Dumb and Dumber

I used to love Eddie Murphy. Back in the day on SNL, he was so hot and so bright, he practically glowed with talent. Buckwheat, Gumby, Mr Robinson’s Neighborhood, James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party. I thought everything he did was comedic gold.

Loved Delirious, wasn’t as crazy about Raw — the misogyny and anger was too close to the surface even for me, and I’m not the only one who sees it as a turning point in his career. Even Eddie feels that way, in this Essence interview he says: “I was 22 when I did Delirious. I was 25 when I did Raw. I was a kid… I can’t even watch Raw now. When I see where my head was, when I look at myself at 25, it’s like, ‘Damn, I was tripping.‘”

Eddie Murphy’s older films are straight-up classics. 48 Hrs. Trading Places. Coming to America. I can watch those movies over and over again. I think the last Eddie Murphy movie I really enjoyed (Shrek excluded) was Bowfinger. Seriously, I thought that movie was hilarious.

I’m dying to see him in Dreamgirls, and I was so proud that he won a Golden Globe. Fingers crossed that he wins an Oscar.

I seriously hope that receiving that prestigious gold statue that has eluded so many equally talented African American actors and actresses, will serve as a wake-up call to Eddie Murphy.

Hopefully then he will stop wasting his talent on crap like Norbit.

Somewhere along the way (most definitely after Party All the Time), Eddie Murphy started believing his own hype, and settled into a safe zone of comedies that pander to a family audience (Daddy Day Care, The Haunted Mansion, Dr. Dolittle) or perpetuate the most ancient stereotypes.

This time around, he’s not just reveling in the Mammy stereotype, he’s adding a touch of oversexed Jezebel in there too. But why stop at offending black women? Why not also piss off overweight people, and put on yellowface?

I don’t get the comedian in a dress shtick. I didn’t even like Mrs. Doubtfire. But I’ve noticed the trend here, and I have to agree with Jenice Armstrong in asking — what’s so funny about a black man dressed as a fat black woman?

I don’t predict that Norbit will be number one at the box office, but it’ll probably make the top five. It’ll sell like hot cakes on the bootleg market. And that will be enough for Hollywood to invest in another one of these hackneyed, weary, dumbed-down laffapaloozas aimed squarely at an “urban” audience. If Eddie doesn’t want to do it, there are other black comedians waiting in the wings to slip on the fat suit and don the wig.
But I’m wondering if I’m the one with a humor chip missing, because based on the comments on one of my favorite websites, Concrete Loop, people actually want to see this film much to my surprise.
What do you bellas and fellas think?

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Comments

  1. I love Eddie, but that poster is excruciating – and you don’t have to be heavy to see that. Dave Chappelle was on to something when he told Oprah that basically every black man in Hollywood is asked to put on a dress at some point.

    I think that we don’t know our history – and what we do know, we don’t take seriously. Hence, the people that will pay to see this don’t know or care about the enduring Mammy/Jezebel stereotypes.

    Also, I am particularly weary of this strain of comedy that has the obviously unwanted (and usually dark and overweight) woman chasing down a man that everyone except her can see doesn’t want her.

  2. I have to say that I enjoyed a semi modern lesser known Murphy film, Holy Man. And, I’ll throw some love to a men in dresses movie too, perhaps the original, Some Like It Hot. The appeal is the suspense element of not blowing your cover.

  3. I’m just disgusted. This poster is offensive. I just don’t understand why black women refuse to stand up against this non-sense. Why do black women tolerate such hateful, degrading, images? This openly disprectful. I really feel like it’s open season on the black woman.

    We are at a cultural low point. We’ve got a mainstream black movie star who has decided to throw his hat into the ring of degradation. I’m tired of seeing black men degrade black women. I’m tired of black women defending this non-sense.

    Are we QUEENS when we accept these images? What does that ‘really’ say about the self esteem of a lot of black women.

  4. Just imdb’ed Holy Man. Average rating of 4.7, ouch! Maybe I should see it again since I haven’t watched it since 98′ or maybe I shouldn’t.

    I don’t really see the uproar over the poster. There’s no secret about the deterioration of our culture. Movies like Date Movie or White Chicks is just more of the same. It’s an extension of fart and poop jokes genre of comedy for teens.

    On the other hand, I find the way women are treated in a lot of Hip Hop songs and videos to be much much more offensive. I think that’s a much bigger issue. Perhaps that could be the topic for another post.

  5. Sup E-Fresh? I’ve written about the treatment of women in Hip Hop (see my Hip Hop Heroines category), and I agree — that is definitely more offensive and more regularly produced than these films. It just feels to me like we’re stuck in a period of creative stagnancy. I would love to see Eddie Murphy really step out of the box and make a smart, funny film that doesn’t require him to sit in the makeup chair for hours to transform himself, or rely on the quick and easy sight gag. He’s laughing all the way to the bank, but there has to be a point where he realizes waitaminute, I’m not this dumb, and my audience isn’t either.

  6. Looked at the movie poster and previews and laughed but I was a bit offended, cause it is very disrespectful. Truth is, it is OK to demean black women right now. Until we collectively call ourselves and those who have the money and power on this issue, representations of black women will not improve.

  7. Bella,i just brought this up in the post titled,Are Things Really This Bad? my question is why is it ok to portray us(Black women)this way, but not other races of women?

  8. Coffy,
    this idea for a post had been percolating in my brain for a while, when I first saw the trailer for this film. Then Eddie was nominated, and I was reading your (and Honee’s) comments on the issue and I had to write about it. I find this kind of thing to be more disappointing than the prospect of an interracial couple on-screen, but I think there are apparently many who disagree.

    I can only think of Some Like It Hot, Mrs. Doubtfire, and that god-awful film with Jack Black… Shallow Hal! as examples where the fat suit and/or drag came out for white comedians.

  9. I think the black culture has just grown to numb to these images. We’ve got a poster of an obese, scantilly dressed, unattractive black woman on top of a skinny, mortified black man. Is this a positive image? The previews are just embarrassing.

    Black people go out of their way to promote, support and laugh at ignorance. I’m embarrassed at how we support this mess. How can you go to a movie that’s calling you a black, ugly, fat, desperate woman? Why spend your hard earn money on that mess?

    What if the poster had a fat black woman on top of a petrified white, asian or hispanic man. (Picture that for a moment). Would you care? Why do we give our black men passes when they humiliate us?

  10. LBellatrix says:

    For once, I’m not going to write a novel on your blog, because I basically co-sign Monica’s comments. :) Especially the last sentence. This is what I mean when I say that we need to get past the rhetoric and really dig out the roots feeding what is technically collective and culturally-influenced low self-esteem amongst black women.

    Sadly, black folks are going to go to this tired, unimaginative, stereotype-laden movie and laugh without really thinking about what they’re laughing at.

  11. LBellatrix says:

    In my first post I was referring to Monica’s first post, but I agree with her second post as well. :)

  12. I’m not outraged of this movie’s portrayal of black women, the premise of the jokes are based off of eddie murphy in drag. It really stopped being funny after the first nutty professor, and I barely chuckled at the movie (I was 16 when it first came out). What I am mad at is the rib toss game at the norbit movie website. That’s just downright offensive! I really wish Eddie would go back to standup.

  13. I agree with Monica, Coffy and LBellatrix. I’m trying my best to not write a novel here but this issue (the continued disrespect/degrading of black women)just really gets to me. I’ve tried discussing this with other black women and it was like they were afraid to talk. One sista even “tattled”(best description I can use in describing her behavior) to one of our mutual black male friends.

  14. I want to see the movie. It looks like it could be funny. I have not known of Eddie Murphy doing coonish work, so I don’t take this as such. I would have to view the movie to give my full perception of it. From what I can see it does not look like derogatory film based sterotypes of black women. As far as being overweight, goes, its just one movie. Most people aren’t born with an issue that makes them over weight. Its a CHOICE they make.

  15. My only comment is that hopefully with Eddie Murphy’s Golden Globe win and Oscar nomination, he will be offered better scripts and/or have more clout to demand better material for himself. The last Eddi movie I liked was “Life” with Martin Lawrence (* singing “The Upper Room”* LOL). Other than that, Eddie has been seriousl off-point for several years now, so hopefully he is making a resurgence. It’s unfortunate that “Norbit” is being released now.

  16. BlackHoney says:

    I read somewhere that this movie was written by Eddie and Charlie Murphy. Sad isn’t it. Anything for a buck or a laugh.

  17. See Ami Jane, that’s the thing… my point isn’t about the overweight factor. And that’s what the discussion devolved into on the Concrete Loop message board, basically “if you’ve got a problem with this movie you must be a fat b* so get off your couch and work it out” or words to that effect. My point is, this movie has been made already. This is an old and cheap and easy way to wring laughs from an audience, and I just want better for Eddie Murphy. I mean, you can be racially provocative and lead the conversation forward (like Dave Chappelle did, and remember Eddie Murphy’s early SNL sketch where he became a white guy? “What a silly negro!” I loved that sketch!) But this is just so… played out. And it makes me sad. I just want to be able to expect more.

