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(C|Net)   Mad Men: screw it, we're keeping our blackface episode   (cnet.com) divider line
    More: Strange, Mad Men, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jon Hamm, American film actors, American television actors, Episode, greatest TV shows of all time, producer Lionsgate  
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1285 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 02 Jul 2020 at 12:08 PM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-07-02 11:16:53 AM  
tl;dr: Because it was included specifically to make a point about how horrible it is to do it.

Semi-related, John Slattery is way, way younger than you might expect. He was only 45 when Mad Men first aired, so he's 57 now. Dude looked 60 to start.
 
2020-07-02 12:26:36 PM  
I need to buy a copy of Tropic Thunder before it gets locked in the Disney vault with Song if the South.
 
2020-07-02 12:35:20 PM  

BKITU: tl;dr: Because it was included specifically to make a point about how horrible it is to do it.


And I think that it was also there to make a point about how racist that whole world still was, even though it's set at a time where the civil rights movement has begun.  Someone not so familiar with the history of that period would think that things were farther along than they were in regards to race relations.  That episode hammers home the point that they weren't.
 
2020-07-02 12:35:59 PM  
This is the way to do it.  They did it specifically to point out how pervasive racism was at the time (like they also did regularly with sexism and homophobia).  Making a period piece puts you between a rock and a hard place now.  You either address it in the show how it was at the time, which ends up having "problematic" scenes like this, or you try to be ignore the problematic societal elements and completely whitewash how things were at the time, like Gone With The Wind tried to do to some extent.
 
2020-07-02 12:36:44 PM  
The scene is completely on-brand with the Roger Sterling character. They made no bones about his casual racism on the show. There's one particular scene I recall that also hammers this home. He brings Michael (one of the creatives), who is Jewish, into his office for a brief meeting - maybe 90 seconds - and he crams one inappropriate stereotypical comment after another into the conversation. It was brutal.
 
2020-07-02 12:37:06 PM  
I like how to illustrate their second point, they found a user called "Nacho Bandito" who was using a chihuahua for a profile pic.
 
2020-07-02 12:41:57 PM  

Count_Crackula: The scene is completely on-brand with the Roger Sterling character. They made no bones about his casual racism on the show. There's one particular scene I recall that also hammers this home. He brings Michael (one of the creatives), who is Jewish, into his office for a brief meeting - maybe 90 seconds - and he crams one inappropriate stereotypical comment after another into the conversation. It was brutal.


he also torpedoes the meeting with the Japanese because he can't forgive them for WWII.
 
2020-07-02 12:44:22 PM  
Good... that episode has the Pete and Trudy dance number.

MAD MEN - Pete and Trudy Charleston - 3.03
Youtube E7NLF6eNXNc
 
2020-07-02 12:47:43 PM  

foo monkey: I need to buy a copy of Tropic Thunder before it gets locked in the Disney vault with Song if the South.


You know, maybe you could at least wait for the next show to be pulled over their use of blackface being solely for a racist joke instead of pity masturbating with biatch tears lube about it when the article is specifically about a show standing by it's episode because it actually had something to say with more depth than just 'hurrhurrhurr racism'.  Kinda like Tropic Thunder did.

Likewise, Blazing Saddles absolutely could be made today, except possibly the French Mistake number which really didn't add anything except "hurr hollywood gayz hurr".  You can't really even give that one a pass for 'at least it's some kind of representation' by the time it was made.  There were plenty of examples of 'acceptable' smiling and dancing camp queens as long as they didn't explicitly say it by that point.

Trying to be intentionally edgy or transgressive for laughs requires meeting a slightly higher bar or it just comes off as insensitive at best.  News at Fark O'Clock.
 
2020-07-02 12:48:53 PM  
Yvette Nicole Brown also tweeted her support of the person giving out the names and addresses of "racists" whether those people actually posted racist things or just had similar names to the people who posted racist things.
 
2020-07-02 12:50:15 PM  

BKITU: John Slattery


so...he's 57...but he played Robert Downey Jrs Dad in the Avengers movies... Downey who is 55.

Movie MAGIC!
 
2020-07-02 12:50:35 PM  
I'm going to cut my left nipple off in protest.
 
2020-07-02 1:01:17 PM  

zappadog: Count_Crackula: The scene is completely on-brand with the Roger Sterling character. They made no bones about his casual racism on the show. There's one particular scene I recall that also hammers this home. He brings Michael (one of the creatives), who is Jewish, into his office for a brief meeting - maybe 90 seconds - and he crams one inappropriate stereotypical comment after another into the conversation. It was brutal.

he also torpedoes the meeting with the Japanese because he can't forgive them for WWII.


