A highlight from How Passing Upends a Problematic Hollywood History

The Experiment


So, back in the 30s, 40s, 50s, into the 60s. Hollywood used to make these passing movies. And these were movies where a black character is passing for white. Correspondent Tracey hunt has been watching a lot of these movies. So a lot of these movies were written and directed by white people, the black characters tended to be very stereotypical and not have a lot of depth. And very often almost a 100% of the time the actor who's playing the passing character is actually a white woman. And I think the most ridiculous example of this is this 1960 movie called I passed for white. I made friends with a nice white girl. She found out you were coming. She wasn't so nice. Yes. We meet our main character and her skin color is just causing problems wherever she goes. I'm not really and you grow and I'm not a white. Why can't I be what I look to be? What people take me for. So Tracy, why are you subjecting yourself to all these cringey movies? A lot of these movies are ridiculous, but I think that they're really kind of a fascinating snapshot into how white filmmakers in that time period were trying to grapple with these really big questions about race and identity. And what it's like to actually be a black person in America. And they're doing it in a very clumsy, very cringey ways. But you know, as tired as this trope is, it still like a very deep creative well to draw from, and there's this new movie that has a kind of passing storyline. And I think it's actually trying to do

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