  18. @Bella,sometimes i have to step away from ConcretLoop,those kids get my pressure up. i forgot who said it but when Black audiences see those images they see Eddie Murphy acting a fool, when other cultures see those images they are laughing at a fat Black woman. i don’t agree 100% with that perspective but..

  19. E-Fresh Says: January 24th, 2007 at 8:58 am
    I have to say that I enjoyed a semi modern lesser known Murphy film, Holy Man. And, I’ll throw some love to a men in dresses movie too, perhaps the original, Some Like It Hot. The appeal is the suspense element of not blowing your cover.

    I enjoyed that movie too with him and Jeff Goldblum.I thought it was one of the better modern comedic roles I don’t know about Norbit though.For me I’ve been there done that. I would have at least thought that since he did dreamgirls he would make another movie that is less schitk and more substance.

    Hell I guess he is going for where the quick money is at afterall Nicole cleaned him out in the divorce and next Scary Spice is gonna hit his pockets hard once the baby is born, so guess he has to make some money somehow.

  20. Every time I see the poster for this movie I get so angry that I pretend it isn’t there. I hate this! It’s just another way to reinforce society’s belief that black women are unattractive.

  21. flygyrl72 says:

    I agree w/ Niki. I hope that w/ all the recognition that Eddie’s getting for the James Early role, that he’ll be considered for/will consider better scripts going forward. This is the perfect time for him to look into growing as an actor & a force in the industry. Cause look at it this way, what other Black actor has had a chance to remain so much in the spotlight & be the lead of so many films? Especially after so many box office flops? Beverly Hills Cop was a LONG time ago. The man is Teflon in Hollywood. He’s made so many duds, that would’ve ruined the careers of most other actors, White or Black. Yet, he’s still around, headlining movies, it’s something to be said about that. And he is truly a comic genius. He really is. Which is why he was so good in this Dreamgirls role. So maybe now, he’ll up his standards, fingers crossed anyways…

    Also, I’m not personally offended by the movie, it does look kinda funny, don’t think I’ll go support it though. Because it’s a tired premise, & like Chappelle says, White folks are always trying to degrade us, whether directly or indirectly w/ this type of crap…which wouldn’t be so bad if there were a variety of Black films out there, but there’s not, the scripts w/ real material never get picked up. The industry only cares about the green, & since these clownish films are a proven capitol generator, projects like this nonsense will keep being given the greenlight until we as a people stop going & seeing it, period.

  22. Ami Jane, why would the idea that weight is someone’s choice make it okay to clown them? Especially given the number (and rising) of obese children in this country who’ve been fed improperly probably since birth, that seems insensitive at best and cruel at worst.

    And it’s never just-a-movie. It’s one example of the systematic reinforcement of intolerance and prejudice.

  23. These men aren’t stupid. They see the difference. They know who and what not to mess with.

    Anybody notice how after years of talking about black women as all sorts of things, Puffy copped a plea and apologized to Asians for offending their women with a comment in one of his songs, even though there were Asian females inn music videos, pornos with black dudes, and men’s magazines. Yet when it’s black women there is always some excuse like oh well they do porn, mens magazines, and music videos we don’t have to apologize.

    I am starting to think there are two types of black people. Those who only see black men as human and worthy of respect and those who think both black women and men are human and worthy of respect.

    Think of any movie where black men thought they were misrepresented and gauge their reactions. Some of those women are still viliified to this day.

    As long as black women sit back and degrade each other and let black men (especially their sons) degrade them, no one will respect any of us blacks. Wonder why black women are always the target, because it is a well known fact no one will protect us.

    It is interesting how so many black women cannot see that these images and their support of the men who perpetrate them reflect on them. Now we no longer need whites to do these thnigs, we have black people who will gladly step up and guess what everyone believes it because a black person wrote, directed, yadayada

  24. Eddie is highly involved on this movie as more than an actor. I think he wrote the script. He is not a passive participant…this was his idea.

    But I am not surprised, he and the wayans brothers work has always smacked of black, get back

  25. I think there is a lot of over reaction here, big time! I already have my ticket (not really but..) & cannot wait. Something you gotta let go. If you want to trip about Black women being dogged then you should start by boycotting & launching protest against BET.

    Not trying to down lay anyones feeling but come on now. Eddie Murphy will be laughing all the way to the bank as you sit & trip.

    Bygbaby

  26. Since you ladies are so up in arms over Norbit, I wonder if any of you were outraged that the Wayans Brothers dressed up like white women in White Chicks? Or was that ok because someone was making fun of white folks? If the Norbit ad featured a fat white woman, would it suddenly be hilarious? We have to be really careful to not fall into the trap of the double standard.

