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Charles Barkley's New TV Ad - Is This Really Necessary?

by Sergio
April 3, 2012 2:18 AM
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Heard you missed me; well I'm back! I was far far away in another place of the world, and when I got back this was staring me in face.

Those of you who are long time readers know I strongly detest seeing black men in drag. It's nothing more than the symbolic castration and neutering of black men to make them "safe" and "non-threatening". Why so many seem to be so willing to go through it baffles me.

I didn't like it when Flip Wilson was doing Geraldine, and I don't like Madea or RuPaul or Wesley Snipes in To  Wong Foo, and I really don't like Charles Barkley's new drag act either.

And in case you're wondering why he's made up that way, it's for a new TV commercial premiering next week for Weight Watchers, and the theme of the spot is "Lose it like a man" in which Barkley supposedly struts down a catwalk; and if I'm lucky, I'll miss ever seeing it.

Yeah I know what some of you will say; that I need to lighten up, don't take it so seriously and my favorite excuse - if Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams can do. why not Barkley? Personally I don't care what Williams or Hoffman does. All white guys can wear dresses as far as I'm concerned. So, in other words, if a white guy jumps off a cliff then black men have to do it too?

And, by the way, this was the only idea they could come with for Barkley as Weight Watcher's new spokesman? 

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  • T'Challa | April 3, 2012 7:10 PMReply

    I'm with Sergio on this one.. this was one of the reasons Dave Chappelle cited in turning down that 50 mil deal. It is emasculating... Why the obsession with the Black Man in Drag movies? (Madea, Big Momma's house, etc)

    And LOL at all the White folks here being "shocked" by the "homophobic" comments. Listen, some communities are just not accepting of homosexuality, or in this case the "feminization" of their men in the media. You may not agree with it, but it's a very, very, real sentiment..

  • T'Challa | April 4, 2012 4:28 PM

    I don't know, but if he did, then he obviously came to a point where he was fed up with having to cross dress. The interview he did with Oprah was where he really emphasised his objection to this re-occurring industry practice..

  • Donella | April 4, 2012 1:16 PM

    Didn't Dave Chappelle put on a dress for Robin Hood: Men in Tights?

  • Mark and Darla | April 3, 2012 4:59 PMReply

    I have never associate black men dressing up as women in movie degrade black men masculinity in the real world, then again I am not a black man. The day you should start worrying is when a black men play authentic drag queens, see (Nathan Lane) in Cagebird.

    There is nothing drag queen or feminine about madea, big momma, wesley character, robin character or dustin character.

    Rupaul and the men on his show are real drag queens no acting.

    See the episode of 'All in the Family' when Archie picked up a fare which he thought was a white woman but turn out to be a drag queen name Beverly.

    Sergio if you must, you have all the room in the room to be upset.

  • T'Challa | April 4, 2012 4:28 PM

    I don't know, but if he did, then he obviously came to a point where he was fed up with having to cross dress. The interview he did with Oprah was where he really emphasised his objection to this re-occurring industry practice..

  • Geneva Girl | April 3, 2012 2:35 PMReply

    Since this commercial isn't running where I live I checked it out online. While there I found another commercial with Barkley dressed normally discussing dieting. I was way more offended by his poor grammar than him dressing in drag.

  • guyver | April 3, 2012 1:13 PMReply

    screw that... it's not comedy, It's warfare. The simple fact that any Black person, man or woman thinks this is okay and just cooning good fun is already lost... took to the programming like a charm. What happen to the image of a Black King, a warrior, a leader. We can only be seen on TV now if we wear lipstick? News flash people... IT'S NOT DAMN FUNNY!!!!! SMDH

  • Ali | April 3, 2012 1:45 PM

    Well seeing how this stuff IS intended to be comedy whether you find it funny or not, I don't think you should use kings, warriors, and leaders as alternatives. They aren't funny.

  • Carlton Jordan | April 3, 2012 11:53 AMReply

    Im not offended by a Black Man in drag. Black people need to get off their high horse, it's called comedy and MEN have been doing it forever of all RACES. A White man will put on a dress, make a joke about, laugh it all off. But us Black folks always have to make a social issue out of everything. Serigo my friend you are a silly and prejudice. Maybe you should use your real first and last name if you're so proud of your position on this.

  • OH SERGIO | April 3, 2012 12:57 PM

    Sergio, can please just have a drink with me?

  • oh sergio | April 3, 2012 12:47 PM

    @Bayard You, my friend, are a very smart person.

