often typecast as the comedic role that does not have much depth to their character and is only placed in the show to add humor and as a way to diversify the cast as a whole. This was also done in the Ghostbusters movie with Leslie Jones. This reminded me of the quote from gates, “how can an African American actor register fear on his face without risk of resurrecting the tired old stereotype of bug-eyes to show fear?” I thought of it in the comedic sense-can an African American hold a strong story-line in a comedy movie or show whilst still applying humor to the show?

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