+
Inclusivity

Scars don't make you evil: Disability activists are speaking out over outdated movie trope

Scars don't make you evil: Disability activists are speaking out over outdated movie trope
via MGM

Rami Malek as Lyutsifer Safin in "No Time to Die."

One of the longest-running tropes in popular entertainment is having a villain with a scarred or disfigured face. Try to think of a horror film where the bad guy doesn't suffer from some sort of disfigurement.

Candyman has a hook. Freddy Krueger is severely burned. Jason from "Friday the 13th" is bald, burned and disfigured beneath the hockey mask.

It's also popular in science fiction and adventure films. Darth Vader has to wear a mask to hide his deformity. In Tim Burton's 1989 "Batman," Jack Napier becomes The Joker after having an acid bath that leaves him with a bizarre grin. The bad guy in "The Lion King" is named Scar after a mark on his face.


One film franchise that has relied on the disfigurement trope for far too long is James Bond: Raoul Silva with a deformed jaw in "Skyfall," Le Chiffre's disfigured eye in "Casino Royale," and Alec Trevelyan's scars in "GoldenEye."

Now, in the latest Bond adventure, "No Time to Die," 007 faces two villains with facial differences, Rami Malek's Safin and Christoph Waltz's Blofeld.

Author and disability advocate Jen Campbell called out the Bond franchise in a recent viral tweet thread:


"[The face is] the #1 part of the body we use for socializing and is strongly tied to our sense of personal identity, so in essence, destroying a person's face is the equivalent to destroying his or her life," TV Tropes writes. "This trope can include those who die from the disfigurement, but it's more effective (and more horrifying) to have the victim live with it," the site continues.

The problem is that after being bombarded with countless bad guys who have facial irregularities, we begin to associate facial scarring and disfigurement with evil. This leads to discrimination against people with facial differences.



Actor and presenter Adam Pearson, who has neurofibromatosis, says it's not just about banning villains with scars from TV and film but showing that there can be protagonists and love interests with facial differences, too.

"When the only character with a scar or disfigurement is shown on screen as the villain, it's perpetuating the use of an old-fashioned and outdated trope," he told ITV News.

"This isn't about banning baddies from having scars or telling people not to enjoy a trip to the cinema, it's about putting a line in the sand and saying now is the time to ensure other characters can be seen on screen with a visible difference too," he said.

The film was also criticized by Phyllida Swift, the CEO of Face Equality International, an alliance of groups working to promote face equality.

"'This is not simply an outdated stereotype, or a poor creative choice, this is indicative of a society that doesn't see facial difference as an equality issue worthy of respect and consideration," she said in a statement.

"No Time to Die" marks the final performance of Daniel Craig as James Bond. In a few years, there will no doubt be a new 007 and some new villains for us to root against. Maybe a new era will bring fresh ideas and villains who are threatening for more reasons than their appearance.

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

Keep ReadingShow less
www.youtube.com

Man hailed 'Highway Hero' for running across four lanes of traffic

Holy cow, Bat Man! You're always supposed to be aware of other vehicles when you're driving but what do you do when you notice someone has lost consciousness while speeding down the highway?

It's a scenario that no one wants to see play out, but for Adolfo Molina, the scenario became reality and he didn't hesitate to spring into action. Molina was driving down the highway when he spotted a woman in a blue car who lost consciousness as her car careened down the shoulder of the highway. The concerned driver quickly pulled over in order to attempt to rescue the woman.

But there was a problem, he had to cross four lanes of traffic on the highway just to make it to the woman's still moving car. That obstacle didn't stop him. Molina sprinted across the highway, crossing right in front of a black pick up truck before running at full speed to attempt to open the woman's door and stop her car.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

Keep ReadingShow less
Internet

Relationship expert tells people to never get married unless you're willing to do 3 things

"If you and your partner (both) are unable or unwilling to do these 3 things consistently forever, you won’t make it."

Relationship expert gives people advice on getting married.

Being in a relationship can be difficult at times. Learning someone else's quirks, boundaries, and deep views on the world can be eye-opening and hard. But usually, the happy chemicals released in our brain when we love someone can cause us to overlook things in order to keep the peace.

Jayson Gaddis, a relationship expert, took to Twitter to rip off people's rose-colored glasses and tell them to forego marriage. Honestly, with the divorce rate in this country being as high as it is, he probably could've stopped his tweet right there. Don't get married, the end. Many people would've probably related and not questioned the bold statement, but thankfully he followed up with three things you must be willing to do before going to the chapel.

Before going into his reasons for why he tells people not to get married, Gaddis explained that he is a person that "LOVEs being married." I mean, it would probably make him a pretty weird relationship expert if he hated relationships, so it's probably a good thing he enjoys being married. Surely his spouse appreciates his stance as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

Humanitarian Helen Keller circa 1920.

In a 1954 documentary short, humanitarian Helen Keller expressed that her greatest regret in life was being unable to speak clearly. But given that she could not see or hear, her speech was quite remarkable.

Keller was born in 1880 and, at the age of 18 months, contracted an unknown illness that left her deaf and blind. But with the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, she was able to overcome her disabilities and become an outspoken advocate for the voiceless and oppressed.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

10 years ago, a 'Stairway to Heaven' performance brought Led Zeppelin's surviving members to tears

Heart, John Bonham's son and a full choir came together for the epic tribute.

Led Zeppelin got to see their iconic hit performed for them.

When Billboard and Rolling Stone pull together their "Best Songs of All Time" lists, there are some tunes you know for sure will be included. Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is most definitely one of them.

It has everything—the beauty of a ballad, the grunginess of a rock song, the simple solo voice, and the band in full force. "Stairway to Heaven" takes us on a musical journey, and even people who aren't necessarily giant Led Zeppelin or classic rock fans can't help but nod or sing along to it.

Of course, it's also been so ubiquitous (or overplayed, as some would claim) to become a meme among musicians. Signs saying "No Stairway to Heaven" in guitar stores point to how sick of the song many guitarists get, and when Oregon radio station KBOO told listeners they would never play the song again if someone pledged $10,000, Led Zepelin singer Robert Plant himself called in and gave the donation.

Keep ReadingShow less