I know it has been said before. (See this Open Letter to Lego at PNR and although I could not find the link this morning, I know that several pieces devoted to Lego’s other bad moves have been posted over at Love Isn’t Enough.) It just feels so ridiculously WRONG here. Marcel LOVES these little figures. He earns one every few days when he sleeps in his own bed all night, or accomplishes other heroic feats. Well he EARNED them. The last “series” had all YELLOW which we talked about and contrasted with his other Lego people like say:
these. We love these Lego people. We ordered them from their education site, which is beautifully peopled with all sorts of COLOR. SO the little yellow ones could be justified as an exception, a mini tribe of yellow plastic people.
But now? I won’t go and buy these anymore. AS COOL as a rock star and a surfer would be. My plan to put them all over his next birthday party table as favors? Not happening. What message is it giving that the only one they bother to make brown is a monster? A werewolf? A werewolf is the one monster that inspires deep terror in Sam. Now I maybe understand a little better why.
Now, please don’t get me started on the fact that the only human characters in Rio who are thieves and thus the “bad” characters are the native Brazilians with dreadlocks and brown skin. Did I mention the head thief’s name? Marcel. (Try and search for him on the internet–I did. They were careful about the images released here. I would scan the picture from the book, because it is that bad. But I do have to get to work…) No, we won’t be going to see that movie. (I am basing this brief and biased review on the little “I can read” book about the movie, that I picked up for Sam, to read before we went. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong about this. I have only read the book.) We noticed as a family that a movie that makes people with brown skin to be the bad guys, is not a movie we want to spend $30.00 watching in 3-D.
Rio was going to be the first movie I took my two boys to see. They are 2 and 4. It’s so difficult to find rated G films. I was excited. No more. Based on your information, we won’t go see it in the theater. We won’t buy/rent the dvd either. Don’t get me wrong, we love being couch potatoes. But I am very careful about what I let the boys watch. I believe “once seen, never unseen”. So if what you say about the depiction of protagonist vs. “bad guys” is true, I do not want my boys exposed to this.
By the way, we are a caucasian family. Not that it matters. Or maybe it matters even more.
Lara thank you for joining in here. I think it matters period. Economics matter. Choosing to not go to see a film because of how it depicts one group using grossly negative stereotypes is choosing as you say to not let these falsehoods enter into your children’s experience/film vernacular.
I am very surprised that they are so short sighted in this day and age! We don’t own a lot of Legos (except for those big fat Mega Block kind or the little vehicles that you build) so I never really looked at them much before.
Let me know if you find the open letter as I would love to include my name as an outraged mom.
The open letter link is posted in the post above. Thank you for your support of the discussion.
We saw Rio; I didn’t like that the bad guys were all darker-skinned either.
Thank you Sarah for letting us know. The book is pretty conclusive. I am not surprised.
Nope, you’re not wrong. Not only are they dark-skinned, they’re MONKEYS. I wrote about this http://twowomenblogging.blogspot.com/2011/04/feminist-at-movies-by-jay.html
Monkeys and smugglers. How did this get by the producers? Isn’t it 2011? Thank you for your lilnk!
Ugh. Don’t you just wish life could be easier sometimes?
Yes. Yes. Yes.