Racism Ruins Everything


Piggybacking on yesterday's convo around minorities and Hollywood, I watched Breakfast At Tiffany's recently. I had just finished watching Mrs. Parker And Her Vicious Circle for the first time. Jennifer Jason Leigh was transcendent, as usual. Matthew Broderick was meh.I have no idea how those cats did any writing, given how much time the spent drinking and gossiping. But anyway, the movie was depressing, and so as a pick-me-up, I fell back on one of my old favorites--Breakfast At Tiffany's. For all sorts of reasons, too corny to recount on this blog, Kenyatta and me love that movie. But goddamn is Mickey Rooney's yellowface Mr. Yuniochi hard to take. It's not even hard to take in that "funny but dead wrong" sort of way, it's just rather stupid.

The movie has a Birth Of A Nation problem, but of a lower order. Whereas Birth Of A Nation is, at once, a revolutionary and racist film, Tiffany's is a great film with a racist portrayal. I don't know if people, at the time, thought the Rooney's bit was racist, or if he's reflecting the mores of the Mad Men era. I also try not to come down too hard on things like this given that prejudice in art, is as ancient as art itself. Imagine the films the Egyptians would have made about the Assyrians, or the Romans about the Germanic tribes.

At the same time, it reminds you why people who blame the fall of everything on political correctness are morons and, in many cases, bigots looking for cover. For instance...