The Lion King Review | Movie Thoughts

The Lion King Review | Movie Thoughts


Hello and good day everyone! Welcome to my Movie Thoughts series. I’ll look at a specific movie and explain
what I think is positive about it, what’s negative, and what is neither positive nor
negative. These aren’t supposed to be super strict categories. There can be positive things with negative
side effects and negative things with positive side effects. Thanks for watching, and I hope you enjoy! Positive – Opening Scene
Before this, the last Disney movie I watched with the goal of reviewing it was 101 Dalmatians,
and that could not be a bigger contrast to The Lion King. They’re both great movies, just very different
movies, and watching one after the other allowed me to appreciate everything each did well
that the other, because it was a very different type of movie, could not do. Here from the opening sequence we know this
is going to be an epic tale. The music, the vast landscapes, the cartoon
animals drawn to look majestic. It is a fantastic opening sequence. But even with the grandness of it all, the
movie has some of warmth that I saw in 101 Dalmatians, especially when we first see Simba
together with his parents. – Art and Music
One thing you notice right away with The Lion King is how strong the art and the music are. For example, the landscapes and the natural
scenes, the rivers, the trees, the rain. Everything is just so beautifully drawn in
this movie. The animation of the characters is fantastic
as well, giving a sense of personality to all of the characters, but it’s the landscapes
that amaze me when I watch The Lion King. I can only imagine how this movie must have
looked like in theaters. But not just the animation is amazing. The music is wonderful and catchy. – The Stampede Scene
My goodness, the stampede scene. Everything about it, from events leading to
it, the constant high tension throughout, Mufasa’s desparation to get to Simba and then
to escape from the stampede himself, and Scar’s watching over all of it and his eventual betrayal,
and then the much slower and quieter scene of Simba looking for and finding Mufasa’s
deceased body. The subsequent scene keeps up the tension,
where we see that Simba still trusts Scar and Scar takes advantage of this to make Simba
take the blame and Simba has this guilt of something he didn’t do because of Scar, Simba
being chased all the way out of his home right after nearly being killed by wildebeests and
seeing his own father’s deceased body, Simba escaping through thorns, just like he was
walking through a treacherous thorny path with the dangers his uncle Scar and the hyenas
put around him. Every element played its part and gave us
just a perfect, tense scene with a heart-wrenching end and a villain whose comeuppance we’re
really hoping for. The only slightly negative part was the end
with the hyenas acting ridiculous and getting hurt in the thorns. A part of me thinks the scene would have worked
without the added comedy, but admittedly I can see why they would want to add a bit of
levity for the children. – Dealing with Big Issues
One thing I appreciate about the Lion King is its willingness to address difficult topics. I don’t like it when we pretend that movies
made with a large child audience in mind can’t deal with certain topics, because often, you
can certainly include most topics in these movies so long as you know how to present
the topic without being graphic or obscene. I have a few thoughts about this, which to
me are related to the Lion King, and I’m going to get back to talking about the Lion King,
so please just give me a moment. There may be movies where you can’t avoid
showing blood and I’m not saying it is inherently bad to show blood, but I do think movies can
overuse scenes with blood to a point where I wonder if instead of showing something significant,
these are just scenes that enjoy showing pointless pain. However, sometimes it is necessary to show
pain. For example, a movie that dealt with war. In a movie like that, you could make a sensible
argument that not showing violence is masking the reality and if the movie is going to be
about war we need to be honest about what the reality of war is, with all its ugliness. And that’s actually a big problem people have
with glorifying war, especially in national anthems and history books that talk about
battles and wars, and some of the problems caused by that misinformation could be helped,
I’m not so foolish as to say solved but definitely helped, if we were honest about what war is. A movie with that level of violence probably
won’t be for everyone in the family, including children, and that’s acceptable because we
need to be able to talk about war and its consequences, otherwise we become disconnected
from the reality of our past and present. It’s not a conversation for children, but
it’s still an important conversation. On the other hand, it might be possible to
make a movie about war for the whole family. To make that kind of movie, you couldn’t show
some of the real consequences of war, but you could show other consequences. You couldn’t show the battle itself but you
could definitely show the consequences for the soldiers: the injuries, both physical
and mental, as well as the death and funerals. So long as we’re not showing pain just to
show pain but instead we’re telling a good story, that could be a wonderful movie for
children that respects them enough to show them some of consequences of war within the
context of a larger story with its own ideas and arguments. I hope people don’t misunderstand. I think we need to be careful what we show
children, but I think if we can teach children about things like the wars of independence
in early grades in school, we can try to talk to children seriously about death as well
as other important topics, so long as we don’t descend into just being vulgar for the sake
of being vulgar and realize what is necessary to tell the story and what isn’t. And to me, the Lion King is an example of
a movie that dealt with a difficult subject well. Mufasa’s death was handled well in that we
see the grief that Simba experiences and we see how the death of his father haunts him
throughout his life. Even in the second movie, which I’m also going
to review, we see Simba as an adult with a child of his own and he still sometimes looks
to the sky and talks to Mufasa, hoping to get guidance from him. We see the consequences of Mufasa’s death
for all of Simba’s family and friends. It is legitimately traumatic for everyone
involved, and though ultimately the family is reunited and the lions do move beyond the
grief, it is a long and arduous process. And I appreciate the Lion King for showing
that in a semi-realistic way. However, significantly, the movie isn’t graphic
and that’s important. If you watch the scene where Simba finds Mufasa
after Mufasa is no longer alive, you realize that even though Mufasa has been trampled
by a stampede, his body looks pretty much the same. And to me that’s an acceptable compromise. We don’t need to show children that level
of blood to convey the pain of losing a loved one, and the injury isn’t central to the point,
the point being the grief associated with losing a loved one. The entire movie does a good job of conveying
what that pain means without showing the blood, which would be too much for a child. So we have a family friendly movie that deals
with the pain of loss without being too much for a child to watch. Neither Positive Nor Negative – How Mufasa Raised Simba
Where I start to see the movie having difficulties is with Mufasa’s parenting. Mufasa has several opportunities at the beginning
of the movie to teach Simba important lessons about being a leader, and he just doesn’t. Simba has one key character flaw throughout
his life: wanting to avoid responsibility. When he’s older, he avoids responsibility
because of his guilt. When he’s young, we have one example of him
avoiding responsibility because of his arrogance. It seemed to me that if had Mufasa not allowed
Simba to become so arrogant as a child, if Mufasa had instead taught Simba to be more
humble, I wonder if Simba as an adult would have been more capable of dealing with his
problems. You can say that Simba’s entire conflict is
about feeling guilty because his uncle told him he was responsible for his father’s death,
but Simba would have still felt guilty as an adult if Mufasa had taught Simba to be
more humble. It wouldn’t have changed the ultimate conflict. It would only have made both Simba and Mufasa
more likeable characters, at least in my opinion. For instance, the scene where Simba and Mufasa
have their first talk in the movie. Why does does Mufasa tell Simba that everything
the light touches will all be Simba’s? Simba even directly asks if it will all be
his and Mufasa does not yet remind Simba that being a leader is also about responsibilities. And then, just to make things worse, Mufasa
lets Simba practice hunting with his mayordomo, Zazu. In this one scene we have Mufasa showing Simba
that he doesn’t need to be respectful to anyone he considers beneath him even now as a child
and letting Simba know that when he’s older he will have even more power. So two big failures here: a failure to teach
Simba about responsibilities and a failure to teach Simba to respect other animals. However, to be fair, Mufasa does try to teach
Simba these things, and Mufasa probably thought he would have the rest of his life to teach
Simba more lessons. It’s easy for Mufasa to see Simba pouncing
on Zazu as a joke because Simba is so young. Still, I wish Mufasa did more in the movie
to teach Simba about humility. Mufasa does tell Simba that being king is
more than doing whatever he wants and he does talk to about Simba humility by telling Simba
that even though they as lions eat the antelopes, upon dying their bodies decompose and become
soil, from which grows grass, which the antelopes eat, it’s the famous Circle of Life speech
as it was called in English but it also communicates this idea that Simba shouldn’t think he’s
better than anyone else. While Mufasa says all of that, his actions
are very different. While Mufasa basically says to Simba that
the animals are all equal, he humiliates his servant in front of Simba by forcing Zazu
to let Simba attack him so Simba can practice hunting. Actions are ultimately more important than
words and these actions communicate the opposite of what Mufasa meant. Especially consider that Simba is a child
here. Which do you think would leave a bigger impression
on Simba, Mufasa’s lecture or Mufasa letting Simba pounce on Zazu? We know Simba did remember the Circle of Life
conversation, but we also know Simba didn’t respect other animals that much until after
the events of the stampede based just on how he kept mentioning to various characters how
he was going to be the king of everything. And I know the scene is supposed to be comedy
for the children. But I don’t think that movies should be allowed
the excuse that because the movie was for children, then there was no need to make good
art. Of all movies, The Lion King certainly doesn’t
get this excuse because this movie did try to deal with big life problems like Simba
later dealing with Mufasa’s death. If the movie can talk gracefully about death,
the movie can talk about what Simba’s position as prince means in terms of how he should
treat others, and since the movie doesn’t do that except to create excuses for Simba
to think he’s better than everyone else, I don’t like the way these scenes were written. If these scenes were written differently,
Simba would have still been a kid and wanted to have fun. Like I said, not too much would have changed
in regard to the structure of the movie. It would only have made the protagonists better
characters. – Simba
I’m not sure what I think about Simba and how his character changes and grows. I remember when I was little I loved Simba’s
song “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,” or “Yo Voy A Ser Rey” in Castillian Spanish and “Yo
Quisiera Ya Ser El Rey” in Latin American Spanish. But hearing that song as an adult, the lyrics
make me annoyed at Simba. Now it sounds like Simba announcing every
way that he’s going to be the worst kind of king, setting everything up for his own amusement. He literally says “I’m brushing up on looking
down” in the English version. He doesn’t say that in the Latin Spanish or
Castillian Spanish versions of the song, but in each he acts extremely arrogant. I also dislike this song because the only
way Simba will become king is after Mufasa dies, or if Mufasa in his old age decides
to give Simba the position. It’s just weird that Simba says he couldn’t
wait to be king because of what would have to happen for him to become king. I guess that just shows how much of a child
Simba is that he doesn’t realize the tragedy that has to happen for him to become king. I know when I was little I didn’t realize
it either, and why this bothers me nows as an adult. I’m not sure it was a good decision to place
that song right before the scene where the hyenas attack. Yes, I didn’t want Simba to be hurt, but I
would have been even more frightened for him if the movie had painted him in a more sympathetic
light. At this point part of me is thinking, see
Simba! This is what happens when you act arrogant
constantly, eventually you get stuck in a situation that you can’t handle. I’m reminded now that adult Simba’s personality
is by far preferable to child Simba’s personality. Simba does show some positive aspects during
the hyena scene, like loyalty and bravery when he tries first to stand up for Zazu and
then for Nala. Plus it’s very difficult for me not to have
some love for Simba when we have the next scene with Mufasa first scolding, then teaching,
then playing with, and teaching Simba again. Even seeing Simba with Scar makes me care
for Simba, because child Simba is just so trusting and Scar is so clearly not worthy
of trust. Overall, the scenes where Simba is a child
show that, however arrogant he can be, Simba is a child here, and what he considers being
a leader sounds like what many children would think being a king means. Making it all the more important for Mufasa
to teach Simba a bit of respect for others. Mufasa doesn’t really work on teaching Simba
respect for others. At least Mufasa taught Simba little bit of
responsibility, since Simba does resist Timon trying to teach him to abandon all responsibility. Later on, because of Scar, Simba no longer
has this high and mighty position, and his personality changes completely. Adult Simba is much more humble, and it’s
interesting to think that the stampede that changed his life was a situation where animals
he would normally eat, acting together, became a huge threat to both Simba and Mufasa. That reinforces that the lions aren’t these
extremely powerful creatures that can do whatever they want regardless of what other creatures
do. Simba as an adult is so different in his personality. He doesn’t act like he thinks he’s better
than anyone else anymore. I don’t know how much of that change in personality
was due to him just growing up and maturing, or due to him losing his position of authority
after what happened with the stampede, or due to his guilt over Mufasa’s death, though
I would guess it’s probably a little of all of that. Adult Simba is ignoring his responsibilities
by basically partying with Timon and Pumbaa every day, but he has this trauma where he
thinks he’s guilty of Mufasa’s death. He doesn’t want to believe it’s his fault,
so he spends his time trying not to think about it. That said, he’s also basically living the
life he said he would live in “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King.” He’s avoiding dealing with his trauma by doing
whatever he wants, which is exactly what he said he would do with his life in the beginning. At which point the ghost of Mufasa urges Simba
to remember who he is, but Simba has always been an irresponsible character. What did Mufasa’s ghost want him to remember,
when he taunted Zazu for fun? Even when Simba returns, he has no discernible
plan for what he’s going to do after he gets rid of Scar. He doesn’t know how to fight or hunt so he’s
not much use to the lionesses. All of that said, there is a very good reason
for Simba avoiding his trauma: his uncle tricked him into thinking he’s guilty of something
he didn’t do. The relationships that were fully fleshed
out were Simba’s relationship with Nala and his relationship with his parents, and he
leaves the Pridelands thinking he ended up causing Mufasa to die. That’s a lot of guilt to live with and we
see that years later it still clearly eats at him. So at that point, maybe it isn’t that he’s
irresponsible so much as the trauma he has to deal with is that big, and the people who
have helped him since he lost his father have told him that you deal with pain by ignoring
it, so Simba of course wouldn’t have the skills to work through his trauma. Looking at it differently, Mufasa’s ghost
was trying to get Simba to remember that Mufasa had taught him responsibility. That Simba was also brave and loyal, like
he had been to Zazu and Nala. The evolution of his character is good to
the extent that we see to see Simba start innocent and flawed, be crushed by forces
outside his control and so grow more flawed, then understand through Nala, Mufasa, Rafiki’s
intervention how to deal with his past, and finally return to his home to face the trauma
he’s been ignoring and be a stronger person. Unfortunately, I do think the character could
have been written better, because Simba isn’t shown learning what responsibility really
means. He learns it’s wrong to disobey his father,
not what necessarily what responsibility means. He learned humility, but that is not interchangeable
with responsibility. Finally, Mufasa’s talk about the one true
king. I personally think it’s important to always
question those in power, particularly political power, since that’s the only way to make sure
they are are using their power correctly. So talk of a one true king I dislike because
it seems to imply that an individual is above being questioned. – Nala Searching For Simba
I do dislike Nala’s plan to get Simba to retake his throne. I will say I understand why the movie was
written the way it was. Having Simba confront his fears and return
to Pride Rock after meeting with Nala creates a tight structure for the movie and seems
like a logical progression. I’m going to analyze the idea of bringing
Simba back to fight Scar, and I realize that some suggestions I make would result in a
more difficult movie to write to make sure the scenes never became too long to ruin pacing
of the movie. Still, the way the movie is written is just
strange to me. Possibly Nala didn’t realize that the lionesses
could defeat Scar and hyenas and that’s why she left to get help. Then, once she finds Simba, I could see how
initially Nala might think it’s a good plan to bring him back, especially because she
cares for Simba and she’s lived years thinking he was dead, but once she realizes that Simba
has been raised by Timon and Pumbaa, and that they couldn’t have taught him to survive and
fight, how does she think it’s a good idea for Simba to come back and fight Scar? Even though Scar is weaker than Mufasa, we
have no idea how Simba will do in a fight against Scar and neither does Nala. She’s likely leading Simba, who at that time
was emotionally unstable, to his doom. I suppose Simba must have practiced fighting
even a little and we can imagine Timon wanting Simba to know enough about combat to protect
them, but there’s a difference between growing up learning to hunt and, consequently, learning
to fight, and growing up for the most part ignoring all responsibility. Nala grew up in the Pridelands ruled by Scar,
presumably learning to hunt and defend herself and to survive under an oppressive regime. Simba spent this whole time avoiding responsibility,
eating bugs which require significantly less strength to hunt, and probably not even needing
to learn to defend himself. By the point Nala sees that Simba lacks the
required level of combat prowess, she should have just given up taking him to fight Scar. Yes, it wouldn’t have resolved Simba’s character
arc and the emotional issues the movie is about, but Simba himself is a huge liability
because of how little he probably knows about fighting. Think about it. How many lionesses are there? All versus Scar and the hyenas? They probably would have won anyway. The hyenas are depicted as being pretty foolish. And then, if Nala and the lionesses really
wanted to continue the monarchy, or if Nala really did remember Simba from when they were
kids and have affection for him, then they could have brought Simba back after the fighting
was over. The way they did it involved taking a huge
risk that Simba might fail. I understand there would be no movie if they
ignored Simba, but the fact that the lionesses can fix this problem without Simba should
have been brought up. Simba and Nala could have accounted for Simba’s
lack of combat ability whether by a little training, possibly in place of the scene where
Simba is just running across a desert to get back to Pride Rock, or just by strategizing
around his weakness to make the most of his strengths, principally the fact that Scar
is likely afraid of Simba and Simba’s ability to get support from the lionesses. It could have helped to show that Simba had
grown and changed, and wanted to be responsible. As it is, we’re left with the idea that of
course the lionesses couldn’t have fought Scar alone, without any explanation. The only explanation I can think of is that
female characters are weak and unable to fix the kingdom because they are female. If the movie doesn’t provide a better explanation,
and I don’t think it does, then it seems that female characters being weak is the assumption
the movie rests on. – The Madness of King Scar Deleted Scene
Another problem I had. There is a famous deleted scene called the
Madness of King Scar. I will say I really appreciate that they eliminated
that scene from the movie where Scar tries to take Nala as his queen, mostly because
from what I’ve seen of the deleted scene he seems like he is forcing himself on her. Zazu even tries not to leave them alone and
when Scar forces him to leave Zazu whispers to Nala that she should call him if she needs
anything. To be quite frank, it sounds like a sexual
assault scene. It sounds like Zazu knows and is trying to
prevent it from happening. I really don’t like the idea of presenting
sexual assault the way that scene presents it. It’s not so much that we can’t talk to children
about this topic. But I think we need to be extraordinarily
careful how we talk to talk to children about a topic like this. We need to be extraordinarily careful about
how we talk about this topic out of respect for survivors of assault, and this scene was
not extraordinarily careful. It is a difficult topic that unfortunately
happens to many women in the real world, and that scene treated it as just one more example
of Scar being a villain. But sexual assault needs to be addressed with
much more care than just adding it to the list of Scar’s evil deeds. Things like death and rape and sexual assault
are deeply traumatic. If Mufasa’s death is treated as traumatic
for everyone, as it rightfully should be, then Scar attempting to sexually assault Nala
should also be treated as traumatic for everyone, because there’s no way the other lionesses
would be fine with continuing to live under the rule of a king who thinks he can do that
to any of them and there’s no way Simba wouldn’t be affected if that was done to the lionesses
he grew up with. The death of a family member and sexual assault
are both very different traumas and I’m not saying they should be treated as though they
are the same thing, but I am saying both are very serious, and if we can talk carefully
to children about the reality of death we need to talk just as carefully about sexual
assault, being like I said extraordinarily careful to avoid grotesque depictions. Now, in this deleted scene, I did like that
the other lionesses defended Nala when Scar tried to banish her for refusing him, but
it’s just a difficult scene to watch and I think it could have been written better. Additionally, at the end of the scene, Scar
calls the hyenas to force the lionesses to do what he says and the hyenas sing something
