W-100: JAWS

jaws-castWhite One Hundred: 100 Great Films Starring Only White People, #10 – Jaws—I admit it, director Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is one of my most favorite movies. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it, though I can tell you that I don’t recall ever seeing a single person of color. Granted, much of the second act and all of the third act only has three actors, it doesn’t change the fact that in the first act, with all those giant crowd scenes and small parts, there wasn’t room for one or two people of color. Jaws2

Couldn’t one of Chief Brody’s deputies been played by a Latino actor? Couldn’t the Kitner boy and his mother been black? Hell, why couldn’t an actor of color have played one of the three main leads? And don’t give me that crap about Jaws taking place on an island in New England, and people of color don’t vacation there. The fact of the matter is that there is no valid reason for the world of Jaws being all-white, other than the fact that we so seldom question such cinematic realities. And as always, this is not to say that Jaws is a racist film, only that it exists in a reality with the exclusion of diversity is an accepted norm, and that is in fact a symptom of racism.

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