With Blackface movies and TV shows back in the news recently, Twitter turned its attention to the 2004 Wayans brothers comedy White Chicks on Wednesday. Social media could not seem to come to a consensus on this oddball movie, with many disagreeing about whether it was a harmful form of representation and, if so, why. In fact, many were preoccupied with their shock at the existence of such a movie at all.
White Chicks was a blockbuster comedy at the height of the Wayans family's fame, directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans and starring Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans. It centers around two Black FBI agents who go undercover as White women using extensive makeup and disguises. Many critics of the recent backlash against Blackface asked why this case of "Whiteface" was accepted. While most people seemed to agree that there is a big difference between blackface and "Whiteface," there were plenty of other conversations to be had about White Chicks.
The Wayans brothers play Kevin and Marcus Copeland in White Chicks, FBI agent brothers who disguise themselves as two wealthy socialite sisters that they have been charged with protecting. The movie takes some odd twists and turns, making jokes out of racial stereotypes as well as gender norms and sexual orientations. It was not a critical success in its time, but it has since become a fascinating cultural artifact for many viewers.
Today, the subject matter of White Chicks may be more relevant than ever, between the growing acceptance of transgender people in the public eye and the increasingly outraged sentiment against blackface in entertainment. Some critics have argued that the Wayans' whiteface is just as harmful to the Black community, while others praise it for being subversive. Few subscribe to the idea that whiteface is harmful to White people in the same way that Blackface is harmful to Black people.
One way or another, just about everyone has something to say about the one-of-a-kind movie that is White Chicks. Here's a look at how Twitter reacted when the movie came up in the general conversation this week.
Unfortunately this will never happen. Marxists love the movie White Chicks. Extreme hypocrisy https://t.co/HrG62n042r— Sarah Hagi (@geekylonglegs) June 14, 2020
Workers of the World, unite to cancel the movie White Chicks (2004)!— B O T T O M T E X T (@Hahafunnybazin1) June 14, 2020
Furthermore, they weren’t acting as white girls, they were undercover, protecting a them from kidnap.White chicks portrays white people positively, rich, successful, worth protecting...Black face demonized black people, enforced stereotypes, was a constant reminder of inferiority— Elaine (@elleosei) June 16, 2020
people will see black face which stemmed from white people mocking black people after they were freed from slavery as a way to degrade and humiliate them and then see white chicks a movie abt rich white girls with fluffy dogs and be like 'omg this is the same' https://t.co/LSqSVuRg01— indie (@INDIEWASHERE) June 15, 2020
i'll admit white chicks was an awful movie, but if people are gonna claim it's "racist to white people" or something i can pretend to like it in order to troll them tbh— trapped and can't log off (@snorkgalois) June 14, 2020
All right, so we've got white chicks...
Let's check in on the score for media mocking a race while actively discluding them:
White people: 1— ✨Atomic Pixies Art Nerdveau✨ (@atomic_pixies) June 14, 2020
Black people: 61,593,619,304
Hard to Offend
if ur offended by white chicks... chile https://t.co/SXwD5LXRTR— karlie🦋 (@6wmywoes) June 17, 2020
Dear human race as a white male I speak for every one else out there #whitechicks is hilarious, we do not take offense we love it take it away and we will riot— The Snapper (@TheSnappertweet) June 17, 2020
The difference is blackface has a violent and racist history behind it. ‘Whiteface’ doesn’t.— B 🖤🇬🇭 (@Bethanharmonxo) June 11, 2020