  27. Regarding ” what’s so funny about a black man dressed as a fat black woman?” I personally think that a black man dressed as a woman is much less threatening to a white audience than a black man portraying a more “manly” character. The fact that some people think that those voicing concern about this movie are overreacting is really appalling to me. Have we become that nonchalant and reluctant to take ownership of our image?

    This reminds me of a comment a professor of mine made to a student who claimed he wouldn’t stand up against an issue: “If people like you were around when my parents were growing up, we would still be at the back of the bus!”

    Afrobella, there is a petition about this movie. Here is the link:
    http://www.petitiononline.com/Norbit/petition.html

    And in closing…Black woman, you are NOT well.

  28. @Geija, i think the power of the media is so wide spread, that anytime it is used to trash and degrade any people it is a waste, and will not be supported. not only was White Chicks a waste of film, but also of their(Wayans)talents.

  29. Eddie Murphy is hilarious! You have to think of all the characters that Eddie has done in the past: the Jewish guy and Reverend Brown from Coming to America, the entire Klump family—I could go on and on. All of these characters were extreme, over the top stereotypes. It’s comedy.

    Black men in drag is not always funny, but Eddie Murphy in drag is gut-busting comedy.

    It’s all in good fun.

    ty!

  30. BlackHoney says:

    @Geija,White Chicks was a hella stupid movie that catered to every racial stereotype in the book. I’m surprised that it made any money.

    And bbaby, it is that deep. I think it’s about time black women become vocal about how we are depicted by black men in movies. This doesn’t make any damn sense.

  31. Roles black women have in todays film, tv, & music industry:

    a) crack whore
    b) Angry, loud, ghetto female
    c) Obese, funny, ghetto female
    d) Sassy, loud mouth best friend to the soft-spoken demure white girl.
    f) Money grubbing, black female
    e) Stripper

    NOTE: DON’T BOTHER SPEAKING STANDARD ENGLISH. That’s not authentic to the character.

    Welcome to the film, television and music industry! Industries that send images of our culture around the globe.

    Whewwwww – we’ve made lots of progress. Black women gone from being maids on TV to crack whores and strippers in mainstream movies. We’ve even got a black male Golden Globe award winner too dress up as an obese, desperate black woman. That’s progress! You’ll have more black women who will spend their money to see this film then they did on “Akeelah and the Bee (2006).

    Black women – WAKE UP! Stop this disrespect. Look at these images. Your daughters and sons see this. They internalize this. They act on this junk.

  32. the problem is this.. there are so many depictions of Caucasian women in the media, that there is no one idea or image that applies. they can be the nurse, mother,lawyer, stay at home mom the roles are endless. however minority women are given one or two roles and when they try to do something different they are seen as unbelievable in the role. so to have Eddie do something like this movie it is a very sad statement to our people and the society at large.

  33. White Chicks was a stupid movie; point blank but it had me cracking up. I feel that sometimes you need to look through comedy to see what is really going on. That movie was all about stereotypes, which was the objective.

    @ Geija, Black women need to get their relationships with Black men in check & focus on not becoming the next HIV/AIDS victim or baby momma. That to me is more pressing.

    Why not create a petition to Black men letting them know that you (Black Woman) will not be giving any no gloved love until he can get his ct together emotional, spiritually, sexually etc.

    This movie is small potatoes to me in regards on what Black women need to stand for. Maybe I guess you gotta start somewhere???

    Maybe (I) am over reacting but Nikki Giovanni said that even men in tight pants have something to say.

    Bella you opened up a can of worms on this one & I love it!

    Respectfully,
    Bygbaby

  34. Geija — this blog didn’t exist when White Chicks came out, otherwise I might have blogged about it. However, I take Eddie Murphy to task because I feel that he’s smarter than this. He’s shown range, whereas for the most part the Wayans Brothers have disappointed me. I was so proud of Marlon Wayans in Requiem for a Dream and he followed that up with Scary Movie 1 and 2, White Chicks, Little Man, and yup… he’s in Norbit too. Damn shame if you ask me.

    And BygBaby, I love getting your input! But I can’t support this bull anymore. How many times will they reincarnate the same stereotypes? How many times will we go and pay to see the same tripe? BET is no better, and the CEO’s there are laughing all the way to the bank as well. I’m just tired of being fed the same garbage.

  35. @Geiji

    I disagree completely.

    Seeing the image of a fat black woman v. fat white woman brings on different set of assumptions. If this was a poster of a fat white woman, she would be considered an isolated case. Why? Because there are a trillion other posters along side of her of tall, thin, white, blondes to counter that image. We don’t have that. Thus the impact is different.

