From The Cocoa Lounge
(Black Men in Drag: 1. Flip Wilson as "Geraldine" 2. Jamie Foxx as "Wanda" 3. Martin Lawrence as "Sheneneh Jenkins" 4. Tyler Perry as "Madea" and 5. Eddie Murphy as "Rasputia")
Now, don't get us wrong. We've laughed at the brilliant characterizations over the years of Flip Wilson, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Tyler Perry (and a host of other comedians) as they've portrayed varying degrees of black womanhood to often gut-wrenching comedic effect.
But the joke is beginning to get old, and not only that, it's beginning to get offensive.
'Drag'ging in Old Stereotypes
Eddie Murphy's latest venture, Norbit, has been raising eyebrows since its trailer hit theaters, prompting outraged community leaders in Los Angeles to call a boycott. In the wake of Charles Knipp (a white performer, who dresses in drag--and blackface--to portray a stereotypical character he's dubbed "Shirley Q. Liquor,") the lines between comedy and blatant racism, are beginning to blur.
It's easy for the studios that make these films to stand behind their product: Cross- dressing comedies have a proven track record at the box office. And with black men (not white) donning the wigs and make-up, words like "Stereotypical," "race," and "exploitation" don't apply, right?
The joke is ultimately on us. So pardon us if we refuse to laugh.