Can you believe they were so popular?Our tastes in entertainment change over the years, but we've never been more hyperaware of what might be potentially offensive to audiences than we are today. In the very beginning of movies, nobody thought twice about putting a white actor in black-faced makeup, like Al Jolson in 1927's The Jazz Singer. Movies like 1915's Birth of a Nation, that made literal heroes out of KLANSMEN, stirred some controversy, but were staunchly defended by filmmakers. Even by the '50s and '60s, casting white actors in the roles of non-white characters was pretty common. Think Mickey Rooney as the Japanese landlord in Breakfast at Tiffany's or John Wayne playing Mongolian ruler Genghis Khan. Er, yeah, that happened.
But that was the '50s, you say. That kind of thing doesn't happen in more recent movies! Well, you betcha it does. Remember in the '00s, the Wayans brothers wore white makeup to play ditzy debutantes in White Chicks, and Mike Myers played a badly accented Indian guru in The Love Guru? This kind of thing isn't limited just to dumb comedies, either. Plenty of dramas, like Dangerous Minds or Scarface or even The Phantom Menace wouldn't be made today the way they were back when they were released. Let's not even get started on those classics like Blazing Saddles or Airplane. That kind of un-politically correct humor would never be tolerated on-screen nowadays.
So let's take a look at some movies that weren't shocking then, but would never be made today! Do you agree? Get Started