W-100: THE BREAKFAST CLUB

breakfast-club 2White One Hundred: 100 Great Films Starring Only White People, #6 — The Breakfast Club — This movie came out when I was in high school, and pretty much everyone I know went to see it. At the time, everyone raved about how The Breakfast Club was “just like real life,” which of course, it really wasn’t, but that in and of itself is another topic all together. The thing about this movie that I want to discuss is that there is absolutely no reason for the entire cast to be white, and yet they are. I mean even the janitor is played by a white guy (and no—no matter how you try to package it, Emilio Estevez is a white guy). In what is arguably one of the most definitive high school movies of the 1980s, in which entire social cliques are condensed into easy to comprehend stereotypes, there are no people of color—not even the janitor!!! Every high school archetype you can imagine is represented by the all-white cast, and in doing so, the film creates a reality where…that’s right…there’s no place for people of color. Oppression by way of omission. Any one of the five main characters in Breakfast Club could have been played by an actor of color. Tell me Judd Nelson’s character couldn’t have been played by Esai Morales, or that Ally Sheedy couldn’t have been replaced by Kelly Jo Minter. I’ll give you that with four of the characters if they’d been played by someone non-white, it would’ve brought in an inter-racial romance dynamic, so I won’t even go so far as to suggest replacing them. I mean, god forbid some black football player start making out with some white chick with dandruff. So, I’ll give you the need to have four of the main characters be white (although not really). But Anthony Michael Hall doesn’t get any action—he’s just a nerd. You’re telling me they couldn’t have cast someone like Jonathan Ke Quan (from The Goonies ) as the stereotypical over-achieving Asian nerd, and still had the movie work? And by the way, The Goonies will never be on this list, because it co-stars Jonathan Ke Quan, proving it doesn’t take much to stay off the White One Hundred.

Share Button
This entry was posted in Race Matters, WHITE ONE HUNDRED and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply