Black Face is Not Just About Race

It’s a complex mix of what is right and good, and a mob directed cancel culture in changing times

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Photo by jurien huggins on Unsplash

In our present time many television and film writers, directors, and producers are racing (no pun intended)to apologize for using blackface at a time when it might have been seen as satire rather than overt racism.

Now with cancel culture (or call-out culture) a modern form of ostracism on the rise, Entertainers of all stripes are apologizing as fast as they can for something they might have said or done a few decades ago and which might have been acceptable at the time. In cancel culture, someone is thrust out of social or professional circles — either online on social media, in the real world, or both. Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to be “canceled.”

One of the first blows of “take no prisoners” cancel culture was the Whoopi Goldberg/Ted Danson scenario. Danson, a highly respected actor and engaged progressive experienced negative press attention on October 8, 1993, after his appearance wearing blackface at a Friars Club comedy roast in honor of Goldberg. Later, Goldberg defended the sketch, explaining that she had helped write much of the material and referred Danson to the makeup artist who painted his face as a societal critique. Danson and Goldberg issued statements emphasizing “the Friars Club tradition of raucous and over the top humor” and describing those offended as newcomers who “were uncomfortable with what to expect”. Substantial excerpts from the performance were later printed in Spy Magazine. A month later their relationship ended.


This is really complex. Clearly, black face is offensive for so many reasons. On the other hand, I’m afraid of buying dinner in a soul food restaurant for fear of being accused of cultural misappropriation (I’m exaggerating). I mean does Spike Lee need to apologize for making Bamboozled, a film that many BLM people have never seen, and if they had, half would think it is a work of genius and the other half would probably boycott all his other movies.

Thanks for your “Claps”. They are greatly appreciated and motivate me to write even more profusely

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