Monday, December 8, 2008

Will Smith: Emasculated Man?

Almost as a sequel to my remarks on Hancock (see below), here's an internet item from the MSN network by none other than the editor of the BadAzzMoFo fanzine on the subject of Will Smith's persistent failure to "get the girl" in many of his most popular films. It's a telling commentary that points out how some scripts have been altered after Smith signed on (often as a second choice or less), and how I Am Legend emerged as a sexless remake to The Omega Man -- though it should be noted that the alternate ending of Legend available on DVD at least leaves open the possibility of a relationship. David Walker recognizes that movies have backslid from the heyday of Jim Brown and his peers from the '70s, but to some extent that was a backlash against films which themselves seemed to spread a stereotype about black men without necessarily offering a positive model of sexual relations. Interracial sexual relations are an issue fraught with politics and hypersensitivity on all sides, so Hollywood seems content to avoid the issue and Will Smith seems to make money without his fans demanding sexual satisfaction for him. But it is something that makes you wonder if you bother thinking at the theater or in front of the monitor.

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