    Let me give you a real life example. I speak standard english. Do you know how many ‘white’ people tell me how articulate I am. (eyes rolling). They are utterly amazed that a black person can speak standard english. I’m treated as an exception and not the norm.

    Where do you think they got this assumption from? THE MEDIA! I can give you more examples but we both don’t have time.

    NOTE: Black people do speak standard english!

  36. Again onus is placed on black women by a black man rather than him addressing his brothers.

    Every time black women try to protect their image we are told we are overreacting yet black men complain about when they think they are shown in a bad light, especially when it is a project by black women.

    Black people can be such hypocrites. There are people who rail on about media images about black men and how they distort the image of black men, yada yada yada. Yet when it comes to black women the media has no power to distort their images.

    This also adds another dimension to racism. I have heard people say the dumbest things about black people and use these movies and tv shows as an excuse. Dumb, I know. But when you have to work with these people continously.

    But then again maybe the reason no one objects is because of the black communities low regard for black women.

    It’s a red herring to ask black women to defend a white woman’s image. We have suffered so much for their images sake. They have NOW, the news media, their own men and communities who will generally defend them and give them their individuality. Black women do not have that.

  37. Why do black people find it so necessary to portray black men in so many different lights but have no issues with black women being thrust into 2 or 3 categories?

  38. the other problem is how many Caucasian people interact Black folk outside of work or the service industry? so the majority of their interaction is through the media, and the media only portrays certain images, and then these images are passed on as truth.

  39. oops with

  40. Good convo going on. Truth is, if we feel strongly then the box office should feel it. I am not supporting this movie because I do not understand the need to “let go and laugh”, I do. However I know that there are other things that we can laugh at about black folks and life in general without playing on typical stereotypes. Jim Carey, Jack Black, how do they keep finding ways to make us all laugh, but the comedic black guy keep doing the same thing? You mean Richard Pryor and others could think of something different but we keep getting this kind of comedy regurgitated? Yeah,I am a full figured woman and partially it is offensive to me for that reason. But also in reality I am truly tired of all the black female stereotypes that represent black women (Ditto Monica!). They really need to find some new material and present that to the movie going audience for a laugh.

  41. This just in: Barack Obama has denounced Norbit. More details @ 5.

    @ Lauren, some of my best friends are Black women (being funny) & in general you (in the larger sense) need to protect your image even more. In regards to the media, if you have actors/models willing to do anything or play roles that play to stereotypes then this debate will continue to go on.

    I have a post on my blog that illustrates this exactly, which can be seen here http://tinyurl.com/2tluty

    We (Negros) need to stop submitting to what is offered to us and or come up with our own companies that focus on showing the world that we are above what the see in regards to negative images.

    Additionally, we need comedy, sometimes if you cannot laugh at yourself, what can you laugh at (totally subjective comment.

  42. Hey Afrobella,

    We were discussing this issue during a Black Feminist discussion in class today. Black women have been fighting for years to both protect their bodies from assualt from both black and white men, and to define themselves. See, the media has been defining us in degrading ways to keep us in a marginalized state. Today, Black men are defining us as “hoes, bust downs, baby mommas, ride or die chick, hoodrat, etc.” Eddie Murphy along with Martin Lawrence and Tyler Perry are now defining us as “fat women who are ignorant.” It’s not comedy, and I truly hope people don’t support any work that degrades us as comedy. We have to support images that protray us as lovable, intellectuals, valuable, caring, etc.

  43. Tell your friends and family why you won’t be attending this film.

    Tell your kids, and children and teens you know why you find this objectionable, and create a dialogue that will later encourage them to deconstruct and critique what they watch, hear and read.

    Most importantly in the short term, speak with your pocket book, and spend your money on something else.

  44. Wow, so many of you have already expressed my every thought on this topic, and far more eloquently that I would have expressed them. I’m disappointed in Eddie and can be counted as one of those who won’t be supporting this movie. I’m thoroughly disgusted by the fact that this type of imagery is still acceptable – it’s straight up minstrel – how sad.

  45. I don’t understand it. Really. Its okay for them, comics like Dave Chapelle and Eddie Murphy, to make fun of everyone or everything else but it is not funny if the image is potraying something as this? ALL black comics have made fun of this portrayal whether on their television show (Martin) or stand up (TOO MANY TO NAME) or in movies. Why was Martin so successful? Why was Living Color so successful? There better not be a person on this blog to say that they have never watched Martin, Chapelle, Harvey, Ced, Bellamy, and Rock because you guys wouldn’t be telling the truth. So really the only other thing I could think of is that you are emotionally attatched to something else.