like “if now and then we’re seen drooling it’s only an ancestor’s gene.” I talk about this more in the negatives, but
the hyenas’ characterization has a lot of problems with racial stereotyping, so this
talking about an ancestor’s gene like whites talked about people of color being genetically
inferior only makes the deleted scene worse. If they couldn’t write the scene well, and
the deleted scene I saw was not written anywhere near as well as it needed to be given the
subject, then they did the right thing by not including it at all. Negative – Only Animals In A Disney Movie In Africa
Starting off my problems with the movie is that here we have a Disney movie based in
Africa–and all the characters are animals. Disney has a long history of making movies
based on animals, and not every animal movie is the ode to slavery that was Song of the
South, but I can’t help but feel a good opportunity was lost here to have human characters star
in a movie taking place in Africa. And there’s definitely a bit of racism that
we can accept more easily a movie based in Africa when we’re looking at cute animals,
than when our protagonists are black people. Add to that all the imperialist associations
between blacks and animals, and there’s a strong argument for having a movie about Africa
feature humans instead of animals. – Hyenas
And about the hyenas, I do dislike that they have very stereotypical Latino and African-American
voices, while the lions like Simba and Scar tend to have stereotypical American and English
voices. It reinforces this idea that some accents
are the accents of inferior people who exist to be manipulated but are largely incapable
of understanding complicated situations. It reinforces existing stereotypes of Latinos
and Afro-descendants. Now, I’m going to talk a lot about voice acting
and how Hollywood tends to prefer either blacks or Latinos using an exaggerated accent, or
even sometimes in the case of blacks and more often in the case of Latinos, white Anglos
using a very exaggerated accent pretending to be either black or Latino. This does happen when you consider television
and movies generally, but by talking about the issue in connection with The Lion King,
I don’t mean to say that either Whoopi Goldberg voicing Shenzi or Cheech Marin voicing Banzai,
that somehow their accents aren’t unquote-quote the way real people from their ethnicities
talk. Cheech Marin’s accent as a Latino is his voice
and it’s a real Latino accent by virtue of his being Latino, just like my accent is a
real Latina accent by virtue of my being Latina. I do think that there are lines in the movie,
not the entire dialogue of the hyenas, but many lines where the accent was exaggerated. And outside of The Lion King, I do think there
exists in the mind of Hollywood executives as well as just white Anglos watching television
in the United States an idea of what blacks are supposed to sound like or how Latinos
how supposed to sound, and this idea is a false and exaggerated accent created by Hollywood. So, let’s start talking about the issues surrounding
voice acting, people of color, and how the hyenas in The Lion King are more generally
presented. Let’s talk about the characters. There’s Nala, who’s voiced by a black actress
when she’s young but a white actress when she’s an adult, which seemed strange to me,
I mean, why not let a black actress voice the character as an adult? There’s Simba, the main character, voiced
by two different white actors, one white actor for young Simba and one white actor for adult
Simba, except for Simba’s singing voice, where they cast a black actor, which in itself furthers
the stereotype of people of color being useful only for singing and entertainment but not
allowed in the comparatively more serious roles where the character of Simba deals with
heavier things like Mufasa’s death. Then there’s Rafiki, who yes is a mandrill,
but that animal is very close to a monkey, so we have one of the few black actors voicing
a character that is similar to a monkey, which is obviously a horrible idea given how many
insulting stereotypes comparing black people to monkeys have been used in the history of
the Americas, not just the United States but even throughout Latin America. It might not be a problem if in a movie taking
place in Africa every single character was voiced by an actor of color, because then
every character would be voiced by a person of color so if there are mandrills in the
story then they are voiced by people of color just like every other character, that would
help diminish the stereotypical aspect, though admittedly, I still wouldn’t include monkey-like
characters in a movie with actors of color because that too easily lends itself to racist
caricatures and fits in with the history of racist caricatures on this continent. However, as it is, The Lion King uses so many
white actors in prominent roles, so choosing a black actor for this specific role and not
for other roles less likely to be insulting, is way too close to derogatory portrayals
of black people. And then there’s the idea the people of color
are scavengers like hyenas, embodying negative traits popularly associated with hyenas. The hyenas are a big problem with the movie. When the hyenas first appear in the elephant
graveyard, laughing and approaching menacingly, what voices do we hear? The very first voice is Whoopi Goldberg followed
by Cheech Marin, and Banzai, played by Marin, angrily calls Simba and Nala trespassers. The scene very much looks like the stereotypical
scene of white characters who feel scared when people of color, portrayed as aggressors,
ask why the white characters are in their neighborhood and telling them not to come
into this neighborhood, an idea which is even more noticeable given that Mufasa told Simba
not to go to the elephant graveyard because it’s beyond their borders, like a parent telling
their child not to go to the poor black or poor Latino neighborhood. And Simba and Nala wanted to go to the elephant
graveyard, a lot like the portrayal in movies of young white kids wanting to go to black
or Latino neighborhoods after being told by their white parents how dangerous these neighborhoods
allegedly are. To make matters worse, the hyenas aren’t even
effective villains, because they get so distracted making jokes they forget Simba and Nala are
escaping. And then the scene ends with Mufasa attacking
the hyenas in order to stop the hyenas from attacking Simba and Nala. Despite the fact that Mufasa is played by
James Earl Jones, the end of the scene bothers me as much as the rest of the scene, because
it just seems to emphasize this idea that there are some people of color, maybe people
of color who have a heavier accent than James Earl Jones’ portrayal of Mufasa, who are violent
and therefore need to be violently controlled. This idea persists today and negatively affects
both black and Latino communities, from when police who work in black and Latino neighborhoods
consistently resort to using violence against the communities they are supposed to protect
because of a belief that everyone in that community is an aggressor, to situations in
schools where black and Latino children are treated as unintelligent and aggressors, so
that teachers instead of helping the child grow and learn, don’t even attempt to teach
black and Latino students and look at their students not as young people full of potential
for amazing things but as prisoners who have been condemned solely as a result of their
race and ethnicity. As a child, I didn’t think too much about
this when watching the Lion King, because I was so used to hearing Latino voices portrayed
as gangsters and villains, or as unintelligent characters, but as I grew older, I realized
how often Latinos were portrayed this way and how often we were treated as threatening
and unintelligent by people from peers to politicians. I’ve always loved writing, but when I was
younger, most characters in my stories were white Anglos, even though I wasn’t purposely
thinking about race, without thinking every time I made a character he or she would be
white and probably have an English name and be Anglo, and it took until I was older for
