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PT Did you think Watto was a character that was based on antisemitic stereotypes?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by KilroyMcFadden, Feb 9, 2013.

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Did you think Watto was a character that was based on antisemitic stereotypes?

  1. Yes

    20.0%
  2. Yes but unintentionaly

    6.7%
  3. No but I can see where people might get that impression

    20.0%
  4. No

    53.3%
  5. My feelings about Watto' character traits are more complex. See comment

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    I rest my case.
     
  2. Chainmail_Jedi

    Chainmail_Jedi Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 26, 2013
    I don't care about a cartoon TV show. It doesn't have anywhere near the cultural signifance of a feature Star Wars film.
     
  3. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 1, 2011
    I don't see Nazi Propaganda. I see a bumblebee with an elephant nose that speaks in a mix of Italian mafia and Arab trader if I really had to pick an accent for the voice anyway. I don't think Watto has that distinct of a voice, personally. If you see it, I understand, but I don't agree. It's that simple.
     
  4. Lord Chazza

    Lord Chazza Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Look. Nobody here is trying to be a racist. We are simply questioning whether Watto is actually a based on a stereotype or whether Watto was designed to look funny for 10 year old kids in 1999.

    As to your second point, I've never seen any Nazi Propaganda so I couldn't possibly comment.
     
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  5. Chainmail_Jedi

    Chainmail_Jedi Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 26, 2013
    And Walt Disney's racist cartoons were designed to look funny for kids way back in the day. They're still racist, and so is Watto's character.
     
  6. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Then why care about a movie? If you don't care about a popular cartoon, why should a movie matter? Or are only certain forms of "racism" worthy of condemnation?

    Speaking as someone who has actually had racist acts committed against myself and my family, forgive me if I am not unduly concerned with ambiguous media "portrayals."
     
  7. Lord Chazza

    Lord Chazza Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2013
    So should Watto have White European facial features and speak in Received Pronunciation (Queens English) to avoid offense? The world would be a very bland place without regional variations in looks and speech. I do not believe Lucas thought 'hee hee hee lets have a crack at the Jews.' Watto is a funny but repugnant creature which is meant to reflect the repugnant society of Tatooine. Lucas wasn't specifically going after the Jews or any other race.
     
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  8. Sistros

    Sistros Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2010
    on the voting list I'd go with

    "no, but I can see why others might get that impression"

    I don't see it myself,

    but I'm not one to tell other people "you shouldn't be offended by XYZ" if they are offended then that is not a conscious feeling in my mind,

    no one chooses to be offended, unless they are just acting up, something I don't think Chain mail is doing,

    He quite possibly has seen a Nazi propaganda picture that looked like watto and has stayed with him:

    I for one am not going to tell him not to be offended by that
     
  9. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2009
    But Watto will...

    [​IMG]
     
    FRAGWAGON likes this.
  10. Sistros

    Sistros Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Alexrd: you posted that far to quick not to have that image at hand :p
     
  11. Chainmail_Jedi

    Chainmail_Jedi Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Or, Watto could speak in an alien language. That would have been ALOT better. And Watto is minor compared to what was Jar Jar. In fact, I could let the others go, but so many bundled together is just blatant.
    You've had acts of racism committed against you? I am very sorry to hear that. I never got to meet my grandparents because of what happened to my people. I grew up in a small hick infested town, and I was constantly bombarded with racist and anti-semitic remarks, which makes hearing and seeing them again in the media so much more annoying for me.

    It doesn't matter what Lucas did specifically on purpose or what he meant to do, it's about what he DID do, and that was including and anti-semitic caricature on his film.
     
    windu4 likes this.
  12. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2009
    I had Watto's Wookieepedia page open on another tab. ;)

    Guess what? He does.

    Indeed, Gungans are taller than Toydarians.

    Of course it matters. He was the one who created the character.

    In your opinion. The fact is that Watto isn't an "anti-semitic caricature". And that's what matters.
     
  13. windu4

    windu4 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 15, 2008
    Yes.
     
    Chainmail_Jedi likes this.
  14. Chainmail_Jedi

    Chainmail_Jedi Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 26, 2013
    "The fact is that Watto isn't an "antisemitic caricature." And that's what matters."

    That's your opinion. NOT a fact. referring to it as a fact is incorrect.
     
  15. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2009
    No, it's a fact. Lucas was the one who created the character.
     
  16. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Originally, a lot of the aliens were going to speak in alien languages, but Lucas was afraid that the audience would have difficulty with that and thus decided to add a number of accents in English.

    Look, I sympathize that you don't want your people and family to be made fun of. It sucks. It really sucks, especially if you've suffered hardship because of something you can't help. But I honestly don't think that people are trying to dismiss you when they saw that they don't see Watto as a caricature of Jewish people. For me, I always thought he was a caricature of the Italian mafia, not the least of which because he's a big gambler and Jewish stereotypes certainly don't portray them as gamblers (and high stakes ones at that).

    For me, Watto is simply much too ambiguous to get upset about. If Lucas had said something like, "Jewish people are just concerned with x. They only care about x." hen I would agree with you as that is blatant stereotyping.

    But, for me, Watto simply isn't an area where I focus my attention because he's too ambiguous and he has no malicious intent behind him, as far as I can tell.
     
  17. GGrievous

    GGrievous Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Source?
     
  18. Lord Chazza

    Lord Chazza Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2013
    It is offensive to you because you choose to see it that way. I'm British yet I don't choose to see the British accents of the Imperials and the American accents of the Rebels as prejudice. Lucas was harking back to the times of the American revolution against the "Evil Empire" and creating an obvious distinction between the good guys and the bad guys. Also bad guys usually get paid less and there were a lot of British actors needing work. I choose not to take offense and I generally find that's a better life strategy. If you take offense at everything you'll have a much harder life. I appreciate that the issue of antisemitism is a much more pressing issue than the decline of the British Empire but I still think it's possible to simply choose not to take offense. You say it's obvious that Watto is based on a Jewish stereotype but I never saw it that way and I still don't see it now. Perhaps you are simply looking harder, I don't know.
     
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  19. Sistros

    Sistros Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2010
    this thread reminds me of that thread years ago where someone (a manager at the time) said:

    Qui-Gon is racist for calling watto his blue friend

    then gave examples how he wouldn't say to people he knew a (something) friend.

    Then we had Palps do it in ROTS to Yoda

    :p
     
  20. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Here, and here.
     
  21. Chainmail_Jedi

    Chainmail_Jedi Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 26, 2013
    It's still your opinion. The creator saying it isn't racist doesn't make it less racist. Walt Disney never said any of his cartoons were racist, but they were. Your opinions, and George's, are opinions. Not facts.
     
  22. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    So how is it that your perception is supposed to be taken as "fact" and other's opinions are not?

    I don't think anyone's personal opinion here should be taken as "fact" either, but there seems to be a double standard.
     
  23. GGrievous

    GGrievous Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Is it about the stereotype? I know Lucas created Watto otherwise.
     
  24. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Of course it does. When the matter is based on assumptions, then the creator statement is the fact. If you claim otherwise, feel free to prove it. You are the one with that burden.

    Yes.
     
    Lord Chazza and DarthRelaxus like this.
  25. Lord Chazza

    Lord Chazza Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2013
    There have been many expressions of antisemitic behavior in the media post 1945. Perhaps your time would be better spent protesting about them instead of protesting about a bit part character who's antisemitic credentials are, arguably, questionable at best from a mediocre movie from 1999.
     
    DarthRelaxus likes this.
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