  46. sorry about the errors.

  47. @Babyblue

    That’s not the point. The point is are you going to continue to support images that degrade you? Just because you’ve seen some of this garbage before doesn’t mean you have too continue to see it. The more you support this the WORSE it gets.

    If I was to follow your logic. It would be like telling an alcoholic: “Oh, it’s not like you haven’t been drunk. So, therefore you should just continue to drink.” My reasoning is to tell the alcoholic to stop drinking. Am I making sense?

  48. What about our daughters; our black princesses? Do we even care???? What if your daughter decides to go to Hollywood to become an actress? What kind of roles would she be offered? How would she be treated? What would she be expected to do? And most importantly would you be proud of going to see your daugther playing a crack whore, stripper, or an ugly loud mouth black female? If so, you’ve got issues. Everytime we spend our hard earn money on roles like this, our daugthers will be continue to be exploited. Is this progress?

  49. I think some may be a bit judgemental here, it’s not like the man only makes “degrading” movies, he is a comedian, an comedians bring out many things that we tend to not want to talk about…they are just not afraid to say it, it’s like the person said before, comedians can talk about it…but if they physically act it out..now it is a bigger deal? HE”S A COMEDIAN, anyone who watches comedy central for more than 10 minuts can see that comedy is BASED off of “stereotypes” in shapes, forms, and races.

    Within our communities there will always be judgement I suppose, (I have learned that if I cannot relate to it, I will not judge it, because someone out there can relate to it, I will just choose not to support it, but to say that it is degrading is making an entirely new statement, everyone does not think the same), no matter what, whether you are Spike Lee or John Singleton….I just don’t think that what Eddie is doing as an artist is wrong or bad…by saying this is degrading..are we really saying that fat women are degrading, that petitie black men are degrading, that a certain form of culture/way of life is degrading, that a larger woman wanting a skinnier man is degrading…every “stereotype” has an example….there is someone out there who ay can relate to these characters, and i am sure they do not degrade theselves…we are doing it for them…..and what exactly is non-creative about a man who can play so many characters within one movie..I think he is a genius for doing so, and we are lessening his talent by saying that “he is wasting his talent”????

  50. Thanks lulu.

  51. LBellatrix says:

    White Chicks was a STUPID movie. The only reason I watched it was because I had to…it was shown in an African-American lit/crit class I was taking. I still haven’t forgiven the Wayans brothers for what they did to Macy Gray back when they hosted one of the MTV awards shows (I forget which one). I know I’m not the only one who saw that shit.

    Yes, the man-in-drag stereotype has been used plenty of times, for many many years. That’s the POINT, people. It’s old and it’s tired. And especially in this day and age where people seem to ONLY be capable of taking things at face value, this particular movie WILL add to the pain and insecurity that a lot of black women feel.

    And I wasn’t going to say it in my original post, but I’m glad the petition called out the fact that the love interest is played by someone who’s thin and biracial. Rather than attacking lighter-skinned sisters, though, ALL of us women, light and dark, should band together to challenge the ways in which men of all colors reuse and reinforce these hurtful and damaging images of women.

    I cannot understand how someone of Eddie Murphy’s talent couldn’t come up with something better and more original…unless it’s all about the money, which it probably is. He’s not the only black artist to trash his people for cash. I refuse to participate.

  52. Bygbaby, you keep saying black women need to protect their image. What do you think we are trying to do here?

    You keep saying it’s not that serious. Well to me and several black women here it is, especially since this image is being put out by a man, a black man. The large woman isn’t an actress; it’s Eddie in a fat suit.

    I am offended by some of the generalized representation of women. However, as a black woman, I am extremely critical of portrayals of black women. I am however lax to take up the cause for other races of women unless it is an extreme case. Know why? In their culture, they have defenders, in black people they have defenders. Do black women have that?

    If there were more roles, I would probably be less critical. But when one of the few black men with this kind of power (to come up with a concept, film it, and get distribution) comes out with this tripe, now several times what does that say?

    People are influenced by the media for better or for worse. Why do you think so many groups are effective at getting certain images banned from the airwaves. Why do you think it’s only blacks that allow and actually defend such images? I’m tired of the double standard where black men bitch or cry about their representation in the media then tell black women to ignore or stop being so sensitive about their image.

    Racism is changing. Now whites don’t have to do minstrel shows and get charged as racist. They can just hire blacks to do it or fund blacks who do. Guess who bears the brunt of these images? Those of us who aren’t living in Beverly Hills or running around at Sundance or being nominated for Oscars.

