Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh, Yay--Yet Another Sassy Black Woman

I'll admit, I don't watch a lot of TV. In fact, with the new digitization of the networks, the Cable-less Campbell Clan actually only gets NBC and Fox. So, I don't know too much about what this new television season has to offer. All I know is that I've only seen two new black female faces so far. Both overweight, both overbearing, and both sassy! as only a overweight, overbearing black woman can be.

Yvette Nicole Brown here tonight in Community was all quiet, calm, and demure, until she went all psycho and told the white girl that she'd punch her head through a jukebox.

In the pilot episode of Glee, sassy black teen, Amber Riley (named "Mercedes Jones" on the show--and why not?) saucily rolled her neck and snapped her fingers, defiantly declaring that she was a star and was not going to be shuffled off to the side as just some back-up singer--only to be shuffled off to the side as just some back-up singer, of course.

Now, I'm not trying to get all deep with it tonight. It's been a long day, and the kid's suddenly decided she's an insomniac like Daddy. So, I'm not going to give this subject the space it deserves. It's just that when it comes to minorities, if it ain't one stereotype, it's the other. If it ain't the shifty, slanty-eyed Nip, who'll stab you in the back first chance he gets, it's the cold, mechanical, overachieving Asian-American who doesn't know how ... to ... FEEL!!! We can go on and on.

I'm only wondering, can't we finally be done with the overbearing, overweight, sassy black woman? Now, I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies, but hasn't Hollywood spent enough time dehumanizing, desexualizing, and demonizing our sisters? Can't yall just move on to something else?

Why not the hot-blooded Latina? You've never explored that one.



Ron Strelecki said...

She could also play a no-nonsense judge, or a wise best friend who sacrifices herself to further the dreams of the protagonist...

Paula said...

Or the dumb blond, dotty old lady, grumpy old man, bratty preteen, prudish librarian, naive midwesterner, cold New Englander, drunk southerner, smartass New Yorker, two-faced politician and so on. I think (or at least hope)the problem can be traced to shallowness, not malice. Most sit-coms and television dramas shoot for the lowest common denominator (like Fox), i.e., they appeal to an audience that believes stereotypes more-or-less define reality. Lazy writing for lazy viewers, looking for a cheap joke and an mindless hour. Not the case on Law and Order, House, CSI or even the reality shows. Maybe you should break down and sign up for cable.