entertainment

'Wonka' movie holds remnants of novel's racist past

36 Comments
By Meisha Lohmann

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© The Conversation

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

36 Comments
Login to comment

Meisha Lohmann needs a lie down

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Popular in its own right, the novel has also served as the inspiration for a number of movies

Gustavo Fring's meth lab beneath a laundromat employing illegals in Breaking Bad was also inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I always thought the soft-racism of the movies was extremely obvious, naively I considered it an exaggeration in order to make a parody of it, a way to expose children to the problem without being anvilicious about it (like the house elves in Harry Potter). I guess I should have been more cynic about it.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

sigh

10 ( +14 / -4 )

The real racism now is basically all the bashing against caucasian males.

So now if you’re white and male you are at the bottom.

There is and was also always a strong racism from arabic and asian countries.

But from our west prospective this can’t be talked.

3 ( +20 / -17 )

Of course anything produced in history seems racist and inappropriate to us today.

But it doesn't mean we need to run away from it, hide from it, or cancel it. Instead we should just appreciate the parts that can still be appreciated, and reflect upon how far we've come and be happy we're less racist now than we used to be.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

Absolutely NO thanks...

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Of course anything produced in history seems racist and inappropriate to us today.

But it doesn't mean we need to run away from it, hide from it, or cancel it. Instead we should just appreciate the parts that can still be appreciated, and reflect upon how far we've come and be happy we're less racist now than we used to be

That’s about it, particularly with fiction. Cringing can be a good thing sometimes.

Absolutely NO thanks...

Fabulous contribution.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Then I guess we need to sanitize Romeo and Juliet and most works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as well. Totally inappropriate in the lens of today!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

And funny enough, I always thought James and the Giant Peach was much more disturbing lol!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

TokyoLivingToday  10:19 am JST

Absolutely NO thanks...

Gene Wilder's 1971 movie was 'classic' enough. Why the hell do we have to rehash/remake all these old films like this? Like those awful awful awful 'superhero'/teeny weakling flicks. It's enough to make a person scream.

There's nothing original anymore. Enough is enough! We want something else!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

This article shows exactly what is wrong with today and this endless wokeism. Sometimes a chocolate factory is just a factory.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

I never thought about these movies being racist until I read this article.

But with "highlighting his role as her white savior," I still don't see the racism.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

When all you see is racism, everything and everyone looks racist.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

The most prominent Black character, a girl named Noodle, played by the talented Calah Lane, takes a back seat to Wonka in the major events of the film.

Everyone takes a back seat to Willy Wonka, no matter their race, and no matter how talented they are. If one of the prize-winning kids upstaged Wonka, the story wouldn't be the same.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Here’s an idea.

If you don’t like it, don’t go see the movie.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

If you don’t like it, don’t go see the movie.

The article is not about liking or not the movie but about the (IMO) obvious racist parts that still remain, and that the author expect to be eliminated in the future. It does not say the movie is bad, or that people should not see it, just that there are these negative aspects about it. It is not like you can only like a movie if it is perfect, right?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

“They belong to a tribe of tiny miniature pygmies known as Oompa-Loompas,” . “I discovered them myself. I brought them over from Africa myself – the whole tribe of them, three thousand in all. I found them in the very deepest and darkest part of the African jungle where no white man had ever been before.”

There is nothing overtly racist in this passage, unless you are looking to be offended.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

No, that sounds entirely like a projection on your part since nothing even remotely has been said by anyone here least of which me. 

I think you very clearly insinuated that when you cast " white, privileged" commenters" as a being a negative.

All groups of people who live on Earth today and in the past have made equally valuable contributions to their own and other communities throughout the history of humanity. No group is special, that includes Caucasians, Asians or any other group.

A contradiction of your first post, but okay, agreed. And by that same metric, everyone has the right to feel proud of who they are, where they're from and the collective accomplishments their ancestors achieved.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

These comment concerning rehashing trigger my memory back to the scriptwriters strike of the early 2000, Instead of meeting them halfway. Big company started to pull out old comic to rehash as a way to overcome the skriking Scripwriters and as we know was very successful. It was an Idea of Bob Igar now disgrass former head of Disney. This lead to the Marvel series. I have not watch a movie since 1988 because Bob Igar demonising of Arab He was vice president of ABC when I watch an interview where he demonised Arabs in the Middle East.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The negativity was directed at 'conservative white privileged commenters' not 'white people'.

Do you also direct negativity towards black conservatives or privileged Asians with that same level of enthusiasm and vigour? Just curious.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

There is nothing overtly racist in this passage, unless you are looking to be offended.

If you honestly do not see how this clearly reads as one whole race of people being inferior and needing rescue by someone being represented as superior I don't know what could be racist in your eyes.

Racism is not equal with violence or physical abuse, treating another race with a condescending attitude and as inferior can be enough.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Great book.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Agree with some of what the writer says, but too easy to go over this whole subject again and look for smaller details, some of which are a bit of a stretch.

There were other undercurrents in Dahl’s writing that lie deeper than the casual racist aspects. A great story writer nevertheless.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

An American further education faculty member triggered. Fancy that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Meisha gets paid for spouting her views about kids’ fiction?

Seems a cushy number to me…

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You know, if someone is truly interested in Roals Dahl, and whether or not he displayed a propensity during his life towards a biased worldview, they could ask Doctor Tom Solomon, a noted neurologist and professor at the University of Liverpool, who is a well-regarded researcher and investigator, and has many publications to his credit. Dahl had a long fascination with neuroscience (understandable, considering tragedies in his life), and spent many hours with Tom Solomon as a friend in the years up until his death in 1990. Surely this would settle this matter one way or another.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This book was written at a time in which the Oompa-Loompas  passage were not considered racist. The passages with them don't seem to be negative.

The problem with re-writing history is that the complaints are of something that it punishes people for the lessons that history had not yet taught us.

All I'm saying is that not all racist passages, not being racist at the time they were written, should not entirely be judged be today's filters. In passages that are very inflammatory, yes, I can see a problem This work is not overtly inflammatory. It's a children's book. Kids of any race are most probably going to see the story as engaging.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Who is really, behind this "Wokism" attitude that is attempting an upheaval of our past ?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You don’t need to see a movie to have an opinion about its production.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Turns out the real racism was the friends we made along the way!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you honestly do not see how this clearly reads as one whole race of people being inferior and needing rescue by someone being represented as superior I don't know what could be racist in your eyes.

No, YOU read it in that way. It does not mention anyone "needing rescue" or "being inferior". That is YOUR interpretation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No, YOU read it in that way

Again, that is a very clear, direct way to take a text where a "savior" has to rescue a whole race of inferior beings. It does not say he negotiated with them, or that they begged for him or anything, it is simply assumed they would be better under the care of the superior individual.

Even by itself this clearly shows discrimination between races, much more in the middle of the many other passages where the same attitude is obvious.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

virusrexToday  08:15 am JST

Again, that is a very clear, direct way to take a text where a "savior" has to rescue a whole race of inferior beings.

I took it to mean he kidnapped them against their will rather than offering them salvation.

How does fictional kidnapping rank against fictional white privilege on the liberal trigger list?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It does not say he negotiated with them, or that they begged for him or anything, it is simply assumed they would be better under the care of the superior individual.

No it doesn't say he begged them. It doesn't say that he didn't kindly invite them either.

It is YOU doing the assuming.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites