Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lion King, Racist???

Hakuna Matata Friends,

As most of you know; Matt is currently in grad school for school counseling.  One of his classes this term is "Social Justice".  His first reading assignment is from a book called "Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" by Beverly Daniel Tatum.  This book has a lot of controversial and interesting topics that Matt and I have been discussing.

Did you know the Lion King is a racist movie? 

APPARENTLY: "The film uses very ethnically identifiable voices to characterize the hyenas, the clearly the undesirables in the movie. The Spanish Accented voice of Cheech Marin and the Black slang of Whoopi Goldberg clearly marked the hyenas racially. Simba is warned to never go where the hyenas are as that is 'bad land' or to where the evil lion 'Scar' lives."  The evil lion is also a darker shade than the others and when given or gained power Scar and the Hyenas ruin the kingdom (such as the "there goes the neighborhood" stereotype).  

The author admits that she has been challenged about the fact that James Earl Jones(A black man)s' voice as Mufasa, who is a good character so therefore these points are not valid.  Her counter is that "the target audience is small children and they won't notice his voice as a voice of color but the others are more obvious". 

Matt and I did some more research about this just for grins and found someone else's research project.  Check it out if you are interested.

WTF....I love the LION KING!!! 

I feel like there isn't a problem until someone looks so far into a situation and in turn creates the problem.  How many people even noticed these things before this blog? 
The Lion King, Racist?  Really? 

1 comment:

  1. That is odd. My grandma told me she would never own the lion king or buy it for us grandkids or our kids because she found it racist. She also pointed out how the Heyenas were marching for Scar the way the soliders marched for hitler. Your blog has brought up some memories.