Does ‘La La Land’ deserve the backlash for sentimentality & ‘white privilege’?

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Against my better judgment, I went to see La La Land this weekend instead of Hidden Figures. I wish I had seen Hidden Figures (CB said it was so good!) because I came out of La La Land so annoyed. It’s not that La La Land (hereafter referred to as LLL so I don’t have to keep typing it out) is a bad movie – it’s actually not a bad movie at all. Now that I’ve seen it, I totally get why writer-director Damien Chazelle is the leading contender for all of those Best Director awards. Having seen Moonlight, I think Barry Jenkins should also be a huge part of the conversation for Best Director too (in my mind, the awards could and should go to either of them), but I won’t be mad if Chazelle takes home the Best Director Oscar. He had a $30 million budget and he did so much with it. Some of the shots and long-takes (without cuts/edits) were breathtaking in scope. LLL really is a beautiful – if twee – film.

My main problem was with the story and the hype around the performances. While you could tell that Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone both put in a lot of work for their roles, it bugs me that Emma is seen as such a major Oscar contender and Gosling is not. Gosling had so much more to do and his character had more meat while Emma’s character was little more than a cardboard cutout of a struggling actress. She had no character arc – she got everything she wanted without having to change or grow. Plus, she was one of those stereotypical pseudo-coy don’t-look-at-me-aren’t-I-adorable actress-y actresses. Super-annoying.

Other conversations around the film – there’s a conversation about white privilege and “the privilege of nostalgia,” as in LLL is a throw-back to twee, treacly, sentimental Hollywood musicals set in the 1950s for the most part, and only white folks get nostalgic about that time. There’s also a problem with a white character wanting to “save jazz,” although having seen the movie, I think they dealt with that issue within the story, through John Legend’s character. Speaking of, Legend was the only non-white supporting character. There were people of color around, but they were mostly used as window-dressing for the white characters’ love story. The most disturbing scene (for me) was when Gosling’s Seb is performing at a jazz club, with an audience that is primarily African-American, and all of the black folks form a circle around Emma’s Mia as she dances. Like, literally, black folks are only there to serve as background.

Salon had a piece about the quiet backlash against LLL following its dominance at the Golden Globes, and whether that backlash will ultimately affect its Oscar chances. My prediction is that LLL will lead in Oscar nominations and Emma and Chazelle will likely take home Oscars, regardless of the backlash. I’m still hoping that Moonlight picks up Best Picture though (but it might just be a pipe dream at this point).

PS… These are photos of Emma, Ryan and Damien in Paris last week. Em’s wearing Chanel.

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Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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123 Responses to “Does ‘La La Land’ deserve the backlash for sentimentality & ‘white privilege’?”

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  1. Carryon says:

    I mean.. I can’t see it but this seems to be one of more ‘American’ issues really. La La Land is a very well shot feel good movie, I don’t think it is making a statement about anything. Good luck to both though , I love musicals.

    • lightpurple says:

      I agree. I don’t think it is about making as statement of any sort either. It is just a bittersweet love story set to music. But I also agree with Kaiser that Ryan’s character had the better story arc and I was more invested in him than Emma’s character.

      • lannisterforever says:

        To each their own. I absolutely liked her character more and was way more invested in her story, so to me she was the lead. That’s not to say Ryan was bad, but Emma was the one who held my attention.

      • lightpurple says:

        I think she does a great job and I enjoyed the film for the escapism it was. But the ending had me not liking her character

      • Shambles says:

        I tend to agree. While there’s always more room for representation in every film, I think the bittersweet love story was the main point. I left the theater with the message, “The love never goes away no matter how it ends.”

        LightPurple, what about the ending had you not liking her character? Was it because the life she ended up with seemed superficial?

      • mee says:

        Agree about the story – the message seemed to be that your career/dreams may require a sacrifice, even true love. It was bittersweet, nostalgic, and left me feeling both sad and happy.

        I could see that Ryan’s character seeks to be a bit of a white savior but I just saw a person who was truly committed to his passion. I thought his performance was great.

      • Lightpurple says:

        @Shambles. Exactly. And he was trying to build that sort of life for her and she said it wasn’t what she wanted.

    • Merry says:

      Its most definitely attempting to make a statement or did you miss the scene where Ryan Gosling “explains” to us and bizarrely the black human props in the movie, the origin and power of jazz. Its not lost on some of us that Gosling is this fantastic hero rescuing a black art form from the hands of a black character who is soiling it. I mean who will guard our culture, if not the blond blue eyed white boy? Who shall save our culture from our own “corruption” if not our white savior! I dont know if people are just oblivious or if this is the new Trump era in which we should just be grateful that one black character was a plot tool and not just a prop like all the poor PoC at the beginning.

      • Nicole says:

        Exactly it did try and make a statement and it missed considering jazz originated with African Americans as did most music movements. It was twee and black background players were used as props.
        If I don’t think about La La Land then I enjoy it. I love the music and the acting/directing was great. However if I take a deeper look then yes it has problems.

        My friend and I loved the movie but we both said they didn’t deserve the GG sweep they got. And I’m beyond baffled as to why Ryan isn’t more of an Oscars push then Emma. Realistically if I had to pick it would be Ryan and Denzel vs Amy Adams and Octavia (if she’s considered a lead)

      • lightpurple says:

        Octavia is considered more supporting in Hidden Figures with Taraji as the lead. LaLa was sweeping in the comedy/musical categories. The other heavy hitters are all in drama so it has not gone directly against any of them yet.

      • velourazure says:

        I was disappointed (but I guess ultimately not surprised) that a young guy like this writer/director didn’t have something more progressive to add regarding the jazz storyline. Shouldn’t younger people have a more evolved mindset than the typical old white Hollywood man who has controlled everything for so long?

    • Sixer says:

      My dad (musical fan) wanted to see it so I took him.

      I thought it was all nice and lovely and well made and acted and all that jazz. But um… a bit boring? Blah Blah Bland, I called it, coming out of the cinema, much to my dad’s irritation cos he loved it.

      But I think my view is coloured by my being so thoroughly sick of nostalgia-driven films and TV since the British industry is utterly saturated with it. And there’s always an element of supremacist thinking attached to nostalgia output, whether that be race, class, gender or whatever. Often unconscious in a well-intentioned piece, but there nevertheless.

      • MollyD says:

        @velourazure
        LLL’s director Chazelle is white male Harvard grad who got his rich friends to fund his shorts and first film. White men in Hollywood see themselves in these guys which is why they get mainstream directing jobs. Look at Colin Trevorrow – ivy schooled white males get more career opportunities than women and POC that have been working forever just trying for a directing gig.

        I’m rooting for Barry Jenkins.

    • Carryon says:

      @Merry

      I see your point. That’s why i said ‘American’ because sometime being a foreigner , i miss this kind of things.
      @Sixer
      Yeah, La La Land is very romanticised and twee. But apart from very horrible events in history,or even them really, don’t we always romanticise it? We used to be smarter, more moral etc. Every historical movie is going to be romanticised. It is nog even something we do on purpose, it just happens! Whether it is Blitz spirit or Ghandi, It is completely romanticised so i won’t fault periodical dramas for that.
      This movie was just fun to me, i did not think about it in these terms. I definitely did not want to transport to 50s or anything. If they were going for ‘white holywood nostalgia’, thet went way over my head.
      It is just a romantic comedy with music don’t expect more so you won’t get dissapointed.

      • Timbuktu says:

        @Carryon
        I think you’re spot on. The prime example of it, for me, is “Roman holiday”. I’ve lost count how many times I got yelled at by people who think that it’s the most romantic comedy ever. I’m not American, so I actually saw the movie for the first time when I was something like 35, and I can’t FATHOM how it can be considered such a great movie. Talking about twee! I am generally a fan of Audrey, but I thought her acting in that movie was laughable (wasn’t it her first role? it shows, I think), the story was sketchy, the characters very under-developed, the love story hurried, etc., etc. Like, literally, if you think about that movie for 1 second, it sucks, especially by modern standards. Yet so many people adore it. I am 100% sure if that movie came out today, they’d poo-poo all over it, but since it’s old, black-and-white, and features beloved icons – it’s suddenly the best thing since sliced bread.

        Just to say: I find a lot of old movies fantastic. I love Casablanca, It’s a wonderful life, Street car named Desire… But that one was not on par with other great old movies, I thought.

    • noway says:

      I don’t understand the feel good part. Yes the movie is well shot, some good music, and interesting to view, but it is kind of sad. I’m not sure I get the white privilege comment either. Yes there were few supporting African Americans in the film, but honestly there wasn’t a lot of supporting characters of any depth in the film at all, and John Legend made the most sense of any of characters in the movie. The two main characters are white and it is really just about them. Not sure every movie has to be looked through that prism, even if it is about jazz. My problem with the film is it just isn’t as good as the hype. It is a little slow and long, and the singing is thin, which might have been intentional as Emma’s last song is definitely stronger. I can see how some liked it, but to me just a bit too try hard to be cool.

      • Timbuktu says:

        I agree with you.
        I did feel like the movie was a little slow at times, much like Mia, I’m not all that into jazz, so I could do with fewer interludes and such. However, the last sequence, that begins in Seb’s jazz club, gave me goosebumps and redeemed the movie entirely in my eyes, it was just so visually perfect and translated the feeling of longing for what could have been so well!

    • lululu says:

      Well it did try to make a statement, as others have addressed. But even if it didn’t, a movie doesn’t have to INTEND to make a statement to inadvertently make a statement.

    • TyrantDestroyed says:

      I really liked how the movie and the way it was structured and I think Damien deserves the Oscar buzz as director (he won my heart with Whiplash, which I think was a better movie overall). However I think the story was somehow vapid and even if I love jazz I felt something was lacking and I think Ryan’s character was better developed than Emma’s.

  2. OSTONE says:

    I am a WOC and I LOVED La La Land. I don’t see a problem with it and it was a great source of escapism for me. I can see the resemblance with the Golden age of cinema and musicals and being nostalgic about it, but it doesn’t mean one has to be nostalgic for the 1950s. I think the performances by Emma and Ryan were phenomenal and I do agree than Ryan needs to be part of the conversation (rather him have the Oscar than the lesser Affleck). I want to see representation for everybody, and while I am neither white nor twee or an actress, I still related so much and saw myself in Mia (Emma’s character).

    • Annetommy says:

      I saw Manchester by the Sea and La La Land in succession. LLL was great fun and the leads were very appealing. Manchester, while having some lovely black humour in it, was a draining, harrowing and wonderful film. Michelle Williams and especially Casey Affleck were superb and heartbreaking. I have little doubt that Affleck’s performance deserves the Oscar. And yes, I could not forget the allegations about his behaviour, and in fact one scene in the film was uncomfortably reminiscent of that. I know some people on the site are boycotting it and I respect that. But I went to see it, I loved it, and I loved his performance, and that is between me and my conscience.

      • Shark Bait says:

        I saw it with a friend a few weeks ago and I thought it was an excellent film. Casey’s performance was heartbreaking. I just have an issue with the fact that he was able to get the role in the first place. His performance is Oscar worthy, no doubt, but it just speaks to Hollywood that a man can come away from things unscathed.

        I think the trailers did a big disservice to the film, people think it’s just another story of a relative having to raise a moody teen after their parent dies, when it’s so much more than that.

        Lala Land was a fun movie, but it was much lighter and more escapism.

      • Amanda says:

        I saw Manchester and that movie weirdly stayed with me for awhile after.

        I wish that Viola put herself in the Best Actress category. I know it’s an easier shot in Best Supporting, but I think she could have had a shot in Best Actress too. I don’t think that Emma’s performance was that strong.

    • Timbuktu says:

      THANK YOU, Ostone!
      I was about to write that just because you’re nostalgic for the musicals of the 1950-s doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to bring back the racism and oppression, too! Movies were escapism then as well! And there is no arguing that we no longer make movies like those, so if someone wants to pursue or revive that genre, well, they have to turn to those times. I mean… Chanel is currently re-releasing some perfumes that were originally made in the 1930-s and 1940-s, I hardly think it’s because they are nostalgic for Hitler, perhaps they just want revive legacy scents, or maybe they are just plain lazy and unoriginal, but still not necessarily nazi.

  3. Bex says:

    While I agree with you that the character of Mia is drawn much more thinly than Seb, I think that’s an issue with the screenplay rather than the performances. I don’t believe that Emma is the best in her category, but I think she deserves all the credit she’s getting for making Mia seem complex and human despite her character being rather slight on paper.

