Social conscience is essential to find and repair the flaws in the system, which we already know is contradictory. What we consider normal today was illegal years ago, and what we perceive as a threat today was customary. This is always going to cause a big generation gap, with those who want to go back to the old days just because they had to grow up there. Now that people are more open to talking about what is wrong and that social networks manage to viralize everything in a short time, it is very common to hear terrible stories about racism, sexism and homophobia. Scarlett Johansson, for example, was heavily attacked when she decided to sue Disney for what happened at the premiere of Black Widow – 87%. While some attacked her for “looking for money,” others recalled that the company is known to be quite problematic.
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Disney is a company of yesteryear that has done its best to stay relevant, whether by buying other companies and their franchises, or proposing projects that appeal to the curiosities of today’s youth. But the company, like many others, cannot erase its past, and that past often involves mistreatment behind and in front of the cameras. There is constant talk about the terrible clichés that affect the films, but little by little what happens in the animations is analyzed with more attention, which reach a child audience in full intellectual and emotional formation.
Cartoons generate a lot of nostalgia, as a large part of the public approached television thanks to them. And although it is very beautiful to remember old times, it is necessary to talk about the great problems that titles such as Dumbo – 97%, Aladdin – have caused. 94%, Fantasy, Looney toons, among many others. Some streaming services have decided to withdraw these tapes and series completely, others decide to edit the most complicated moments, and some more believe that a previous notice is enough to warn the current public that what they are about to see was created at a time. very different. But, what would happen if there is a whole exhibition to talk openly about the subject?
Variety reports that, in an attempt to keep the conversation between creators and audience developing in an informed way, the Museum of the Academy of Arts decided to do a special exhibition on machismo and racism in animation. It is a project called “Stories of Cinema”, and although it will also deal with the very history of animation and its technological advances, it will not hide the representations of sexual assaults and assaults that have taken place in these stories. Specifically, the experience called “Inventing Worlds and Characters” explores how animation is a genre in itself that can include others such as noir, western or war cinema, and by following these styles it is that problematic representations are given.
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Dara jaffe, assistant curator commented:
When you have a completely unlimited craft according to the laws of physics, you can have wonderful examples of pure imagination. Still, you also get these extremely grotesque depictions that reflect the racism of the time.
One of the clearest and most commented examples is in Dumbo, where the character of Jim crow, whose design and shapes are clearly racist, which are accentuated by knowing that a white man gave him a voice. Similarly, Speddy Gonzalez and Aladdin they are also a sign of cultural ignorance.
But here it is not a question of canceling or forgetting the past, it is simply a matter of recognizing what was and what has changed and a broad criterion is definitely required for this; the curator Jenny He explained:
Visitors will have to mentally prepare to digest this material. We include this on purpose so that we can start a conversation and dialogue. This is just the springboard to having them.
In addition to racism, the exhibition features examples of female representations in animation and the way in which they were sexualized or victims of aggression. Among the clearest scenes in this regard are Betty boop when a man rips off her clothes, and the constant harassment of Pepe le pew. The idea is to be honest with the past instead of wanting to erase it and maintain an active conversation where you can recognize how much progress has been made on this issue and how much remains to be done.
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