In 2001, a controversial movie came out called Bamboozled. It showed the lengths that some black entertainers go in order to entertain others. In this movie, a Harvard-educated black man, Pierre Delacroix, works for a television network and creates a satirical minstrel show in order to get fired. He tries to make his show ridiculously racist and stereotypical. In Bamboozled, Spike Lee has “black actors with even blacker faces”– trying to make it similar to minstrel shows in the past, which had white actors in blackface.
The movie begins by making comments about things such as CPT,– “colored people time”– which is the stereotypical belief that black people have “no sense of time, unless it comes to music and dance, because then you can set your watch to them” (Delacroix). There are also repeated uses of the N-word by people both of the African-American race and other races.
Delacroix tries to use this satire to present the issue of discrimination. He says that “Martin Luther King didn’t like seeing his people beaten on the 6 o’clock news, but that’s what it took to get people to change. I want them to be offended. I want to wake America up”.
The problem is that people begin to embrace the change that Delacroix makes. He creates a show with characters in blackface and names it the New Millenium Minstrel Show. His characters act extremely slow and are purposefully offensive. He begins to be tainted by the fame and fortune and goes into a downward spiral.
Bamboozled, created by Spike Lee, directly relates to shows and movies today and the manner in which people accept negative stereotypes of blacks. The movie itself, in some ways, was meant to wake us all up. It showed how quickly people can accept change, and how rapidly popular opinion spreads among society.
I did not like this movie, at all. Now– I’m not saying that it was poorly done. But as an African-American teenager, I took offense to a lot of things that were in this movie. At times I felt angry, confused, and upset.
Bamboozled shows how movies can shape our society. It demonstrates that it is human nature to accept new things, regardless of if they are offensive or not.
Although this movie came out in the year 2001, the ideas within it are still relevant today. For example, at Leesville’s Winterfest assembly there was a student acting as Bon QuiQui, a character from a YouTube video. Most other students, regardless of race, laughed at this. Although it was portraying a negative stereotype of African Americans, the students of Leesville accepted and laughed at it, which is similar to what happens in Bamboozled.
The ending of the movie was twisted and violent– and was a result of the Minstrel show created by Delacroix. Bamboozled isn’t a very pleasant or happy movie– it left me with somewhat of a “heavy” feeling. Because of its content and language, this movie is rated R. If you want to be surprised, educated, and taken on an emotional roller coaster, I suggest watching this movie.