me to realize that was partially because the books I was assigned in school, the books
I read on my own, as well as movies and television, all focused on white Anglos with Latino characters
being secondary characters, often threatening, often unintelligent, so when I tried to write
my first stories, I wrote stories like I had read and seen. And this was me, by the way. My parents and people who know me will tell
you that throughout my life I have always been proud to be Colombian, and I am proud
to be from the United States, but I was always conscious that people wouldn’t criticize the
United States in the racist way they would criticize Colombia and so I needed to be able
to defend Colombia more because it would be attacked more than the United States. And even with that, when faced with something
difficult but that I wanted to achieve, like writing a good story, I ended up relying on
the stories I knew from school and from the media, which were all stories with white Anglo
protagonists. I was older when I realized how wrong what
I had read and seen was, and how important it was not to repeat the same racist stories
I had seen growing up. And this affects other Latinos and Latinas,
too. There are a lot of children of immigrants
who refuse to speak Spanish, often due to, when they’re young, an unconscious acknowledgement
of the way Spanish and Spanish speakers are seen as inferior, and when children are older,
sometimes a conscious recognition of how Latinos are treated in the United States and a desire
to escape that negative treatment by trying to seem less Latino. And all of this is the problem with scenes
like the introduction of the hyenas in The Lion King. That kind of scene accustoms people to seeing
the Latino community and the black community as either threatening and dangerous, or unintelligent. It makes it seem normal for black voices or
Latino voices to be scary voices, the voices of people who want nothing but to cause pain
to whites. When characters like the hyenas are made to
be unintelligent servants to the central villain, and the hyenas are given stereotypically African-American
and Latino voices, it reinforces the idea that blacks and Latinos are unintelligent,
dangerous, and ultimately not able to affect the world, because even those who affect the
world negatively, like Scar affected the world negatively, or positively, like Simba affected
the world, are white people. And tellingly, Mufasa doesn’t really count
here, because while he is an authority figure with an African American voice actor, Mufasa
doesn’t enact change. Scar does affect the world when he takes control
of the pride and Simba does affect the world by taking the pride back from Scar, but Mufasa
doesn’t cause change. He is affected by what Scar does, in the end
dying in the stampede. At most Mufasa encourages Simba to act. So even the best authority figure, the African
American voice actor playing a character that for all his flaws raising Simba is still portrayed
as one of the most moral characters in the movie, the most moral and the highest authority
voiced by an African-American actor, is still unable to affect the world or change events
around him, except maybe playing a role in motivating Simba to act, but even that is
similar to the stereotypical role of a person of color who motivates a white character to
act. And even the worst character, Scar, the worst
Anglo voice is still an effective and intelligent villain who causes great change. It’s the idea that white people can uniquely
change the world because of the superiority of whites, and that people of color are always
secondary characters, both in movies and in the history of the real world. Granted, that James Earl Jones is Mufasa and
Madge Sinclair is Sarabi, but for a white audience, I can imagine them forgetting that
because neither the actors nor the characters embody the racist stereotype. And don’t misunderstand. It’s good that we have African-American actors
whose roles let them do more than be a stereotype and it’s good that the script doesn’t force
them to use an exaggerated accent that isn’t their voice but does fit with what some script
writer or executive thought people of color speak like. Some characters and some actors are being
forced into speaking and acting like stereotypes. There are two problems here: first, actors
of color not being hired, and second, using exaggerated Latino and African-American accents
exclusively for characters portrayed as unintelligent followers of the villain. The solution here is hiring more actors of
color and letting each talk how they normally would. As a Latina, something I frequently encounter
is white Anglo people who are so used to the stereotype of what a Latino accent is supposed
to sound like that when they hear a child of immigrants from Latin America who learned
Spanish first and then English like myself, or a separate case of actual people from Latin
America who learned English as a second language, a lot of white Anglo people get confused and
say the person doesn’t sound Latin American, even when it is a person who grew up in a
Latin American country, but because their accent is the real actual accent of a Spanish
speaker from Latin America who learned English as a second language, it doesn’t fit the stereotype
that exists in the United States of what Latinos allegedly sound like and so white Anglos accustomed
to hearing this accent in movies and television are convinced this false accent, a false accent
created by white Anglo executives and writers who tell often white Anglo actors, hired instead
of actual Latino actors, to use this false accent when they play the role of a Latino,
white Anglos accustomed to hearing a fake accent from Anglos pretending to be Latinos
in movies and television become convinced that the real accent of people from Latin
America is a fake accent and that the fake accent created by Hollywood is the real accent. A similar situation happens with the children
of immigrants and the grandchildren of immigrants from Latin America living in the United States:
powerful people who make movies, make television series, and write books all portray Latinos
who grew up in the the United States as speaking with a specific exaggerated accent, which
might be vaguely similar but ultimately is a fake accent compared to how real Latinos
who grew up in the United States sound like. I’m the daughter of Colombian immigrants and
I grew up in the United States, this is my voice and therefore this accent, however it
is that my voice sounds like, is a Latina accent because I, the speaker, am Latina. The reality that people, especially those
in positions of power when Latino characters are portrayed, the reality that people have
to acknowledge is that there are many different Latino accents and the best way to portray
this is to hire more Latino actors, because that will result in a variety of accents. Hiring more Latino actors will result in several
different accents as you have different Latino actors and Latina actresses who grew up in
sometimes very similar and sometimes very different circumstances, all speaking with
their natural voice. There are many differences between how racism
against Latinos functions in the United States versus how racism against black people functions
in the United States, and this is even more complicated when you think that there are
African-Americans and black Latinos. For these reasons, I’m not trying to say racism
against both groups is identical. I’m only saying that there are some similarities
in the issue of casting people of color, whether Latino or black. The similarity is this. There isn’t just one African-American accent
just like there isn’t only one Latino accent. Just like with Latino actors, if you hire
more black actors, the result will be a variety of accents spoken by different black actors
and actresses who grew up in sometimes very similar and sometimes very different circumstances,
all speaking with their natural voice. If the creators of The Lion King wanted a
variety of different accents for their movie, they needed to do a better job. As is, they have white actors voicing important
