任睇No.1
  • 30º
  • 76%
  • 2022年8月15日 星期一

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - Minstrel shows|又中又英

Minstrel shows were very popular in the US during the 19th century. They remained popular during the early 20th century but the popularity of minstrel shows declined in the 1940s. They declined further in the 1950s and 1960s when black people formed a civil rights movement to oppose racism. A minstrel show is a stage show during which white actors sing, dance, or do comedy shows. Their faces are painted black to look like African-Americans. The word "blackface" means dark makeup worn by white people to look like black people. Minstrel shows and blackface are no longer socially acceptable in the US because African-Americans consider them racist.

In the 1961 hit movie West Side Story white actors playing the part of Puerto Ricans had their faces darkened to look brown. This is called brownface. In the 2021 remake of West Side Story director Steven Spielberg made sure only Hispanics and Latinos played the part of Puerto Ricans. Hollywood movies in the 1950s sometimes used white actors to play the part of Chinese by making their faces look Chinese. This is called yellowface. Chinese-Americans consider this extremely offensive. Nowadays Hollywood uses Chinese actors to play Chinese roles. That's why I was surprised when I read media reports that said TVB used a Chinese actress to play the part of a Filipino domestic helper. The actress became a brownface by darkening her face and legs with make-up.

Media reports said many Hong Kong people and some Chinese-language media found nothing wrong with this. It made me wonder how Chinese-Americans and Chinese people in Hong Kong and the mainland would react if Hollywood used a white actor nowadays to play the part of a Chinese by using make-up to make the actor's face yellow. I am sure Chinese people everywhere would be furious. Media reports said TVB has now decided to temporarily not air the second part of the show and will make changes. TVB deserves praise for making the right decision.
*****

黑臉走唱秀(minstrel shows)在十九世紀的美國非常受歡迎,這些表演在二十世紀初仍然流行,但在一九四零年代黑臉走唱秀(minstrel shows)的受歡迎程度已然下降。在一九五○及六○年代,當黑人組織民權運動反對種族歧視之時,這些表演就更不受歡迎。A minstrel show是一種舞台表演,由白人表演唱歌、跳舞和詼諧喜劇,他們會將臉塗黑,扮成非裔美國人。Blackface一字就是指白人塗黑臉的戲劇化妝,讓他們看起來像黑人。現在美國社會已不再接受黑臉走唱秀(minstrel shows)與黑臉扮裝(blackface),因為非裔美國人視之為種族歧視。

一九六一年的大熱電影《夢斷城西》裏,扮演波多黎各人的白人演員亦將臉部膚色塗深一些,看上去像棕色人種,這就叫做brownface。二○二一年《夢斷城西》重拍時,導演史提芬史匹堡就確保只有西班牙裔和拉丁裔人可以出演波多黎各人的角色。一九五○年代的荷里活電影有時也會用上白人演員去飾演華人角色,讓他們透過化妝去看起來像華人,這就叫yellowface。華裔美國人亦認為這是極其冒犯的。今時今日,荷里活都會用華人演員去出演華人角色,因此當我讀到有傳媒報道,無線電視用一個華籍女藝人去扮演一個菲律賓籍家庭傭工時,我很是驚訝。那位女藝人用化妝把自己的臉和腳的膚色塗深,就成了棕色臉孔(brownface)。

傳媒報道指,許多香港人和一些中文傳媒都不覺此有何不妥。這令我思忖,今時今日若然荷里活起用一位白人演員去飾演一個華人角色,用化妝去令這位演員的臉變黃,華裔美國人以至香港與內地的華人又會有甚麼反應?我肯定,世界各地的華人都會勃然大怒。傳媒報道指,無線現已決定暫不會在網上播出電視劇的第二部份,亦會變更有關內容。無線作出正確的決定,值得讚許。mickchug@gmail.com
中譯:七刻
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

hd