  4. Margo S. says:

    I agree with everything you say kaiser. I saw this movie last week and I was left feeling very “meh”. I was actually pissed when I saw that rotten tomatoes has it at like 95%… what?! I mean it’s an alright movie but not 95% good! It wasn’t like it was that original like Arrival. It’s just a throwback to old musicals which people have seen many a times. Stone and gosling were good in the film but then you see performances from the likes of Viola davis and I’m sorry, they don’t even compare.

    • Megan says:

      ITA. We also thought it was overlong. If it had been 45 mins shorter, we would have liked it better.

    • isabelle says:

      Arrival and The Witch were my favorite movies this year because they were very original. La La Land, felt the same meh. I’ve seen it before just without the music.

  5. Frannydays says:

    I didn’t like it until almost the very end. I just couldn’t connect to the characters for some reason. But my fiancé loved it! I got the soundtrack on vinyl for him for his birthday 👍

  6. MostlyMegan says:

    I watched La La Land and was sadly underwhelmed. I love the old Gene Kelly musicals and I guess after the Golden Globes sweep, I was expecting something truly magnificent on the scale of true old Hollywood musicals. This wasn’t. But it’s fine, if a bit boring. I think the performers lack chemistry and the singing and dancing is just okay. But I don’t think everything needs a race(ist) tag – does everything have to be about race now? It’s just a sentimental movie about two white people set in a glamourised version of LA – which I think is still allowed, right? If Manhattan was Allen’s love letter to New York, this is Chazelle’s love letter to LA (unfortunately it’s not on par with Manhattan).

    • noway says:

      Funny you mentioned, Gene Kelly, as I saw La La Land, I was thinking I should just go home and watch Singing in the Rain. It probably would have been more satisfying, and I could appreciate the great Debbie Reynolds too.

      • MostlyMegan says:

        Sining in the Rain is one of my favourite movies of all time. Some people say there were some ‘Easter Eggs’ in La La Land from Kelly’s productions – I might say it was more of a ‘sampling’ than an homage. :) But nothing compares to the original.

  7. Jeesie says:

    It’s a beautiful film, breathtaking in parts.

    I’m black, and I adore the old movie musicals. Doesn’t mean I want to go back to the 40′s and 50′s, anymore than loving Shakespeare or Mozart means I’m hankering to live in a world without modern medicine and sewage pipes. They’re beautiful films, and anyone who thinks only white people enjoy them or are influenced by them clearly hasn’t watched much world cinema.

    I don’t really get your criticism of Stone’s character. She goes from being a failed actress/barista to a woman putting herself out there , taking risks, writing and starring in her own work. How is that not an arc? She did change, a lot, and in the end she made a huge sacrifice for her work.

    The opening number was incredibly diverse, one of the few times I’ve seen LA shown as the melting pot it is. After that it zeroes in on the two leads. That’s what the scene with Stone and the black dancers is, zeroing in on the lead. It was a very obvious stylistic choice.

    • tifzlan says:

      I am a HUGE Gene Kelly fan and one of my favorite things about La La Land was spotting the little Easter eggs of which Kelly movies Chazelle was pulling for in certain shots and even dance routines. In fact, i watch more “Old Hollywood” movies than I do movies of this day and age. I rarely go to the movies unless it’s something i really, really want to see. I agree Jeesie – just because I am a big fan of Old Hollywood doesn’t mean that I am glossing over or romanticizing the very real socio-political issues that happened during that era.

      Honestly, i don’t understand this particular criticism of the movie. It’s clear to me that La La Land was an homage to the old musicals that used to be so popular. To greats like Kelly and Astaire. To Hollywood. It was never a movie that wanted to make a grand statement about today’s current state of affairs. I thought the movie was too twee at times but for what the movie is, i really enjoyed it. The ending really made it for me as well. Grounded the movie and brought the whole juxtaposition of “la la land” dreams and reality to the forefront.

      I also disagree with you, Kaiser, on Emma Stone’s performance. I thought she was great and she certainly deserves the awards that have or will come her way. She’s such a talented actress, i’ve liked her in most of the movies i’ve seen her act in. I thought the musical aspect of the film was a little weak but i didn’t come in hoping to see Judy Garland-level of song and dance anyway, so i was fine with it. My main gripe with the movie is i felt that the writers could have explained a little more as to why Sebastian and Keith were frosty with each other in the beginning. It was clear that Seb didn’t like Keith but they never explained why and all of a sudden, he’s touring with the guy. Other than that, i thought it was a good movie.

      • Little Darling says:

        I love, and dearly miss, old musicals. I just watched That’s Entertainment, and the simplicity of seeing song and dance in film is what I’m attracted to. The Nichols Brothers danced alongside Gene Kelly, and while it’s not progressive to current standards, it wasn’t entirely white washed either, considering the times.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiYf0L-QP_k

        I will watch ANY dance movie, and ANY musical. With whatever cast color. I honestly with there was more of a market for musicals and not so much of those rebooted action movies.

      • tifzlan says:

        @Little Darling The Pirate is my favorite Judy Garland movie EVER! I still remember the first time i watched The Nicholas Brothers and Gene Kelly dance together for that routine. It was mesmerizing, i was completely in awe. Made me want to pick up tap dancing. So graceful yet athletic and strong. Every now and then i Youtube clips of The Nicholas Brothers dancing and i get chills every single time. Amazing performers.

      • Little Darling says:

        I went to town on youtube clips after Debbie Reynolds passed. Ginger and Fred, Gene, Ethel, Debbie, Judy, the Nichols Brothers…so many more. I love how TALENTED they all were, singing, dancing, tap dancing, acting. I’m just amazed, time and time again.

      • SusanneToo says:

        The Pirate is a wonderful movie-the best Gene/Judy movie they made. I love that movie to pieces. Gene’s dance with the Nicholas Brothers leaves me in awe every time. The Pirate was ahead of its time and never received the attention it should have.
        Every month Turner Classic Movies presents a classic film on the big screen and last Sunday it was Singin’ in the Rain. It was just as glorious as it was in 1952. The greatest musical ever made imo.
        It’s great to know there are others who still love musicals.

