“Through most of the twentieth century, images of African-Americans or black actors in advertising were primarily limited to slaves much like pancake-mammy Aunt Jemima as Rastus, the chef upon that Cream of Wheat box.”
“Research constantly reveals that even in western representation white massively and disproportionately dominate, have the major and developed roles, and above all are put as the norm, the usual, the standard,” writes Richard Dyer in White: Essays on Race and Culture. This portrayal has been the standard in Hollywood films, which has resulted in problematic concerns such as narrative concepts of racial representation in ideology, stereotypes, racism, oppression, representation, and conceptions of the Other. “Race is not simply due to non-white people, nor is the imagery of non-white people the only racial imagery,” Dyer adds.
Racism may be depicted as a central issue in movies through narrative structure, camera angles, as well as dialogue, particularly in the assertion of power and authority by white characters. Its location in Hollywood cinema orchestrates its lack of recognition, specifically since the Hollywood movie industry is always dominated by persons of tremendous power, who are almost always white, as mentioned above. “National self-consciousness, which is often seen as a prerequisite for nationhood – that is, desperate individuals’ shared sense that they have common origins, position, location, and goals – became closely associated with cinematic fictions.”
It emphasises the fight between unsurprising values that don’t translate to any ethnic exactitudes, despite full awareness of a dearth of representation. “The sensitivity around stereotypes and distortions stems primarily from historically marginalised groups’ inability to regulate their own image,” says the author. As a result of the lack of control over the portrayal of cultures, particularly people of colour, more ethnic voices within Hollywood are needed to advocate on behalf of their culture. “Furthermore, because the Hollywood system favours big-budget blockbusters, it is not just classist but also Eurocentric, in effect if not explicitly intended; to play this game, one must have financial power.”