and serious characters like Simba and Scar, and while there are some black actors for
characters like Mufasa and some white actors for comedic characters like Timon and Pumbaa,
there are more black actors in overall derogatory roles, whether portrayed as the unintelligent
minions of Scar or in the role of a character who is almost a literal monkey like Rafiki. When Simba is voiced by a black actor, it’s
during musical segments. This division of white actors for serious
characters and black actors for unintelligent occasionally comedic minions reinforces the
idea that in the history of the world only white people have important roles while people
of color are servants useful only when serving whites, entertaining whites with music, or
to be laughed at. This could have been easily fixed very simply
by having more actors of color. Currently and as far as I can tell, the only
characters portrayed by actors of color are Mufasa, Sarabi, young Simba’s singing voice
but not adult Simba’s singing voice nor Simba himself young or adult when talking, young
Nala but not adult Nala nor Nala’s singing voice as a child or as an adult, Rafiki, Shenzi,
Banzai, and an unnamed hyena. That’s a small number given the total size
of the cast. That’s one for Mufasa, two for Sarabi, three
for young Simba’s singing voice, four for young Nala, five for Rafiki, six for Shenzi,
seven for Banzai, and eight for an unnamed hyena, out of a total cast of, by my count,
thirty seven, or thirty nine counting the additional actors for the Morning Report in
newer releases, which would also increase the number of actors of color to nine as well,
with another actor of color again voicing Simba’s singing voice, this time a Latino
actor. Possibly you could also increase the number
of performers of color if we include some involved in the music and choir at the beginning
of the movie, but those parts are even smaller than an unnamed hyena because at least unnamed
hyenas are actual characters. Granted that’s counting small acting roles
too, but I’m counting white actors and actors of color in big and small acting roles, I’m
counting all acting roles, large and small, total number of acting roles being thirty
nine and total number of actors of color being nine. And it’s notable that even for small roles,
the vast majority of actors are still white. If you’re going to use different accents for
your characters, then make sure that in doing so you aren’t reinforcing negative stereotypes. If you have more actors of color, then some
will be comedic characters who do ridiculous things to make the audience laugh as called
for by the script but that will be balanced by having more actors of color in the serious
roles. Of course in any case the way comedic characters
are written should avoid stereotypes, since with a little creativity you can make hilarious
characters and hilarious situations without resorting to the same old racist stereotypes
that are used in The Lion King with the hyenas and that have been used in countless movies
and books before The Lion King. And where there are white actors, don’t separate
it so that the bad and unintelligent characters are voiced by actors of color and the intelligent
characters are voiced by white actors. That’s one of the biggest offenses here, that
the voices chosen to be the unintelligent minions are exaggerated Latino and African
American accents, completely in line with how Latinos and blacks are seen in the United
States, as unintelligent and ultimately not a part of the history of the country because
every important individual, according to racist ideologies, was white, and here, most significant
characters are voiced by white actors while the unintelligent minions are voiced by people
of color. It was possible to have hyenas with Anglo
accents too and more lions voiced by people of color, thus negating the association with
racist ideology. But the creators of The Lion King chose to
use actors of color in very stereotypical and racist roles, rather than be more creative
in how the characters were written. Finally, I know I just mentioned imperialist
associations between people of color and animals as a reason for not using an all-animal movie
when the setting is Africa. My idea was that the first Disney movie set
in Africa shouldn’t be about animals. However, if the situation was that there had
been several movies made by a specific company all about people in Africa, then that same
company later making a movie with animal characters wouldn’t have the same implications. That was not the position Disney was in when
it released The Lion King. But if apparently there is no going back on
this decision, then it is better to have a variety of different accents rather than distribute
accents so that those with the most exaggerated accents are characters created in part to
be mocked. Another issue with accents is Ed, the hyena
who exists to make funny noises instead of talk. I’ve been using the word unintelligent because
I don’t know how else to describe the stereotype of people of color where people of color are
portrayed as less intelligent than white people purely as a result of being people of color. But I don’t like using the word unintelligent,
especially with Ed, because Ed is a stereotype of people with learning disabilities. Unlike the other two hyenas who are portrayed
as only good as servants for Scar because one is voiced by an African-American actress
and one is voiced by a Latino actor, Ed is portrayed as only good as a servant for Scar
because he apparently has a learning disability. That’s it. This character can contribute nothing but
to be a walking joke, just because he has a learning disability. This stereotype is not creative because we’ve
seen it a million times. It’s bad writing because it just repeats an
idea we’ve seen many times before without adding anything new. It’s bad writing because it attacks the human
dignity of real people with different kinds of disabilities. Creativity would be using your storytelling
skills to come up with a new joke, a new way to make a character funny by a combination
of personality and the environment the character is in. Creativity means using your storytelling skills
to create a story that doesn’t attack your audience for having a disability. Had the role been written in a new and more
interesting way, Ed would have been much funnier. As it is, all we have is a walking stereotype
who insults people who either have disabilities relating to their ability to speak or learning
disabilities, something we’ve seen a million times before in characters who are allegedly
funny. What we have is a role where a character who
can’t talk or communicates largely by expressions and what the other character hear as wordless
noises is portrayed as less capable just because he can’t communicate. I do think characters with disabilities need
to be included in our movies, but just like we shouldn’t include characters of color only
to make fun of them for not being white, we shouldn’t include characters with disabilities
for the sole purpose of making fun of people with disabilities. And if Ed was meant to be a comedic character,
we needed more creativity and more effort to create a character who can be funny without
repeating an incredibly old joke and certainly without attacking the dignity of real human
beings. Returning to the hyenas, another issue I have
is that every hyena is presented as evil, and Scar’s evil plan is to bring lions and
hyenas together, because we all know all hyenas are evil. This bothers me, because it suggests that
keeping the lions and hyenas segregated would be the proper course. It’s even worse considering that it is a movie
made in the United States, where most people still live in racially segregated communities
despite segregation by law being considered illegal. And the movie could have existed without the
negative implications of condoning segregation if we didn’t have every single hyena ever
being evil. If lions can be evil, then why can’t hyenas
be good? It makes no sense. We could potentially have had at least one
good hyena character. Finally, the hyenas don’t even seem to have
