Does Hollywood protray African Americans in a negative light?

Cover of "Training Day"
Cover of Training Day

Denzel Washington won an Oscar for his performance in Training Day. He was a thug and crooked cop. He did not win an oscar for Malcolm X. Halle Berry won an Oscar for Monster’s Ball and Forest Whitaker won an Oscar for the Last King of Scotland. So what do you think?

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9 Comments so far

  1. hi yes i think hollywood protrays african americans in a negative light most of the time. they usually have them play stereo typical parts. i do feel it wrong that they get regonized for these types of roles and not positive ones. look at the show cops if you watch that show you would believe that most crimminals are black or hispanic.

  2. I don’t necessarily agree that Hollywood portrays African Americans negatively in the sense that dark characters will gain greater critical acclaim, I think roles that receive Oscars are typically roles that involve a more complicated, sometimes troubled character – other examples of this would be Charlize Theron in Monster, Kate Winslet for The Reader, Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight, and many others.

  3. Its not that Hollywood puts African Americans in a negative light. But more of the role of a typical African American. Hollywood will help create stereotypes and enforce older one. Like in gangster movies it always African Americans who are committing crimes and living a thug life. They rarely show rich, hardworking, successful African Americans. It is upsetting to me because many Americans get there information from Hollywood movies and believe this is how life it. So when they see a upper class African American they might say that’s rare and totally be wrong.

  4. I think that we define race mainly by the skin color, ethnicity, and our physical features. I do not believe that MJ represents a clearly defined image of an African American male. I wouldn’t consider him to define a clear image of what an African American male looks like because of all the surgeries that he had. He was trying to make himself more white he got his nose done to make it look more like a white persons nose and he had his skin color changed to make him look white.

  5. In what light should they be represented? I am not suggesting the Hollywood interpretatin of African-Americans, or any people of color, should be racist. I’m suggesting that there are black mobsters and white mobsters. There are Hispanic drug dealers and white drug dealers. And there are lots of good, hard-working, family-oriented, educated people of all races.
    We all know that Hollywood always goes overboard in interpreting anything. We should go into a theater knowing we will see exageration and not reality.

  6. It was surprising to me that Denzel Washington won for this movie. “Man on Fire” would have been a better choice. Denzel as the strong but sensitive body guard making the noble choice. However, I don’t think the producers of “Training Day” had award in mind in creating the movie.

  7. All I have to say is that Hollywood is going to be Hollywood. Also that Denzel whens an oscar for being a crooked cop. But when he is an African American leader and play a positive role he gets a hand clap. Now I am not saying that there is any racism going on just simply that hollywood needs to rethink some of their criticism.

  8. I watched “Training Day” last night with my roommates and was a little appalled at Denzel Washington’s role. I can see how some people would be offended by that and the overwhelming amount of violence/drugs/general lack of morality associated with the character. It did seem to have a little more “good cop/bad cop” with racial undertones than I had expected.

  9. I agree with what derrick when he said “hollywood protrays african americans in a negative light most of the time. they usually have them play stereo typical parts. i do feel it wrong that they get regonized for these types of roles and not positive ones. look at the show cops if you watch that show you would believe that most crimminals are black or hispanic.”
    If you are always seeing the negative that is how people are going to perceive someone. I think hollywood needs to portray African Americans in a better way.

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