    • Nicole says:

      Another WOC that loves old Hollywood movies and musicals. I grew up on them. I think the criticism comes in because they TRIED to go there with the explanation of jazz bit and it failed. Had they left it out then eh the criticism wouldn’t be as big. However, I don’t agree with the nostalgia bit only being for white people. I can enjoy the music and dancing for what it is. I’m not always looking for commentary in every single thing. Sometimes I want to escape and LLL does this for me.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I agree with your view of the movie. I do see how you can interpret Gosling’s character as the white dude trying to save black music but on the other hand, he did get slapped for it (figuratively speaking) by John Legend’s character Keith who set him straight about what Jazz was really all about. I didn’t think that his overly nostalgic passion for “real/original” jazz made him look all that great. It made him look lost, like he was clinging to something he didn’t fully understand in the first place. I think he was clinging to it because he didn’t know what to do with his life or how to get there.

      Yes, it’s a twee-looking movie about two white characters falling in love to jazz. Is that enough to make it problematic?

      Also, I don’t think it compares in any way to Hidden Figures, which I will watch as soon as it comes out here. That’s not even … they have nothing in common. You can still enjoy or dislike both.

    • Timbuktu says:

      Jessie,
      I just tried to make the exact same point above! Couldn’t agree with you more!
      Although I admit I would’ve preferred the sequence where Emma dances in the jazz club alone to be shot with other couples dancing, but I don’t think it’s grounds for screaming “white privilege”.

  8. Right says:

    I watched it yesterday and it’s beautiful indeed. Also agree that Gosling deserves more acknowledgement for his character than Emma, she’s good but it’s not like she’s bagged the status of modern musical icon with this role, far from that. All in all, I left the theatre feeling good and a bit nostalgic about the wishful thinking of the last scene, not really about the hollywood golden era, the jazz scenario felt a little left out in regards to its roots, which turned me off a little.

  9. Barrett says:

    It seemed so out dated and twee that I have no desire to see it. I like real history and want to see hidden figures.

    • Snazzy says:

      Yup, that’s why I’m not planning on seeing it either. Nothing interesting about it. Looking forward to seeing Hidden Figures though!

  10. Sam says:

    Yes it does. And I hate the fact that everyone has been so hush hush about it or tries to change the narrative.

    This is why I won’t get on board the La La Land awards train. Along with the fact I was meh on it, as well. Maybe it’s just me though.

  11. Karen says:

    Ugh I just think it’s a plain overrated movie.

    I did the same thing: saw la la land instead of hidden figures…and righting this wrong this week.

    I hated the pacing. Hated the direction – one too many cheap directing tricks of lingering on faces to add seriousness… only I just felt like I was staring at Ryan and Emma waiting to hear “cut.” I hated the cheap sliding-doors scene. Adding to that, no one had a truly strong voice and Emma was not a graceful dancer. It worked so well when the two interacted, conversed/flirted/yelled, but they made you work and wait for those scenes. Which personally made me feel unconnected to anyone, I honestly didn’t care if they succeeded or failed, if they stayed together or didn’t.

    I love musicals, can’t remember one I hated, but apparently I hated this one.

  12. Savu says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I shook my head, rolled my eyes and whispered “white people” under my breath. (I’m white, if it’s relevant.)

    I couldn’t handle Gosling’s character struggling to take the job with John Legend’s band. YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAM, BUT YOU’RE STRUGGLING WITH DOING A JOB YOU DON’T LIKE TO GET THERE??!?! So many of us DREAM of doing a job we hate to end up doing the thing we love. Ugh. And he gets to have an existential crisis about it.

    It WAS really beautiful to watch, and I liked spotting all the old movie references. But like… idk. It felt like the “meat” emotionally was shown in the visuals… THAT’S what made you feel things, not the writing.

  13. ell says:

    i don’t get the hype over emma stone, i find all of her choices in film roles to be boring and unchallenging, and la la land doesn’t seem any different. but of course, old white dudes in hollywood are all over it.

  14. JulP says:

    I think there was a missed opportunity here to have one or both of the leads be POC. It would have added some much-needed depth to the film and performances. As one reviewer pointed out, it’s not really a stretch that two attractive white people end up making it in Hollywood. And I think the issue with Gosling’s character is that he represented “pure” jazz, whereas Legend’s character was portrayed as being a sell-out. It’s a bit tone deaf to have the white guy in the movie portray a jazz purist, given that jazz is a genre that was started by African Americans.

    I was really underwhelmed by the film. I do think Gosling was much better (he’s a much more subtle actor, which I appreciate, and apparently he learned how to play the piano for this role, so I’m kinda hoping he’ll DiCaprio his way to an Oscar so Casey Affleck doesn’t win), but it bothered me that the two leads can’t sing or dance well (and that scene where all the POC surrounded Emma Stone was hilarious! I mean come on, as if they’d be that impressed by her basic dance moves). I also really didn’t care for the songs (except the first one), and the dialogue was pretty bad. Moonlight was a much better film, they’re not even in the same league in my opinion.

    • Timbuktu says:

      Well, I mean, is it REALLY that tone-deaf to think that there could be ONE white guy who loves jazz so much, he’s a purist, and ONE black guy who’s a sell-out? Cause that’s all that the movie says. It doesn’t say that all black guys are sell-outs or that all white guys love jazz.
      Sure, if you inscribe this in the broader context of white-washing, etc., it becomes more problematic, but I feel like it’s on all of Hollywood, not just on this movie. Had the broader context been more diverse, this one representation of just 2 guys would not have or should not have been an issue. So, while this movie could take it upon themselves to be the change, I also feel like it’s not necessarily fair to saddle them with the score for countless missed opportunities.

  15. SM says:

    Maybe it’s bad timing, but I have no desire to see this movie. Sounds so….artificially sweet. Of course that’s nobody’s fault. No one could predict we will live in such an uneasy time even a year back. However, reading your opinion on this film I tend to think this is a bigger problem then say the issue of Tilda in Doctor Strange. It may be agrued that the actors best suitable to communicate a director’s vision have to be cast and all all actors really do all day is pretend to be who they are not. But with this film it’s the story. Seems like the issue of the film is something only white people can relate to and the thought of a white dude saving jazz is just bizzare. It’s not an issue of one character that is whitewashed but it is an issue of white people utilize the culture that do not belong to them

    • pandabird says:

      I don’t know if I can stand watching these two vanilla wafers dance and sing. I get irrationally irritated these days over predominately white casted films and tv…*le sigh*

      • Timbuktu says:

        But why??? I’m all for diversity, and obviously, in this movie, one or both characters could have easily been black. But at the same time, Emma and Ryan worked together twice before and appear to be good friends, so maybe the director liked the idea of them as a couple, rather than risking it by matching 2 actors who have never worked together?
        I mean, until recently my friends were predominantly white, and the only reason it changed is because I started working in a predominantly black school… Whites ARE a majority in America, still. I know only one interracial couple. I don’t go out of my way to have white friends, it just happens. I’m sorry?

      • pandabird says:

        @Timbuktu, I’m sure this movie isn’t hurting for my $20. LOL.

      • Jeesie says:

        I’m not liking this trend of putting down every film with a predominantly white cast. There’s a huge difference between wanting more diversity on-screen, and acting like every film that doesn’t look like a Benneton ad is some kind of moral failure.

        I’m black. I want to see more black and Asian, Latino, Native American, Middle Eastern and so on actors given juicy roles. Interesting roles. But that doesn’t mean there can’t still be plenty of films with mostly white actors. In this country white people are the majority, by a lot. It’s fine if that’s represented, in fact it would be pretty weird if it swung too much the other way. Not every film needs POC, just like not every film with POC needs a white person.

        Anyway, this is a weird film to attack for having a white cast anyway. The film only has 3 fleshed out characters, and one of them is black. The focus is almost unrelentingly on the couple, but in the background there’s a little side plot with an interracial couple, a lot of black extras (more than any other film I’ve ever seen that’s set in LA and not about gangs), and an amazing opening number featuring a ton of POC.

      • Tobbs says:

        @Jessie Perfectly put, couldn’t agree with you more.

  16. Nev says:

    Dry movie. Don’t understand all the hype. It must be some favour to some movie honcho. The previews for Moonlight or Lions or Fences is better than this entire movie.

    • Margo S. says:

      Fences is incredible.

    • isabelle says:

      Musicals are are usually overrated,, with a few exceptions. They blind people with the music, the feel of it but when you strip it down many times, its basic not well written story.

  17. MsCatra says:

    I was very excited to see LLL and was also disappointed. It is twee, which doesn’t bother me. What bothered me was that it also wanted to be deep and therefore felt committed to neither twee or meaningful. The script felt scattershot, not very pulled together. And SPOILER ALERT -

    Mia was supposedly very affected seeing Seb for the first time in 5 years, as if he was such a large and missing piece of her life, that I found it unbelievable that she would not have tried to connect with him in some way after completing her big movie. Afterall, she mightn’t have made it without his encouragement and advice.

    • Karen says:

      SPOILERS:

      I hated that scene. I thought the “what if everything went right” montage was gross. She got everything she wanted the easy way, and he was her puppy tagging along for her ride – he didn’t take the job that compromised his dream (I’m sure the 80s band/restaurant totally werent compromises…) the compromise that taught how to growup and one assumes save money to buy his dream club in the end. It even looked like she dreamed her same baby in the scene, but swapped out who was the father.
      And as you said, she was so effected by seeing him,yet not to go back and even bother to talk to him after her big break (from the audition he pushed her to do) seems odd if he was that fundamental a part of her life and her success.

      • hunter says:

        The baby in the what-if montage was a boy. The baby she had with her husband was a girl. That was obvious and so – not the same baby.

      • Timbuktu says:

        Well, but we don’t know the circumstances. Perhaps her husband was her co-star or her director on that movie, and they fell in love on the set, dated for a couple of years, then married and had a baby? That’s why she never reconnected: she was in a committed relationship with someone else and felt it was unfair to Seb to contact him whilst unavailable, in case he still carried a torch for her? I can’t hold it against the movie because a lot of things can happen in 5 years. Maybe she found a way to thank him without seeing him?

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “She got everything she wanted the easy way”

        I saw the biggest contrasts as how she was treated. In scenario where he gives her the hard shoulder bump when they meet, when he doesn’t support her dreams as much as she has supported his and doesn’t attend her one-woman show, they end up apart but happy. When he kisses her instead of ramming her with his shoulder, when he supports her and goes to her show, they end up happy but together.

  18. Deadnotsleeping says:

    I saw both La La Land and Hidden Figures this weekend and I’m so glad I saw them both. I enjoyed LLL as a light hearted diversion. I thought both leads did a great job, but wished they had hired stronger singers. I couldn’t help wishing someone like Anna Kendrick played Mia. It wouldn’t have been as good a movie without the bitter sweet ending.

    I loved Hidden Figures. I saw it yesterday with my kids (elementary aged) and they were both appalled and horrified at some of the scenes. And I ordered the book it was based on from Amazon when I got home (they also have a kids version of the book now). When the movie ended, the crowd gave it a standing ovation. I can’t remember the last time that happened at a movie.

    • tifzlan says:

      The last time i watch a movie where people applauded, it was Selma! There was also not a single dry eye in the room. Can’t wait to watch Hidden Figures when/if it gets screened in my country!!!

    • Timbuktu says:

      I partly agree about stronger singers, but partly I feel like it added to the movie’s charm. If they hired exceptional singers, it would have created more of a distance between the viewer and the actors (look at those perfect movies! AND she sings like a dream! I could NEVER be like her!). Whereas their less-then-perfect singing and dancing makes them more relatable, and also allows them to transition into musical numbers more naturally, like when you’re at a party, one friend picks up a guitar and starts quietly playing a familiar song, and another friend starts singing along, and the whole party suddenly hushes and listens to a pretty melody, before going on partying. Not a performance as much as a shared experience of story-telling. I thought that it was a modern twist on musicals and I could see that as deliberate and effective in that it created a more intimate space between the audience and the characters.

  19. JeanGenie says:

    I thought LLL was boring.
    Really boring.
    John Legend’s singing made it bearable.
    Just…

  20. Donna says:

    All I can think of is that meme, “Good Morning, America! What are we offended by today?”

    • Merry says:

      Well, goodmorning to you. I’m offended that a jazz musical made in the 21st century continues to make the same mistakes that genre made during Hollywoods “Golden Era”. Is that ok with you or shall we have to “toughen up” and tolerate black erasure in jazz, the insertion of a blonde protector of the art form and the versatile actress who not only plays his blonde love interest but amazingly also Hawaiian born Asian girls? Because if we have inconvinienced you in any way, by airing our grievance then forgive my people, we are still trying to figure out the rules in Trumps America.

      • hunter says:

        Ryan Gosling has brown hair, not blond.

