USA Today's 'Race-Themed' Movie Headline Fail

3 years ago

USA Today found itself in the embarrassing position of being the news story, after the paper caught criticism for its headline about "race-themed films". What's the problem with that? For starters, the article isn't about a plethora of box-office hits about different races, but mainly a story about the movie The Best Man Holiday, which isn't a film that explores race, so much as a romantic comedy or family holiday movie.

Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Awesomely Luvvie takes the newspaper to task, pointing out that calling The Best Man Holiday a "race-themed" film, is as ludicrous as calling some movies or shows featuring nearly all-white casts as "race-themed":

"With that logic, then Girls is "race-themed" too. It’s about boring white girls who live in NYC. So was Friends which is about hilarious white yuppies in NYC. And Titanic was a race-themed biopic about white folks who drowned on a cruise ship that crashed.

Hollywood thinks that any movie with a mostly-Black cast is a “Black movie” instead of simply just a MOVIE. I wish they’d call movies with only melanin-deficient folks “white movies” too. EQUAL NARROW-MINDEDNESS FOR ALL!!! But that won’t happen because white is the default.

USA Today has since changed its headline, but you can still see their original tweet on Twitter:

Of course, the immediate outcry on Twitter played a role in calling attention to the newspaper's faux pas:

USA Today has now changed its headline to remove the terms "race-themed" and "diverse" and added an editor's note explaining how the Twitter outcry played a role.

What do you think about the USA Today's original headline? Did they handle the fallout well?

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about raising an Asian mixed-race family at HapaMama.

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