Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ignorant Beauty...


Now I admire Angelina Jolie's "talent", uh-hum... as much as the next guy, but I think living the life she does keeps her out of touch with the real world.

In a recent interview posted over at the Digital Spy website, Angie... can I call you Angie? Well, she talked about how difficult it is to show her kids Disney films because they have no "African-American Princess"... I guess being in showbiz doesn't mean you keep up with all the comings and goings. She's not heard the news about "The Princess and the Frog" opening next year, I take it?

Even if it wasn't coming out next year, I detest the idea of having a quota for each film based on the color of the character's skin. I want good stories, I don't care what color the lead characters are... I do expect them to be a little geographically correct though. I mean, if Disney has made films based on European myths and folklore then I don't expect the people in it to be of some other race. I don't consider that to be racist which is what Angie seems to imply... It's not like all of Disney's princesses have been white(although the majority have been). If she had bothered to watch some over the past decade she would have seen a Persian Princess, a Chinese Princess and an American Indian Princess. I don't want another one to happen just to check off another color of the rainbow. I also know the history of Disney and other companies when it comes to race. But I feel that she's either falling victim to, or playing the politically correct game of expectations. I don't think a character in a film has to be white for me to like or identify with him. My favorite actor happens to be Samuel L. Jackson and it ain't cause he's black, it's because he's an incredible actor and one powerful presence. Does Angie think that her kids can only identify with a heroine if she's of the same color? That's ignorant in my opinion...

Perhaps next time she goes off on a mission for the United Nations she should bring along a few DVDs so she doesn't stick her foot in her mouth?

Hat Tip to Animated News

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lion King, too. The female lions weren't given a lot of "air time" but was a very well done movie - even better is the stage musical at "representation".
Agree that a well told story is the most important and ANYONE can provide a good role model - doesn't matter what color, or animal...
Lara Croft - there's a role model!

Nunyerdamn Business said...

So, what are you saying? That Disney shouldn't make any films with minorities? Sounds like you're the racists, Honor!

Anonymous said...

Nun, did you read it?

Anonymous said...

"...and ANYONE can provide a good role model - doesn't matter what color..."

Excellent point! Perhaps she should spend her time making sure her kids get the message of the films, instead of drawing so much attention to the heroine's race. Sure kids notice that, but they move on quickly to something that keeps their interest.

Corruption said...

I think what Jolie said was a little silly, but possibly being taken out of context.

Remember, her daughter Zahara is from Africa and Shiloh was born there. Pax is Vietnamese and Maddox is Cambodian. She's pretty invested in diverse cultures and I think she wants entertainment to reflect her reality.

Right or wrong, she has a valid point, even if it is teetering on the ridiculousness of being politically correct.

Singh Mehta said...

Read this:

http://www.kinema.uwaterloo.ca/white951.htm

And this:

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/1998/07/07feature.html

And this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelina_jolie#Humanitarian_work

Yes, I get you: Disney has made films featuring (Westernized) Asians, and Angelina Jolie has made some crappy films to get paid. Doesn't change the fact that the majority of Disney's films (including the upcoming "Prince of Persia," which you wrote up not two days ago) have put white American faces in roles where white American faces don't necessarily go. And Angelina Jolie, being one of the few actors in Hollywood to truly balance her paycheck work with humanitarian work, deserves better than to be painted with the misogynist tag "Ignorant Beauty."

What provoked this, Hunter? Really? People denigrate Disney's animated films every single day at Ain't It Cool News. Charges of racism against Disney date back to Walt's time. Jolie made what I thought was a fair comment on Disney's animated films -- after all, if she didn't want her children to watch them, she wouldn't have brought it up. What's set you off?

Anonymous said...

Aw geez, yet another lame comment from a brain-dead celebrity demanding inclusiveness at all costs. Hey, Angie, how about YOU make a movie that includes all races, whether they fit the story or not? Or - here's an idea - how about YOU star in a a movie version of the "It's A Small World" ride? That should fit your sensibilities just fine. True, it might make audiences run screaming from the theater, but hey, entertaining them isn't nearly as important as beating touchy-feely morals into their heads, right? Sheesh. I do get tired of hypocritical moraling coming from, of all people, Hollywood celebrities, especially when they diss Disney movies which have stood the test of time and are probably better for their kids than Mommy and Daddy are (that's assuming if they even know who their daddy *is*).

Anonymous said...

Um, actually, blog writer, YOU came off as being the ignorant one because Pocahontas is not Indian. Only people from India are Indian. Just like there is no "East India" for "East Indians" to exist....

john Locke said...

And you last Anonymous sound like a total retard. Honor was referring to what we've always called them: Indians. I know the history of how Columbus thought he'd found a new route to India, but that's still the label most people use. INCLUDING INDIANS. If you were here in California you'd notice that as well. All the casinos label themselves as INDIAN casinos on INDIAN reservations.

I don't like to use the term "Native Americans" because that makes it seem as though anyone other than those tribes is not a native. Anyone born here is a Native American so it's a useless phrase to call them. Stop being a whiner, stop being a victim. Get on with your life, in fact, get a life. Sigh..

Anonymous said...

Disney's had its moments of racism -- the pickaninny centaurette in "Fantasia," the "cut off your ear" bit in the "Aladdin" intro, "Song of the South." These things happened. Disney's human animated characters have been predominantly light-skinned. (Aladdin, one of the characters you hold up as an example of Disney "diversity," was based on a white man, Tom Cruise, and has anglo features.) These things are provable. Yet we like Disney anyway, and we applaud their efforts to better reflect the world they work to entertain.

That is to say, that's what we should be doing. If our skin is so thin that an offhanded comment by an actress can pierce it, perhaps we should ask ourselves why.

uncle John's Cabin said...

Perhaps ones skin isn't thin when it comes as one comment. But when it comes over and over from pin-heads in Hollywood there comes a time when you just want these self-rightchoues, out of touch, pampered stars to live in the real world quite talking like they have all the answers. I've read about Jolie's life and she's the last one to be making judgements on others.

Anonymous said...

If you think Song of the South is so racist maybe you should ask Floyd Norman if he thinks it is such a bad thing. He's a very famous Disney animator who happens to also be black. He happens to like SOS and finds people with such thin skin too sensitive.

Anonymous said...

Just when I think you can't post anything stupider...

"I don't care what color the lead characters are..."

That's because they're all white, and you're white.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm done with this ignorant blog.

Honor Hunter said...

Jasmine is not white. Pocahontas is not white. Mulan is not white. So you're wrong, anonymous...

And as far as me being white, I never said I was... I never said I wasn't and it shouldn't matter. My views are those of an individual American male, not a white one...

I applaud Jolie for her adoptions. But when it comes to adoption, love doesn't come in a color. I think Angelina knows this but my statement was that she's not practicing it when it comes to these films.

I don't judge people or films, for that matter through a color... those that do I feel sorry for. I don't live my life in such a manner and don't intend to start now.

If you don't want to read Blue Sky Disney feel free to remove it from your bookmarks. I don't change my opinions based on people not agreeing with me. They wouldn't be very solid values if I changed them to be popular with people.

I stand by every word I say, that's why it's my blog... it's my opinion.

Spokker said...

"the "cut off your ear" bit in the "Aladdin" intro"

What was racist about this? Amputation is a punishment in the Middle East. Many people would consider that a barbaric act.

What is it coming to... said...

People these days are so blinded by trying to include everyone in everything that they end up causing more problems than there were before. Being PC and so multicultural you lose your own identity is a plague that is sweeping America and is chocking almost every facet of our culture including entertainment. If something does not call for a minority or any race or creed than it should not be forced to have such a thing in it.

And please do not call Mr. Honor ignorant and stupid he is stating his beliefs and the last time I checked he can without being called ignorant and stupid without reasoning.
Mr. Honor, keep on keeping on.

anonymouse said...

