Stereotypes in Hollywood
Read an interview and answer the questions:
Greg: How do you see the overuse of stereotypes in movies nowadays, Mr. Koch?
Mr. Koch: Stereotype is a fixed image or generalization about a type of person or thing. It does not always represent the truth. They are simple and usually based on profession, religion, gender, ethnicity or age. And that is why filmmakers frequently overuse them. It is a quick and simple way to establish a film character’s trait.
Greg: What are the most common stereotypes used?
Mr. Koch: Nowadays we can see, for example, many movies where black people are great athletes, foreigners are villans, Italian people are loud, teens are uncivil and always grouped in gangs, blonde women are dumb, and many others.
Greg: And what about stereotypes in movies for children?
Mr. Koch: Not all stereotypes are negative. People say Asians are very intelligent, and I think it is a positive stereotype. There are some movies that get a specific nationality to make a joke, for example, in that animated movie where all the sharks have Italian names, they use Italian accent and expressions to make the characters look violent but friendly. People used to say that scene was aggressive, criminal and racist. I don’t agree. I don’t think children even noticed that cultural aspect.
Greg – So, you mean stereotypes can’t bring any harm to children?
Mr. Koch – I don’t mean that. Some specialists say that children are not sophisticated enough to see and grasp stereotypes, meaning that they don’t have the same level of critical thinking as adults. I understand that we have a lot of family comedies and there must be respect in order not to evervalue the stereotypes. Maybe parents should see these movies as learning opportunities and teach their children to recognize the stereotypes and understand how they can possibly influence people.
Greg – Do you recommend any kind of movies for children?
Mr. Koch – I guess it is a good idea if parents look for movies with the focus on friendship and mutual respect between men and women. Foreign movies are nice to understand other cultures, ethnicities and religions.
Fonte: Material de Apoio ao Currículo do Estado de São Paulo. São Paulo, 2014-2017