I totally forgot about that scene. Good call.
 
2020-07-02 1:12:47 PM  

Stratohead: BKITU: John Slattery

so...he's 57...but he played Robert Downey Jrs Dad in the Avengers movies... Downey who is 55.

Movie MAGIC!


Yeah but in the film chronology, John Slattery's 57 year old character had been dead since RDJ's character had been a teen.
 
2020-07-02 1:22:13 PM  

LowbrowDeluxe: Likewise, Blazing Saddles absolutely could be made today,


The "they could never make XYZ today" line is always hilarious to me. It's like, have these people seen the shiat that ends up on TV and movies now? My lord, It's Always Sunny alone has smashed so many taboos into rubble you could build a mountain out of the pieces.

How do they get away with it?

Because they punch up instead of down. The protagonists are the butt of the jokes. The message is always, "These people are reprehensible."

It's not complicated.

The comedy envelope is pushed way, WAY further than it's ever been. The only difference is that we now frown on punching downward or engaging in humor fueled by hate.

That ain't a bad thing.
 
2020-07-02 1:38:13 PM  
If you are attempting to accurately depict a time period than you are.
And to achieve that goal will mean whatever that means for a scene/setting/situation that would be common place for the time and situation your story is set in.


i find it is not strange but reasonable.

CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING.

If they do a racist thing, as a thing done for the appeasement of the now times audience, that's racism for racists.
If they are doing a historical context thing, that is what it is to meet the goals of the artist making it that wants to not avert our eyes from the reality of our past that we do came from.
Then that is what ti is and anyone that prefers to avert their eyes form that sort f stuff, will need to do so for themselves and not make that choice for eveyone else.
So yeah not everyone should have to back out what they did. But it is good and right for those that simply "did it for the lols" to recognize the changing times and take that chit down, toss it in the pile with all the rest of the stuff like it we don't have tolerance for any more.
 
2020-07-02 1:39:09 PM  
Always sunny seen grinning...
 
2020-07-02 1:47:41 PM  

LowbrowDeluxe: foo monkey: I need to buy a copy of Tropic Thunder before it gets locked in the Disney vault with Song if the South.

You know, maybe you could at least wait for the next show to be pulled over their use of blackface being solely for a racist joke instead of pity masturbating with biatch tears lube about it when the article is specifically about a show standing by it's episode because it actually had something to say with more depth than just 'hurrhurrhurr racism'.  Kinda like Tropic Thunder did.

Likewise, Blazing Saddles absolutely could be made today, except possibly the French Mistake number which really didn't add anything except "hurr hollywood gayz hurr".  You can't really even give that one a pass for 'at least it's some kind of representation' by the time it was made.  There were plenty of examples of 'acceptable' smiling and dancing camp queens as long as they didn't explicitly say it by that point.

Trying to be intentionally edgy or transgressive for laughs requires meeting a slightly higher bar or it just comes off as insensitive at best.  News at Fark O'Clock.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-07-02 1:51:09 PM  

shoegaze99: LowbrowDeluxe: Likewise, Blazing Saddles absolutely could be made today,

The "they could never make XYZ today" line is always hilarious to me. It's like, have these people seen the shiat that ends up on TV and movies now? My lord, It's Always Sunny alone has smashed so many taboos into rubble you could build a mountain out of the pieces.

How do they get away with it?

Because they punch up instead of down. The protagonists are the butt of the jokes. The message is always, "These people are reprehensible."

It's not complicated.

The comedy envelope is pushed way, WAY further than it's ever been. The only difference is that we now frown on punching downward or engaging in humor fueled by hate.

That ain't a bad thing.


Always sunny is such a great example. The whole idea behind the show was "what if Seinfeld but x100?" iirc.

I like to go to Pryor and his match joke. It was hilarious when he did it. He had the absolute right to make fun of himself in whatever way he wanted.

Anyone else, even contemporary peers, doing that joke would be in poor taste and would get a lot of push back from the comedy world.
 
2020-07-02 1:54:02 PM  
I had no idea blackface was such a popular entertainment option.
 
2020-07-02 2:08:52 PM  

BKITU: tl;dr: Because it was included specifically to make a point about how horrible it is to do it.

Semi-related, John Slattery is way, way younger than you might expect. He was only 45 when Mad Men first aired, so he's 57 now. Dude looked 60 to start.


