Race in Entertainment Media

In: Social Issues

Submitted By hbriggs22
Words 2080
Pages 9
TERM PAPER The portrayal of race in entertainment media is a fluid concept that is constantly changing, just as our views on different races change over time. Although I feel that the media makes a more conscious effort to remove degrading racial stereotypes from films, the acknowledgement of the existence of these stereotypes confirms that they are still present. After watching a movie from three different time periods, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Stand and Deliver (1988), and Our Family Wedding (2010), I have found that representation of race in film has largely remained the same, while the acknowledgement of existing stereotypes has become more obvious. The 1960’s-1970’s was a time characterized by Irish Mob Wars (Durney 2000), Hollywood conservative backlash films, and the ongoing misrepresentation of American Indians in film (Larson 2006). One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a movie is about a criminal who pretends to be crazy so that he can serve his sentence in the relatively comfortable confines of an insane asylum rather than a prison. We see the results of the historical events represented in characters from this movie such as Randle Patrick McMurphy, Mr. Turkle, the ward’s guards, and Chief Bromden. The Irish have been infamous for their mafia and organized crime, especially in the Cleveland area. Perhaps their most publicly recognized contribution to the media’s fascination with violence is the Mob Wars of the mid-1970’s (Durney 2000). These huge displays of violence prepped the audience of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to easily accept the character of McMurphy, an Irish American good-for-nothing who has been convicted of gambling and battery, as well as charged with statutory rape (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 1975). With coverage of violent crimes being committed by Irish mobs in the news, this character is logically personified…...

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