Of course, after many decades, by today’s lofty political and social standards, it’s offensive. However, in other times, blackface was just another way to entertain. Judy Garland did it in 1941’s Babes In Arms movie. And of course, Al Jolson’s blackface was his major stage make-up when he sang Mammy and other sentimental ethnic songs.
Blackface wasn’t the only ethnic insult. In early movies, howling Redskin stunt riders bit the dust. And what about Shakespeare’s Shylock? In Dickens’ Oliver Twist, the crafty Jew Fagin led a gang of boy pickpockets. In early talkies, murderous Italian gangsters were the fashion. In World War 2 movies, we fought the dirty Japs and killer Krauts. In reverse prejudice, two black actors did whiteface in the 2004 movie, White Chicks.
Of course, these days, when you view late night and cable TV, movies or go to a comedy club, the most offensive routines are no longer racial slurs. They’re outright filthy words that once were confined to locker rooms. Oh, the ƒ©§√∆¶ humanity!