I fell in love with him in Homefront which he started when he was 31 and had a little dark hair. It was a good show which also gave Kyle Chandler his start. (Photo is a publicity shot of him from the show)

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-07-02 2:20:35 PM  
Sounds fine to me. But I really don't give much of a shiat, as I'm not as worried about some TV show pulling an episode with blackface out of their archives than I am ACTUALLY ADDRESSING systemic racism and police misconduct.

And I'm concerned that all we're going to get out of this moment is just that - some empty token gestures like pulling old blackface episodes (some even when it makes little sense - like the Community episode with Chang in Drow-face, farking REALLY?!?!), a few empty statements from corporations claiming to "support BLM", and then back to sleep on this for another few decades.

Maybe let's fix the ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS BEING MURDERED problem instead and the actual human beings being paid less than others because of their color problem. Or the some human beings have almost no household wealth due to having started out within centuries of slavery and oppression due to their skin color problem.

Then, and only then, maybe I'll find the time to give a fark about whether or not it's appropriate to keep some old TV show episode in the library or not. Eyes on the farking prize.
 
2020-07-02 2:23:42 PM  

BKITU: tl;dr: Because it was included specifically to make a point about how horrible it is to do it.

Semi-related, John Slattery is way, way younger than you might expect. He was only 45 when Mad Men first aired, so he's 57 now. Dude looked 60 to start.


Silver fox, indeed!
 
2020-07-02 2:25:34 PM  

Bot v2.38beta: I'm going to cut my left nipple off in protest.


One of the saddest scenes in any series I've seen.
 
2020-07-02 2:43:56 PM  

That KY Girl: Bot v2.38beta: I'm going to cut my left nipple off in protest.

One of the saddest scenes in any series I've seen.


Agreed.

That with Brie's shock therapy and Jones' problems really highlighted  how far in the dark we were with mental illness.
 
2020-07-02 2:45:38 PM  

edmo: I had no idea blackface was such a popular entertainment option.


For most of the 19th century, it was the most popular form of American entertainment.
 
2020-07-02 2:57:14 PM  
I just binged this and it really is one of the greatest TV shows ever.  No bad episodes.  A somewhat satisfying end.  Great acting, great fleshed out stories and characters, and a definite mood.  I don't really remember what I was doing when it originally aired - I remembered some of the episodes - but I recommend it highly if anyone hasn't seen it yet.
 
2020-07-02 3:03:32 PM  
I see Schindler's List is back on Netflix.

I hope they've cut the shower scene this time, as I found that quite anti-semitic.
 
2020-07-02 3:03:42 PM  

Tor_Eckman: I just binged this and it really is one of the greatest TV shows ever.  No bad episodes.  A somewhat satisfying end.  Great acting, great fleshed out stories and characters, and a definite mood.  I don't really remember what I was doing when it originally aired - I remembered some of the episodes - but I recommend it highly if anyone hasn't seen it yet.


I started to hate most of the characters by about season3-4.  ESPECIALLY Don.


the only character with a half way decent arc is Peggy, and she really doesn't grow much after like season 3.

also...WTF is up with the Drapers  kids growing at different rates?
Sally is in grade school and Bobby is like 4-5 when the show starts...Gene is born during the Cuban Missile Crisis...by the time the series ends, Sally is basically going off to college, Bobby isn't even a tween yet and Gene is STILL a Toddler.


/still disappointed Don didn't hurl himself off a tall building to his death by the end of the series.
 
2020-07-02 3:04:07 PM  

kyleaugustus: edmo: I had no idea blackface was such a popular entertainment option.

For most of the 19th century, it was the most popular form of American entertainment.


And was still popular into the first half of the 20th Century.  It was always considered a little low-brow, but folks didn't decide it was cringe-worthy until around the 1970s.
 
2020-07-02 3:19:12 PM  

Stratohead: also...WTF is up with the Drapers  kids growing at different rates?
Sally is in grade school and Bobby is like 4-5 when the show starts...Gene is born during the Cuban Missile Crisis...by the time the series ends, Sally is basically going off to college, Bobby isn't even a tween yet and Gene is STILL a Toddler.


There is a meta aspect to Bobby that is kind of delightful when you notice it. Don pays basically no attention to him whatsoever, often seeming to barely recognize or acknowledge his own son. By the end they started leaning into that pretty hard, probably in no small part because Bobby was played by four different actors. The kid kept changing throughout the series!
 
2020-07-02 3:59:02 PM  

foo monkey: I need to buy a copy of Tropic Thunder before it gets locked in the Disney vault with Song if the South.


You know how every show that has smoking in it has an anti-smoking ad before the movie starts? On the Tropic Thunder blu ray they have a mentally handicapped ad. Because it's bad to make fun of them.

