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The Race Card: Ethnicity on TV


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#31

raramama

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 4:49 PM

Does anybody know why "Crossroads" is included in this compilation? I'm asking in earnest. Isn't the theme supposed to be romance or something?

I went "Huh?" too when I saw that. Crossroads was about missing deal loved ones and heaven and stuff. Not that romantic when you are trying to get in the mood, I would think.

Lenny Kravitz had dreads for years. Kim Fields currently has a natural/dreaded style. I think Cree Summer was natural for a while.
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#32

kingdead

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 5:26 PM

I thought "down low" had the added connotation of closeted gay sex. Adds a weird aspect to the commercial.
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#33

LeeLeeDiva

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 5:51 PM

Some Jamaicans don't have dreads, don't all sell/smoke weed, or sing reggae songs.


They don't? Well damn, there goes my fervent hope that all Jamaican men are, um, endowed like the famed Dexter St. Jacques of Eddie Murphy's Raw routine. Heh.

I thought of S. Epatha Merkerson from L&O (Original Flavor) when the subject of dreads came up, but then remembered that TPTB require her to wear that lame wig on the show. Doesn't that guy on the now-defunct Wanda At Large have dreads?

Okay, Tha Down Low? First of all, that commercial bugs the crap outta me. Second, JenPen, honey, if you need a compilation of slow jams that badly I will happily burn you some stuff from iTunes and send it your way. Friends don't let friends buy bad compilations!

You guys are cracking me up with the recounting of bad commercials. Until I was off for several days over the holidays, I did not know that I could get my certificate in day care through the mail. Imagine the career opportunities!
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#34

rlb8031

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 6:35 PM

Want to know how much that Down Low commercial runs? Over the holidays I fell asleep in front of the tv with MTV on. I was dreaming and kept hearing the same music over and over again. Finally, I roused myself only to realize that what I had been hearing in my sleep was that damn commercial. They must have run it every commercial break for two or three hours.

Topic? Nothing hurts my heart more than the bad west indian accents. Even folks who actually can do an accent tend to Americanize them to the point that they drive me crazy (yes Sheryl Lee Ralph, I'm looking at you).
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#35

dariusbig

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 6:37 PM

The best part about the Down Low commercial is how they somehow manage to add a sexual connotation to Mary J. Blige's "I'm Going Down."

[Mary, singing soulfully about her deteriorating relationship and life] I'm goin down...

[creepy announcer guy] Are you goin' doooooooooown?

Cracks me up.

Edited by dariusbig, Jan 6, 2004 @ 6:38 PM.

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#36

DeeJayEnki

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 7:15 PM

Ya know, because I'm 12 and all, I can never seem to accept any interpretation of the song "I'm Going Down" besides the obvious sexual one. Which makes it hilarious, of course, and when that commercial comes on with Mary a-wailin' and the announcer cheesily asking me if I'm going down, I reply, "Not at the moment, but if I were, I wouldn't be singing a damn song about it, I'd just do it!" My point is, that commercial is all kinds of stupid and wrong and ridiculous.

As for the racial aspect of it...I guess I see those things as something that was created by a marketing department to cater to "urban" (read: Black) audiences the way the Now That's What I Call Music! comps are more aimed at the teenybopper audience. (Those comps are also in no way, shape, or form what I call music). And yeah, it's lame to make race-specific products that don't even really need to be race-specific, but this is what marketing hath wrought; you gotta cover all the bases.

Edited by DeeJayEnki, Jan 6, 2004 @ 7:24 PM.

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#37

Allgeetoo

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 8:07 PM

...I'd be hard pressed to find another person of color wearing dreads who aren't of any West Indian descent...


Don't forget the Queen of Dreads -- Whoppi!Goldberg. Eryka Bahdu (sp?) and Lauren Hill also used to sport 'em too. And there was the brother with the Barry White voice on Living Single, as well as D. L. Hughley.
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#38

LeeLeeDiva

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 10:02 PM

The brotha with the Barry White voice (RIP Barry) is Terrance "T.C" Carson, aka Kyle. Mmmm, that voice was sex-ay. The face? Not so much.

Last I saw D.L. Hugley he was sporting one of those Orlando Jones/Side Show Bob-ish 'fros. Looked good on him, though.

ETA: I said "sporting" a fro. I think I just dated myself really bad. It's what happens when you have scant days left before hitting the big four-oh. **chokes back sob**

Edited by LeeLeeDiva, Jan 6, 2004 @ 10:04 PM.

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#39

jennypenny

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Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 9:35 AM

Thanks for reminding me of all the dreadheads on Tv folks. Sometimes your mind just shuts down when you're trying to think of examples to make your point. Well, mine does at least.

Lee Lee, I actually own all of the cd's they featured so I don't really need to buy it, but they had some of my old 90's jams that I don't have anymore, or all I have is the tape single of the song.

