The Bring It On franchise consists of five movies, a Broadway show, plenty of merchandise, and a cult following. Bring It On, Bring It On: All or Nothing, and Bring It On: Fight to the Finish are the movies in the franchise that somewhat deal with issues of race within the world of competitive cheerleading. While personally I love the Bring It On movies, Bring It On: All or Nothing being my favorite in the franchise, the movies do perpetrate several stereotypes. Aside from the stereotypes typically associated with cheerleaders, the Bring It On franchise supports racial stereotypes regarding the appearance and behavior of a specific race.
Note: The following content includes major spoilers of the ending of the Bring It On movies.
In Bring It On: All or Nothing, cheerleader Britney, has to transfer to Crenshaw Heights, a poor predominately black school, from Pacific Vista High School, a wealthy predominately white school. Britney is confronted by and later befriends Camille, the head cheerleader at Crenshaw, and her two friends Kirresha and Leti. After Britney joins the cheer squad she discovers she will be going head to head with her former squad in a competition to perform in a Rihanna music video and win funding for their school despite the fact that Pacific Vista does not even need funding.
This movie perpetrates racial stereotypes through the character Kirresha. She is loud, constantly eating, and has the most ridiculous name. She is the stereotypical “ghetto” black woman. Leti, Kirresha’s friend, is equally as offensive when it comes to racial stereotyping. She is a self described chola and speaks in Spanish half the time. These characters are promoting an image of what people of color are like in a negative way.
At the ending of the movie the Crenshaw cheer squad and the Pacific Vista team tie the competition. Rihanna decides the way to break the tie is through a dance off. Crenshaw uses a dance technique called krumping, a dance style that simulates fighting, to scare Pacific Vista off of the dance floor. The disturbing part is that despite the fact that the protagonists are winning and the scene should be triumphant it is shot in a threatening way. It was clear that through intimidation Crenshaw won, the scene was expressing how scary and potentially dangerous blacks and Hispanics are
However, as conciliation Crenshaw does end up winning in the end despite Pacific Vista being a better funded team with better cheerleaders.