culture wedge podcast: if it bleeds, we can kill it – episode 7

On this debate heavy edition of If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It, Byrd and Trev talk Green Lantern 2 news, praise Jim Mickle’s apocalyptic vampire movie Stake Land, argue over modern racial casting in Hollywood and its place in pre-existing franchises, and review Cowboys and Aliens.  Because you demanded it, this episode has 50% more arguing than usual!

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I love what I love and I am who I am. I'm a nerd. Don't like it? Oh well.
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11 Responses to culture wedge podcast: if it bleeds, we can kill it – episode 7

  1. Mr. Love says:

    Inter-racial couples in movies? They did that with Lakeview Terrace

  2. Byrd says:

    Yeah and how many people remember that piece of shit?

    • Byrd says:

      And keep in mind that that movie’s whole plot was about how the couple was interracial. Why not just have a movie where the couple happens to be interracial, where its not a big deal?

  3. Mr. Love says:

    The people that listen to your Podcast remember. The Rock’s Parents in the Walking Tall remake were an Inter-racial couple. The movie “O” with Josh Hartnett. The new Planet of the Apes featured a White Man dating and Indian Woman, Denzel’s girlfriend in Training Day was a Hispanic Woman, The Bonnie Situation from Pulp Fiction, Mission Impossible 2, Hitch, Undercover Brother, He Got Game, 8 Mile… that is the short list I thought of off the top of my head in 2 seconds. I’m sure I can come up with a lot more if I looked up a few.

    • Byrd says:

      You’re still bringing up movies where the interracial couple are either A. barely a footnote in the plot (ie Walking Tall and Pulp Fiction, which doesn’t even SHOW the couple), B. Made a big deal of in the plot itself (O, 8 Mile, He Got Game, even Undercover Brother because that one did it to parody the Blaxploitation movies) or C. Not featuring black/white couples, but other, lighter skinned races, which not only isn’t what we were talking about (we were clearly talking black/white couples with the Spider-Man example), but even THAT is just NOW becoming common in mainstream movies.

      • Byrd says:

        And even if I were to be less picky and include those as examples, its not nearly enough to make me think America is ready for the idea of an icon like Spider-Man being black and dating a white woman. Guys like Spike Lee and Tarantino are known to intentionally do things like that to try and break those boundries, but the idea is still not mainstream, especially in something like a superhero action blockbuster. And when you do have it, its almost always a black woman and a white man, never the other way around. People were upset when James Bond had black girlfriends and this would only be another example of the same problem.

    • TEM says:

      You’re missing the point. Nobody is saying interracial couples don’t exist in movies, just that its uncommon when compared to white on white couples. Its even harder to find examples of a black man and a white woman in Hollywood movies. Even when there are black/white couples, its more likely to be in an indie (like something Spike Lee or Tarantino) than a studio/Hollywood movie, especially a big budget action blockbuster like Spider-Man (and in the situation described, you’d already be doing something controversial by turning the character from white to black).

  4. Mr. Love says:

    You are a contradiction of yourself. 8 Mile did not make a big deal of interracial dating. You have too many excuses for which movies’ interracial couples count and which ones do not. You don’t want it to be a big deal in the movie, Spike Lee and Tarintino’s movies don’t count, and they can’t be in Black Comedies. So your argument is that you want Spider-Man to be Black and you want him to date a White Woman. Yet you don’t want a minor character in your new Superhero movie to be Black when he is White.

    I feel that you have not fully thought out your argument or your opinion as it keeps changing. You seem to be arguing just for the sake of arguing and when you’re proven wrong you say “nobody cares or remembers that movie” even when your target audience are Movie Fanatics who remember all Movies. So you then contradict yourself by bitching and moaning about mass audiences, yet you make a podcast aimed at them?

    You have lost a listener due to your “I’m always right and You are always Wrong” and antiquated attitude. Have a nice day.

    • Trev says:

      Is there any way you could keep listening just to hear my half of the podcast?