      • Jeesie says:

        There’s no black erasure. With the exception of Gosling’s character, every single jazz artist shown on-screen of talked about is black, and Gosling is actually called out by John Legends character for taking on the role of a ‘protector’ of jazz AND Goslings character listens and changes.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “who not only plays his blonde love interest”

        Serious question…have you seen the movie? Or are you just going off of what you think it is? She is clearly a bold redhead in the movie.

  21. Lucy says:

    I see your point, and it’s a good thing that such debates happen. Very different opinions from different people. I’m still looking forward to seeing it, though.

  22. Mehta says:

    I saw La La Land this weekend. A few minutes after it began I realized there was a smile on my face. That smile continued till the sad ending. I can’t remember the last time I had that reaction to a film. Please don’t take that away from me with all sorts of political/social observations. On a week when Donald Trump becomes President, I needed that smile big time.

  23. Allie says:

    No, it doesn’t deserve the backlash, and truthfully, it wouldn’t be getting all of this backlash if it wasn’t the Oscar front runner.

    I saw La La Land at TIFF, which was truly an incredible experience. The audience applauded during the film after the musical numbers as if we were watching a stage performance. It was quite surreal.

    All that being said, my Oscar dream would be for Moonlight to win Best Picture, La La Land to win for direction, and Manchester to win for screenplay. Unfortunately, splits like that aren’t likely to happen.

  24. bread says:

    The size difference between Gosling’s and Stone’s eyes is freaking me out!

  25. M.A.F. says:

    So it’s suppose to be set in the 1950′s? Including props? That is the one thing I just couldn’t make out from the trailers. If people the were being all hipster-like hanging out in hipster joints or if it really was set in the 1950′s.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      No, it takes place in today’s L.A. There’s just a lot of 50′s imagery including wardrobe etc.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      It is stylized. It is set in modern times (she has a smart phone), but told about two characters who are incredibly romantic (the “idealized version of reality” type of romantic).

    • M.A.F. says:

      Got it. Thanks.

      Maybe I’ll Netflix this movie then.

  26. Tig says:

    I love musicals, and throughly enjoyed LLL. Read somewhere that the director didn’t want trained/professional singers/dancers. And Gosling and Stone have chemistry to spare! I also loved the costumes.
    My take wasn’t that Gosling wanted to “save” jazz, but that he was such a hopeless romantic that he thought he could make time stand still-keep the art form as he thought it should be. John Legend was the “saviour”, recognizing that jazz would-and always will- change, and that he would be a part of that change. And he invited Gosling along to help him accomplish this. On a lighter note, I so loved the convertible that Gosling drove!

    • hunter says:

      Yes this is also how I saw John Legend’s character. As a “next chapter” sort of Jazz enthusiast.

  27. kimbers says:

    Just dont want to see it. . . Maybe one day when it’s on VH1 for the millionth time… i dont think awards are necessarily given to the “best” performances…Hollywood politics has its own role to play.

  28. Twink says:

    I loved it but was really annoyed at the no Latinos in L.A. in 2016. Really?! Aside from that, Emma is just so mesmerizing to watch. She’s awesome.

    • Saks says:

      Yes! That is what my friends and I were talking about the other days, “really? No Mexicans or Latinos at all in 2016 L.A.?!!” The same observation was by another friend made about gays.

      • Jeesie says:

        There’s 3 characters who get more than 5 minutes screentime, and less than 10 who get more than a couple of lines. Only those 3 characters are fleshed out.

        This isn’t an ensemble cast with a dozen characters. It’s very, very tightly focused on the two leads. Any number of characters in the film could be gay, but it would be very awkward to try and jam in a reference to, say, the cafe manager we see for 2 minutes being a lesbian, or the casting director we see for 30 seconds being bi.

        There was a big Latino influence in the opening number that sets us in LA. After that, the film is almost exclusively focused on the two leads. There’s Latino characters in the background, but the film isn’t about the background.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Exactly, Jessie.

    • Lucy2 says:

      I am in agreement with Jessie. I just came home from watching the movie, and the ensemble scenes were so diverse that I noticed it right away. The opening scene in particular looked very much like the population of a modern day city.
      If this were a film with more characters, I could see the argument, but this is a tiny, tiny cast.

  29. Lisa says:

    Anything involving Gosling is bound to be bland.

  30. OTHER RENEE says:

    I said the same thing about Ryan last week. His performance was so much more nuanced and subtle than Emma’s which was more bold. Nothing wrong with that but it’s a shame that his lovely performance isn’t being hyped like it should. That’s par for the course though. Loud and angsty gets the attention.

  31. Frances says:

    Is it just awful that I mix her and Amanda Seyfried up and can barely tell them apart?

  32. msd says:

    Most people I know who have seen LLL have told me they’ve been disappointed. No one said it was bad, just not great. I liked some aspects but disliked others. Overall I don’t think it quite held together and it wasn’t the sort of movie where the themes and characters stayed with me after I left the cinema. I do think it appeals strongly to LA movie people and actors; they like films about themselves.

  33. dumbledork says:

    Took my grade school daughter to see Hidden Figures this weekend too. Absolutely amazing movie.

  34. robyn says:

    I saw La La Land last night and loved it even though the pacing could have been better in the first half. The producer lucked out having such wonderful actors … I can’t imagine anyone else playing the lead parts. I didn’t see Moonlight so can’t make comparisons. However, from the perspective of a white woman who loves watching classic black and white musicals, La La Land didn’t intend to be racially discriminating. I’ve seen plenty of kids in jazz bands in high schools who get totally pulled into the genre. Most are white or Asian in my neck of the woods.

    Dreams are strange things and not exclusive to anyone or any one race. Sometimes to fulfill a dream sacrifices are made and selfishness reigns for a time. There a so many aspects of this movie that can be discussed but to me it was ultimately about being willing to fail over and over again, dedication and choices. The love story glued it all together in a lovely way.

