The movie purposefully and hilariously presents this pairing as not only uncomfortable, but dangerous.
This is not a foreign concept to any Black person who has ever dated a white person.
As scary as any of these things are, they’re tropes we can all recognize as pure fiction, for the most part.
They’re things we’re still more likely to run into in film, books, or television rather than in our everyday lives.
It’s the kind of sweet moment, heightened by the levity that surrounds it, that exists only in the best romantic comedies. It’s a psychological horror movie that takes us into the mind of a Black man surrounded by liberal white folks, and the path to hell expertly paved with all of their faux-noble intentions.Filmmaker Jordan Peele’s ability to convey the everyday fears Black people experience when surrounded by white folks, and use those emotions to fuel the tension of a horror plot, is a stunning victory.But there are no big love scenes in the film, and it “shows Hollywood’s fear of a black man with a white woman,” says Donald Bogle, author of “Elizabeth and Michael: The Queen of Hollywood and the King of Pop,” as well as several books about African Americans in Hollywood.“Poitier’s character in that film is so perfect – he’s a doctor -- but the film still questions if he’s fit for this white woman,” adds Bogle. Griffith’s 1915 racist depiction “The Birth of a Nation,” in which, as described by NYU film professor Sam Pollard, “the black man was this evil beast defiling white womanhood (in one scene, a white woman commits suicide rather than be ‘violated’ by a black man),” Hollywood has tiptoed around, or outright ignored, realistic depictions of interracial romance.“During the classic Hollywood era, the industry was regulated by the Production Code, and it banned depictions of miscegenation,” says Ellen Scott, a UCLA professor and author of “Cinema Civil Rights.” Hollywood tastemakers of the era, she says, “thought these romances were disgusting and might offend audiences.”One way the industry dealt with the issue was in a series of so-called “tragic mulatto” storylines in films such as “Show Boat” (1936), “Pinky” (1949) and “Imitation of Life” (1959), in which light-skinned blacks – always played by white actresses – cross the color line and pass as white until their “true” race is discovered and tragedy ensues.“It’s not dealing with the reality an interracial couple might have to face.”This refusal to deal with the reality of interracial love and sex is nothing new; it’s pretty much how the movies have handled these relationships down through the years. “The mulatto can pass, and infiltrate into the culture, and prove the lie in white culture because she can pass and be successful,” says Bogle.