Readers Against Prejudice and Racism discussion

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Group Discussions > What TV shows show prejudice and racism?

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message 1: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
I have noticed that there are many tv shows from years ago to current times that shows racism and prejudice. Those include:

South Park
Family Guy

I know that these kinds of shows are just comedy and were probably not meant to be taken seriously, but I was using these shows as examples of shows that show prejudice and racism. What shows can you name that shows prejudice and racism, whether it is in a serious or hilarious way?


message 2: by Ruth (last edited Oct 23, 2011 10:59AM) (new)

Ruth Madison (ruthmadison) | 20 comments From what I've seen of South Park, I have to say that it seems like they use outrageous situations to make good points. I think they are more anti-prejudice and they use examples of people being prejudiced in over-the-top ways (and on all sides of an issue) to expose the absurdity of it. No, whether that's working, I don't know! And I could be wrong, but that was the sense that I got from it.

What I've noticed recently in television and movies is prejudice about disability.

For some reason, people don't seem to take that issue seriously! Like it's okay to use old and terrible stereotypes about people who have disabilities because it's harmless fun or something like that.

There's been a bit of an uproar over the paralyzed character in Glee being played by an able-bodied actor. The actor himself has said that since we allow straight people to play gay people and vice versa, that it's okay. His analogy is flawed. Since he cannot know the experience of disability in any real way, I would say (and have heard others argue) that a better analogy was if you were to hire a white person to play Oprah in a movie.

[He may *think* he is passing for disabled, but the fact is that anyone who knows a real wheelchair-user can immediately see how poorly he portrays one. His movement does not have the ease of a full-time wheelchair user.]

There are so many prejudices and stereotypes that people bring to the table when they think about disability, and they are so deeply buried, that when able-bodied actors take on these roles, they invariably perpetuate negative stereotypes.


message 3: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
Ruth wrote: "From what I've seen of South Park, I have to say that it seems like they use outrageous situations to make good points. I think they are more anti-prejudice and they use examples of people being p..."

Now that you mentioned it, maybe South Park was trying to tell people about how ridiculous racism and prejudice really is by showing racism and prejudice against other people in an over-the top manner. As for how people with disabilities are portrayed in television, I agree that everything about that is shown in a negative way because it seems like television is saying that people with disabilities can't do anything and that's not true at all and also, I think that the way that actors who don't have disabilities portray characters that have disabilities are not quite accurate.


message 4: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Madison (ruthmadison) | 20 comments Exactly! We have yet to see a balanced portrait of a character with a disability who is just a normal person. Disability is always used for some purpose in film and many stories. You have either the bitter, angry, evil mastermind disabled person or the saintly, long-suffering, sweet disabled person. Never just a regular person!


message 5: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
It would be nice to actually see a disabled person who is just a normal person dealing with the disability be portrayed on television more often because it would give viewers a more realistic insight on how disabled people deal with their disabilities.


message 6: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Davie (kathydavie) | 100 comments I think that's exactly what South Park is doing. It would certainly be consistent since they're doing it with everything. As a disabled person, I don't have a problem with a physically-able person playing handicapped. It's up to him to research his role and work at making it believable. A good way would be to spend a week to a month having to live in that chair and find out just how awful it is and things one must do to survive it. I sure wish architects had to spend six months being "disabled" so they'd understand why their ideas need a lot more work, LOL!


message 7: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Madison (ruthmadison) | 20 comments There is a serious lack of common sense when it comes to designing buildings for accessibility :(

I agree that sometimes non-disabled actors in disabled roles can do a good job. Artie is not at all believable as a wheelchair user! Now, Jake Sully in Avatar was very believable. He had the smooth grace of a person who connects with his chair.


message 8: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Davie (kathydavie) | 100 comments I'll never understand why the handicapped toilets are always at the far end of a bathroom. This is for the people who have the most difficulty [or the most equipment!] to use...what's the sense in that??


message 9: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
Kathy wrote: "I'll never understand why the handicapped toilets are always at the far end of a bathroom. This is for the people who have the most difficulty [or the most equipment!] to use...what's the sense in ..."

I know! I don't know why they do that in bathrooms also!


message 10: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Madison (ruthmadison) | 20 comments Kathy wrote: "I'll never understand why the handicapped toilets are always at the far end of a bathroom. This is for the people who have the most difficulty [or the most equipment!] to use...what's the sense in ..."

In my college there was one building where the only accessible bathroom stalls were on the second floor in a building with no elevator.


message 11: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Davie (kathydavie) | 100 comments LOL...that just figures!


message 12: by Manybooks (last edited Oct 31, 2011 05:04PM) (new)

Manybooks | 147 comments One year, when I was teaching at the University of Waterloo, I had two students who used wheelchairs. The classroom itself was on the first floor, but our offices were on the second floor and that floor was not accessible (quite an old building). It took me ages to convince the university that I should be able to hold my office hours in the first floor reading room, so that the two wheelchair-bound students could at least attend office hours should they so desire. I actually had to go to the OPD (Office for People with Disabilities) and lodge a complaint, before I was able to get the use of the first floor reading room, and even then, every time my office hours were about to start, I had to argue with students who simply did not want to leave (come on, it was twice a week for two hours, it's not like I took over the reading room for an entire day).


message 13: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
Gundula wrote: "One year, when I was teaching at the University of Waterloo, I had two students who used wheelchairs. The classroom itself was on the first floor, but our offices were on the second floor and that..."

It's a shame that some schools would not listen to whenever there are needs that disabled people need in order to receive help from the teachers.


message 14: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 147 comments Ronyell wrote: "Gundula wrote: "One year, when I was teaching at the University of Waterloo, I had two students who used wheelchairs. The classroom itself was on the first floor, but our offices were on the secon..."

It was not only the university, after being allowed to use the reading room for my office hours, some of the main complainants were students who could not use the reading room for a few hours each week, sigh.


message 15: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
Gundula wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "Gundula wrote: "One year, when I was teaching at the University of Waterloo, I had two students who used wheelchairs. The classroom itself was on the first floor, but our offices w..."

I can't believe that the students complained about the reading room being used when disabled students need the room much more.


message 16: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 147 comments Ronyell wrote: "Gundula wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "Gundula wrote: "One year, when I was teaching at the University of Waterloo, I had two students who used wheelchairs. The classroom itself was on the first floor, b..."

I would have understood the complaints, if I had asked to use the reading room every day of the week for the entire afternoon, for the entire term. But it was for two hours on one afternoon, and two hours one morning (and it was necessary, as the two students had no way of gaining access to the second floor offices)


message 17: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
Gundula wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "Gundula wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "Gundula wrote: "One year, when I was teaching at the University of Waterloo, I had two students who used wheelchairs. The classroom itself was on th..."

They complained because you were using the room for only 2 hours?! Hmmm...that's sort of overacting on their part.


message 18: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (oyastorm77) Community


message 19: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
Stephanie wrote: "Community"

Oh yeah! Community usually discusses racism and prejudice. Have you seen the video game episode?


message 20: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (oyastorm77) No. I just saw it for the first time a few days ago. I checked out the first disc of season one from the library.


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