We all grew up loving the films I have mentioned below. You will disagree with me, you might even hate me for it but it is what it is. None of these films would even get made today and they shouldn’t have been made back then either. These were part of our childhoods. Now, we can’t simply stop liking something all of a sudden. But we do need to acknowledge the problems with them.
1.The Lord of The Rings trilogy
The movies stay true to Tolkein’s books and in doing so, remain racist to their very core. We all know what the Orcs, trolls, Uruk-hai, Ringwraiths etc looked like compared to the lily white protagonists. In The Two Towers, the bad guys are joined by Easterlings and Haradrim.
The Easterlings’ faces are completely covered except for a pair of black eyes. Their helmets resembles the conical hats which imply an Asian influence. The Haradim are shown wearing turbans and floating robes resembling North African or Middle Eastern natives. Their costumes were inspired by the twelfth-century Saracen warriors, who fought against Christian invaders during the Crusades.
These are just some of the examples. The trilogy is riddled with racist imagery!
2.The Narnia series
Everyone loved the movies but the fact remains that the books and movies have more than a few problems. The books were written as a Christian propaganda and the movies made no attempts to change that.
In Prince Caspian, all the bad guys are brown immigrants and the natives of Narnia need their white kings and queens to return and save them from their tyranny. The immigrants are shown to have taken over the magical place and changed its culture and tradition, driving the natives back into the forests.
Weirdly, Prince Caspian, the crown prince to those brown immigrants is a White Man and helps restore Narnia to its former glory.
4. The Harry Potter Series
Even if you somehow manage to ignore J.K. Rowling’s ignoramus bigoted rants about gender and trans people, and the gaslighting and the cultural appropriation she engages in from time to time, the films are riddled with racist and anti-semtitic imagery. This is ironical considering Voldemort is shown as a Hitler figure of sorts.
In Sorcerer’s Stone, the bad guy is wearing a turban and has something to hide. The portrayal of goblins is eerily similar to how the Nazis described the Jewish people during the 1930s. The only Asian character is called Cho Chang. You can actually check out the whole list here.
This comedy will always feature is every stoner bro’s Top 5 list, which should be red flag enough! The entire film is based on the premise of getting girls drunk to get laid. The film also normalises sexual assault and homophobia, often in the same breath.
6. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
The image of Indians being a savage people who eat monkey brains and commit human sacrifices is simply racist and furthered the colonial stereotypes the West had about India, even after centuries of colonising it. Not to mention the white saviour complex, that Jones uses to rescue Indians from India. It somehow manages to show Indians as naïve and yet manipulative, victims yet villains.
7. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
This Jim Carrey movie still airs on cable TV on occasion. The movie has a plot twist in which Ventura learns a woman he kissed was actually once a man. His reaction to this is vigorously brushing his teeth, crying in the shower, plunging his face, burning his clothes and it’s all used for shits and giggles.
In case you still fail to see the problem, all this is grossly transphobic in nature and is consistent with the depiction of trans people in that era.
The 1992 classic has a song about Arabian Nights where the lyrics are, “Where they cut off your ear / if they don’t like your face / It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.” Do I need to say more?
9. You Don’t Mess With The Zohan
The Adam Sandler movie aimed to joke but not offend, simply trivialises Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the conflict between the two states. There are also countless racist stereotypes shown in the films and passed off as “jokes”.
11. The Last Samurai
While the ungodly talent of Hans Zimmer almost makes you want forget the film’s white saviour complex, the poster with Tom Cruise as a Samurai is not an easy image to erase. He helps the Samurai from being decimated by the Japanese Army by teaching them how to win using their own ways.
Wow! Hollywood just doesn’t give a f**k, does it? Take any Disney movie ever made and every last one of them have some racism in them. Watch them and you’ll see for yourself. Make a drinking game out if it.