Dont call Jolie ignorant, she was making a vaild complaint. All of Disney's "foreign" princesses are very westernized, and you can't expect her to know about upcoming projects that aren't widely known outside of the Disney and movie/ animation fan community like The Princess and the Frog.

john Locke said...

"you can't expect her to know about upcoming projects that aren't widely known outside of the Disney and movie/ animation fan communit"

Perhaps a definition of the root of ignorant is in order here?

Ignorance:

Ignorance is the condition of being uninformed or uneducated, lacking knowledge or information. (From Wikipedia)

Ignorance:

Ignorance is lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified.(merriam-webste)

I think Honor is correct. She doesn't know, therefore she is ignorant. I believe you are confusing "ignorant" with "stupit", which is not what he said.

And perhaps you should explain what you mean by "westernized", because that is not what Ms. Jolie said, that's what you said. I believe you're inferring from her describing no African-American Princesses that she means westernized. If you mean by that "whitened", I have a new term for you..

Racist. And it doesn't apply to Honor or Angelina, it applies to you.

Corruption said...

Jasmine actually is white, as anyone from Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East is considered to be caucasian. There are only five distinct races of people -- read Wikipedia here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_%28historical_definitions%29#Coon.27s_Racial_Definitions

However, if we look at it from a cultural perspective, which is a much better way to do so, we have German, French, English, American, Chinese, Arabian, etc. represented.

:)

Anonymous said...

"Jasmine is not white. Pocahontas is not white. Mulan is not white."

The hell they aren't. They are the typical white Disney princess, drawn with slanty eyes. They all have LIGHT skin, AMERICAN voices and AMERICAN attitudes. For you to call someone else ignorant is repugnant.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I liked this blog better when it was just pretty pictures and meaningless tripe. You SoCal Republicans are no fun when somebody stirs your white guilt.

Anonymous said...

I'm Far From Racist, But I'm A Realist ; If You're Trying To Earn Money From Distributing Movies Primarily In A Country With Such A Terrible History Of Racism......




Times Are Changing, Thank God.




But, Back Then, Why Not Use The Idiots, Take The Hard-earned Money Out Of Their Pockets ?

What is it coming to... said...

Oh yes, please tell us about how the socal Republicans, if he in fact is one feel bad whenever they feel white guilt. If you are trying to refer to a guilt stirred up by slavery or being racist to the Chinese in the 1800's that makes no sense. Was he one who kept slaves, was he one who worked on the railroad and hated the Chinese, no he was not. He has nothing to be guilty of. He has only to be ashamed of his ancestors own ignorance and try to work for a better world in his own way.

You however are so determined to make everyone pay for the mistakes of the past so much that you lose your own identity and try to accommodate everyone else's feelings that you end up getting screwed yourself. That is something that has plagued us for a long time now and some people are waking up to that problem that is destroying our culture.

Grundel said...

I actually thought this was one of the smarter Disney blogs when I first found it.. my opinion has been dropping steadily.

And since when does being "in touch with the real world" have anything to do with knowing that The Princess and the Frog will come out in 2009?

Anonymous said...

"They are the typical white Disney princess, drawn with slanty eyes. They all have LIGHT skin, AMERICAN voices and AMERICAN attitudes."

So you're saying that only white people can have AMERICAN voices and AMERICAN attitudes? I'm sure there are many Americans of all ethnicities who will disagree with you on this one.

choppy said...

That John Locke is one classy fellow. What a fool.

"Indians" don't really have much choice, do they? Or are you ignorant to what their people went through so that you could even HAVE a Disneyland.

There are nations and tribes that fall under "Indian" or "Native American", much like Europe consisting of many different cultures and nations.

You are a fool.

Anonymous said...

I love the Internet.

John Locke said...

Not all AMERICANS are white. A statement which is obvious to most people that don't have some political agenda.

