Just as the nation comes to grips with the Trayvon Martin travesty in Florida, Foxx is looming large on the big screen, a violent and dangerous African-American.
Sadly, it fits the same stereotype that led “neighborhood watch captain” George Zimmerman to profile Martin as a criminal even before he knew who he was, or what he was doing in the neighborhood. All he saw was a black teen walking down the street. And that was enough for him to take deadly action.
At the core of the nation’s racism is the notion that African-American men need to be treated with suspicion first, and looked at as an individual second. Will having Foxx play a super evil villian encourage or discourage that thinking?
Foxx’s role is especially controversial because he’s a polarizing celebrity. During his opening monologue on “Saturday Night Live” last December, he talked about his role as a slave in “Django Unchained,” in racist terms.
“In the movie, I play a slave…um… how black is that?” he said. “But don’t be worried about it; I get out of the chains, I save my wife and I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that!”
Um… probably not so great if you’re white.
That kind of undifferentiated racism underlies the nation’s twisted perceptions. Indeed, Foxx is absolutely terrifying in his Spider Man 2 role. But don’t worry the white boy in tights will win in the end.
The teaster clip was unveiled today at Comic-Con and introduced Foxx’s Electro character. Of course, it’s only a movie, but sadly not everyone will see it that way. The film opens in May 2014. Check out the teaser below.