***Disclaimer***

*****Disclaimer: The Wizard of 'OZ' makes no money at all from 'OZ' - The 'Other' Side of the Rainbow. 'OZ' is 100 % ad-free*****

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Does stereotyping in TV sitcoms promote acceptance?

CAN STEREOTYPES, ESPECIALLY THOSE USED IN GOOD HUMOR IN POPULAR CULTURE, BE USED TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE?

Cartoon-like characters who accentuate the traits of various ethnic, gender or regional groups have long been a staple of television sitcoms. Think Cam, Mitch and Gloria in "Modern Family." Think Raj in "The Big Bang." Think Fred Sanford in "Sanford and Son" and Archie Bunker in "All in the Family."

But can stereotypes, especially those used in good humor in popular culture, be used to promote tolerance? Can those stereotypes be used in the service of equality? Three essay writers respond to those questions.

Humor can be a great unifying force

BY JODY M. HUCKABY
JODY M. HUCKABY
Stereotypical characters, when written well and portrayed lovingly, can be a good introduction into learning about categories of people. But they should be only that: an introduction, a first step toward eventually learning more about people as individuals beyond the group label, each one unique and different.

If you're old enough to have watched the original run of the award-winning sitcom "Will & Grace," you might remember how new that was. For many, it was their first exposure to the lives of any gay man ... or at least the first that they were aware of.

--more at app.com--

It does more to break down stereotypes than to reinforce them

BY DENISSE M. OLLER
DENISSE M. OLLER

Latinas have recently made inroads on American network television, and it has been a long time coming. Sofia Vergara, the Colombian actress who portrays Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the sitcom "Modern Family," is the highest-paid actress on U.S. television, according to Forbes, earning as estimated $37 million.

In addition, two new sitcoms this season, "Jane the Virgin" and "Cristela," are built around Latina lead characters. Cristela Alonzo, the lead in her eponymous show, has the added title of trailblazer, becoming the first Latina to create, produce, write and star in her own network show. All this demonstrates remarkable progress by Latinas in gaining acceptance and power in Hollywood, but it also presents an opportunity to reflect on the portrayal of Latinas on television to determine if these characters break down stereotypes or reinforce them.

--more at app.com--

Context matters in portrayal of underrepresented groups

BY SHEENA HOWARD
SHEENA HOWARD

When it comes to media representations, humorous negative or stereotypical media portrayals of minority groups create a space for shared cultural meaning to influence who is laughing at what.

One of my favorite comic strips is a single panel of The Boondocks, in which Huey and Riley are at the bus stop with several layers of clothing on and a white kid is in shorts and a T-shirt. The strip simply reads, "Bus stop temp 5 degrees." The white kid asks, "You guy's cold?"

It takes shared cultural meaning to find this strip funny, and depending on your frame of reference your sense of what is funny in this strip could be dramatically different from someone else's. However, there is a fine line between using humor to critique race relations and using humor to soften the blow of a disturbing depiction of an underrepresented group of people. Think Amos 'n' Andy.

--more at app.com--

No comments: