Friday, August 12, 2011

What's With Negative Critiques of The Help, Movie and Book?

I have read multiple posts and essays that express thoughts on The Help that are similar to mine, critiques of both the novel by Kathryn Stockett and the new movie from Dreamworks based on the book. The deeper objections have little to do with whether Stockett is a good writer or her use of dialect for the black maids in the novel. Here is a list of some of the articles/essays I've read that cover why some educated black women disapprove of the book and movie.I add that I am not surprised at the number of white people who simply love the book and long to see the movie, but I have been dismayed at the number of black accommodationists popping up to chide black women who are critical of the book. However, I've noticed that those chiding the loudest appear to be invested in promoting and marketing the movie for fun, traffic, and profit. I've shared more thoughts on that at BlogHer.

What's disturbing is the attitude of those who are advising black people to buy and read the book or buy tickets and see the movie with words such as "Don't critique by osmosis. Make up your own minds." These people are encouraging black people to give money to the publishers, writers, and movie studios that insult them for profit. Reading their comments and supposed "reasonable advice" is like watching the House Negroes Parade. The Help is, after all, not unique. It's a rerun of white revisionism. And they want us to pay to read and watch it again?


msladydeborah said...

The women who are critical of the storyline of The Help operate on an entirely different wave length of social and political thought on the subject of race relations and woman to woman interactions.

One of the women ministers at my church recommended the book to me. My response surprised her because I am usually pretty open minded about reading different types of books. I had to explain that my mother was a former domestic and the idea of the Black woman oracle magically solving problems of her White female employer was a crock of crap in my opinion because there was very seldom a mutual exchange in this area.

I think that there are also generations of women who are totally clueless about how the children of domestic workers actually view or feel about their mother's employment circumstances.

If I ever read this particular book, I will borrow it from the library. But there is no way in the world that I am going to just hand over my money to support the author or the industry in their effort to try and gloss over reality.

Lynn Emery said...

I'll keep it short: What msladydeborah said, and Amen!

A Daughter of The Help

Palm Springs 1 said...

Thank you for reading my opinion. The stero types that fit an agenda in this movie are more than an inteeligent person can take. There was no examples of whites that treated domestics like family. The violence of that era was left out. The South was a very scary place to live in the early 1960's. God bless everyone that knows how this has little to do with reality. Feel good movies that paint such a distorted picture of reality for money should be condemed. Looking forward to reality appearing some day. God Bless