Brang said...

"Not all Americans are white."

Umm..Okay? Thanks for pointing out the obvious. Nobody said "All americans are white." If that was said, then you must have misunderstood because the point that was trying to made was that the majority of princesses were made in the style of white-anglo woman. And the greater point that Jolie was trying to make is that the majority of the more popular, widely known Disney princesses (Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, etc.) that her daughter(s) were getting into at the moment are all glamourous WHITE women. This is an argument that has not only been made by Jolie, but many others.

Sorry if she doesn't know about "The Princess & The Frog." How dare she not know that Disney is releasing a movie about an african american princess! I guess she's doing other crazy things with her time like, I dunno, being a humanitarian and fighting poverty in the world?

Even if she knew about it...she was commenting on the current lineup of Disney princesses that her daughters are getting into now...

[I don't know why I even bother with these arguments on internet blogs like this anymore. :-/ ]

cameron said...

when she said this in the interview I believe she claimed that there weren't any *black* princesses, which is what she was complaining about...not that there weren't enough native american, asian, or middle eastern princesses (like pocahontas, jasmine, or mulan)

regardless, there aren't any black disney princesses right now, which is what I think she meant - the princesses that her daughters were currently getting into...

Anonymous said...

"I guess she's doing other crazy things with her time like, I dunno, being a humanitarian and fighting poverty in the world? "

Amen. Then we have someone whose contribution to world peace and world poverty is blogging about his entertainment options, and complaining about those who do try to make a difference in the world for not knowing about an upcoming frog movie. Why is it everyone who complains about political correctness is really a bigot inside?

Anonymous said...

The most laughable part of this post is "Living the life she does keeps her out of touch with the real world"....

What?! Are you kidding me, Honor, Jolie is probably more in touch with the real world than anybody. Is she really out of touch with the real world for not knowing about some Disney Princess and the Frog movie? Okay, I guess you can go on and call her "ignorant" for not knowing, but I guess your obviously not familiar with her humanitarian work? She's not like any other Hollywood actress. She spends her time working with the UN, talking to world leaders, and fighting poverty. And to me, that's not being "out of touch with the real world"...but obviously to Disney fanatics, I guess not knowing about The Princess and the Frog is being out of touch with the real world?

king Louie said...

"Why is it everyone who complains about political correctness is really a bigot inside?"

Whaaaaa?

How is it you came to this determination? Because what I read was that he wanted to see good stories, not good percentages of this type of person or that type of person. I like the point he makes that you shouldn't have to be of someone's race to view them as a role model. That was what I remember Martin Luther King saying about judging people by the "content of their character, not the color of their skin". He didn't say anything that was bigoted. It sounds like you're trying to apply that label to him to shut him up. That doesn't sound ignorant, that sounds fascistic.

anonymouse said...

After buying a 75 million dollars castle with it's own winery and a helicopter pilot on stand by, added to a large house in New Orleans, a penthouse in New York, a mansion in Malibu.

Jetting around the world, staying in plush hotels staying in 4 star accomodations while being catered to hand an foot on the set of these films she makes every year.

Late night skinning dipping with Brad in her heated swimming pool, followed by chocolate and pizza while the nanny takes care of the kids.

You're right. She's just a normal average day mom. They're all like that. I can't see how she's out of touch with the real world at all.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think a character in a film has to be white for me to like or identify with him. My favorite actor happens to be Samuel L. Jackson and it ain't cause he's black, it's because he's an incredible actor and one powerful presence. Does Angie think that her kids can only identify with a heroine if she's of the same color?"

Whoa. So this is the definition of a bigot? Boy, they've really expanded the term since I was in college.

cai137 said...

So your saying people that are wealthy are out of touch with the real world? Why is it that because of her money and celebrity status, she's so "out of touch with the real world"....? Does she not have the right to enjoy her money, which she has worked for, without being labeled as a superficial Hollywood airhead?

