Her political sketches are comedy gold, and almost make me wish Sarah Palin was in the spotlight more often. 30 Rock is hilarious and and Fey wrote the screenplay for Mean Girls, which is basically a national treasure. That being said, I will not be watching her new movie Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
After seeing the trailer, all I could say was WTF indeed. WTF was Tina Fey thinking taking this role? WTF makes anyone think this is okay?
Now, maybe I should watch the movie before I judge it so harshly, but honestly I don’t even think that’s necessary. I have given far too many films and shows a chance to prove me wrong, and I’m pretty much always left disappointed. I really doubt a movie set in Afghanistan and Pakistan called Whiskey Tango Foxtrot will be the exception to this rule.
WTF seems like just another movie about a white person using a non-white land to “find themselves.” Afghanistan is nation with a rich culture and history that has endured decades of war, but in the trailer it’s reduced to little more than an opportunity for Tina Fey’s character, Kim Baker, to leave her boring job and crappy relationship. A place where she can go from a 6 or 7 in beauty to a “9, borderline 10.” A place where she can be a badass and shoot things and “shake up” her life.
Where she can have such a crazy time that she has to ask “last night what happened?” only to be told that “Kabul happened.” WTF does that even mean?
[bctt tweet=”WTF makes anyone think this is okay? “]
But hey, even though the movie centers on Baker’s experiences, there are some leading characters who are Afghans, like Fahim Ahmadzai Baker’s translator, and Ali Massoud Sadiq, an important man Baker wants to interview. There’s only one problem with these characters, actually many problems, but the one that is most noticeable is that both characters are played by white actors. That’s definitely not surprising, given the sheer number of instances of whitewashing that have come out of Hollywood recently. But it makes me wonder, WTF is it going to take for Hollywood to realize that this isn’t okay? Just because Alfred Molina grew out his beard, doesn’t mean he can play an Afghan.
I went to IMDB to see if all the actors in this movie are white, and it turned out that there are many non-white actors, some are even Afghans. These actors get to fill roles like “Angry Women at Airport,” “Angry Market Woman,” and let’s not forget, “Angry Man with Moustache.” There are apparently lots of angry Afghans or Pakistanis in this movie. I doubt we’ll learn why they’re so angry though, since we don’t even know their names. I’m guessing the “Angry Market Woman” is the woman in the trailer who yells “cover yourself, shameless whore.”
Beside the Angry Afghans, other non-white actors play colorful characters like “Woman In Burqa,” “Afghan Who Quotes Verses,” and my personal favorite: “Ass Pincher.” I’m sure these are all very well-developed and complex characters, especially the “Ass Pincher.”
And I know, this is a comedy so not all characters are supposed to be serious, but I don’t ascribe to the idea that if something is funny it has to also be offensive or harmful. Even if that was true, though, is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot really funny? If the trailer is any indication, probably not. Jokes about sexist Muslim men, burkas, and women drivers.
How original and hilarious.