      In all seriousness, I will chime in on this – as mentioned in the episode itself, I do agree with Byrd that interracial couples are still not as common in Hollywood movies as they seem to be in real life. That being said, unlike Byrd, I DO appreciate when movies like Walking Tall have an interracial couple and it is not made into a plot point, but just treated as a normal thing. I would like to see more high-profile movies where these couples are actually the main couple, and I think films like these are the needed baby-steps in that direction. If you listened to the podcast, then you already know that I would have no problem with a black Peter Parker and a white Mary Jane (or Gwen Stacy), but I agree that – sadly – that would be an unlikely decision from the studio.

      Where I think Byrd might be further contradicting himself (and I’m sure he will respond to this) is in suggesting that he personally wouldn’t have a problem with a black Spiderman dating a white MJ, considering he WOULD have a problem with the school bully being white, or Parker’s boss being white. It has to go both ways. Like you said yourself, Kyle, a Spiderman movie isn’t necessarily the place to address issues like these, but your attitude about all of these potential changes making you feel uncomfortable or offended sort of reminds me of people like Spike Lee and others who TRY to find racist undercurrent in everything. For instance, your J. Jonah Jameson complaint? Well, believe it or not, but there are a lot of white people who DO have black bosses, just as there are a lot of black people with white bosses. It doesn’t need to be made into an issue of skin color. In fact, to answer a question you posed to me in the episode, YES, I would leave Jameson white and Robbie Robertson black, because that would actually subtly take care of your concern – if Jameson’s trusted right-hand man is black, then it suggests that his problems with Parker are on a personal level, and not based on race. Oh, and similarly, I can also pretty much guarantee that there are black people who actually have Uncle Ben’s, as well. Once you become the person who says all of these little things bother you and would hamper your enjoyment of the movie, you become the sort of audience who is preventing filmmakers from just making color-blind movies and allowing Hollywood to finally get over this crap and just move into this generation.

    • Byrd says:

      “You have too many excuses for which movies’ interracial couples count and which ones do not. You don’t want it to be a big deal in the movie, Spike Lee and Tarintino’s movies don’t count, and they can’t be in Black Comedies. ”

      I never said they don’t COUNT or even that they aren’t relevant, I said they don’t jive with what we said on the podcast. We said these things are uncommon, not that they didn’t exist.

      “So your argument is that you want Spider-Man to be Black and you want him to date a White Woman. Yet you don’t want a minor character in your new Superhero movie to be Black when he is White.”

      Did you even LISTEN to the podcast? I said I DON’T want Spider-Man to be black (I REALLY DON’T). I make that clear as day in the podcast. I just said the issue of him dating a white woman would be one that some people would take issue with. As Trev said, you don’t even seem to have listened to the whole thing.

      “I feel that you have not fully thought out your argument or your opinion as it keeps changing.”

      But it doesn’t keep changing. As I said, even if the examples you gave WERE relevant to what we meant on the show, it isn’t enough to convince me of anything. Fact is that interracial couples aren’t as common in movies as they are in real life. THAT was what we said, NOT that “there are no movies with interracial couples.”

      “You seem to be arguing just for the sake of arguing and when you’re proven wrong you say “nobody cares or remembers that movie” even when your target audience are Movie Fanatics who remember all Movies. So you then contradict yourself by bitching and moaning about mass audiences, yet you make a podcast aimed at them?”

      But I’m not arguing for the sake of arguing. You are by insisting that you somehow “proved us wrong.” You came here trying to dispute something that neither myself or Trev ever said. Neither of us said there were no interracial couples in movies, just that it was UNCOMMON when compared to the same race couples on screen, and that its even more uncommon to have two average folks who just happen to be different races, where its not made into a big point in the film. You came here with all these examples, which, largely mean nothing because its not disputing anything we said on the show. We already knew there were exceptions (the Dawn of the Dead remake, the Bond movie with Halle Berry- see I can do it too!). So you didn’t “prove us wrong” because you weren’t proving anything to us that we didn’t already know. The fact is you were intentionally trying to antagonize us by attempting to refute something that nobody said on the show. You did this by taking an out of context remark and turning into something it was never meant to mean to begin with. And since when is our target audience “movie fanatics who remember all movies?” I don’t seem to recall that being part of our mission statement. We aren’t necessarily aimed at mass audiences either. Our whole shtick is appealing to a niche, which isn’t a “mass audience.”

