Everything that's on MY mind…

What Rhimes With Bad Cultural Analysis?

tressiemc

By now all of the smart people have written the smart takes on the New York Times’ television review crediting Shonda Rhimes’ with creatively manipulating the “angry black woman” stereotype. They’ve rightfully pointed out that critic Alessandra Stanley misattributes the creator of the forthcoming show How To Get Away with Murder. Rhimes herself pointed out that she writes a complex cast of characters that happens to include black women. The reviewer dug in and seems to blame Twitter for misrepresenting her critique. I suspect the writer really did think she was complimenting Rhimes on skillfully wielding a worn trope that ghettoizes black women in popular media. The problem is that intentions are not always works seen and dabbling in stereotypes takes skill and courage.

Here’s the thing with using a stereotype to analyze counter hegemonic discourses. If you use the trope to critique race instead of critiquing racism, no matter…

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