Sunday, June 19, 2011

Armond White gets it wrong again

It's no secret that Tim and I have a severe dislike and lack of respect for New York Press film reviewer Armond White. He has an uncanny talent for loving awful films and hating brilliant ones. However, I take issue with White's constant discovery of racism where none exists.

In his review of "Green Lantern," White immediately plays the race card by saying Kilowog's physical appearance was derived from Michael Clarke Duncan's voice acting of the character.

This is of course false, as Kilowog is an alien from the planet Bolovax Vik and is the trainer for new Lantern recruits. He made his first appearance in "Green Lantern Corps #201" in June 1986. The character has appeared in several DC animated shows and movies being voiced by Dennis Haysbert, Diedrich Bader, Michael Madsen and Henry Rollins.

While each actor, including Duncan, brings something different to the role, Kilowog is always a fierce trainer who calls his recruits "poozers" and pushes them to their limits. There is absolutely nothing racist about their portrayal of the character.

Every time White screams racism where there is none, he lessens the importance of the word. "Green Lantern" is not racist and it's ridiculous for White to suggest otherwise.

He also suggests that superhero movies are racist, citing Idris Elba in "Thor," referring to him as a glorified butler. As a matter of fact, Heimdall is one of the fiercest warriors in Asgard and protects the city by guarding the Bifrost Bridge, the gateway between Asgard and other worlds. In the film Heimdall dispatches two frost giants in spectacular fashion and helps Thor defeat Loki. Not the work of the average butler.

He also criticizes Darwin in "X-Men: First Class" for being un-heroic. However, he is killed after standing up to Sebastian Shaw and defending his friends. Sounds like something a hero might do.

For White's information, Storm, Black Panther, John Stewart, Static Shock, Luke Cage, Spawn, Blade, Amanda Waller, Nick Fury and War Machine are among some of the most popular heroes in comics, TV and movies, and they are all black.

The fight for more minority comic book characters has been waging for some time now and it's only recently that big gains have been made. White's ridiculous claims about a subject he has no knowledge in only serves to hurt that fight.

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