  • Bayard | April 3, 2012 12:44 PM

    Carlton, it's ironic that Sergio dedicated a paragraph to something you only spent a sentence on, ignoring the heft of your argument. It's even more ironic that so many black male entertainers take this progressive risk with gender, having such a virulently homophobic ethnicity to appease. This garbage about white or black men "jumping off a cliff" in drag is incredibly pathetic in light of the real dangers facing people of color in our society. I'm surprised that Sergio didn't go further to advocate for the banning of Paris Is Burning, The Crying Game or Kinky Boots. And there's so much talk about stopping plans to divide blacks & gays lately! Good luck with that.

  • Sergio | April 3, 2012 12:09 PM

    My REAL first name is Sergio you moron. I don't hide from anything. So you've never seen black guy with the name Sergio before? I suppose if my name was DeShawn you wouldn't have a problem. Evidently you need to get out of whatever podunk small hick town you live in and go out into the real world where there are black people in all parts of the world with all kinds of names.

  • Darkan | April 3, 2012 11:52 AMReply

    LOL. It's funny to think that these people think that it's cool and acceptable. I can only imagine how cool they think it is until their son comes home and wants to "drag" for the rest of his life and be free because people think it's cool and and art form. What a shock to strong and black women who are looking for a strong and black man but come home to find their man dressed her Beyonce Dereon jeans and heels. Charles Barkley is acting out some things in his own twisted mind and needs to sit down. Why is he even relevant? This generation is lost. SMDH.

  • Oh sergio | April 3, 2012 12:23 PM

    Which brings us to our next point: hypermasculinization or "machismo" in the black and Latino community. So you're saying a man couldn't possibly wear clothing traditionally for women and still be considered strong because he violates an invented standard for male behavior? I think there are many qualities that make a strong person, and their choice of clothing (especially in a performance role) shouldn't factor in. Again, sounds like a personal issue to me.

  • sandra | April 3, 2012 11:48 AMReply

    I saw this image a few days ago, and I remember hoping it was photoshopped. Drag is one type of humor. Again it comes to balance. We need the full spectrum of humor to balance the abundance of slapstick/drag/coonish/toilet-level/loud/fast-talkin obnoxious fool type of images we are accepted in and encouraged to portray.

  • Oh Sergio | April 3, 2012 11:12 AMReply

    Like Robin said, you can't compare drag with Madea or Big Momma, which is more of an efface to the black maternal figure than to black men. Drag isn't degrading; it's a performance art. "Driving Miss Daisy" or more recently "The Blind Side" are better examples of the "neutering of black men." I fail to see how portraying a woman is lessening a man. Unless you view women as less than men, which sounds like a personal issue.

  • CarltonJordan | April 3, 2012 11:53 AM

    U make too much sense.

  • Nadine | April 3, 2012 9:49 AMReply

    @JULIUS - Sergio is right to be concerned. I wish we would stop rationalizing the alternatives because they are clearly not reality. Dave Chappelle knew what was up, "". Please note how many times they asked Dave (and how far up the ladder they went) before they stopped. Bill Cosby always turned down horribly offensive characters early in his career, but his thing was, there was always another Black guy willing to do it. Black men are lost if they don't see the high percentage of Black men in dresses as compared to other heterosexual males. My eyes were afflicted on Yahoo! everyday throughout March Madness with their Black COLLEGE PLAYER dressed as Cinderella with a basketball in his hand... true madness.

  • Sergio | April 3, 2012 10:24 AM

    "My eyes were afflicted on Yahoo! everyday throughout March Madness with their Black COLLEGE PLAYER dressed as Cinderella with a basketball in his hand... true madness."

    Yeah I saw those too. And who was that guy? Enough is enough

  • mark | April 3, 2012 9:41 AMReply

    He has a lovely face.. ;-)

  • Robin | April 3, 2012 8:53 AMReply

    There's a big difference between actual drag performers and putting a dress on Tyler Perry. I think you're off base to lump Wong Foo in as the same thing as Big Mamma's House (1 and 2).

  • Carlton Jordan | April 3, 2012 11:54 AM

    And RuPaul. I forget the amount of phobia i have to deal with when coming to 'black' destinations. Surprised Tambay allows this.

  • B | April 3, 2012 10:49 AM

    100% agree. I'm tired of folks making that false equivalence. They are two entirely different things!

  • julius Hollingsworth | April 3, 2012 7:20 AMReply

    Shakespeare has had characters cross dressing for years,but you have a right to your opinion just as the people who enjoy this comedic device.This has been a comedic device for years/centuries.This device is no more crazy than any other in history.Makes me wonder whats real important for me .I guess for me it's blood guts and drug dealer movies that end on the street with no new insight.

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