And was she really out of touch with the real world when she was donating millions of her own fortune, fighting poverty, etc.?? I think the reality here is some Disney fanatic who was offended and got defensive after she made a vaild complaint. Ok, she doesn't know about the princess and the frog, so she's very "out of touch with the real world" for not knowing about some Disney movie?? I know lots of people who aren't celebrities that haven't heard about it, are they our of touch too?

Who's really the one who's out of touch with the world here?

Anonymous said...

Ms. Jolie is neither out of touch nor ignorant. It's a simple fact that there are no black princesses-yet. Not ONE person here can contridict that FACT.

If you are not a person raising a "child of color", you would reasonably have no concerns over the 'color' of the princesses and be able to reason it out as your superior ability to look over such silliness. But THAT is ignorance.

Children in American culture have many faces they can see on TV/movies - and most of them are white. When you are a child of color or raising a child of color - you reasonably become more sensitive to the lack of inclusivness in representation in these arenas. You want your child to see and connect with faces that look like them. You want them to understand that the world at large considers their features to be just as beautiful as those features of white Europeans.

Now - I'll admit that Disney never goes far enough in correctly drawing features of beauty on their "cultural" princesses - but seeing the darker skin of an African princess would go a LONG way to making those of us with African ancestry feel better about the exposure of the Disney princess line to our daughters.

Seeing the new *black* princess will probably not change the fact that I've always been a "Cinderella" fan, or that my daughter has always been drawn to "Ariel" - but it will help fill out the rainbow of princesses and give a whole new generation of little girls a better representation of what this ever shrinking world really looks like.

And THAT is the world Ms. Jolie is wanting her children to see.

hugh Hogwarts said...

You're a fan of Cinderella? You're daughter is a fan of Ariel? How can that be? They're white. I thought you had to have them the same color as you to identify with them?

Sigh. I think that was the message Honor was trying to say that's gotten lost here. That the color of a Disney princess or anyone for that matter doesn't matter. It's what is on the inside, deep within you that makes you who you are, what you are. That is the best way to judge anyone or anything IMO.

Grundel said...

It's plain to me that when people dare to quote ML King to justify excluding other races (because race shouldn't be a factor!), they are really promoting an agenda of bigotry.

Of course black children can love white princesses. But 50 or 500 white princesses later, bigots will still be bleating proudly that equality is not about quotas and percentages. With all their expertise on the subject.

noyd forman said...

"It's plain to me that when people dare to quote ML King to justify excluding other races (because race shouldn't be a factor!), they are really promoting an agenda of bigotry."

Oh please, Grundel. You're reading things into what people state to make your own biased case. No one here has made a justification to exclude anyone, princess or not, by stating King. It's hard to believe how far this argument has gone off track. The author of this article was simply trying to make a point that you should judge a film based on it being good and you shouldn't have to have the hero or heroine of that film be a particular color to enjoy or admire it. I don't think any of us have the power to look into men's hearts and read their intentions and I'm not going to try and do so like others here.

Marjorie said...

Geez, that got nasty fast! What with all the hot air from the self-righteous egos in this comments section, the whole blog may soon start to float away....

My 2 cents: Comparing the 50's princesses with the 90's ones, it should be completely apparent that Disney has realized that churning out one white European princess after another is not necessarily the way to go. Short of going back and re-coloring Sleeping Beauty or something silly like that, we are left with a glut of anglo princesses from the earlier era. I don't think that means that Disney is obligated to make up for lost time by filling in the blank spots of neglected ethnicities one by one.

However, what they should do is open their minds to fables/myths/etc. outside the traditional European stories. They have been doing this with movies like Mulan, and I think it helps them create a fresher product. There is a vast collection of amazing stories from around the world able to be tapped for Disney's purposes, and I hope they continue to do so, rather than staying complacent working their way through the Brothers Grimm and similar canon Western fables.

With that mindset, a more diverse cast of heroes and heroines should follow organically, rather than seeming like an exercise in political correctness.