  35. kibbles says:

    I enjoyed La La Land, but feel that it is an overrated film, and that Emma Stone was not the perfect choice for the role. It pulls at the heartstrings of the Hollywood elite and those who decide the Oscar winners because it is a throwback to classic Hollywood films. I was not offended by the nostalgia factor. Some of us people of color do enjoy classic Hollywood films even if they were made during a time when there was segregation and few people of color in these films. I love classic musicals such as West Side Story, Singing in the Rain, the Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Funny Girl, and Gentleman Prefer Blondes.. the list goes on. I just think that La La Land pales in comparison to all of the films I mentioned. It’s simply not that good to be listed among these films as one of the best musicals to come out of Hollywood. Emma Stone does a fine job, but I personally could not get past how underweight she looks. Nor is she great at singing and dancing. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but even AnnE Hathaway would have been better suited for this role. I also agree that Ryan Gosling gave a stronger performances and deserves more accolades than Emma Stone, but Stone seems to be Hollywood’s darling and has a good shot of winning the Oscar. Simply put, I was expecting better dance and singing performances by the two leads to live up to all of the hype I’ve heard about this film.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      It pulls at the heartstrings of the artistic community because it pokes at the internal struggle between commercial and artistically fulfilling. You get that TV show, but it is horribly written. You finally get to make money being a musician, but it is with a cheesy band. You are in a band that makes money, but it means you are away from your loved ones 90% of the year on tour. What is the “winning” hand in that scenario?

      I think far above and beyond the technical skills of dancing or singing, their acting was incredible. I thought their ache was so believable.

  36. Bliss 51 says:

    I’m 65 and grew up watching and loving old Hollywood musicals on tv. LaLa Land would be a B to C Hollywood musical w/ Bobby Van. IMDB him if you’re thinking “who?”

  37. S says:

    The overly romantic and nostalgic look at Hollywood was kind of the point of the movie, so I don’t understand the criticism of that. And it is definitely an overapplication of the term “white savior” – jazz absolutely originated within African American culture but there are countless devotees of old school jazz and there have been white jazz artists going back almost to the beginning. If anything, wouldn’t it have been MORE offensive if Seb had constantly been surrounded by white jazz artists? The other musicians were background because they weren’t part of the story – you can only have so many characters in a romance movie before it gets bloated. And John Legend’s part was good.

  38. Blank, Jerri says:

    This is just my opinion so… take from this what you will.

    Another movie about a starry-eyed ingenue, with bright eyes and a scrappy, ‘can do’ attitude is a dead horse that H’wood loves to beat into the earth. It’s been done. To. Death.

    To me, this problem harkens back to the outrage people felt when the Best Picture campaign was torn between Saving Private Ryan and Shakespear in Love. SPR was an extraordinary film that is tough to watch but it’s not a smug, self-satisfied ‘nudge-nudge’ ‘wink-wink’ to actors, directors and to voting members of the Acadamy. At its heart, the Oscar campaign between the two films was reduced to a shallow PR campaign of ‘Who will win? Love or War?’ And of course, self-satisfied actors chose a movie about ‘show-biz’ over a film about true sacrifice, substance, and purpose.

    Shakespear in Love; Argo; The Artist, Birdman (I do think Birdman earned its award, btw). These movies were shoe-ins for the award because of its fellating nature to all things ‘showbiz!!1!!’, which makes the win for LLL to seem all that obvious to us now. This is a foregone conclusion that reminds us how predictable, sentimental, and smug voters are. This leads me to my frustration with the hype surrounding this film….

    The backlash, for me, has a LOT to do with the political climate in the US right now. Being bullied, prejudice and the obstacles of gender signifiers speak to the heart of a lot of problems Americans are facing right now; never mind any discussions we might also have about poverty, the war on drugs, discrimination against women or the discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

    A film like Moonlight is a powerful narrative that is both beautiful and devastating; it underscores the current mood and feeling we are part of today. Films that cater to escapism are all well and good, but it shouldn’t be lauded as Best Picture just because its ‘just so neat.’ A movie that is brutal, well made, well acted, forces viewers to confront prejudice and make us think are the films worthy of such a distinction. If these important films were the only movies that won the Best Picture award then yes, I think LLL should deserve a fair chance at winning. But when LLL is *another* movie that’s centered around privileged white people with first world problems then no, I think LLL should be politely set aside by socially aware voters.

  39. Eva says:

    I think you should have gone to see Hidden Figures. I have no desire to see this and I usually musicals…well, Broadway musicals.

  40. Ana says:

    I wonder what does it feel to be so bitter.

  41. L says:

    How many white people in Fences or In Moonlight. Why is it ok when its a story about black peoples lives but it`s never ok for a story to be about white peoples lives

  42. Erica_V says:

    Sometimes when I see her all I can think is – this could’ve been Lindsay Lohan’s career.

    She looks so much like her – just clean & sober.

  43. Diane Gamble says:

    I think you missed the point. The main focus of the story was Emma and Ryan’s story not the blacks at the jazz club. And there was nothing earth shattering about the performance of the blacks in this story other than they played at jazz clubs and the band just happened to be full of blacks. So where is the problem????? The credit should go to Ryan and Emma both…..

  44. Diane Gamble says:

    If you don’t except my comment, your trying to shove Black Priviedge down everyone’s throat!!!! Cele/Blacky

  45. Leela says:

    Your comment about her performance reminds me of Jennifer Lawrence in “The Silver Linings Playbook”. She was good, but not enough for an oscar. Bradley Copper, on the other hand, was amazing in that movie.

  46. Lucy2 says:

    I just saw the film, and ended up enjoying it much more than I expected to. I can see it getting award attention, but I agree I found Ryan gosling’s performance more interesting, and while I enjoyed Emma in the movie, I didn’t leave there thinking she was a lock for best actress.
    I saw hidden figures a few days ago. That was a wonderful movie, and a very important story that needed to be told. Lala land was a wonderful movie, and an entertaining bit of escapism. See both!
    I haven’t had the chance to see moonlight yet, as it’s not playing anywhere near me, but based on everything I’ve heard about it, it sounds amazing and I would love to see it win best picture.

  47. ash says:

    i think a time I would be intrigued to go (visit for like an hour) is the harlem renaissance …or known as the era of the negro…as a WOC, I find that would have been a interesting (in all ways) time to be in NY and dance and see the real jazz happening, langston hughes, marcus garvey, ella fitzgerald….. but on the flip side not ONLY was brutal racism rampant but colorism was rampant as well, and as a darker-complected WOC im sure my hour visit would have been marred with paper bag tests right and left….ughhh

    as for LLL, i’ll see it on lifetime or amc. im kinda over emma stone once she audition and got that part in Ahola (i think that’s the title) knowing damn well she was a white woman playing a eurasian role, then back tracking when the move bombed and she got crucified.

  48. Alexis says:

    I’ve heard about the backlash, but that it’s for other reasons. Sure the sentimentality and white privilege is some of it but not all. Some movies peak too soon, and nobody has said it’s perfect. Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood.

