Kareem Shoots and Scores!

Kareem Abdul Jabbar writes a regular column for The Hollywood Reporter and in its June 17th issue, he addresses the ongoing discussion surrounding works of art and their cultural baggage. He notes that “Most adults have been brought up on an unhealthy diet of movies and TV shows that are racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and xenophobic….It’s disturbing to me that many of the films and TV shows I loved as a child now make me wince with embarrassment.” He describes specific examples that include John Wayne movie roles and Beatles’ lyrics and then rhetorically asks, “Should we ban John Wayne and The Beatles? No….What we need is a way to present art in its historical context so the works can still be available and appreciated for their achievements but not admired for their cultural failings. The easiest way would be to include an introductory explanation—filmed or written—that explains that the work contains harmful racial or gender stereotypes that were acceptable at the time but which we now know are harmful. Links to further discussions and information also could be provided.”

The master of the “skyhook” scores game-winning points with this column and while the article itself may not be accessible to non-subscribers, readers can access a video clip on THR’s website that incorporates elements from Abdul Jabbar’s column in its coverage of HBO’s decision to temporarily pull Gone with the Wind. I would encourage readers to view it:


About mediainmind

Education: BFA in Painting & Sculpture from California College of the Arts (Oakland); Executive MBA in Executive Management from the Peter F. Drucker & Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at the Claremont Graduate University (Claremont); MA and PhD in Media Psychology from the Fielding Graduate University (Santa Barbara). Experience: Over 40 years experience in marketing, advertising, and public relations on the client and agency sides of the business; for-profit and nonprofit, as well as government. Special Expertise: The interface between human behavior and the media. It's all about "media in mind." View all posts by mediainmind

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: