Monday, December 16, 2013

Fixing the Black Character Death Problem

One of those bad TV tropes we've seen over and over again is the black guy being the first to die. We've seen this same trope ridiculed and played with in films, with a black character actually referencing that fact in a film. And it's still prevalent. Just look at AMC's The Walking Dead! Don't quote me, but it's possible there have been more black male deaths on that show than zombies!

There are websites dedicated to this TV trope even. There's even a Tumblr page dedicated to it, an IMDB list, and various questions about it on Yahoo Answers.

But, I think I may have found the solution to the problem.

This trope doesn't seem to be going away. No matter how abhorred it is and how many people point it out and come against it, it just keeps happening. There may be no way to stop it, but I think I have the answer to make it acceptable for everyone.

"But, Brant, how could killing the black guy first in every thriller or action movie ever be acceptable? Isn't that a bit racist?!"

Sure, and I'm not advocating it, or saying that it SHOULD happen. But if it IS going to happen, why not make the most out of it and give EVERYONE what they want to see?

So, my solution is to pick someone to play the role of the black guy that dies that everyone wouldn't mind seeing get killed over and over again. But who could possibly be that unpopular or annoying to warrant that, you ask? Simple.


There, I said it. Kanye West should star as the black guy that dies first in every action, thriller, horror, or whatever other genre that kills people off, film.

Think about it. How much bad press has this guy had? Most recently, a popular Ohio police chief got publicity for a sarcastic letter he wrote to Kanye West maligning the rapper for comparing his job to that of military combatants! How many award ceremonies has he ruined?

Can you think of anyone else? Maybe open it up to a select few that could be interchangeable. I mean surely, while this is still very, very bad conduct in film and television, it does make it a little easier to bear, right?

It could be like South Park's Kenny. KILL KANYE t-shirts would sell out everywhere!

And then we could all joke as to how Kanye's new career IS like war... well, fictionally anyway.
Something to think about.

"But, Brant, this is a comic site. How in the world does this relate to comics?"

Okay, fair enough. So... if Marvel ever decides to do the Civil War storyline in film, Kanye West can play Goliath (Bill Foster). You know, the short-lived Avenger that got killed by Clor? (the Thor Clone) And if I didn't think Darwin could survive what happened to him in X-Men: First Class, I'd say go back and recast Kanye for that role too!

*This article is obviously written in jest, and I don't wish the repeated death of Kanye West on any real level. Nor do I support the trope of killing the black characters first. Just having read SO many ignorant things about Kanye West, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to poke a little fun at the overrated (my opinion) rapper myself.

Think I'm joking about the websites dedicated to the trope? Check these out:

And hats off to another rapper, and a fine actor, Ice Cube, who did NOT die first in Anaconda, circa 1997, starring the lovely Jennifer Lopez.

And in final closing, just to put a bow on the topic... how would I recommend REALLY fixing the problem? That is simple as well: DON'T DO IT, HOLLYWOOD!

There. Send royalties for that brilliant idea directly to me.

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