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The 7 - Pro Wrestling - D-Von the Evangelist
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Excalibur05
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#41 Posted on 12.4.02 1425.13
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1429.03
I honestly don't think that Bradshaw's gimmick is any more stereotypical than Austin's, (basically, it's the same gimmick). And I don't think D-Von's is any more stereotypical than either of theirs. It's not reinforcing a negative opinion of black people or black culture, it's reinforcing a negative opinion of D-Von. That's all it is. Nobody complained when Stevie had this EXACT same gimmick. But now that D-Von has it, it's racism.

I think we're all looking much deeper here than we ought.

(edited by Excalibur05 on 12.4.02 1230)
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#42 Posted on 12.4.02 1425.19
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1429.04
I have a feeling, Shea, that if Buh Buh got the preacher gimmick and D-Von got the happy, smilely, dancing, hardcore gimmick you would complain that D-Von's character was racist for being a smiling happy dumb black.
shea
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#43 Posted on 12.4.02 1436.25
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1439.33
    [originally posted by BDC]
    I think you might need to watch that segment again. I think you were looking for something that wasn't there, and saw it because you wanted to.



I think I will check it out again, BDC. It's entirely possible that my reaction to the skit was filtered through, and shaped by, my own view on the subject.

From all I've read in this thread, perhaps I was wrong in my perception of what actually took place on my TV screen.

But I will say this: what I was feeling while watching that skit, regardless of the particulars, was not good. There's a fine line between good-natured parody and mean-spiritedness, and 99 times out of 100 Vince crosses that line going 90 miles per hour.

Now maybe this was one of those rare occasions where that didn't happen. But with Vince's track record, what are the chances?


(edited by shea on 12.4.02 1239)
Zeruel
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#44 Posted on 12.4.02 1440.17
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1440.42
he needs the Dr. of style...errr...Reverend SLICK by his side!
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#45 Posted on 12.4.02 1447.49
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1451.11
The reason that I don't think it constitutes racism is those wrestles are white, which puts them in the tradition position of power in most of the world.


Explain this to me, it seems a bit silly. These are not racism because they are white? Racism is racism no matter who says it. The Bradshaw character could well be a product of Vince's bigotry toward "rednecks".
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#46 Posted on 12.4.02 1459.40
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1500.29
It's not racist because racism is about power *plus* stereotype.

Guys of Bradshaw and Regal's shade have traditionally held the reins of power in America. Blacks and Hispanics haven't.
Guru Zim
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#47 Posted on 12.4.02 1513.04
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1513.52
    Originally posted by asteroidboy
    It's not racist because racism is about power *plus* stereotype.

    Guys of Bradshaw and Regal's shade have traditionally held the reins of power in America. Blacks and Hispanics haven't.



Sorry, you aren't allowed to change the definition of a term just so that it fits your argument.

def:

Racism:
n.
1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Racist
adj.

It's got nothing to do with "traditionally [holding] the reins of power in America". It's about race.

//edit: I have since been proven to be wrong on a (sic) that I included. Blargh. I need to sleep more or something .


(edited by Guru Zim on 12.4.02 1356)
shea
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#48 Posted on 12.4.02 1521.37
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1526.29

I know what the dictionary definition is, Guru Zim, but asteroidboy is right: the issue of race in this country is absolutely about power -- who's got it, and who never will.

That's why blacks can use the word "nigger" and whites can't. And that's why it's okay for Richard Pryor to satirize black preachers, but maybe it's not a good idea for Vince McMahon to be doing the same thing.
asteroidboy
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#49 Posted on 12.4.02 1530.21
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1530.33
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
      Originally posted by asteroidboy
      It's not racist because racism is about power *plus* stereotype.

      Guys of Bradshaw and Regal's shade have traditionally held the reins of power in America. Blacks and Hispanics haven't.



    Sorry, you aren't allowed to change the definition of a term just so that it fits your argument.

    def:

    Racism:
    n.
    1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
    2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

    Racist
    adj.

    It's got nothing to do with "traditionally [holding] the reins (sic) of power in America". It's about race.

    (edited by Guru Zim on 12.4.02 1313)



Okay, I don't want to get in a grammar war, but since you're correcting me... look further in your dictionary, Guru, and you'll find:

Rein: n. 1 - a line fastened to a bit by which a rider or driver controls an animal

2 - a. a restraining influence
b. controlling or guiding power

And I would still argue that racial discrimination is based on a group in power marginalizing another. In this case, white people have that power.

I don't think D-Von's preacher gimmick is necessarily racist, but it's definitely stereotypical. And it would ALSO be stereotypical if it was a Southern, sweaty white guy doing the same thing.

And if you don't think there's something just slightly wrong with Booker T's hair being mocked for a storyline angle with the fair-haired Edge, then that's your business.






(edited by asteroidboy on 12.4.02 1333)

(edited by asteroidboy on 12.4.02 1336)
zoggy1
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#50 Posted on 12.4.02 1536.09
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1545.25

    Originally posted by Swordsman Yen
    Hmmmm religious gimmicks haven't had a good track record in the WWF. Reverend Slick, Sisters of Mercy, and Dustin Runnels are bombs that come to mind.


hmm which one resulted in austin quoting his infamous "talk about Psalms, talk about John 3:16...Austin 3:16 says I just whoooped your ass!"

don't all answer at once :)
The Sham
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#51 Posted on 12.4.02 1539.51
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1545.28
My problem with D-Von's character isn't that it's racist, it's that it's been done to death. The black evangelical preacher is EVERYWHERE. In movies, in music videos, on television... I have never heard someone complain about it before. Is it because we have been desensitized? NO! It's because it's FUNNY.

Sketch comedy (which is a huge inspiration for Sports Entertainment) ALWAYS relies on stereotypes. One of my favorite examples of this is "The Jew, the Italian and the Red-Head Gay" from The State. Stereotypes re not going to go away, because SOME people actually fit into the stereotypes. There ARE black evangelical preachers. There ARE beer-swilling rednecks. There ARE Mexicans who never graduated high school. There ARE Brits who drink tea.

People need to lighten up. Wrestling (at least since the '80s) has always been full of stereotypes. It's not going to go away. There was a time when "sambo" was a valid stereotype. That time is long over. Eventually, I assume, there will be no more black evangelical preachers. At that time, the gimmick may become offensive. For now, it is a reflection of a part of our society.

(P.S. Wouldn't it be great if Eddie Guerrero tried to sell the other wrestlers bags of oranges as they made their way to the ring?)
spf
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#52 Posted on 12.4.02 1540.42
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1545.32

    Originally posted by shea

    I know what the dictionary definition is, Guru Zim, but asteroidboy is right: the issue of race in this country is absolutely about power -- who's got it, and who never will.

    That's why blacks can use the word "nigger" and whites can't. And that's why it's okay for Richard Pryor to satirize black preachers, but maybe it's not a good idea for Vince McMahon to be doing the same thing.


How far up the chain of power though are we allowed to look for the hidden racist pulling the strings? If Richard Pryor does his satire on a comedy album put out by a major record label is that the same thing? When Eddie Murphy does his shtick in a movie financed by a major studio is that the same thing? Or are they given a greater berth because they're in somehow less racist fields? The problem Shea is that wrestling has always used broad characters of some sort. And because minorities have been stereotyped on all sides of the spectrum, any character they play is going to be open to some sort of criticism. Really, couldn't the face Booker T have been criticized as being the "black man all the whites want black people to be"? If D-Von had DDP's gimmick wouldn't he be a "smiling sambo caricature?" If Rock weren't of mixed race wouldn't his character, particularly back as a heel obsessed with his expensive shirts etc. be nothing more than a bad stereotype of money hungry black people who only want material goods? The point is that there is no way in which someone can be portrayed that someone who is looking for something to criticize cannot find fault with, no matter how good or ill the intentions may be.
Notorious F.A.B.
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#53 Posted on 12.4.02 1540.45
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1545.41
some people here need to ponder the difference between an archetype and a stereotype, then get the fuck over themselves.