Want to know how much that Down Low commercial runs? Over the holidays I fell asleep in front of the tv with MTV on. I was dreaming and kept hearing the same music over and over again. Finally, I roused myself only to realize that what I had been hearing in my sleep was that damn commercial. They must have run it every commercial break for two or three hours.


Not just two or three hours. Try watching two Real World marathons (Hawaii and New Orleans) and seeing that commercial every single commercial break. There were at least 4 - 5 commercial breaks during the hour so I saw that commercial a trillion times. I also saw the one for the "dance" cd because it would come on right before the "Down Low" commercial. It's a shame that after a while I was able to imitate some of the moves of the dancers on that dance cd compilation.
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#40

FfrauleinN

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Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 9:49 AM

[Mary, singing soulfully about her deteriorating relationship and life] I'm goin down...

[creepy announcer guy] Are you goin' doooooooooown?

Bwah! I think I just got a bloody lip from holding in that laugh. I'm curious: what kind of "sexual" spin do they put on "Crossroads"?

Edited by FfrauleinN, Jan 7, 2004 @ 9:49 AM.

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#41

runcible spoon

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Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 2:51 PM

I like the Rubber Band Man commercial. I dunno, the guy's just doing his thing. It's only a matter of time before Africana posts an outraged editorial about shucking and jiving and guilts Office Depot into pulling the ad. And the revised version will feature Carrot Top dancing to a teen pop tune.

Haven't seen the LeBron James commercial but then I've never heard of Lebron James. I haven't seen the Down Low commercial either. I'm really out of it TV-wise, but in my defense, I've just joined Netflix and have been watching a LOT of DVDs.
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#42

LittleEva

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Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 2:53 PM

Topic? Nothing hurts my heart more than the bad west indian accents. Even folks who actually can do an accent tend to Americanize them to the point that they drive me crazy (yes Sheryl Lee Ralph, I'm looking at you).


Speaking of bad West Indian accents I saw a bilboard with Miss Cleo on it, don't know what she was selling, but I thought it was funny.
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#43

FfrauleinN

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Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 3:35 PM

Hell, I didn't even see it and I think it's funny.
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#44

Castro

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Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 5:07 PM

If your cable package happens to include the obscure True network, they're currently doing several repeats of a documentary called "Hughes's Dream Harlem," about the poet Langston H. and his place in Harlem of the past and present, his connection to hip-hop, etc. Worth taping, I should think, if writing and black writers are among your interests.

Oh - about dreadlocks, btw: Adam Duritz of Counting Crows used to wear them. His father's jewish and his mother black - a singer too, as I recall. Last interview I saw with him he'd reverted to an easier-maintainence hairdo.

Afterthought: does anyone who watched "Angels in America" know anything about the way the character Belize talks? An intriguing dragging-out of vowels. Unfamiliar to my ear; don't know whether it was a regional thing or a gay affectation or what.

Edited by Castro, Jan 7, 2004 @ 5:11 PM.

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#45

Marla Singer

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Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 5:42 PM

Oh - about dreadlocks, btw: Adam Duritz of Counting Crows used to wear them. His father's jewish and his mother black - a singer too, as I recall. Last interview I saw with him he'd reverted to an easier-maintainence hairdo.


Is he really? I use to think he was mixed when the band first came out but a friend of mine (who is a really big fan of the band) told me that Adam was just Jewish. Not that it matters in the grand scheme but I've never heard/read that he is biracial. Lots of Jewish people have the kinky/curly hair thing going on which would make locs pretty easily to develop.
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#46

Castro

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Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 6:02 PM

Marla Singer, I think I'm wrong. I'm mixing Duritz up with some other singer/writer, but which one? (I suddenly realized: whoa, all those Baltimore references don't fit somehow.)

Later: Lenny Kravitz, that's who.

Edited by Castro, Jan 7, 2004 @ 7:16 PM.

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#47

Marla Singer

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Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 7:51 PM

I'm mixing Duritz up with some other singer/writer, but which one?


The only musicians I can think of off the top of my head with black mothers/white Jewish fathers are Lenny, Slash, and Arik Marshall but I'm not sure if the latter two sing.

ETA: x-post

Edited by Marla Singer, Jan 7, 2004 @ 7:52 PM.

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#48

mimsy61

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Posted Jan 9, 2004 @ 11:04 PM

LeeLeeDiva Don't feel too bad about saying 'sporting a 'fro'. I'm so old I call it a natural.

Is Warwick on "CSI" going to get a girlfriend or something? He's to fine to waste on the evidence gathering and gambling demons only.

I saw an old "Martin" today. Shanehneh had won a date with Play (the one with all the hair) from Kid and Play and tried to seduce him with a tapping a 40. Play
fled her love den with his braids ,that were sticking out from the top of his baseball cap , flying. Gina told him to give it another chance. And bingo, it was a "House Party I" reunion. "House Party" would have made a good sitcom, instead of the sorry sequels.
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#49

kidcore

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Posted Jan 9, 2004 @ 11:54 PM

I saw an old "Martin" today. Shanehneh had won a date with Play (the one with all the hair) from Kid and Play and tried to seduce him with a tapping a 40.


