Stereotypes in the Media Essay

2440 Words Mar 7th, 2011 10 Pages
Edie Rangel
Race and Ethnicity
Professor Herman
October 25, 2010

Over the past couple of decades the usage of offensive stereotypes have played a big role in popular films, TV shows, music videos, and comedy routines today. In fact one can only argue that these offensive stereotypes have increased considerably and will only continue to grow. There are many reasons as to why these stereotypes have only increased and have led to the creators of these films making millions and millions of dollars. The main reason behind this is making fun of race, color, poverty, and other cultures and using straightforward offensive words to do so is humorous to a large part of the US population. Although most of us would feel insulted if these
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This, in turn, perpetuates racial stereotypes. Showing these images repeatedly creates a racial stereotype in the minds of those watching. Pretty soon the viewer believes all Black and Hispanic males act a certain way. Movies, in particular the ones about gang violence or living in urban areas, focus on black males committing crimes, running from the police, and being hostile or angry. A movie called Menace to Society, which was produced by Black men, was a complete disservice and totally negative portrayal of black men. These same producers could have produced a movie showing black men in a positive light, instead of getting caught up the desired “street life” and perpetuating the myth that there is something good and respectable about being a thug and involved in criminal activity. Other movies like Colors portrayed black men as animals, showing no emotion and knowing nothing more then to engage in violent, criminal behavior, a racial stereotype. They could be used to raise awareness for the following reasons: fight against the belief of these stereotypes, to show how hurtful these stereotypes can be, and the fact that they exist today and are causing harm one way or another. On the other hand in most music video and comedy routines they are used to bring laughter, to show that offensive stereotypes sell, and lastly to show that we should not be bothered by these stereotypes because it is only those who are ignorant and negative that use these

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