first and foremost the thing that irks me here is the "it's racist" crowd (all your names are blurred) is acting like they think vince mcmahon himself came down from the mountain and ordered d-von to play the character. what if it was d-von's idea?

and something else that kind of high lights the short sightedness of this thread: on the first page people were bitching about there being no positive christian characters in the fed. WHO THE FUCK IS HULK HOGAN TELLING YOU TO SAY YOUR PRAYERS TO?
EastCoastAvenger
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#54 Posted on 12.4.02 1541.39
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1552.18
"The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others."

At which point were Regal and/or Bradshaw portrayed/implied to be "inferior" due to their race? Booker T has been portrayed as basically a buffoon or just plain stupid since his first day in the WWF, Most Mexican wrestlers in the WWF (including Eddy Guererro, which REALLY pisses me off) are either ignored or mercilessly stereotyped, and don't get me started on their treatment of Asian wrestlers.

The main reason the treatment of minorities in the WWF constitutes racism, and the treatment of white foreigners and "rednecks" does not boils down to one thing. Every white "redneck" and foreigner was given at least one positive characteristic from the beginning of their character. The Godwins were kinda dumb, but they were strong as oxes. Regal is a prissy Sassunach, but he's a genius at technical wrestling. Jake the Snake was an alcoholic, but he had the force of will to try to stop. Jerry the King is a total dick, but he's also a vet. Starting to see the differences? Look at the way JR commentated Booker T's matches when he came in! He had something good to say about every WCW guy coming in, but every time Booker stepped through the ropes, JR was right there with sarcasm and belittling, and he effectively buried Booker T to the extent that he has to work twice as hard to get props as a midcarder! Even now, any compliments Booker T recieves from JR seem backhanded, almost as if JR was reamed out backstage for his unprofessional behavior.

Now am I being overly sensitive (along with several others)? I don't think so. Others would disagree, but I see what I see.


asteroidboy
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#55 Posted on 12.4.02 1547.51
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1559.02
EastCoast summed it up perfectly.

And if you took Booker's current character, a bug-eyed, jive-talking, dancing black man, back 100 years, you'd have a minstrel show. And that's not cool.

Look, obviously the WWF has to paint people with broad brushes. I'm not saying that should be outlawed and that some aren't funny. But shouldn't we as an educated people be entertained by more than Eddie passing out organges to people as he walks to the ring????
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#56 Posted on 12.4.02 1549.24
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1559.03
Well I'm a fucking idiot this week. Sheesh this and getting the wrong Neikro in the baseball forum..

Dammit I'm gonna stop now.

*Guru Zim loses all cred.

Re: Booker's hair - It's fair game to call Hogan balding though? Maybe those are just signs in the crowd, but the production crew is putting them on TV so there is some choice there. You can make fun of a white guy's (well, orange guy's really) hair but not a black guy's?

Is it racist that Booker T has an advertisement for Hungry Man chicken dinners? I think its a good ad spot and that it is funny - and notice the white guy wants to eat the dinner too - but since Chicken and blacks are a stereotype, do I have to not buy Hungry Man as well? Are you calling me a racist for buying one and trying it, even though I bought it because I wanted to put my dollars behind a product that had a black guy as a spokesman?

Wrestlers make fun of each other. Wrestlers mock stereotypes. I just think it's silly to say that you can talk about any characteristic someone has (penis size for Big Show or Val) as long as there isn't a stereotype about it for a racial group . Tajiri or Booker, if they did it, no matter what they said about the size, would be construed as racist, not just in bad taste like when it is done with Show or Val, because of stereotypes for Asians and Blacks.