/Despite the jokes in the film...
//Because of idiots that mistake entertainment for life instruction we can't have nice things...
///3's a charm
 
2020-07-02 4:08:30 PM  
I'm still not sure why the Community D&D episode falls into the "blackface" category. Ken Jeong is in full body paint as a mythical character.
 
2020-07-02 4:21:43 PM  

Uncle Pooky: I'm still not sure why the Community D&D episode falls into the "blackface" category. Ken Jeong is in full body paint as a mythical character.


Because we decided that's what we're going to do to address the whole Black Lives Matter thing. Didn't you get the memo?
 
2020-07-02 4:23:33 PM  
Also, Tropic Thunder should get a pass because Stiller involved prominent members of the black community during production, to make sure that the point of the character was understood, and to avoid unforeseen issues.
 
2020-07-02 4:24:58 PM  
But they're still going to pull the picnic episode because littering is bad, right?

Oh shiat! I'm not sure that an episode exists where no one smokes. Welp, so much for that show.

Context. How does it work?
 
2020-07-02 4:43:19 PM  

TerrorTony: Uncle Pooky: I'm still not sure why the Community D&D episode falls into the "blackface" category. Ken Jeong is in full body paint as a mythical character.

Because we decided that's what we're going to do to address the whole Black Lives Matter thing. Didn't you get the memo?


Not even the companies doing these things have said or even implied such.  It may not be the absolute most important part of it, but demeaning and diminishing people trying to do better going forward paints you in a very specific light, not them.

Also, it MIGHT just be because even the episode itself had a character pointing it out, and nothing else.  Yes, the joke is 'Character A is ignorant of the possible interpretation'.  But that's it.  That's all it was.  "Hurrrrrrr we can get away with it because we're not really doing that it just LOOKS like that hurrrr" Hanging a lampshade on it doesn't actually change the fact that they were using it as just a joke.  Honestly, it was pretty pointless and I probably wouldn't care whichever way they went with it, but they went with deciding they didn't want to be that guy.  And that's fine too.
 
2020-07-02 5:28:37 PM  

LowbrowDeluxe: TerrorTony: Uncle Pooky: I'm still not sure why the Community D&D episode falls into the "blackface" category. Ken Jeong is in full body paint as a mythical character.

Because we decided that's what we're going to do to address the whole Black Lives Matter thing. Didn't you get the memo?

Not even the companies doing these things have said or even implied such.  It may not be the absolute most important part of it, but demeaning and diminishing people trying to do better going forward paints you in a very specific light, not them.

Also, it MIGHT just be because even the episode itself had a character pointing it out, and nothing else.  Yes, the joke is 'Character A is ignorant of the possible interpretation'.  But that's it.  That's all it was.  "Hurrrrrrr we can get away with it because we're not really doing that it just LOOKS like that hurrrr" Hanging a lampshade on it doesn't actually change the fact that they were using it as just a joke.  Honestly, it was pretty pointless and I probably wouldn't care whichever way they went with it, but they went with deciding they didn't want to be that guy.  And that's fine too.


Hey, that's fine, too. I'd just like to have whole police issue addressed as well.
I thought there was a chance this time...
 
2020-07-02 10:05:20 PM  

Bot v2.38beta: That KY Girl: Bot v2.38beta: I'm going to cut my left nipple off in protest.

One of the saddest scenes in any series I've seen.

Agreed.

That with Brie's shock therapy and Jones' problems really highlighted  how far in the dark we were with mental illness.


Agreed!
 
2020-07-02 11:24:36 PM  

TerrorTony: foo monkey: I need to buy a copy of Tropic Thunder before it gets locked in the Disney vault with Song if the South.

You know how every show that has smoking in it has an anti-smoking ad before the movie starts? On the Tropic Thunder blu ray they have a mentally handicapped ad. Because it's bad to make fun of them.

/Despite the jokes in the film...
//Because of idiots that mistake entertainment for life instruction we can't have nice things...
///3's a charm


Can't have nice things? You still have the movie.
ZOMG! You had to wait 30 seconds for an ad to finish running? You're clearly more put upon than anyone ever in human history. Slavery, the Holocaust, and the Trail of Tears ain't got shiat on having to wait 30 seconds for an ad to run.

Waaaaaaaaaade, in the waaaaaaaater,......
 
2020-07-02 11:26:49 PM  

foo monkey: I need to buy a copy of Tropic Thunder before it gets locked in the Disney vault with Song if the South.


Disney doesn't own the rights to Tropic Thunder.
 
2020-07-02 11:28:56 PM  
Has anyone mentioned context?  I'm sure they have already.

