The National Political Congress of Black Women (NPCBW) launched a campaign today to combat negative stereotypes of minorities and African-American leaders portrayed in Metro Goldwyn Meyer’s recently released movie Barbershop. Joined by the Feminist Majority and the National Organization for Women (NOW) among others, NPCBW is specifically asking MGM to publicly apologize for derogatory statements in the movie about civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. MGM also is being asked to remove these statements from future releases, DVD, and video reproductions of the movie.
“Our own children and grandchildren are used as cultural weapons against their own people,” said Dr. C. Delores Tucker, national chair of the NPCBW. “We will not allow our sense of humor to cloud our sense of honor.” Dr. Tucker also read a letter from Rosa Parks asking MGM to reverse historical inaccuracies in a sequel to Barbershop currently in production.
Dr. C. Delores Tucker led a similar movement several years ago against Time Warner, asking them to halt distribution of “gangsta rap” music, which contains derogatory lyrics about women and minorities. “Women have become so accustomed to disparaging stereotypes of us that we just let it roll off,” said Kim Gandy, president of NOW. “If you let it go the first time it happens a second time and then a third and then a fourth. Before you know it our children are using that language.”