USA Today's 'Race-Themed' Movie Headline Fail
By Grace Hwang Lynch on November 18, 2013
BlogHer Original Post
USA Today found itself in the embarrassing position of being the news story, after the paper caught criticism for its headline about "race-themed films". What's the problem with that? For starters, the article isn't about a plethora of box-office hits about different races, but mainly a story about the movie The Best Man Holiday, which isn't a film that explores race, so much as a romantic comedy or family holiday movie.
Awesomely Luvvie takes the newspaper to task, pointing out that calling The Best Man Holiday a "race-themed" film, is as ludicrous as calling some movies or shows featuring nearly all-white casts as "race-themed":
"With that logic, then Girls is "race-themed" too. It’s about boring white girls who live in NYC. So was Friends which is about hilarious white yuppies in NYC. And Titanic was a race-themed biopic about white folks who drowned on a cruise ship that crashed.
Hollywood thinks that any movie with a mostly-Black cast is a “Black movie” instead of simply just a MOVIE. I wish they’d call movies with only melanin-deficient folks “white movies” too. EQUAL NARROW-MINDEDNESS FOR ALL!!! But that won’t happen because white is the default.
USA Today has since changed its headline, but you can still see their original tweet on Twitter:
Of course, the immediate outcry on Twitter played a role in calling attention to the newspaper's faux pas:
dear @usatoday i like to think my entire life has been "race-themed"— Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 18, 2013
USA Today edits article to change "race themed" to "ethnically diverse." This is comical.— Carolyn Edgar (@carolynedgar) November 17, 2013
USA Today has now changed its headline to remove the terms "race-themed" and "diverse" and added an editor's note explaining how the Twitter outcry played a role.
What do you think about the USA Today's original headline? Did they handle the fallout well?
News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about raising an Asian mixed-race family at HapaMama.