Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tropes in Hollywood

The Blind Side is a heartwarming movie about the struggle of Michael Oher. While the movie had good intentions and brings to light an incredible story, it perpetuates a lot of stereotypes and is full of Hollywood tropes. The blindside reinforces the stereotype that blacks are athletic, but simple people. The entire narrative of the story revolves around the trope of the “white savior.”

This movie reinforces the stereotype of the athletic, simple black man. Though this story is based around the life of a real person, there are certain parts in the movie that perpetuate this stereotype. A clear example of this is when Michael is at football practice, and seemingly doesn’t know what to do. This is unrealistic because Michael is accepted to an very nice private academy, that is very exclusive because of his athletic skills. Despite having incredible athletic talent, he has no clue how the game is played. Leigh Anne has to teach him how to play his position in a an incredibly condescending demeanor. She explains how the quarterback is like his family and he needs to protect them. She breaks down the simple job of blocking to a level so low, that it could be perceived as insulting.

The biggest trope in this film is the obvious “white savior” trope. Though this may have good intentions, it can lead to bad stereotypes and beliefs. Leigh Anne is a privileged, white woman who is shown to help Michael get through his struggles by giving taking him in. While Leigh Anne is doing a good thing, it perpetuates the idea that black people need saving and are incapable of solving their own problems.

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