  53. @lulu
    Full figured, fat, big boned, thick women are NOT degrading. I would never attack big women. HOWEVER, having a full figured, black woman on a poster with her a-s-s sticking out in a scantilly clad outfit on top of a petrified, skinny black man IS degrading. How do you not see that? If you don’t judge – good. I do. That’s my choice. I’m not Jesus. I’m just me. I probably wouldn’t be so disturbed with these images if we had 10 posters of full-figured black women in a positve light next to this mess. But we don’t. And If I follow your logic – comedy makes everything ok. We should all just sit back and not judge. So, glad our ancestors didn’t feel the same.

  54. if there was balance in the images of Black women then an Eddie Murphy movie would be cool, but that is not how it is. it also makes me feel that a truly talented person would be able to get asses in seats doing other things, instead of repeating the same old formula. this is not just a Black woman issue either, Asian women are totally disrespected in the media as are Latin. it’s just depressing all the way around.

  55. RaineyCane says:

    I agree with your last comment Coffy. As for Monica all of your points have just been clouded by the fact that you are ingnorant. So I guess if “I follow your logic” it would be okay to judge because I’m not Jesus. Something tells me that you are just full of air. If this is that important to you start a petition against the movie and images such as this right now. What are you going to do about it but rant? People can say how much they hate this until the clouds fall down but no one will do anything about it. The bottom line is whenever I have kids, it will be my responsibility to show them positive examples of Black women. I can’t rely on Eddie Murphy to do this when he is about surviving in a money hungry industry. I’m sure when the movie comes out on DVD I will rent it, and laugh at it because my parents have surrounded me with positive images of Black women. Sometimes they literally beat me over my head about my history. My mentor would always try to explain to me that perception is reality and I would always tell her different, but I guess now, out of all situations, that phrase is true.

  56. to: RaineyCane

    So, your post wasn’t a rant? If you’re raising your children responsibly – great. That’s what you’re supposed to do. But I can’t give you a sticker or a twinkie. Oh, your rant was purely a judgement against Monica’s opinions. So, you’ve already answered your own question which is: “So I guess if “I follow your logic” it would be okay to judge because I’m not Jesus.” Monica didn’t say judging was right or wrong. You said that. You obviously think it’s ok to judge other people based on your rant against her OPINIONS. So, let’s apply YOUR interpretation of the logic. ***** RaineyCane judges, because she’s not Jesus and THINKS IT’S OK TO DO SO. Love this blog, my sistahs AND brothas. Black love always!

  57. @Monica

    I totally agree on everything you said about the MEDIA. MEDIA is power, and the images that our people are continuing to put out there to degrade and stereotype us is sickening. we need more positive images and that poster simply sends the message that larger sized brown women are sexually undesireable and should be ran away from. It will chop away at the self esteem of so many “real size ” women and young girls out there because our men and white America learn from these stupid images that they are fed. Black women are portrayed alot as either not desired or booty shaking whores….. nothing in between.Can we please have more images of us being respected, loved, and adored??? It’s not just a Black thing either.The media has literally made “real size” people invisible as a whole in society.It sends the message “Be a size -0 in order to be adored”. Okay, enough of my ranting tonight :)

  58. I discovered this site tonight and I am a fella.

    Okay instead of repeating the same thing, I basically agree with Coffy, babyblue, lulu, and RaineyCane. I guess it funny to me because like someone stated earlier why the rant if nothing is going to be done about it? Also I find it hypocritical that the post above this one about ‘Moisturizing Your Situation’ features a depiction of a BLACK MALE as crack head…wtf? All you logicalist (ha) have to explain that one to me.

  59. DaSouth, you make a valid point about my photo of Dave Chappelle as Tyrone Biggums. I was merely using the photo to illustrate the weather’s effect on my lips, but I see what you mean. That too is a negative stereotype.

    I wonder if the “new”, more socially conscious Dave would still play a character like that. Look, I have a pretty ribald sense of humor, I’m just very sensitive to stereotypes. It’s like the difference between Chappelle’s Show and Mind of Mencia — subtlety versus crassness. There’s absolutely nothing new about this film, it’s just a sad old retread of a lame concept.

    I am just saying, I would like to see Eddie Murphy use his Hollywood clout to make a really out of the box, intelligent black comedy for a change. To get back to projects like Boomerang instead of this mess. Or to even do what Jim Carrey has done, and make something totally out there, like an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with a black love story. I just want to be surprised instead of disappointed again.

  60. Thanks Kelly & Sheila. Couldn’t have said it any better than what you wrote.

    @lulu & Dasouth – your assumption is false. I’m doing something about this issue.