evil motives, even though the movie keeps trying to make the audience think the hyenas
are evil. If we listen to lyrics of Scar’s villain song,
whether it’s in English, Latin Spanish, or Castillian Spanish, each version makes it
clear that the hyenas are just hungry. Because of that, it’s hard to see them as
necessarily evil, they just sided with Scar because he promised them food. If Mufasa had helped them, like he should
have because he was the king and political leader, then they wouldn’t have sided with
Scar. They live beyond the Pridelands, which are
shown to be lush and full of greenery, and instead they live in a dry and desolate area. The hyenas have a legitimate concern: in this
animal society, for whatever reason, they aren’t treated with the minimal respect the
other animals receive. The movie never really explains why the hyenas
are forced to starve, and since the movie treats the animals like humans, it really
seems like Scar is a leader who took advantage of the working class. On one hand, this could have been a great
way to show that good people do bad things when they’re put in a situations of scarcity,
and while that doesn’t make the bad things they do right, they should never have been
put in the situation of scarcity to begin with. However, because the movie tries to act like
hyenas are as evil as Scar, it just seems like the movie is trying to portray poor people
as evil and easily manipulated. And then that issue of economic discrimination
becomes worse when you realize that most of the voice actors for the hyenas in the English
version have stereotypical African-American and Latino accents, and it turns into racial
discrimination as well. During Scar’s villain song, the hyenas are
shown to be marching like Nazis, so I guess the comparison here is to Germans in the era
of Nazi Germany. The comparison doesn’t work because Nazi ideology
was premised on the supposed supremacy of white people, blaming Jews and people of color
for any problems white people had. But the actors voicing the hyenas are people
of color. I really wish they hadn’t used Nazi imagery
to describe the hyenas because that just creates a comparison to real world events, a comparison
that doesn’t work within the structure of the movie and says nothing meaningful about
the real world event. I also dislike how the movie creates this
association between hyenas and marginalized human groups, whether that be the poor or
people of color. I don’t like comparing the poor or people
of color to hyenas because it just seems like we attach all the negative ideas associated
with hyenas to marginalized human groups, and racist people have done that in the past. So I really dislike that the movie tries to
associate the hyenas with marginalized human groups in the real world and then presents
hyenas as evil beyond redemption. It just seems like another insult toward human
groups that have been insulted multiple times in the past. Then there’s the movie’s insistence on Simba
as the one true king. The movie constantly portrayed the lions,
particularly the royal family, as the best characters, with the exception of Scar who
spends time with hyenas. There’s this sense that these powerful characters
are the good characters and these characters who live in this dry and desolate place and
are starving are the bad characters. I really dislike how the idea is good people
have money and don’t lack necessities, but the poor are bad and potentially dangerous
people who can be easily manipulated and tricked into destroying our world if we let them. It ends up being profoundly insulting to the
poor. – Scar Hitting Sarabi
This was a big problem I had. In the scene where Sarabi and Scar are arguing,
Scar becomes angry when Sarabi reminds him that he isn’t living up to his duty as king
and he hits her, at which point Simba reveals himself. But that entire scene of Scar hitting Sarabi
seemed only to give Simba a reason to be especially angry at Scar and to make Simba look like
that much more of a hero, and it’s hugely disrespectful toward women to have violence
against us be justified by wanting to make the male protagonist appear like more of a
hero. It’s fine for Simba to be a hero and Simba
has more than enough reasons to be furious with Scar. Yes, it does fit Scar’s character to attack
another character he thinks can’t defend herself. But the way the scene is written treats violence
against women not as something bad for the woman, but as a part of the growth of the
male characters. This ignores women, and in turn, tends to
facilitate violence against women by ignoring our rights so that men can be made to look
more important. The other huge problem is that it also makes
it seem like Scar hitting Sarabi is only a huge problem because she’s Simba’s mother,
because of her relationship to another male character. It almost seems like if Scar had hit any other
lioness it wouldn’t have mattered because the lioness didn’t have that close of a relationship
to Simba. Finally, Scar hitting Sarabi is treated like
an insult against Simba, and this is another huge problem. For a long time both in works of fiction and
in the real world, and still today in a lot of cases, insults whether verbal insults or
the insult of physical violence has been treated as more acceptable if it was against a woman. A million excuses would be given as to why
the woman deserved to be insulted or to be hit. Except when the woman had a relationship to
a male character. If one man wanted to insult another man, he
might do so by insulting or even attacking a female relative or his wife. And then the insult or violence suddenly did
matter, not because of woman’s right to be free of such treatment, but because the insult
or violence was actually against another man’s honor. Attacking a woman was a way to attack a man
with whom the woman was associated in some way, partially because in so many countries
across the world women have historically had so few legal rights that often women were
almost like the property of the men in their family or the men they married. By attacking a woman, a man was attacking
the property of another man. And all of this ignores that women are human
too and have the same human rights as men. I know now that I mentioned human rights people
will say that this is a movie about lions, a movie about talking animals, but it’s a
movie about lions where the lions have a monarchy and a government, the lions act like humans. Having a male character attack a female character
and treating it as an insult to another male character has the same effect as with humans:
it diminishes women as beings with equal dignity and emphasizes that men are the only ones
who matter. – Destiny versus Responsibility
I’m not sure I like the way the theme of destiny works in this movie. What with Mufasa and Nala both telling Simba
he needs to reclaim his place, and neither of them seeing any other solution to the problem
Scar poses but Simba defeating Scar, it just seems to me the movie is pushing this idea
that not only does destiny exist, but that our place in the world, complete with what
we can achieve, is predetermined. One interpretation of the Circle of Life topic,
the way I’ve interpreted the movie thus far is that we all have responsibilities to our
community. In that case, the Circle of Life speech that
Mufasa gives Simba is all about the responsibilities we have to each other. Mufasa does tell Simba every animal is part
of the Circle of Life, and when Simba says they eat animals, Mufasa says they as lions
become the grass after they die, which is eaten by herbivores. The idea seems to be that Simba shouldn’t
feel superior to other animals. And that everyone has a role in the world,
or said another way, responsibilities to meet. Then we see the role of responsibility in
the conflict between Scar and Simba. We have both Simba and Scar have not being
responsible. Scar doesn’t care about what responsibilities
he might have and he’s willing ignore every responsibility to get what he wants, to the
point he betrays his brother and nephew by trying to have them killed and then when it’s
convenient he betrays his allies the hyenas. Simba starts being completely ignorant of
