W-100: BIG

BigWhite One Hundred: 100 Great Films Starring Only White People, #14 — Big — I’ve been bad about updating the White One Hundred, and for that I feel terrible. This entry will, no doubt, ruffle some feathers—especially given the scene pictured above. Clearly there is a person of color in the classic film Big, directed by Penny Marshall and starring Tom Hanks. As you can see, there is a black man in the background during the most famous scene in the movie. And for all I know, there may be other people of color in the film (it’s been years since I’ve watched it), but if there are, I don’t remember ‘em. Given the appearance of “Random Black Man in the Crowd,” it may not be fair to include Big in the White One Hundred, but this is my list, so I can do whatever I want. Besides, the strategic placement of one person of color in a crowd scene doesn’t exactly make for diversity. I mean watch that scene and tell me what you see. You see parents shopping for toys with their children, and you see a black guy all by himself. Maybe he’s store security? Maybe he popped in to use the restroom? One thing is clear, and that’s the fact that he is all by himself. If he has a family, they aren’t toy shopping with him. So, while there is a black guy in the background of Big, he exists with far less context than any of the other extras, who are all clearly supposed to be families shopping for toys. This guy has even less context behind his random appearance in the film than the pimp in Superman. “Random Black Man in the Crowd” has no family, and that makes me kind of sad, which is why Big is on the White One Hundred.

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