“Super 8” is Racist: The Three Black Characters Die

Just like The end of Knowing (that 2009 Nicholas Cage film) and I Am Number Four, J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg’s movie Super 8is incredibly racist and offensive to Black people.

Dr. Woodward, Super 8's Token Black character...

As Hollywood in Blackface makes clear, all movies must have a quota of numinous negro characters that save the day. Super 8 is a movie that combines the best of The Goonies and E.T. : Extraterrestrial, a movie that basks in the whiteness of a 1979 small Ohio town as five white friends try and survive a massive alien on the lose after a Black military doctor crashed his truck – and somehow survived – into an Air Force train, letting an alien loose in the process.

Glynn Turman played Dr. Woodward, a Black military scientist who was sympathetic to the alien while it was in military custody and acts as the moral epicenter of the film until he meets a grisly fate at the hands of an insidious Air Force Colonel.

And that’s about the only Black character that has screen time in this film, a movie that John Hughes would have been proud of making.

In 2011, all movies must have a plethora of Black characters and those that fail to will be attacked as racist:

As the weekend draws nearer, sci-fi fans are salivating for the release of the new thriller, ‘Super 8.’ The movie, from writer/director JJ Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg, is about a group of kids in Littlefield, Ohio, who witness some out-of-this-world invasion while making homemade movies with an 8 mm camera. But rather than blow my little bit of movie money on the Spielberg/Abrams collaboration, I’m waiting for another film revolving around a similar premise, but with a cast of different looking characters.

‘Attack The Block’ (directed by Joe Cornish) also features a crew of young folks who witness an alien invasion, but the movie is set nowhere near the Midwest, much less in the United States. ‘Attack The Block’ takes place in a London ‘hood, and unlike the mostly white cast in ‘Super 8,’ the gang in ‘Attack The Block’ is led by the young black British actor, John Boyega (pictured above) and features other young Brits of color. When the film debuted at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, a ‘Hollywood Reporter’ article titled, ‘Why ‘Attack The Block’ Needs SXSW,’ said the chances of U.S. distribution hinged on its response at the Austin event.

“‘Super 8’ uses a cheat,” says Arturo Garcia, who is the Site Leader forRacialicious.com and also covers comic books and science fiction for the site. “It’s the old ‘Mad Men’ technique, what’s the one way to avoid a diverse cast? Set it before the civil rights era or don’t address the civil rights era.”

Actually, ‘Super 8’ is set in 1979 in a fictional Ohio city, but Garcia’s argument still sticks to a degree. He explained that the film implies that, “This Midwest town simply does not have a black population.” On the other hand, ‘Attack The Block,’ goes deep into a South London ghetto, thus making it essential that the area’s real life ethnic makeup be reflected in the cast. 

No matter the setting, author Troy Cle says diverse movie casts can still be achieved. Cle’s teenage sci-fi series, ‘Marvelous World’, which is based on a young black protagonist named Louis Proof, has been dubbed ‘The Black Harry Potter’ by Trevor Baldwin, nephew of James Baldwin. “The ‘Matrix III’ was primarily made with black people,” says Cle. “To me, that was groundbreaking.”

But movies like ‘Matrix III’ are rare. Outside of Will Smith who has produced and starred in several sci-fi films including, ‘I Am Legend’ and ‘Independence Day,’ black characters in sci-fi films are seen as often as a blue moon. As Garcia says, “It’s been almost 50 years since we first saw ‘Star Trek’ with Uhura on the bridge and we’re still having these conversations. Clearly there’s work to be done.”

Super 8 is an unhealthy movie because it fails to saturate itself sufficiently in Blackness. Just as Thomas Jane is ‘too white’ for Headshot, Super 8is ‘too white’ for a 2011 world that has been conditioned to see Black actors in every movie and white characters in secondary roles.

Super 8 was too white and racist

That a bunch of white kids and a small town Ohio city in 1979 existed peacefully and happily without a Black presence is too much for Black people to take.

Super 8 was racist. Plus, every Black character died in the film. Super 8 is double racist.

Just like X-Men First Class and almost all comic book movies, Super 8 is disgustingly white and an anarchism in 2011.

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15 Responses to “Super 8” is Racist: The Three Black Characters Die

  1. theo says:

    I noticed that too about all 3 black people being killed. If you look at a few other movies black people death scenes are more gruesome than white people death scenes. I’ll never forget resident evil where the team entered the passage..one guy lost his fingers, a woman got decapitated, another guy got separated at the waist, and the black character got mutilated beyond recognition by a laser grid.

  2. yeah30yeah says:

    You forgot to mention–“he [the Black Dr.] meets a grisly fate at the hands of an insidious Air Force Colonel.”–that the white Air Force Colonel does not kill the Black Dr.–he makes a Black subordinate kill him. Black man kills another Black man on white man’s orders–triply racist. I disgusts me that these people–Abrams and Spielberg–have so much money and power, and yet they remain so ignorant. Have they ever tried to learn anything about other people and other voices? Have they never ventured outside of their privileged comfort zones? I agree with you that this movie was offensive and that it’s a true shame movies like this are still being made in 2011.

  3. OEFvet says:

    Don’t blacks have BET and chicanos (I’m married to one) have univision? Cant I watch a damn movie/ tv show/ commercial without seeing someone of “color?” BET doesn’t have any white people on any of there shows nor do black movies. So sick of the third world mentality which has crept into western civilization. Destroyed from within (like Rome) comes to mind.