what responsibility means and eventually has to learn. In the beginning, he was irresponsible because
of his age, and a little arrogant since, I would guess, he was young and he was the son
of the king. After the tragedy with Mufasa, Simba carries
the guilt for what happened and in his grief, gives up his status as the son of the king,
which leads to him becoming humbler, but humbler does not mean more responsible. While he was chased from his home as a child,
as an adult he does have a responsibility to the rest of the lions and all Timon and
Pumbaa have taught him is to ignore responsibility. Mufasa tells Simba that he has forgotten himself
because he has forgotten Mufasa, and that can’t be literal because Simba has been constantly
feeling guilty about the stampede even if he tries not to think about his guilt while
he parties with Timon and Pumbaa, so what I understand Mufasa to be saying is that Simba
hasn’t been responsible with regard to his father’s memory, his family, and the other
lions in the pride. In ignoring that responsibility, he lost himself. Similarly, Scar lost himself because by betraying
people over and over and never being responsible to anyone. The hyenas eventually heard him betray them
and later on they attack him for that, and after Scar has betrayed his family the lions
no one was there to protect him. Timon and Pumbaa are two other characters
who don’t seem to pay attention to responsibilities and even encourage Simba to ignore his responsibilities
when Simba was young, but while they seem to only care about themselves, they’re different
from Scar to the extent that they are willing to risk their lives to help their friends. Although Simba has been running from his responsibilities
because Scar tricked him into believing he caused Mufasa’s death, the lesson he learns
is not to let guilt over his past prevent him from meeting his responsibilities in the
present, and that’s a good lesson. Overall, I like the Circle of Life if we understand
it to mean that all of us have responsibilities to our communities, and ignoring those responsibilities
or even hurting our community can lead to the destruction of ourselves and our community
whereas upholding our responsibilities allows our communities to thrive and to help us when
we individually need help. However, there is another interpretation that
frankly bothers me. The Circle of Life can be interpreted as a
sort of destiny. From Simba and Nala being in an arranged marriage
and ultimately falling in love, to Nala getting Simba’s help to defeat Scar because Simba
is the rightful ruler despite the fact Simba has lived an extraordinarily peaceful life
and probably has no combat experience, to characters like Timon and Pumbaa just accepting
that other characters like Nala are going to eat them and the only reason they aren’t
eaten is because Simba is their friend, to the monarchy which is at the center of the
movie. There is this idea that things are the way
things are and any attempt to change that is wrong. Particularly with the monarchy idea, there’s
this sense that everyone has their place and must remain in that place. Now let me be clear that Scar’s idea of chaning
his place by killing his brother and nephew represents a complete lack of morality. However, the idea that no one, under any circumstances,
even if their actions are peaceful, can ever change their place, is indeed consistent with
monarchical ideals and completely at odds with democratic ideals. Granted you can argue that these are animals
and animals do have specific roles in their enviroments any change to which would be catastrophic. But that is an argument for realism in the
presentation of animals in a movie where the animals have built a monarchy. Once the animals have organized themselves
into a political unit, then I’m not convinced by arguments about what animals would naturally
do. Once the animals have kings, servants, and
arranged marriages, then I’m going to analyze why the animals have organized themselves
in these specific ways as if the animals were humans because the movie is treating the animals
like humans. And to me, I can’t really watch The Lion King
without thinking of the way monarchy is presented here. I don’t have a problem with having a movie
about monarchy, but taken together, all of the elements of the movie seem to say that
no one can change their place and trying to do so is itself immoral. That is very different from focusing on responsibility. It is entirely possible to be responsible
to the people in your life and also working towards having a better life, or advocating
for change to fix problems in the world. But The Lion King at times seems to have this
idea that what we can do in life is predetermined before our birth and that trying to change
that will only lead to our own destruction and the destruction of those around us. And that argument, that changing anything
ultimately leads to destruction so even if we can change things for the better we shouldn’t
try, has actually been used in the real world as a reason to justify any number of discriminatory
laws. To be fair, in the movie we have Scar attempting
a violent coup and then Simba returns to stop Scar, and with the pride being a monarchy
and Simba being Mufasa’s son, it does make sense that he would become king. I’m not objecting that general structure of
the movie. I’m objecting to all the other elements in
the movie that sometimes make it seem like the Circle of Life just places certain people
at the top of a hierarchy and certain people at the bottom and everyone should just accept
that. – “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” Song and Thefts
And finally, I just can’t think of this movie without also thinking of all the legal issues
surrounding the song, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, where the original creator of the single was
paid next to nothing and lived in poverty, while others made millions with covers of
his song. The details of the case are complicated and
I’ve heard the comment that people go into business to be rich, and that’s fine. You don’t go into business to lose money. But at the same time, there’s such a thing
as not conducting business so as to essentially rob people, and that we don’t acknowledge
this as a universal truth is only proof that we still don’t respect human dignity. People argue that this is how innovation happens
in the music industry. That strikes me as a weak argument to defend
what is indefensible: that a black African artist created a song based on the traditions
of his people, and was paid next to nothing for his work while a large number of white
artists took his work and made their own versions of it, enriching themselves on his ideas while
he and his family lived in poverty. This is discrimination against a singer because
he was black, discrimination because he was poor, and another example of white people
stealing resources from Africa, here cultural resources. There’s nothing wrong with being inspired
by music from Africa, Latin America, or Asia, but it is wrong to make money off a style
of art born in a different culture and do nothing to credit the original creator and
do nothing to benefit the place where the original creator was from. If you take inspiration from a place, you
should give back in proportion to what you take. I’m not sure if there is a specific form that
giving back should take, whether it’s donating to a charity or dedicating serious time advocating
for issues important to that the community, but how much you give back should in some
way be proportional to what you’ve gained by taking inspiration. In the case of The Lion Sleeps Tonight, there
was a specific individual and his family who were exploited, and in terms of restitution
there’s the giving them what they were due and then on a larger level recognizing the
cultural and financial debt all these white artists had to the place where the song originated,
which like I said means at a minimum not ignoring the issues and problems facing the community
where the inspiration came from.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *