Concepts of Race, as examined by Spike Lee in the film “Bamboozled”


Spike Lee, a revered director, is no stranger to race and controversy. Lee takes his aim and expounds it in the film Bamboozled. Lee takes the opportunity to entertain, and at the same time, to bring out portrayals and perceptions of blacks in entertainment. The film is an attempt at satire that does not go well with critics, who view it as racist.

In the movie, Pierre Delacroix, a Harvard University graduate, and an executive with CNS, a large television network, is played down by his boss, Mr. Dunwitty. Mr. Dunwitty, a white man, is convinced he knows more about black people, more than Delacroix, a black man. There is a lot of pressure at the network to produce a hit show, and Mr. Dunwitty pulls aside Delacroix and tells him that he knows little about the blacks, despite being a black himself.

With his education, diction, and speech, Delacroix is portrayed as a black man who is not in touch with the black man. My Dunwitty also goes on to tell Delacroix that his shows borrow too much from the Cosby shows, as a way of pushing him to create something over the edge. This goes to show that black people are not creative, and lack the originality that is needed to succeed in the entertainment industry. As a way of responding to Dunwitty’s criticism, Delacroix creates a controversial show, with the intention of getting fired. The show however, becomes a hit.

As is depicted in the film, black people are often under the illusion that they are in control of their lives while in the real sense, they are more of puppets. This is evident in the Delacroix character, a man who even changed his name from Pierce Dothan, to a name he thought was much more dignified, Pierre Delacroix.

On the hand, Dunwitty is a white man who claims that he knows more about the black man than Delacroix does. His speech is laced with black slang, and he is given a paradoxical character. Mr. Dunwitty does all this as a way of endearing himself to the black workers, but this only pushes them away. According to Lee, this is commonplace in real life. Many white people in the entertainment industry claim to know more about the black people, and even want to be in charge of black entertainment.

The pop black culture is widely accepted in the United States and the rest of the world as well. From the movie, it becomes evident that Lee is not happy about black people being in charge of pop. He plays out a scene where niggers use magic to help white people, but these very black people cannot use the magic to benefit themselves. This passes out as how black people are slow thinkers. Lee also goes on to use the name, “Sleep ‘n’ Eat” for one of the black characters. This goes on to show that black people do nothing all day but eat and sleep, a sentiment that Dunwitty alludes at some point in the film.

Lee also goes on to show that white people are trying to take over the culture. In Mr. Dunwitty’s office, pictures of black athletes, paintings of black people and done by black people, and African sculptors. Even the continued use of the word “Nigger” by Mr. Dunwitty seems to annoy Delacroix, who even dreams punching Dunwitty for that. Lee is not happy about how white people act to know about the blacks, while in the real sense; only the black people would understand and know themselves better.

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