White Supremacism

The Birth Of A Nation (1915)

Yes, the first blockbuster in cinema history – originally called The Clansman – really did romanticise the Ku Klux Klan. Created by DW Griffith, it is now rarely screened publicly. It was a deplorable piece of racist propaganda created to reassure American whites of their primacy and fire up hatred of black people. Still widely considered the most racist movie ever.

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Racial caricatures

Dumbo (1941)

Not only jive-talking black crows, speaking in ebonics [American black English] and smoking, but one of them is called Jim – a name that at that time would only have evoked one thing, the Jim Crow racial segregation laws. And that really doesn’t seem something to joke about in front of the kids.

Yellow face

Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)

The iconic film, adored by many, contained what now seems like one of the most crude and shocking racial caricatures in Hollywood movies in Mr Yunioshi. In false teeth, and yellow face make-up, Mickey Rooney merrily slapsticked his way through this caricature of a bad-tempered, frustrated landlord reminiscent of the cartoons of the Japanese during World War II.

Homophobia

Adventures in Babysitting (1987)

And from the mouths of babes! “Thor’s a homo,” is the taunt big brother Brad uses against his sister’s love for the superhero Thor. “Thor’s a complete homo.”

Transphobia

Silence of the Lambs (1991)

A serial-killer, in Buffalo Bill, who skins his female victims’ corpses and aims to build a “woman suit” of real skin. Could a film get more trans-demonising?

Arab stereotyping

Disney’s Aladdin (1992)

Disney’s film set the Arab-American lunged straight in with the excruciating lyric, “Oh, I come from a land, from a faraway place. Where the caravan camels roam. Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face. It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.”