  49. mellie says:

    I kind of get what you are saying here…
    I loved it, but I am a musical nut. It was so pretty to watch. I personally don’t always go into every movie looking for deeper meaning, especially knowing that this was a musical about a struggling actress in L.A. I guess I get what everyone is referring to, but I just felt this movie was about two people struggling to make their own way in a very difficult industry and giving up a lot (love?) to obtain their dreams. Honestly, until I read this column I didn’t see the jazz/African American issue. I just don’t know that the film was meant to be that deep. But what the heck do I know?!
    I do think that I’ve seen better performances win best Actor/Actress Oscar’s over time though…but I love Ryan and Emma so if they win I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

  50. Marty says:

    It’s not ‘race baiting’ if multiple people are pointing out an issue they as black, or PoC in general, have with something. The problem isn’t we pick everything a part, the problem is we live in a time where white fragility is regarded before PoC voices.

  51. Taiss says:

    Right, let’s just erase black people from everything, even our own culture. Make jazz great again, make everything great again.

  52. ell says:

    ‘At this point I wish white people stop being in movies’

    on this we can probably agree.

    joking aside, i’m white. but many of my friends, and the society i live in, is made by all sorts of people and poc are a part of that. why is it wrong to call out the overall whiteness in hollywood, that does not reflect our society in the slightest? why is it wrong to wish to see different media representation across all boards? we need to speak up; if we don’t it will be never be normalised. i want to get to the point in which media is evenly distributed in representation, and we don’t even need to praise it any longer because it’s just normal. you’re not gonna change anything by being quiet and saying ‘it’s just a film’.

  53. Merry says:

    I think the reason some otherwise well meaning people didnt spot the problem was because this film actually just perpetuates a trope that ran through all the musicals it seeks to emulate. Musicals from the 40s and 50s when black human beings really were just human props and their music could be appropriated at will. You arent spotting the issue here because this is what those movies always did. They just basically reproduced everything out of those films but used modern film making equipment. This is one of the strongest reasons, it shouldnt take him the big prize. Its done nothing but harken back to an age when white people could do as they pleased and of course thats the reason many of them love it so.

    Its not just people of color who have been erased, where are all the gay people who make up LAs music scene??! Think about that for a second. This is literally a film made to appease all the nostalgic folk who feel overrun by minorities.

  54. JulP says:

    @Merry, +100 to everything you just said. Couldn’t really articulate what bothered me so much about the film, aside from the white savior aspect re: jazz, but you put it all into words. And you also made a great point about the erasure of the LGBT community as well, that hadn’t crossed my mind until I read your comment.

  55. Timbuktu says:

    Merry,
    Many critics said that there were hardly ANY significant characters besides the 2 leads.
    Just because a movie doesn’t represent something does not necessarily mean that it’s trying to erase something. Every movie cannot represent every category of people. If we start making movies by ticking boxes: 1 black character – check, 1 gay character – check, 1 Asian character – check, 1 Hispanic character – check, it’d be pretty awful as well, don’t you think? And where would it stop? Should we then also make sure we include a Jewish character, or an Eastern European character, a Native American character? And black people and asian people aren’t exactly a small group of people, Koreans aren’t the same as the Chinese, and Nigerians aren’t the same as Ethiopians, so wouldn’t it be rude if we only had 1 black character to represent the entire huge black population? So, now we should have 1 African American POC and a few from various parts of Africa? Don’t you think this can get very absurd very quickly?
    In fact, TV shows and movies that do that get accused for having “token this” and “token that” all the time. And yes, I know that the solution is to write more complex roles for minorities, but the thing is, there were NO complex roles in this movie for anyone except the 2 leads.

  56. Marty says:

    “There were lots of happy PoC in 50s” Jesus…okay.

    Just because people choose to find joy inspite of their opression doesn’t mean they are happy with being opressed.

    I’ll ask my black father how ‘happy’ he was living in the segregated South. Or better yet, I’ll ask my Mexican mother how ‘happy’ she was every time a white teachers hit her hands with a ruler for speaking Spanish in class.

    But we’re cool, right? You’re ‘super liberal’ so I guess that makes your dismissal of PoC okay.

  57. Nicole says:

    The condescending tone from Anon is ridiculous. There were “happy slaves” too so maybe we should go back to that! FFS

  58. Saks says:

    “but not everything is about race all the time”

    It actually is anon, and not because we want it but because white people wont let us forget that we are PoC, outsiders in their society. White people can turn off the race talk when they want but we can’t, we live with our fears, discrimination, violence against our race and our cultures the whole time.

  59. Timbuktu says:

    I’m not sure what white fragility has to do with this discussion, though. White fragility is protecting the feelings of white people, is it not? My feelings were not hurt by the movie, and they are NOT hurt by this discussion, in fact, I’m loving this discussion, I see what a lot of people are saying, but I also have a difference of opinion – it doesn’t make me fragile, I don’t think. I do sometimes feel like we have memorized a few soundbites and throw them around a bit too freely.
    I will freely admit that making the white guy the keeper of jazz and the black guy a sell out was a predictably bad move, I probably would have known better. BUT, if I really wanted Ryan Gosling, for whatever reason (we get along great, he gets me, he’s my friend), and I wanted to avoid the backlash, I may have actually chosen to make Seb a classical musician, which would have made the movie less diverse, not more. So, perhaps it was actually a calculated risk on behalf of the director to make him a jazz musician, to allow them to insert some black culture in the movie, even at the risk of being accused of not inserting enough of it?

  60. Timbuktu says:

    But does it not reflect our society? The society I see around me is actually still quite segregated. I have very few black neighbors. I was in a tiny white minority in my black school. I think lots of people still live quite inside their own race, with black people having mostly black friends, and white people having mostly white friends, and Asian people having mostly Asian friends… Yes, there are exceptions, but they either happen through family or work, I feel, but because we seek out diversity. Let’s face it: most of us barely have the time to maintain relationships we have, let alone go out of our way to create new ones outside our comfort zone.
    So, I see nothing strange and unusual about 4 white girls living together and one of them also dating a white boy.

    To be clear: I have black friends. I don’t currently have any Asian friends that I interact with regularly, but I used to. I used to hang out with a very Hispanic crowd. I used to work in a 99% black school. I am not an American myself, so lots of my friends are immigrants. I’m not racist or stuck up, it’s just the way the cookie crumbled for me.