Mad Men was completely racially aware in its overall tone and presentation.  Subtle too, but subtlety can be hard for some, I've learned.  One of the main reasons for doing a period-specific show is so writers can go to town with a "hindsight is 20/20" narrative.  I still don't really know how to feel about this cancel imperative.

My personal favourite spin on Mad Men was when MLK was killed, and one of the black characters has to contend with several white characters expressing condolences to her throughout the episode, as if someone in her own family had died.  It was a great illustration of underlying racial barriers even when white people are virtue-signalling.  Same reason Get Out is such a good movie.
 
2020-07-02 11:36:54 PM  

LowbrowDeluxe: Likewise, Blazing Saddles absolutely could be made today, except possibly the French Mistake number which really didn't add anything except "hurr hollywood gayz hurr".  You can't really even give that one a pass for 'at least it's some kind of representation' by the time it was made.  There were plenty of examples of 'acceptable' smiling and dancing camp queens as long as they didn't explicitly say it by that point.


Blazing Saddles likely couldn't be remade, but not because of the reasons idiots think.

It's lampooning what is now a dead genre, the John Ford/John Wayne westerns that practically erased non-white people as a part of the Old West or relegated them to playing savages or servants.

Hollywood was still trying to churn out those kind of westerns in 1973, when Mel and Pryor were writing Blazing Saddles. Now, those kind of movies are relics most people only know of because their dads may have watched them.

Bad News Bears got a remake (albeit a bad one) because a-hole little league parents who take their kids' sports far too seriously is still going on. Blazing Saddles doesn't have that kind of timeliness anymore.

As for the "hurr durr, they's gonna cancel it" crowd, doubtful. If you barely skim deeper than the surface of the n-word being used, you get that the bigots are the buffoons in the piece. They are the butt of all the jokes. Bart comes off as the smartest, coolest person in the movie.
 
2020-07-03 12:40:11 AM  
What gets me is how racism is front and center in so many landmark films. Obviously Birth of a Nation is horrifically racist, yet it was the first blockbuster. The first hit talkie, The Jazz Singer,features Al Jolson in blackface, which makes sense thematically but is still demeaning. Then in radio what's the first big hit? Amos and Andy, two white guys playing black characters. You simply can't talk about the history of American film without talking about racism.

And the Mad Men scene should remain, for the reasons found in TFA.I think too many shows are cutting episodes when they should go the disclaimer/context route.
 
2020-07-03 9:02:06 AM  

That KY Girl: BKITU: tl;dr: Because it was included specifically to make a point about how horrible it is to do it.

Semi-related, John Slattery is way, way younger than you might expect. He was only 45 when Mad Men first aired, so he's 57 now. Dude looked 60 to start.

Silver fox, indeed!


He's a million times sexier with the totally silver hair vs the pic of him w/some darker hair! I would not say no to him, no sir.
 
2020-07-03 10:57:51 AM  
I'm glad they're keeping it.  Erasing our history, even if it's just popular entertainment, is a great way to result in people not believing that something ever happened.
 
2020-07-03 2:59:05 PM  

foo monkey: I need to buy a copy of Tropic Thunder before it gets locked in the Disney vault with Song if the South.


It is currently out of stock on Amazon.
 
2020-07-03 3:03:18 PM  

zappadog: Count_Crackula: The scene is completely on-brand with the Roger Sterling character. They made no bones about his casual racism on the show. There's one particular scene I recall that also hammers this home. He brings Michael (one of the creatives), who is Jewish, into his office for a brief meeting - maybe 90 seconds - and he crams one inappropriate stereotypical comment after another into the conversation. It was brutal.

he also torpedoes the meeting with the Japanese because he can't forgive them for WWII.


Could you blame him?

At least the Germans treated our POWs like human beings. The Japanese did not afford us that courtesy.

I know Filipino families that refuse to buy Japanese cars due to what they did.


Frankly, Russian vets and German vets have every right to hate each other as well.

I think we were one of the better countries with regards to how we treated prisoners, but even we engaged in unnecessary summary executions.
 
2020-07-03 3:05:36 PM  

CommonName2: Yvette Nicole Brown also tweeted her support of the person giving out the names and addresses of "racists" whether those people actually posted racist things or just had similar names to the people who posted racist things.


Ironically she seems to be perfectly willing to play characters that are nothing but superficial caricatures that pander to stereotypes.
 
2020-07-03 3:12:21 PM  

That KY Girl: Bot v2.38beta: I'm going to cut my left nipple off in protest.

One of the saddest scenes in any series I've seen.


i.makeagif.comView Full Size
 
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