“The Assist” Has Been Trending On Netflix — This is Why It is Not A Good Thought To Watch It Proper Now

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As George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests have continued this weekend, The Assist has been trending on Netflix — even reaching the #1 spot.

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Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone), an aspiring author, listens to recommendation from her editor in New York as she embarks on a secret writing challenge that places her, and particularly the ladies she is working with, at nice threat.

In case you did not know, The Assist is a 2011 film a couple of white lady who writes a ebook concerning the experiences of Black housemaids. The movie — which is predicated off of a ebook authored by a white lady — was written and directed by Tate Taylor, a white man. It even obtained a Finest Image Oscar nomination, in addition to a win for Octavia Spencer for Finest Supporting Actress.

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Nevertheless, The Assist has been criticized for being a white savior film. This trope is mainly when white persons are portrayed as “saving” Black folks and POC from their circumstances.

“The Assist” simply turned Netflix’s most watched film amid Black Lives Matter protests. Earlier than I am going bang my head into the wall, let me clarify why “white saviors” films are extraordinarily dumb:

Within the phrases of Wesley Morris’s 2011 evaluation, “Skeeter’s exposé is supposed to empower each the themes and the creator, however The Assist joins all the things from To Kill a Mockingbird to The Blind Aspect as one other Hollywood film that sees racial progress because the province of white do-gooderism. Skeeter enjoys all of the self-discovery and all of the credit score.”

Whether it is true that “The Assist” is the No. 1 film on Netflix, I invite you to Wesley Morris’s 2011 evaluation of the movie. After writing it he received a Pulitzer. The final paragraph …

You may learn the total evaluation right here.

And The Assist is way from the one Oscar-nominated film to suit the white savior narrative:

Films NOT to look at when attempting to teach yourselves on racism:
The Assist
The Blind Aspect
The Inexperienced Ebook
Freedom Riders
Every other White Savior film…

Please be aware that Freedom Riders was put in error and Freedom Writers was supposed.

Subsequently, as The Assist continued to development, a lot of folks took to Twitter to criticize the film’s reputation proper now:

“The Assist” trending on netflix is all we have to find out about how some ppl are educating themselves.


In any case, Viola Davis herself mentioned in 2018 that she regrets her position within the film: “I simply felt that on the finish of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that have been heard.”

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“I do know Aibileen. I do know Minny. They’re my grandma. They’re my mother. And I do know that should you do a film the place the entire premise is, ‘I need to know what it feels wish to work for white folks and to carry up youngsters in 1963, I need to hear how you actually really feel about it,’ I by no means heard that in the midst of the film.”

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And, in 2011, The Assist‘s creator Kathryn Stockett was sued by Ablene Cooper — an actual life nanny who labored for the Stockett household — for allegedly utilizing her likeness towards her will within the character of “Aibileen Clark.”

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The lawsuit mentioned that the ebook’s portrayal, “is just not a mere insult, indignity, annoyance or trivial matter to Ablene. Kathryn Stockett’s conduct has made Ablene really feel violated, outraged and revulsed.” The case was dismissed as a result of the choose mentioned that the statute of limitations had run out.

As many identified, there are lots extra films on the market which might be about racism and do not match into the white savior narrative:

The Assistance is #1 on Netflix? Fuck that. Click on on “Malcolm X”. When They See Us. 13th. LA 92. Expensive White Folks. On My Block. HiphopEvolution. Spider-Man into the Spider Verse…and that present with the bald bulletproof muhfucka. What’s his identify once more?

Please don’t watch “The Assist” to know this second we’re in. Or “The Inexperienced Ebook”, or “Crash” (ugh)

The three films I’d advocate this weekend as a primer to race points and racism:

“I Am Not Your Negro” -Raoul Peck
“13th” by @ava
“Get Out” by @JordanPeele https://t.co/GV0MFeCWrN

For those who’re searching for films you may stream proper now about racism, you will discover a couple of right here.

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