American romantic comedy film. Mr. Yunioshi was an over-the-top portrayal of a Japanese man, played by Mickey Rooney in yellowface, with buck teeth, squinty eyes, and an accent. Producer and director have apologized. Rooney, sad about criticism, points out that many Asians complimented him on how funny he was.
1946 Harve Foster & Wilfred Jackson James Baskett
American live-action/animated musical film. Uncle Remus believes that everything is hunky-dory in Reconstruction Era South. He told the tale of 'Briar Rabbit and the Tar Baby.' Because of controversy, has never been released in its entirety on home video in the US. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. said the film was an 'insult to American minorities [and] everything that America as a whole stands for.'
1970 Wolfgang Reitherman Phil Harris Eva Gabor
American animated feature film. Shun Gon, one of the cats exhibits extremely offensive Chinese stereotypes. He even plays the piano with chopsticks!
2009 Larry Charles Sacha Baron Cohen
British mockumentary comedy film. Though Cohen's character is purposefully exaggerated in order to get a rise out of bigoted Americans, viewers who aren't aware of his actual intent in making the film could easily be offended by his extreme flamboyance. The movie was banned in the Ukraine, and a smoke bomb was released at an unofficial premier in Kiev. Rashad Robinson of GLAAD called it a 'well-meaning attempt at satire...problematic in many places and outright offensive in others.'
2008 Marco Schnabel Mike Myers Jessica Alba
Romantic comedy film. The film mocks Hindu culture from start to finish, using an entire group of people as fodder in an extremely offensive and unfunny joke of a film. The Hindu America Foundation said the film was vulgar and crude but not necessarily anti-Hindu.
1999 George Lucas Liam Neeson Ewan McGregor
American epic space opera film. Watto is thought by many to be a racist depiction of Jews. His physicality and accent is stereotypically Jewish. Worse he is a slave owner and swindler who only cares about money. Animator Rob Coleman admitted that he viewed footage of Alec Guinness as Fagin to inspire his animators in creating Watto. The oafish, slow-witted Jar Jar Binks had long droopy ears reminiscent of dreadlocks and spoke with what many perceived as a Caribbean patois (particularly Jamaican Creole); The greedy and corrupt Neimoidians of the Trade Federation had slanted eyes and spoke with East Asian accents.
1941 Ben Sharpsteen Edward Brophy Herman Bing
American animated film. Some believe the crows in this movie were clearly used to represent the African American community. Overall they were quite stereotypical. The lead crow's name was Jim Crow. Defenders note that they are sympathetic to the main character's plight, that they are free spirits who bow to no one, and that they are intelligent characters aware of the power of self-confidence.
2003 Mark Waters Jamie Lee Curtis Lindsay Lohan
Disney Remake. In this reboot of a couple of characters were added that were questionable at best. Pei-Pei and her mother were two over-the-top Chinese women who worked in a Chinese restaurant. Their clothing, their extreme accents, and the curse the elder woman puts on the two leads using fortune cookies mocked Chinese culture strictly for comic relief.
2001 Peter & Robert Farrelly Jack Black Gwyneth Paltrow
Romantic comedy film. This film was intended to spread a positive message about inner beauty, but spent most of its running time putting down overweight people with crass fat jokes and offensive visual gags. Some hold it perpetuates the idea that thin is good and fat is bad and deserving of mistreatment and bullying.
1986 Steve Miner C. Thomas Howell
Comedy. The main character takes pills to darken his skin so that he can get a Harvard scholarship that is meant for African Americans. Said character, Mark Watson, performs the entire movie in blackface.
2007 Brian Robbins Eddie Murphy
Comedy. Though many examples of sexism exist, Eddie Murphy's portrayal of Rasputia Latimore is one of the most offensive of all. Not only is the character anti-feminist, but it's also intended to mock and belittle overweight people.
1939 Victor Fleming Clark Gable Vivien Leigh
Epic historical romance film. Stereotypical black characterizations: shiftless and dull-witted Pork, indolent and thoroughly irresponsible Prissy, Big Sam's radiant acceptance of slavery, and Mammy's doting on every wish of Scarlett. Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to win an Academy Award, was forced to sit at a separate table in the back of the room during the awards ceremony.
1915 D. W. Griffith Lillian Gish Mae Marsh
American silent drama film. Finally, the most offensive characters of all apear in this film that glorifies the Ku Klux Klan and makes them out to be the heroes of American history. As if that wasn't bad enough, all black characters in the film are played by white actors in blackface, and they are shown to be lazy, bumbling idiots who are dragging the United States down. It's hands down the most racist film of them all! It was the first film screened in the White House, by Woodrow Wilson.
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