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November 08, 2007



From what I've seen this is done from a comedic point of view in showing a more sensitive side of a very masculine character. I recently saw a Saturday Night Live episode where Derek Jeter portray a woman and Charles Barkley was as well.Usually,male actors/athletes do this to demonstrate they are acessible to general public and to dispel any pretension about themselves.
I don't think Black men portraying women sends a message of emasculation no more than their white male counterparts,Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie),Jim Carrey(Vera the bodybuilder)or Robin Williams (Mrs.Doubtfire) or women who portray men, Barbara Striesand (Yental)and Joyce Heyser (Just One of the Guys--- good movie).
I have noticed a more career ending role: Black men who portray homosexuals do not appear to find a lot of work afterwards.Will Smith being the exception ( no kissing) but Matthew St. Patrick (Six Feet Under) and Michael K. Williams (The Wire) seem to get typecasted as being gay and few roles come their way afterwards:-(


Shion, I think it's a little different with white males, as they have a myriad of roles to choose from. So, the Tootsie's are a small percentage of the parts they play. That's not the case with us, I don't think. Is that still the case these days --that is, if you play a gay character, you are doomed? Mmm. Maybe that is the case.


Wow those were some pretty strong comments from John Singleton ... jmho but I don't put Tyler Perry in the same category as Martin Lawrence & Eddie Murphy on this note.

I do think Madea is there for laughs & to laugh with her, but not to laugh at necessarily. Perry's movies always have some bigger message ... & Madea is usually involved in delivering it somehow & espousing wisdom in a humorous way.

I think the characters Lawrence & Murphy portray aren't there to deliver a message, but solely to garner laughter at the character's expense, plain & simple.

I do think Michael K. Williams is being typecast cuz his Omar character is gay, which is very interesting cuz Omar's a straight thug and more vicious than any heterosexual character on The Wire imho.

I loved Mathew St. Patrick on Six Feet under as well - watched that show during its entire run.

But it is very interesting how his onscreen partner, David, went on to have his very own TV show on Showtime (Dexter) & seems to have suffered zero consequences for not only portraying a gay man, but the one who was portrayed as the weaker man in the pairing.

Things that make ya go hmmm .....


@ Kimi

I see your point about Madea and how she is different from the others. I saw a few episodes of "Six Feet Under" and liked Matthew St. Patrick and thought it was cool he played a gay character. Other actors would have been afraid to. I hope that didn't kill his career. He's got a couple of films in the pipeline. I hope to see more of him. Thank you for your valuable and interesting insight on this post.


Thank you for this post. I've often wondered why so many AA males (dating from my childhood watching Flip Wilson) would regularly agree to perform in drag. Though other comments allude to white counterparts doing the same; it appears as though the percentage of drag performances in our community is quite high... particularly in recent memory. I do think that this is a subtle emasculation/feminization of the black male and a further continuance of the 'sassy black female' image that is so pervasive in film and TV. Unfortunately, each of the Group II performances have been portrayed in this manner..realizing that this 'sassiness' is indeed part of the humor.


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dave chapell said it all.


@ Dreamgirl21

Wow! Thanks for sharing this! I so respect what Dave Chappelle did. Good. Good. Good. Good! :)


I think you are not quite right and you should still studying the matter.


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@ Hot_Viagra. Perhaps. @ Antivirus_ Man. Thank you Mr. Antivirus. I hope you enjoyed nice holidays as well. :)

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