'Barbershop' Controversy Boils Over 
Sat Sep 28, 2:42 PM ET
By DEBORAH KONG, AP Minority Issues Writer

When 26-year-old Steve Reali Robinson watched a cantankerous old barber deride Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks in the hit comedy 'Barbershop,' he just laughed along with other moviegoers. 

But the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton weren't smiling. They demanded an apology and called on MGM to remove the scenes from future releases. 

The flap over the popular movie has exposed a generational rift between civil rights activists and younger blacks who have no memory of the days of bus boycotts, freedom rides and lunch counter sit-ins, some scholars say. 

'You have some individuals from the civil rights movement, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who are utterly offended that some of their icons have been criticized,' said Todd Boyd, an associate professor at the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television. 

'You have another generation who finds no problem whatever in criticizing anyone who they deem appropriate for criticism. They have rejected this idea of the sacred cow.' 

'Barbershop,' the nation's No. 1 film the last two weeks, stars Ice Cube and features a predominantly black cast. It's set in a Chicago barbershop that is a platform for free-flowing debate, casual banter and sometimes off-color humor. 

Cedric the Entertainer plays a blustery, opinionated barber who jokes about King's alleged promiscuity. He dismisses Jackson with a profanity. 

His character also says other blacks refused to give up their seats to whites in the segregated South, but Rosa Parks got attention because she was the secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 

'To take two people that are victims of the civil rights movement — Dr. King was killed, Rosa Parks arrested — and mock them is something that is offensive and something that is insulting,' Sharpton said. 

But Robinson, president of Hip Hop Question Who's Online | Find Members | Private Messages
Questions
Quizzes
Articles
My Journal
Forums
Answer Questions | Question Comments | My Questions | Favorites | +Add Question
LATEST
POPULAR PRIORITY RANDOM

All | Games | Funny | Entertainment | Quizzes | Weird | Tech | People | Arts/Lit | News | Science | Sports | Places | Misc

441 hits Rate me! Share Favorite | Flag 19 years ago by KikiPeepers

Does it offend you if black youths laugh about the civil rights movement?
`Barbershop` Controversy Boils Over

Sat Sep 28, 2:42 PM ET

By DEBORAH KONG, AP Minority Issues Writer

When 26-year-old Steve Reali Robinson watched a cantankerous old barber deride Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks in the hit comedy `Barbershop,` he just laughed along with other moviegoers.

But the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton weren`t smiling. They demanded an apology and called on MGM to remove the scenes from future releases.

The flap over the popular movie has exposed a generational rift between civil rights activists and younger blacks who have no memory of the days of bus boycotts, freedom rides and lunch counter sit-ins, some scholars say.

`You have some individuals from the civil rights movement, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who are utterly offended that some of their icons have been criticized,` said Todd Boyd, an associate professor at the University of Southern California`s School of Cinema-Television.

`You have another generation who finds no problem whatever in criticizing anyone who they deem appropriate for criticism. They have rejected this idea of the sacred cow.`

`Barbershop,` the nation`s No. 1 film the last two weeks, stars Ice Cube and features a predominantly black cast. It`s set in a Chicago barbershop that is a platform for free-flowing debate, casual banter and sometimes off-color humor.

Cedric the Entertainer plays a blustery, opinionated barber who jokes about King`s alleged promiscuity. He dismisses Jackson with a profanity.

His character also says other blacks refused to give up their seats to whites in the segregated South, but Rosa Parks got attention because she was the secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

`To take two people that are victims of the civil rights movement — Dr. King was killed, Rosa Parks arrested — and mock them is something that is offensive and something that is insulting,` Sharpton said.

