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Old December 29 2012, 10:55 PM   #18
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

This has obviously been discussed before, so here's what I wrote about the perceived racism:
I don't think it's the particulars that matter here in terms of if the Ligonians are wearing clothing that is more far east than Ivory Coast, etc. Hollywood has a long tradition of mixing up cultures and lands when portraying foreign countries. It's the aggregate impression that matters here.

We'd probably not be having this discussion had the Ligonian costumes and language been portrayed as weirdly Victorian but with the same script. No, it's the combination of what what we see as stereotypical "tribal" clothing along with a "fight to the death", the all black cast and the kidnapping of the white woman plot that adds up to a racist image in the mind of many, and we can argue whether or nor that's what's really happening, but that so many people see it as racist certainly says that the choices made for the episode were probably the wrong ones.
I don't know what the scriptwriters supposedly intended for the Ligonians, just what the shooting script reads. The Teaser for "Code of Honor" says:
"There are four extremely tall, elegant Black Guards who form a square."
But if this is meant to describe the "race" of the guards, it seems strange. Why specify this for the guards (non-speaking roles) and not the rest of the characters? I suspect the intention of the shooting script was that the Ligonian people be black. It really makes no sense to specify the race in this context otherwise.
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