Racial Biases & Stereotypes

Table Of Contents

Conservative Trope Examples

  • The novel the film is based off of takes place in Japan and features characters entirely of Japanese descent, but the film largely ignores that and only casts one Japanese actor in a major role.
  • The movie doesn't have a single major actor of color even though the United Kingdom's armed forces had large numbers of fighters from South Asian and East African and France's armed forces had large numbers of fighters from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia who played a pivotal role in the evacuation out of northern France.
  • Kirsten Dunst played Edwina Morrow, a biracial teacher in Virginia during the height of the Civil War.
  • Ghost in the Shell (2017) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Scarlett Johansson played Major Motoko Kusanagi, a Japanese comic book superhero.
  • Doctor Strange (2016) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Tilda Swinton plays the Ancient One who is Asian in the comic books
  • Rooney Mara played Tiger Lily, who is Native American.
  • Emma Stone played Captain Allison Ng, a character who is portrayed as one quarter Chinese and one quarter Hawaiian.
  • Exodus Gods and Kings (2014) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Christian Bale (Moses), Joel Edgerton (Ramses), Sigourney Weaver (Tuya) and Aaron Paul (Joshua) are all white actors who played the role of ancient Egyptians.
  • The Lone Ranger (2013) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Johnny Depp played Tonto, a Native from the Comanche tribe in what is now the Southern Plains of America.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Benedict Cumberbatch played villain Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically engineered human originally from India.
  • Ben Affleck played Tony Mendez, a Mexican-American CIA operative who is the lead character in the film.
  • The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    In the book the movie is based on, Mickey Haller is biracial with a Mexican mother but in the movie he is played by Matthew McConaughey.
  • The Last Airbender (2010) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Asian characters Sokka and Katara are played by white actors Nicola Peltz Beckham and Jackson Rathbone.
  • Welsh actor Michael Sheen played Yusuf Atta Mohammed, an American Muslim special forces soldier.
  • Prince of Persia The Sands of Time (2010) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Jake Gyllenhaal played Prince Dastan of Persia, a fictional character of Persian descent.
  • Dragonball Evolution (2009) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Justin Chatwin played Goku, a Japanese anime superhero.
  • Assassin Fox is a black woman in the comics Wanted was based on but in the movie version she is played by Angelina Jolie.
  • The movie is based on the MIT Blackjack team who were mostly Asian, but the main leads Jim Sturgess and Kate Bosworth are white.
  • 30 Days of Night (2007) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Eben Oleson is Inuit in the comic book series, but the film cast Caucasian actor Johsh Hartnett to play the part.
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck Larry (2007)
    Rob Schneider dons yellowface makeup and a wig to portray an over-the-top caricature of an Asian minister.
  • A Mighty Heart (2007) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Angelina Jolie played Mariane Pearl, a woman of mixed heritage who was married to slain journalist Daniel Pearl.
  • World Trade Center (2006) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Marine Sergeant Jason Thomas is black in real life, but the film cast white actor William Mapother to portray him.
  • Jack Black played Nacho, a Mexican monastery cook whose dream is to become a professional wrestler.
  • Liam Neeson plays Ra's al Ghul who is depicted as East Asian in the comics.
  • Master and Commander The Far Side of the World (2003) | Historical Scenes Lacking Minorities
    The entire movie consists of only white men aboard a British ship sailing around the Galapagos Islands in 1805.
  • A Beautiful Mind (2001) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    The movie is based on real life mathematician John Nash whose real-life wife, Alicia, was Salvadoran-American; however, the movie cast Jennifer Connelly as Alicia and the role in which she won the OScar for best supporting actress
  • Ocean's Eleven (2001) | Playing the Race Card
    Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) and Frank Catton (Bernie Mac) play the race card together as a distraction so that Linus can steal an access card from Terry Bennedict. Linus pretends to be from the gaming commission saying Frank hid criminal behavior that should have prevented him from working at the casino. Frank feigns anger and says a black man can’t earn a living in this city, “Might as well call it whitejack”. Linus then "accidentally" refers to Frank as "colored" which Frank feigns a charge at Linus creating the distraction for him to pickpocket Terry Bennedict (Andy Garcia).
  • Bridget Joness Diary (2001)
    Pamela (Gemma Jones) derided Japanese people as a "cruel race" while telling her daughter Bridget (Renée Zellweger) that she should strike up a conversation with Mark (Colin Firth), who just got divorced from a Japanese woman.
  • Pay It Forward (2000) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    The lead character in the book is black and named Reuben St. Clair, but Kevin Spacey portrays the lead character in the movie and St. Clair's name is changed to Eugene Simonet.
  • The Mask of Zorro (1998) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Catherine Zeta-Jones played Elena Montero, a Spanish heroine who is the love interest of Zorro.
  • The Mask of Zorro (1998) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Anthony Hopkins played Don Diego de la Vega, otherwise known as the Spanish Zorro.
  • The Big Lebowski (1998) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    John Turturro played Jesus Quintana, a Cuban amateur bowler.
  • Madonna played Eva Perón (Evita), former Argentinian First Lady and political activist.
  • Father of the Bride Part II (1995) | White Actors Playing Minority Roles
    Eugene Levy played Mr. Habib, a wealthy businessman from the Middle East.
  • Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) | Playing the Race Card
    Zeus (Samuel Jackson) is depicted as someone who falsely accuses people of being racist multiple times. When John McClane says to Zeus, "You don't know how to shoot a gun?" Zeus responds with "all brothers don't know how to shoot guns, you racist motherf#cker." When John McClane later says, "You know how to pick this lock?" he responds with "Is this some black-shit again?"
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
    Ringo (Tim Roth) tells Yolanda (Amanda Plummer) it's pointless to rob liquor stores anymore because "too many foreigners own liquor stores. Vietnamese, Koreans, they don't even speak f*cking English. You tell 'em 'empty out the register' [and] they don't know what the f*ck you're talking about." He continues "and if it's not the gooks [a derogatory slang for people of Asian descent] it's these old f*cking Jews who've owned the store for 15 f*cking generations."
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
    Ringo (Tim Roth) says that there's no way "some wetback getting paid $1.50 an hour" would stand in their way of robbing the diner they are eating at.
  • Al Pacino played Puerto Rician Carlito Brigante.
  • Coming to America (1988)
    The landlord tells Hakeem and Semmi that their apartment "has an insect problem, but you boys from Africa are used to that" while showing them around the apartment they just rented in Queens.
    Staff Aside
    Hakeem was a Prince and could have afforded any apartment in New York City, but the landlord just assumed he was poor since he came from Africa.
  • Coming to America (1988)
    Darryl Jenks says "so, what do you people play in Africa? Chase the monkey?"