But Robinson, president of Hip Hop


Put This Question on Your Page (MySpace, Livejournal, Blog, etc)
[Preview] EMBED CODE:


Bottom Last Post

19 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Saturday 10/19/02 - 5:18:29 AM EST (GMT-5)
No, not offended. Maybe they just don't feel like they currently have the civil rights the icons fought for before them.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 12/24/02 - 12:47:40 PM EST (GMT-5)
I believe people like Jessie and Al need to grow up. If any body are raciest they are. Life is too short to take seriousely.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 12/24/02 - 12:50:05 PM EST (GMT-5)
"Barbershop" was a hilarious movie, and Jesse Jackson was just mad because they made fun of him as well as Rosa Parks.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Thursday 12/26/02 - 1:46:32 PM EST (GMT-5)
No, people are too easily offended nowadays.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Thursday 1/2/03 - 1:37:30 PM EST (GMT-5)
Offended? No...especially not in this situation. It is kind of sad sometimes, though, when kids don't fathom the sacrifices/risks that their forebears took on their behalf. Then again, maybe it's not so sad...I guess it's a sign that kids now don't have to deal with nearly as many social problems as their parents did.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Thursday 1/2/03 - 1:48:25 PM EST (GMT-5)
I wonder if maybe they do understand it, but joking about it now is their way of dealing with it and putting it into perspective? I had a Jewish friend in college who often joked about the Holocaust, and it didn't offend me - it was just their way of dealing with the subject.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Monday 1/20/03 - 9:43:26 PM EST (GMT-5)
Oh now it's not just Al Sharpton, now Spike Lee is speaking out about it. Funny how he picks MLK day to speak out? LOL ...Article
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Monday 1/20/03 - 10:15:59 PM EST (GMT-5)
I am not offended by this particular incidence. I can definitely see where they are coming from though. And on a broader scale I think disrespect and apathy towards those leaders and those people who got things done is a problem with youth. I heard Myrlie Evers speak (she is the widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers and has continued to be a leader in the community) and she had a great way of putting her feelings on the attitude some youth have. Like "Why do you want to keep talking about the past? Why do you want to keep going back there?" and they say things like "I earned this. I'm in school because I earned it myself" when in reality you are standing on the shoulders of others. Of those who had the courage and who mae the sacrifices because they knew what was important, what was right. Not that black youth that are in school didn't work hard to get there, but that opportunity was given to them by these people that in some cases gave their lives to t
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Monday 1/20/03 - 10:19:52 PM EST (GMT-5)
to the cause. I think it's appropriate that Spike Lee uses his notoriety and the holiday as an opportunity to speak about an important issue. What I think is funny is President Bush speaking to a predominantly black church and saying things like "There is still prejudice in our society" to them. Well no sh.t sherlock. Maybe someone should have gave him those speech notes a few days ago before he took a stance against affirmative action.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Monday 1/20/03 - 11:10:18 PM EST (GMT-5)
If any of you watched the Emmett Till story on PBS tonight, you would understand why they might be offended by 'Barbershop.' The segregated South was dangerous for African-Americans and any African-American who dared to glance the wrong way at a white person could be killed as the Emmett Till story shows. I think people now cannot quite understand what dangers and sacrifices the Civil Rights leaders went through and how much they achieved. Before the 1960's, the South was VERY dangerous for African-Americans. If you want to know what it was like psychologically to be an African-American in the Jim Crow South, you should read the book "Black Boy" by Richard Wright.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/21/03 - 10:00:58 AM EST (GMT-5)
I can see why they are offended, but I think they are just being WAY too sensitive about it. It's not like it was a bunch of rich white guys sitting around making fun of Rosa Parks, it was black people joking about the fact she was just lazy and that's what started the civil rights movement. I still have to see it, but I have a black friend who bought the DVD and he said that's all they said, is Rosa Parks wasn't a hero, she was just a tired, lazy old woman who didn't want to stand up. And that is funny to me because it's true, LOL - It doesn't mean they think Rosa Parks was a bad person, they are just telling it like it happened :P
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/21/03 - 11:04:02 AM EST (GMT-5)
Telling it like it happened? That's why this is offending people. It's not about judging her as a person, it's about minimizing the stand she made for civil rights.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/21/03 - 11:05:39 AM EST (GMT-5)
I found that movie funny, but some people are taking it way too seriously. It's a barber shop!!!!!! A BARBER SHOP!!! There are barber shops all over(including the one I go to) that are just like that.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/21/03 - 11:07:50 AM EST (GMT-5)
People in america can't have any feelings anymore, you have them, they get stepped on, you get pissed off. People need to realize it's comedy.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/21/03 - 11:18:42 AM EST (GMT-5)
I know!! It's Ice Cube for goodness sake - look at all the Friday movies, those are just totally mocking black people but they are hilarious because it's true! And he knows it's true, that's why he makes them. Black people can be very self-depricating. (is that the word)? They laugh at themselves - a quality I find admirable!
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/21/03 - 11:24:04 AM EST (GMT-5)
I saw the Emmitt Till Story. It was very moving and sad. I saw Barbershop this very same weekend. It was hilarious.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/21/03 - 11:37:25 AM EST (GMT-5)
Well said, Kiki. My dad and I go into our barbershop. There are guys that are EXACTLY like the guy Cedric played in that movie. YOu can't help but laugh at it.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/21/03 - 12:12:39 PM EST (GMT-5)
Nope, not at all.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/21/03 - 4:49:30 PM EST (GMT-5)
But I can definitely see why many older African-Americans take offense at this movie. They went through humiliation, arrests, harassment, beatings, and many were murdered because of their stand against racism and segregation. And Rosa Parks was NOT lazy for refusing to get up. She was taking a principled position by refusing to give up her seat. Uncle Laughie: The Emmett Till story was incredibly sad. I wish that everyone on this site had watched it.
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/21/03 - 5:03:39 PM EST (GMT-5)
'I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he would die for,he isn't fit to live' Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. i dont think that is something that is a laughing matter.joking about civil rights is one thing,really not respecting these men and women is another.i have black friends who really dont understand the sacrifices the civil rights leaders went through to get them where they are today.barbershop doesnt offend me,but any serious 'i dont care' attitude was i wish i had time to see the emmit till thing,ive seen some stuff about that incidint before
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Tuesday 1/21/03 - 11:05:29 PM EST (GMT-5)
Tsurumi I can see too how old black people would be upset ... if there is any group I'd think has the right to be upset, it's just them. But even they have to laugh at that joke, LOL ... That is SUCH a Cedric the Entertainer thing to say - if you've seen the Kings of Comedy, most of their bits are just making fun of black people and the ghetto, playing off the stereotypes that are out there. Just like many of Ice Cube's movies too. But I wouldn't call Al Sharpton or Spike Lee old enough to have really experienced living before de-segregation - they were just young kids back then.
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Saturday 2/1/03 - 8:47:58 PM EST (GMT-5)
19 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Tuesday 2/4/03 - 2:16:49 PM EST (GMT-5)
Rosa Parks was not the first black person to refuse to give up her seat, but she was the one that the movement and the media latched on to. If I remember correctly, the instances prior to Rosa Parks were students refusing to give up their seats, not a simple seamstress that much of the country could sympathize with.
19 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Saturday 3/8/03 - 10:34:21 AM EST (GMT-5)
Oh good Lord. I think I just lost all respect for Rosa Parks, what a baby. Absolutely ridiculous. Rosa Parks Won't Attend NAACP Awards
19 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Saturday 3/8/03 - 10:38:13 AM EST (GMT-5)
Shame on anyone daring to make a parody/joke out of or about something.... puh-leeze....



You need to be logged in to post a reply

New to YT? Create a Free Account ~ Have an Account? Log In

Top



10 Most Popular Questions Today
1 What does your money do?

2 If you had a genetic disease, would you reproduce?

3 Do you ever leave your dog in your vehicle with the windows rolled down a bit?

4 Do you live in a home that has been owned by your family for multiple generations?

5 How do you pronounce the word 'Italian'?

6 Have you ever won a radio competition?

7 Have you ever seen an Aurora?

8 If a defendant is found `not guilty`, do you assume that they are innocent?

9 Do people become more likeable once they`ve realized their faults?

10 Did Donald Trump commit insurrection with his speech on January 6, 2021?

More Questions
 
Edit