      “You have lost a listener due to your “I’m always right and You are always Wrong” and antiquated attitude. Have a nice day.”

      If something as irrelevant and stupid as a differing opinion is enough to make you want to tune out, perhaps you’re best looking for another show to listen to. I gave my opinion on why your examples didn’t mesh with the discussion at hand, and you threw a fit because in your eyes, I was somehow invalidating the fact they had interracial couples, which I wasn’t trying to do. You, on the other hand, took a part of our discussion on the show way out of its own context and tried to argue with us about something we didn’t say, and for no real reason at all. Regardless, this is a podcast hosted by two VERY opinionated people. To some people, that’s part of the fun, hearing us point/counterpoint each-other. We welcome any criticism and comments, but what we don’t welcome is people taking us out of context and trying to argue about things that were never said. And since I never intended to state anything as being anything other than MY OWN OPINION, I don’t see how I have an attitude of thinking I’m always right. If that were true of either me or Trev, we wouldn’t have a show. The reason we started one is because we always have different views, and even though we enjoy debating them, we still RESPECT each-others’ differing viewpoints. The whole show pretty much hinges on neither of us copping an attitude of “who is right vs who is wrong,” more “let us tell each-other why we feel the way we feel.” Maybe you haven’t listened to enough episodes to pick up on that, but that’s what our discussions are always based on. You don’t see us throwing down the towel and saying “I don’t wanna play with you anymore.” But if this is all it takes to turn you off of the podcast, you were probably going to stop listening eventually anyway.

  5. Byrd says:

    @ Trev:” As mentioned in the episode itself, I do agree with Byrd that interracial couples are still not as common in Hollywood movies as they seem to be in real life. “That being said, unlike Byrd, I DO appreciate when movies like Walking Tall have an interracial couple and it is not made into a plot point, but just treated as a normal thing. I would like to see more high-profile movies where these couples are actually the main couple, and I think films like these are the needed baby-steps in that direction.”

    I never said I didn’t appreciate the fact that Walking Tall had an interracial couple, I just said that they are a footnote in the film, as opposed to being the “main couple.” Glad to see we still agree on everything else.

    “Where I think Byrd might be further contradicting himself (and I’m sure he will respond to this) is in suggesting that he personally wouldn’t have a problem with a black Spiderman dating a white MJ, considering he WOULD have a problem with the school bully being white, or Parker’s boss being white. It has to go both ways. Like you said yourself, Kyle, a Spiderman movie isn’t necessarily the place to address issues like these, but your attitude about all of these potential changes making you feel uncomfortable or offended sort of reminds me of people like Spike Lee and others who TRY to find racist undercurrent in everything. For instance, your J. Jonah Jameson complaint? Well, believe it or not, but there are a lot of white people who DO have black bosses, just as there are a lot of black people with white bosses. It doesn’t need to be made into an issue of skin color.”

    The thing is that its easier to read racism into things like that. I realize it has to go both ways, but the fact that we even have to go over all this is just another example to me, why characters like these should stay their respective skin colors.

    “Oh, and similarly, I can also pretty much guarantee that there are black people who actually have Uncle Ben’s, as well.”

    I’m sure they have Uncle Toms as well, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t garner chuckles, head shakes and sighs from the audience.

    “Once you become the person who says all of these little things bother you and would hamper your enjoyment of the movie, you become the sort of audience who is preventing filmmakers from just making color-blind movies and allowing Hollywood to finally get over this crap and just move into this generation.”

    I’m only saying it would hamper my enjoyment of a SPIDER-MAN movie. I don’t think Spider-Man is the place for that and I think that in changing one thing in Spider-Man there are dozens of little things to consider, which (again) is another reason why that doesn’t need to happen to begin with. As far as making more “color blind” films, I’m all for it. I’m always for multiculturalism as long as its in the right place and not being done to push a PC point.

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