I love that episode! Isn't that the one where she plays some Jodeci to get him in the mood then starts singing over top the song "Forever Sheneneh?" When that episode first came out my classmates and I had a field day over that scene. I just remember everday talking about it the next day at school. So hilarious. There are still some old Martins that have me rollin. But then some others...not so much.
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#50

Allgeetoo

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 3:45 AM

Don't feel too bad about saying 'sporting a 'fro'. I'm so old I call it a natural.


Word mimsy61! I'd almost forgotten that. And the first, not to mention the most perfectly coiffed Natural, I remember was Link from the Mod Squad. I'm sure there were others before him, but his stands out in my mind.
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#51

mbridgii

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 12:16 PM

My first reaction to the Lebron "court vision" spot was knee-jerk sacrilege (sp?). I have to admit to tapping my feet and wanting to be in that room.

I agree with the previous poster who mentioned a need to calm down the automatic shouts of "cooning" whenever a black character appears and is even remotely animated.

This doesn't mean complete acceptance of whatever people want (I want "My Baby's Daddy" ads stricken from the record, please). But if a man can't dance in his office (Kit Kat) or at home in his drawers (Boxer/KMart) or hang with his buddies (Budweiser) in an ad without someone calling Kweisi Mfume, how boring would TV be?

Of course, as I say this, I still will not watch anything that BET has to offer, and am sick to death of the loud, showboating peacocks that infiltrate ESPN and Fox Sports (anyone who thinks shiny suits, "gators", and obvious jewelry are OK - Michael Irvin, your ears should be burning now).
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#52

FfrauleinN

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 3:13 PM

Just ... word, mbridgii.

I love that episode! Isn't that the one where she plays some Jodeci to get him in the mood then starts singing over top the song "Forever Sheneneh?"

Yeah. Wasn't there a neon "Forever Sheneneh" sign in the apartment?
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#53

Quentin

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Posted Jan 11, 2004 @ 10:26 PM

The 24 hour network for Asian Americans would be the first of its kind because it would have all day programs in English specifically catered towards 2nd generation and beyond Asian Americans. There are Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese language networks, but they mostly cater to 1st generation older adults.

Some more articles on the slow progress of diversity on TV:

BBC and Hollywood Reporter.

This year's overall trend seems to be that while people of color are still underrepresented in primetime, the networks seem to be doing better in hiring Latinos while Asian Americans and Native Americans remain largely invisible onscreen. African Americans seem to be stuck in the TV ghetto--in sitcoms, UPN/WB, and Monday/Friday night timeslots.

Did you know that George Takei, Mr. Sulu of Star Trek fame, is a Japanese American internment camp survivor? I didn't know until recently.

Edited by Quentin, Jan 11, 2004 @ 10:42 PM.

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#54

arc

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 1:11 PM

Oh, a network for 2nd gen and beyond AAs would be really cool. I thought it'd be for first-gen immigrants when I first heard about it here.
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#55

nenyadr

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 3:03 PM

What's hard for me is that I am Asian ... but in America Asian is synonomous with East Asian ... sigh ...

You see it on TV (Indian != Asian), but every census, every classification, has Indian=Asian.

So, this shouldn't be an All-Asian network unless they include Indian programming also ...

Edited by nenyadr, Jan 12, 2004 @ 3:03 PM.

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#56

Castro

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 9:38 PM

And as for "American Indians" on TV, the Sundance Channel is currently running Sherman Alexie's heavily autobiographical film "The Business of Fancydancing," about belonging to two cultures and never belonging quite anywhere. It was filmed in Spokane and on a reservation in eastern Washington. There's no real resolution, and I guess you can fault it for a lot of things (as the critics did), but I thought it was utterly engrossing anyhow. One character with a real-life counterpart, btw, is Jewish-Indian, which jolts the stereotypes a little.

And "Indian" is Alexie's choice of label.
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#57

Sydygirl

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 12:41 AM

This sounds like it will be fascincating. A new reality show will premiere on BET soon. It will chronicle the lives of 8 Southern University students. The press release promises to bring the drama. For now I'm curioius, I hope that I don't wind up embarrassed.
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#58

mbridgii

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 7:56 AM

It's a reality show. About college students. On BET. Embarrassment will be had.
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#59

FfrauleinN

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 9:47 AM

Hot damn. I'm already embarrassed.
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#60

OMGItsKane

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 10:52 AM

Not a reality show for coloreds. Oh shizzle.

Is anyone else who watches ER sick of all the Black people who come in being GSW's or gang-bangers or crazy homeless people or drug addicts?
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