Stevie can be a White Baptist minister, but D-von can't be a black baptist minister?

When Angle steals Austin's truck it is ok, but if Booker does it its racist and calling ALL black people thugs?

Tazz claims a shady / criminal background and thats ok because he is (Italian?) but when people mention Booker T's real life criminal record we are racist?

Should I go on?

All I'm saying is that people seem to be pretty selective when they are going to be offended by a theme.

Everyone needs to lighten up.

If anything, Vince is showcasing Mark Henry as a positive role model, as the strongest man in the World - and he is a black man. I mean, damn, the guy can't even really wrestle that well, and Vince keeps him on the payroll. What is the racist motivation behind that?
asteroidboy
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#57 Posted on 12.4.02 1553.57
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1559.04

    Originally posted by Notorious F.A.B.
    some people here need to ponder the difference between an archetype and a stereotype, then get the fuck over themselves.

    first and foremost the thing that irks me here is the "it's racist" crowd (all your names are blurred) is acting like they think vince mcmahon himself came down from the mountain and ordered d-von to play the character. what if it was d-von's idea?

    and something else that kind of high lights the short sightedness of this thread: on the first page people were bitching about there being no positive christian characters in the fed. WHO THE FUCK IS HULK HOGAN TELLING YOU TO SAY YOUR PRAYERS TO?



Archetype, n: the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies: prototype.

Stereotype, n: something conforming to a fixed or general pattern, a standard mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified openion, affective attitude, or uncritical judgement.

I think I'm gonna stick with stereotype, FAB.
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#58 Posted on 12.4.02 1555.22
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1559.05
ECA: and Booker T is extremely athletic. And Rocky is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. And Rikishi is strong as an ox yet fun-loving all at once.

I agree with you that some of the things are atrocious. The Latino Heat character was awful. Yet it also really was nothing more than a character lifted from the old Cheech and Chong movies minus the stoning. And considering they came up with those ideas for themselves, are we going to accuse them of being racist against themselves?

And as for Booker T being a dancing minstrel, I guess I must not be watching enough. He does one move involving dancing, which he has done for years, and only gained prominence through a) Mark Madden's announcing, b) net geeks who were overly amused by it, and c) it served as a great foil in the feud with Rocky. Booker is playing a textbook heel character. He gets scared when confronted by the face, and makes the same face that every heel has made throughout wrestling history when finally cornered into a fair fight with the good guy. Watch Ric Flair vs. anyone for 20 years and you'll see the same look.
Notorious F.A.B.
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#59 Posted on 12.4.02 1603.16
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1604.49

    Originally posted by asteroidboy
    I think I'm gonna stick with stereotype, FAB.


i bet twenty minutes before someone posted definitions. god i hate threads where people post definitions.

is a snake oil salesman preacher an archetype or a stereotype? that depends on what you want to prove and how you want to look at things.

i am so fucking done with this thread.
asteroidboy
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#60 Posted on 12.4.02 1603.29
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1604.50
Guru, I definitely agree that people can get too easily offended. Back when Taco Bell ran that ad series with the "Yo Quiero" dog, some Hispanic groups got upset. And for no reason, I think. And some black leaders can exploit racial tension for their own gains, no doubt.

I don't have any problems with Booker doing an ad for chicken, he can pitch and eat any product he wants. And lots of people steal cars and come from tough neighborhoods. But don't compare that to Saba Simba or a pimp gimmick, because it's not in the same ballpark.

(and for the record, I loved the State's "Jew, the Italian and the Red-head Gay" skits. But I believe those were making fun of the stereotypes because they were so blatant and cartoonish, like Archie Bunker. Not just holding up a stereotype to get a cheap laugh, which is what the WWF does.)

My point with the hair issue is that it's been a historically sore spot with black people as they get goofed on for having "nappy hair." Plus, it wasn't funny. And it's not the same as making fun of certain balding orange goblins. I think that there are better and more intelligent ways to entertain us.

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