I always saw myself in John Hughes’ films, even if he couldn’t see me in them.
I don’t say this lightly. Hughes’ body of work is consistently characterized as the pithy zenith of coming-of-age movies, enduring due to his representation of real teenagers with typical problems. Yet people of color were either absent or horrifically stereotypically represented in his films. How American. In Hughes’ iconic film about the joy of young white mischief, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the only POC are:
1) Two garage hands who take the Ferrari for a joy ride, which is exactly what Ferris & co. have done but somehow the narrative holds them as more criminal.
2) The Asian chief of police (legit a rare and brief non-pejorative caricature—and he’s a COP which is like “oh hey assimilate and enforce the police state and you’re cleared for representation kthxbye”).
3) An entire cadre of black people who magically appear and do a “Thriller”-esque choreographed scene during the parade sequence. Continue reading