Media tagged Comedy & Satire

Think Before You Speak - Gay Rights Commercial

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This clip was distributed by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the Ad Council, and ThinkB4YouSpeak.com. In it, two girls are at a register talking about how one of the girls is unable to go out that night. The other responds with, "Ugh, that's so gay." At this point, a customer walks up and retorts, "Ugh, that is so Emma and Julia," and proceeds to tell them that everyone uses that phrase to describe something that is dumb or stupid. The commercial ends by saying, "Imagine if who you are were used as an insult. When you say 'That's so gay,' do you realize what you say? Knock it off."

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Understanding White Male Privilege and Gender and Racial Equality with SNL’s Sasheer Zamata

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As part of her role as an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ambassador, Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast member Sasheer Zamata stars in this satirical video that features her and a White male friend walking around a city, talking about gender, racial, and class privilege. The White male friend talks about how far the country has come in terms of prejudice and discrimination and fails to notice as they pass examples of everyday structural and systemic White privilege, such as a billboard featuring another television show about a group of four White men. In their conversation, he continues to make arguments about progress, equality, individualism, and the merits of simply working hard, as Sasheer offers counterpoints to his arguments, pointing out structural and systemic privileges that mask institutionalized discrimination. She is also stopped and frisked by a police officer, racially profiled, and repeatedly cat-called, told to smile, and called a prude for covering up. In the end, he is congratulated for stating that he considers himself a feminist, whereas she is ignored and dismissed when she also says she is a feminist. He suddenly realizes the privileges that Sasheer has been talking about throughout their walk, and states that he gets it and that things are unfair and will not get better if they go ignored and unacknowledged. The video ends with the text, “Women’s equality starts with the person next to you. Be a friend,” and then the ACLU encourages sharing of the video.

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What Do You Know About Black History?

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In this February, 2012 video comedian, Dave Ackerman puts on black face and proceeds to interview several students at Brigham Young University about Black History Month. BYU, located in Provo, Utah, is a Mormon university where just 0.059% of the student population is African American. First, the students are shown not knowing which month is Black History Month. Then, they are shown knowing very little about any historical black figure other than Martin Luther King, Jr. One student claims to celebrate the month with fried chicken and grape juice, while others claim that some students have “jungle fever” and like to date black people. Female students universally and emphatically agree that they would rather date a “black guy who acts like a white guy” than a “white guy who acts like a black guy.” The video concludes with the students doing impressions of black people. In the end, Ackerman seems to attempt to explain his problematic donning of black face by saying he is “fighting ignorance with ignorance.”

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White Chicks - Movie Trailer

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White Chicks (2004) is a buddy cop movie written and produced by Marlon and Shawn Wayans, who also star in the film. The plot largely revolves around whiteface drag, as the Wayans brothers, who are African American, play undercover FBI agents disguised as white women. They are going, says the trailer, “where no black man has gone before.” Although the film reviewed extremely poorly, it fared well at the box office has remained popular on broadcast cable.

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White People Whitesplain Whitesplaining

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This 2015 video from MTV News weekly series Decoded satirically parodies White people “whitesplaining whitesplaining,” the term used to describe the act of White people patronizingly explaining or defining to a person of color what should or shouldn’t be racist against people of color. Through a series of interactions between Franchesca Ramsey and a range of White characters interrupting and talking over her and each other, this video shows what “whitesplaining” and White “mansplaining” can look like. The White characters include friends, partners, a man from a “diverse” neighborhood, a man with dreadlocks, a professor of African American studies, a woman with a “talking stick,” a woman with an Oprah shirt, Rachel Dolezal, and references to these characters being “in the know” because they saw movies likeTwelve Years a Slaveand read articles about race inThe Atlantic. The clip ends with one of the characters stopping everyone from speaking and once again defining whitesplaining to Franchesca and telling her that she wouldn’t put up with it if she were her. Franchesca responds that she doesn’t know what to say right now, and the group of White characters all say, “you’re welcome.”

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