It’s a dark and stormy night. You’re all alone. Perhaps your husband/boyfriend has left for that business meeting in Boston and you’ll be alone for the entire weekend. You order pizza, pop open a bottle of your favorite wine…take a nice lavender-scented bath and get ready to watch a girlish movie when….the phone rings.
“Hello?“, you say. Nothing. “Hello?” Not one sound. You hang up and shrug. You pop in Thelma and Louise and the phone rings again. “Hello?” All you hear is breathing….then….”I’m coming to kill you…” in a terrifying, raspy voice. You blink, your brow furrows and you ask, “Steve? Is that you…?”
No…..it’s not Steve, dammit! It’s NEVER Steve!!! Steve wouldn’t call you from Boston and tell you that he’s going to kill you. And if he did, then you need a new boyfriend!
You know why horror movie producers, writers, directors and casting agents employ predominately white actors? Because if that was a black girl, she’d get the fuck out the house already! There wouldn’t be a movie! She’d check her caller ID, dial *69 and know better than to ass-u-me that Steve is playing a prank from Boston.
Ever see Scream with the Drew Barrymore character? Why was she talking to him? Why are you answering a total stranger and telling him that you are alone in the house? But really, folks, why do horror movie writers make white women stupid, helpless, big-breasted damsels who always fall down during a tense chasing scene? Even Jamie Lee Curtis fell whilst Michael Meyers was chasing her…and she outsmarted him!
One possibility is white women being terrorized, beaten and violated adheres to the White Male Fantasy. Remember I Spit On Your Grave? A vile film but it shows my point. A woman being subjugated to the whims of a group of derelicts. A fantasy of utter control. Another possibility is since whites are the default in AmeriKlan, all they hope to see being represented in the movies is themselves. Plus, the imagery of a beautiful, blonde, voluptuous damsel in distress( Hitchcock anyone? ) makes you root for her. While a black woman being terrorized makes you root for her killer ( Scream 2 with Mrs. Pinkett-Smith ). Sympathy for the white woman is a big box office draw….Look at Jodie Foster in The Accused. Everyone was rooting for her rapists to get nailed by the court system. Do you think if the Jodie Foster character was played by the well-toned Angela Bassett, people would empathize and want justice? I think not. I believe the word is called apathy.
You see it all the time. Countless movies with white women who have overcome all odds with a mysterious stranger wanting to kill her and the audience walks away feeling good. “Wow! That was a great movie! I must tell Susan to go see it!” But when it’s us getting murdered…”Hmmmmm???…Oh, yeah…well….it’s just a movie.”