  61. Queen of all Mojo says:

    Just boycott the movie and spread the word about it being lame and distasteful. Simple. Don’t support CRAPPY MOVIES!

  62. to be pefectly honest, I think being overweight is offensive. I think physical fitness is a choice. so being “overweight” is a poor choice.

  63. Black Honey says:

    @realtalk, that was really one opinion you should have kept to yourself. No one chooses to be overweight.

  64. Realtalk, you are entitled to your opinion, but that has nothing to do with the discussion of Norbit being an offensive film that revels in negative stereotypes.

  65. When I saw the trailer for this a few months ago I groaned. I am so tired of seeing grown black men dress up in the fat suit and bash black women in the name of comedy.

  66. All I can say is wow!! I think that the real issue is that so many black women actually pay attention to any of this. If you feel like this is a portrayal of you then maybe you personally have a few issues. I see myself as a beautiful, successful, highly intelligent and vibrant black woman. These images have no affect on my self image or that of anyone else who truly does not represent this stereotype. Anyone can take any comedic character from a movie and find someone that will feel as if they are being picked on but does it really matter when there are other more important issues like the children who are reading at a 3rd grade level when they graduate from high school? If it offends you don’t watch it. What a simple solution imagine that?!!

  67. i’ve never heard the tactic of “ignoring it” being effective, why ignore what you could change.

  68. brightseat_bully says:

    I’m not sure where we ever got the notion that if we ignore negative stereotypes, they won’t affect us. I’m pret-ty sure that people are disgusted by the portrayal of our women to OTHER PEOPLE moreso than how we look to each other (though that’s important too). Sure, I know that my wife and daughter are vibrant, beautiful, intelligent women, but does Mr. *ahem* Charles assume that’s the case when they interview for a job? Or does he assume my wife will chase men around the office with her ginormous boobs? What if a Black boy gets lynched in Mississippi because of the stereotype (furthered in ‘Birth of a Nation’) that he REALLY wants to rape white women? Stereotypes do tend to matter at that point, right?

  69. Mrembowomam says:

    As soon as I saw that commerical I thought how degrading to women. You don’t have to be a color to it. How dare Eddie Murphy do that. He must doesn’t respect women in general to me. Someone mention Mrs. Doubtfire, I feel that’s different. In the movie, I feel they weren’t making fun of Mrs. Doubtfire. He did that to me with his children. He just went thru extremes. Someone needs to put an end to this. Maybe one day Oprah will talk about it on her show. She usually brings up things like that.

  70. i can’t believe this is the number one movie in Amercia,sad.

  71. I do not plan to see Norbit, based on the trailer and the advertisement for the movie. There seems to be a trend among black male actors, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Tyler Perry, to dress in women’s clothes and portray black women as fat, loud, and obxious. Even some black actresses have fallen into that trap -think Queen Latifah in Bringing Down the House and Monique in Phat Girls. Anyone who doesn’t see that black women are being stereotyped in a negative manner is just plain blind. The said fact is that much of the stereotyping is being done by our own kind. If I recall correctly, Latifah was one of the producers of Bringing Down The House, a movie that stuffed as many negatives in two hours as it possibly could. Eddie Murphy was one of the writers for Norbit.

    If a black woman is not being portrayed as fat and loud, then she is sharp tongued, confrontational, and has a lot of mouth. Think Wanda at Large, the woman on the Pine Sol commercial, and the one on Phillips Milk of Magnesia. I remember seeing a commercial for Wal Mart – a group of black women who had formed a book club. All were big. It is so ridiculously one sided and what is even more unfortunate is that a lot of black people have accepted and internalized the stereotype of the overweight black women. Especially at a time when the news is filled with medical information about health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer that can result from obesity.

  72. I agree with BabyBlue
    I find Norbit quite amusing, of course not Mr Murphys best work by far. What I find way funnier than the movie is that people complain about what type of movies are out now, and in the same breath complain about how there are not enough roles for black actors/actresses. A movie is a movie is a movie. In the movie business like every other business there are projects that many will not agree with. But to stay on top (or close to the top) they are done and at the end of the day if Eddie Murphy can look at him self in the mirror and be ok than that’s all about him. Now if the message in the movie is something YOU do not agree with, don’t support it. If you already have than be mad and get over it. It’s not like he did the movie based on a specific individual (mainly YOU) that he wanted to mock and piss off. Yes I agree it was a little stupid yet funny, and at the end of the day most people know someone who is like the female character in the movie. A shame I know… (LOL)

  73. Jessia Schermann says:

    I went over this site and I think you have a lot of good info, saved to fav (:.

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