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30.7.14 2031
The W - Current Events & Politics - Law and Order: Whitewashing the Headlines
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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1185 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
We've discussed ad naseum the liberal bias in Hollywood before, but have you ever taken a look and the 42 versions of "Law and Order" on TV at any particular time. Ever notice that the perps tend to be predominately white.

This less than unbiased source documents it at some length, here being a brief excerpt:

Seven months after the October, 2002 Washington, D.C. sniper case was closed with the arrest of suspects John Muhammad and Lee Malvo, L&O dramatized the case, but with the shooter as a white man! ("Sheltered"; May 14, 2003.) "Smoke" (May 21, 2003) opens with the death of a child, whose adoptive father, a famous entertainer, had dropped him, while dangling him from a hotel room window. The detectives eventually discover that the entertainer would also arrange for underage boys to accompany him to his mansion, where he would sexually violate them. When I told a not particularly media-savvy neighbor who is the mother of four small children that story line, she immediately said, "Michael Jackson!" But on L&O, the character was depicted as a white comedian. Remember the Danny Almonte case? Almonte was the 14-year-old Dominican fraud who -- through the connivance of his father, Felipe de Jesus Almonte, and Bronx-based, Dominican Little League coach Rolando Paulino -- passed himself off as a 12-year-old, in order to play in the 2001 Little League championships. But in "Foul Play" (May 1, 2002), the coach magically becomes a blond-haired, white man, who is somehow convicted of a murder committed by the player's father.


Of course, it's not just L&O that plays hard and loose with reality. How about MI-5
On July 22, the A&E network began airing the BBC series MI-5, named for Britain's domestic intelligence agency. The first episode was titled "Thou Shalt Not Kill."

In the episode, MI-5 operatives learn that twenty bombs have disappeared somewhere between Ireland and Britain. A short while later, their worst fears are confirmed as a car bomb goes off, killing a mother and her child.

One bomb accounted for, nineteen left. It's obviously just the start of a prolonged terror campaign. Who's behind it? If you guessed the IRA or al-Qaeda, you would be wrong. No, the threat to British internal security comes from pro-lifers -- and not just any pro-lifers, but American pro-lifers.


Naturally, you won't see ELF, Greenpeace, or International ANSWER as the antagonists...




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Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 114 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.84
Okay, here's my take:

1) My girlfriend loves MI-5, and I've had to watch it more than a few times. It's another British Murder Mystery show, with the military thing (and a young(er) female protagonist!) thrown in to make it different. While I haven't seen the episode in question, it doesn't strike me as much of a mystery if the most obvious suspects are the ones who end up committing the crime. Just my opinion though. The show's writers could be American hating, baby killing, IRA terrorists for all I know....

2) I absolutely hate every Law and Order spin-off. But I used to love the original. Anyway, couldn't the creators/writers of the show be sued by the people whose stories are 'ripped from the headlines'? In the episode "Smoke" (didn't see it btw), if they portrayed the man as a black entertainer whose career went down the drain along with his color, don't you think that Jackson might just take them to court? Defamation of character or something similar?

-Jag

I really should've made more fun of Jackson there, but my brain doesn't seem to be funny right now.



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Since: 9.1.02
From: Wichita, Ks

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.24
It could also quite easily be argued that in every one of those cases, if the antagonist HAD been portrayed as black/hispanic/anything but white, the same old "stereotyping" and "typecasting" criticisms would be tossed out by all the usual suspects.

I think the writer/producer community is a little bit gunshy, as far as shit like that goes. You can't win for losing.



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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
I'd argue that this 'whitewashing' is a recent event on L&O...all of the episodes cited have occurred in the past couple of years. Not coincidentally, the last two seasons have been clearly the worst in the show's proud history. I attribute it more to sloppy writing than to PC bias.

In the early days, roughly half the episodes had minority defendants, but this was of course back when the show portrayed a more semi-realistic view of procedural police and legal work. Also, the episodes that focused particularly on race were (IMO) usually very well done.



"When this bogus term alternative rock was being thrown at every '70s retro rehash folk group, we were challenging people to new sonic ideas. If some little snotty anarchist with an Apple Mac and an attitude thinks he invented dance music and the big rock group is coming into his territory, [that's] ridiculous." - Bono, 1997
Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by Nate The Snake
    It could also quite easily be argued that in every one of those cases, if the antagonist HAD been portrayed as black/hispanic/anything but white, the same old "stereotyping" and "typecasting" criticisms would be tossed out by all the usual suspects.

And that's part of the point here. If, for example, there had been an infamous crime committed by a white man "ripped from the headlines" and the characther was written as a black man, there would be protests as far as the eye can see...



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Since: 26.6.02
From: York, England

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
Erm, in MI-5/Spooks, the threat to national security in various episodes has been anyone from the IRA to al-Qaeda, enviromentalists, hackers and socialists. And guess what, people from all groups got pissed off (well, maybe not al Qaeda).

Hate to think you were just generalising from one example.



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Since: 9.1.02
From: Wichita, Ks

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.24
    Originally posted by Grimis
    And that's part of the point here. If, for example, there had been an infamous crime committed by a white man "ripped from the headlines" and the characther was written as a black man, there would be protests as far as the eye can see...


Oh, most definitely. I was just sort of trying to point out that it really is a lose-lose situation for the people who write and cast these things... someone's gonna be offended, no matter what you do.

I think next season every suspect/villain character in those shows should be dressed and made up like, say, a member of Blue Man Group. Just so nobody can be completely sure what they are underneath it all, and to show how stupid it's all getting.



Kansas-born and deeply ashamed
The last living La Parka Marka

"They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
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