Monday, June 6, 2016

Maple Insists: Why the Lea Movie Trailer Made Me Cringe

Yo, whassup peoples?

Today it's me, Maple here talking in a rude manner about stuff.

That is the point of the "Maple Insists" posts, usually.

So I was going to talk about how boring AG's 2016 releases are
(and I still will in the future) - but first!


I have to talk about that Lea movie trailer
I just watched as I was prepping the post on the 2016 releases.

Now y'alls may have already been talking about this online everywhere -
but I'm late the party, per usual.

So I apologize in advance (not really) for repeating
anything someone else has already said out there online.

Topic #1 - Doll vs. Girl

We bought a Lea doll - or rather one was gifted to us (becuz we is poor).

And she is beautiful.

(^^^ "I'm so pretty you want to lick my eyeballs, don't you???")

We'd like to get another Lea doll to de-wig and use as a wig swapping custom.

But the doll looks nothing, nothing, nothing like the actress in the Lea movie.

They really couldn't find a mediocre child actress that looked like the doll?

Really? No? They don't exist?

^^^ That girl is as pale as the underside of my foot.

And yet, the doll has the medium skin tone...hmmm.

I sense more evidence of the ongoing struggle AG has with
recognizing that the world has more than just white people in it.

Also, each of the covers of the Lea books looks like a different girl.

(^^^ Lea: "Gosh, I hope that sloth pees on my head 
as this divine light floods down from the heavens.
It's a fetish I have, I admit it."

Sloth: "That girl looks like she wants to lick my eyeballs...")

(^^^ "I fart sea turtles. I am magic.")

(^^^ "Why do I have to pose with this brown girl??? 
And I have to touch her arm??? 
But her dark skin tone might rub off on me!!! 

(*Touches other girl's arm like she has a skin disease*)

(*Plasters on fake-psychotic smile*)

(*Brown girl starts crying while still smiling for the camera, 
and whispers curse words into Lea's ear*)

Anyway, the girls on those 3 covers are not the same girl.

Like maybe sisters, but not the same girl.

And definitely not the girl in the movie.

And in the illustrated versions Lea's head is too big for her body.

Like, c'mon - learn about body proportions illustrate-y peeps.

But my main point is - AG needs to get better about
making all of these "girls of the year" look like the same girl.

And my biggest peeve about this:
They cast a 100% white white white whitey white girl as Lea -
who is supposed to be "mixed race."


Topic #2: Lea is a Remarkable Film

After watching the trailer for the movie, I would label it as remarkable.

As in, it's remarkable how little acting ability these people have.

Watch it.

It's like they are all just reading from cue cards
and their personalities forgot to show up for work.

Topic #3: The Man Who is Clearly a Woman

Lea's brother is a woman, right?

Because I think (s)he is ^^^.

I'm okay with that.

But they should really be using the proper pronoun for her.

Topic #4: Not All Brazilians Are Starving to Death During this Economic Recession

I don't think it's politically correct to have a starving person play the Brazilian girlfriend.

I mean are they trying to say that there is no food in Brazil???

Just look at how skinny she is ^^^.

I'm half-afraid she's going to eat Lea in order to survive.

She is so small.

And defenseless.

And pale.

I heard pale people taste the best.

Especially with some honey mustard sauce.

And speaking of cannibalism...

No, no - they don't quite bring that into the trailer....

But they really aren't that concerned about being sensitive to Brazilian ethnic groups...

Topic #5: Lea Meets "Jungle 2 Jungle"

Let's just look at some screen captures,
and you tell me what you think about them...

So what did you think?

Any deep thoughts???

I expect a 7,000-word essay on your feelings on my desk by Monday.

^^^ My face after watching this trailer....

Painful stereotype after painful stereotype marched across my screen.

The only thing missing is Tarzan (though he lives in Africa, not Brazil, jfyi.)

No, no I haven't actually watched the Lea movie, 
so I'm not sure of the context of all of those screen captures I just posted.

But the whole time I watched the trailer I kept having flashbacks 
to that "Jungle 2 Jungle" movie with Tim Allen - 
which was honestly one of the most racist movies 
I watched during my childhood.

Someone smart on the Internet wrote this about "Jungle 2 Jungle":
"The movie peddles heavily in insensitive stereotypes about natives being clueless savages who do things like eat pet fish straight from the fish tank and always walk around barefoot in war paint."

They could have been talking about the Lea movie,
from what I saw in the trailer.

"Jungle 2 Jungle" is from 1997, and was 
clearly made by idiots for an idiotic American public.

But it's been 19 years.

And the Lea movie is supposed to be produced by a company concerned about education, and positivity, and doing what is right.

The thing about "Jungle 2 Jungle" is when I first saw it
I was a child and didn't know it was racist.

As a child, I really didn't understand what racism was.

So here is a new film - for children - which seems to be showing us the same stereotypes.

And my question is - like the little me back in 1997 - will these children
also not realize that what they are watching is racist?

Okay, okay.

Labeling a film I haven't seen yet as racist is jumping the gun.

I'll admit this.

But after you watch the Lea movie when it comes out on June 14th,
read through this whole article:

And then watch the Lea movie again.

Thank you for visiting us today!!!


Hey plebes,

Buy the April 2016 edition
of my Fantastic (ally Inappropriate) Planner!!!

(In return, I won't steal your beloved family pet
like I was planning on doing.)


dannyscotland said...

That was an awesome post. Awesome.

Cath Young said...

Particularly agree with you on #5. I had hoped we had gotten better about this sort of thing by now, but clearly not. Sad and upset.

I think the illustrations are of the same girl in all three cases. But the actress does not look like the doll or the illustrations. Agree they could have found any number of medium complexioned girls to have at least looked the part better. Acting is horrendous. That the brother looks female but acts male is fine with me. Clearly he wants to be a male, so using the male pronouns work. There are a lot of thin people in Brazil. Thin is in among many young women. No objection of the actress picked to play the girlfriend, nor would there be from me if the film featured someone heavy set for the role.

The big issue is the way the native Brazilians are being portrayed, and that just kills the film for me; just from the pieces I've seen.

Leigh said...

HYSTERICAL!!!!!! Leigh & Kathleen

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