Memo to Every Celebrity in the Universe: Just Don’t Wear Blackface, Ever

It’s hard to believe that blackface is still an issue that we’re talking about in this day and age, but it would appear that it’s still something that is kind of an issue since celebrities tend to think that they’re above it all at some points. What’s kind of funny is the hypocrisy of it all since there have been moments in movies and on TV when white actors have gone in blackface and people have thought it was absolutely hilarious. Anyone remember Tropic Thunder and RDJ’s little escapade? Doug Criss of CNN has a list of people that have put on the ill-advised makeup to pass as a black person for various events, Halloween being one of the biggest. But how about Zach Braff putting on blackface in an episode of Scrubs, or Justin Trudeau dressing up in blackface in college, or Joy Behar, who went to a Halloween party as a ‘beautiful black woman’ was not blackface? Sorry Joy, but the big ‘gotcha’ moment has been recorded by a good number of people now and whatever pass you thought you had has evaporated with your denial and your credibility. Joe Concha of The Hill is just one of the many that picked up on this story and as you can guess it might not do much of anything to unsettle the shameless Behar, but it’s another message to the people that venerate celebrities that it doesn’t matter how famous they are, blackface is either okay, or it’s not, there’s not bound to be much middle ground unless folks are willing to let go of a great deal of the past.

Why anyone would question the notion that blackface is not a good idea for Caucasian people to wear is a bit ludicrous in the first place but as we’ve seen throughout the last several decades blackface has still been used and in certain situations it’s been seen to be kind of comical and even accepted. That doesn’t mean it’s a universally-accepted thing and it likely won’t ever be since it’s still seen as insanely harmful and even degrading to the black community. On another note it seems to be okay to use whiteface however, but that’s another discussion. The use of blackface has been condemned in such a way that it’s a wonder that any celebrity would dare think to do such a thing even for Halloween or something that’s meant to be satirical. This is the kind of thing that can ruin a career, turn people against them, and possibly scar their reputation for the rest of their lives. There’s a good reason why some celebrities talk as big as they do, looking at you Joy, and it would seem that it might be because they want people to forget amidst the other lines of crap that they’re willing to spew as a smokescreen to make it appear as though they might have slipped just that once and would never think of doing it again.

If anyone is thinking that people that do these kinds of things are sorry in the moment or soon after then it’s obvious that said people believe just about anything that celebrities and the media are feeding them. They feed the public garbage and tell them it’s ambrosia and some people simply accept it simply because a celebrity either shows plausible deniability or cries a little and shows that they’re sincerely sorry for what they’ve done. Yeah, they’re sorry that the truth came out and they were caught, that’s about it. Say what you want to about celebrities, be it good or bad, but when they mess up it’s almost guaranteed that some of them will claim that they were ignorant as to why the act was wrong, they didn’t mean to harm anyone, it was a different time, or it was just meant to be fun. Maybe someone should tell Joy that blackface hasn’t been a good idea since the 1920s, and that photo evidence does mean something every now and then. As far as the rest of the bunch, and there are plenty, that have worn blackface at one time or another, it would indicate that even if celebrities are educated it would seem that wisdom isn’t part of the package deal that comes with being famous since the idea of wearing blackface is one of the worst ideas that any of them could have ever come up with.

The way this world works at the moment is that anything and everything that exists is bound to offend someone at some point and there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it. Blackface is bound to be an issue until something else equally terrible comes along, but at this point the celebrities that don’t think it’s a big deal seem to be interested in making certain that the issue doesn’t fade from public notice anytime soon.


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