    • romy says:

      First of all, white people should be in Europe. You hilters killed the indians, raped them and stole their land until they became chicanos, then enslaved blacks and brought them over. Now you want to ignore them. You destroyed your own Rome before it even started.

      • Rafael Heria says:

        STFU with you bullsh*t. No one here enslaved you people that was 170 years ago. The Jews have been enslaved for thousands of years and you dont see them complaining about “oh thers not enough jews in this movie” you dont see them with their damn hands out looks for bullsh*t reparations and begging the government. no one is holding you people down anymore you have a black president shove your black power bullsh*t up your a$$. its a damn movie, not every movie has to have black people in it you idiot. especially since black people werent in small towns in 1979 so it wouldnt be authentic. your an a$$ and so is the person who wrote this article.

  4. Aila says:

    It was abnormally white driven, but even so you did not mention that Dr. Woodward, the most represented black male in the movie, was portrayed as a underdog hero. He survived a horrendous train crash and kept his strength while being tortured by Air Force operatives. He was the one who told the children they needed to flee the scene (or else they may not have made it in time) and he also was the one who essentially freed the alien and knew what needed to be done. He was the innocent one as the other men did hurtful experiments on the alien.

  5. Gib says:

    Almost every channel on television; whether you have cable or not, seems to be produced by whites for whites. Try it sometimes. Start from the lowest position on your cable box and advance from there. Chances are you’ll come across a white show, sitcom- news piece or documentary all if not most of the time. The last I checked yes we have BET, but whites pretty much dominate the airwaves. Especially on Saturday and Sunday. What with the fishing shows, wildlife shows, infomercials- westerns, history, political analysis and what have you. You’re just blind to your own privilege. Almost every movie hitting the big screen, whether it is science-fiction or romantic comedies has a mostly white cast- and one or two token minorities. Spike TV, (most sports networks) the Military channel; the SYFY channel, the G4 network and too many others to name cater to an almost exclusive white demographic. And you’re mad about BET not including whites in their programming?

    • Joel says:

      “What with the fishing shows, wildlife shows, infomercials- westerns, history, political analysis and what have you.”

      Gib, if blacks are too stupid to be interested in history and political analysis, then that sounds like a black problem to me, not a white programming problem.

      • jim says:

        Hahaha,your right,just like how whites are afraid,weak,timid creatures with small penises who continue to lose power in a world that they think is theirs.idiots.they are plague starting disease carrying,sex crazed monsters.look how they dominate porn,filthy savages cant even keep it in their pants

  6. Real or Fake says:

    oh wow, when first reading this I thought it was a comedy blog, satire or just joking around. After reading the comments I’m less sure, but I still hope it to be satire and joking around because the other option is that it’s serious and if it’s serious then it’s really really stupid and ignorant.

  7. Darren says:

    I noticed the “small white town” effect, and the fact that the white Air
    Force officer made a black soldier kill the black scientist…. but really the worst one can accuse this movie of is what all other Hollywood films do: leaving African Americans out of the picture. I saw the black scientist as a good guy. Initially, he’s the “mad scientist who let the monster roam free”, but by the end of the movie he’s revealed to be self-sacrificing, giving up his career (notice he has the credentials to be considered a “doctor”, but is a Biology Honors Middle School teacher) to let the alien return home.

    The truly disgusting characters were actually the stereotypical white male authority figures. The sheriff was an idiot and the Air Force officer a bigot. That’s not even mentioning Alice’s irresponsible, white, trashy father or the hippie who got himself so stoned during a warzone that fourteen-year-olds had to drive his car for him.

    I have the feeling Super 8 is a combination of the director’s own childhood and the horror/suspense stories he’s spent his life making. While it may lack the presence of African American culture, that doesn’t make it racist. It’s a reflection upon the white director’s childhood monster movie fantasies, for crying out loud. While not justified, it’s understandable.

  8. malachi says:

    Spielberg and Hollywood in general have a shaky relationship with Black culture. I agree with the above poster to certain extent, that he’s only reflecting what’s in his head, shitty and small minded as that is. As a sci-fi / fantasy / etc nut, I would say that the genre has been let down in general lately. It may be up to Black and any other new directors to stick a wrench in the works and change this. Anybody see Falling Skies? Pretty terrible. Terra Nova? Shiny, but still the same old shit. I won’t even mention Apollo18 and….uhm, forget it. Bring on the new stuff…

  9. James Nelson says:

    This is an interesting site, because I can never point my finger on if the administrator is being being sarcastic, and making fun of the status quo, or if he/she is dead serious and making fun of blacks, because he usually states the problem fairly well.

    I have no problem with super 8, my only qualm is that many stories in which race really don’t play an integral part in the story always defaults to white protagonist. Also it seems that no one can come up with original Sf, or genre films with blacks, and since Hollywood likes to hedge it’s bets, it will take an existing “known” property and try and make it black which only pisses everyone off. I don’t want to see “black” remakes or re-imaginings of films from the past.

  10. truthhurts says:

    White people will soon be extinct like the Neanderthals. More and more white women are mating with people of colour and culture that white people will soon fade away and this world just may find peace. White people are scared, just look at how bad America wants to kill all the people of colour and culture. But they never will….you bunch of dinosaurs….

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