Today Marlon Wayans’ latest parody movie 50 Shades of Black hits theaters, and while the previews for the flick look hilarious, black women aren’t finding some of the jokes the comedian has cracked off screen nearly as funny.
Yesterday this clip from NBC reporter Ben Aaron began circulating online. And though the 15-second video doesn’t provide much context for the various topics of discussion, what can be heard loud and clear is Marlon say:
“The hardest woman to make submissive is a black woman”
And the resounding response was “here we go again.”
At this point, jokes like these aren’t even offensive, they’re just tired — especially when they keep coming out of the mouths of the usual suspects. The last time Marlon released a movie anyone half cared about — 2013’s Haunted House — he made a joke in a similar vein about black women not liking to clean. “All black women know they don’t like cleaning. They know that. No, I’m joking. All the years of slavery, they did their cleaning. They don’t have to clean no more. Let somebody else clean.”
That remark went over about as well as the one Marlon made yesterday, but at the time, seemingly mistakenly, he told Global Grind, “I don’t get any backlash from the black community because I’m an equal opportunity offender. The things that I do aren’t meant to be offensive. At the end of the day, Malcolm (Marlon’s Haunted House character) loves his black woman, and he’s willing to fight through demons and all kinds of junk to just be with her. It hit the truth of the matter and it’s not true about everybody. When you do a joke, it’s not about everybody; that particular black woman did not like to clean. It may be true about several black women … or not.”
Yes, Malcom loves his black women, but does Marlon? In his personal life we’ve seen him with just about every shade under the rainbow, but that whole self-hating, interracial discussion is about as tired as his jokes so we’ll just skip right over that. The thing is we’re tired of being the repetitive butt of jokes for black men who don’t have our backs in any other way. It’s kind of like how you are the only one who can joke about your mama — she’s family. When a man doesn’t make you feel like family, his tendency for poking fun at you starts to feel personal and nasty, and you begin to question, what is that about? Some black women have taken it a step further and already decided they’ll save their coins for an entertainer whose material doesn’t uphold unfounded stereotypes about them while some just don’t care anymore. Perhaps the latter truly believe what Marlon said in his latest interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
“For us, mockery is the best form of flattery, and you want the people that you’re sending up to probably laugh the hardest.”
Unfortunately, black women really aren’t laughing anymore.