Pulling the Race Card: So Easy a Comedian Can Do It

The TV industry is a fickle business, just ask any veteran of the small screen. While most actors in Hollywood would probably tell you that they're at the mercy of you the viewing audience, blogger LaShawn Barber noticed that comedian George Lopez whipped out the race card to complain about his five-season-long show being canned by the alphabet network.

"TV just became really, really white again," complained Lopez, who was reacting to the premise of "Cavemen," the sitcom that will replace his show. "Cavemen" will basically transform the Geico commercial cavemen premise into a half-hour laugh riot (you can tell I suspect it will be even less funny than Lopez's show).

Writing yesterday on her blog, Barber gave readers her analysis, then excerpted from the numerous negative reactions left by commenters on the LA Times blog "Show Tracker.":

That’s funny stuff, man. (Imagine a white basketball player released
from a team saying, “The NBA just became really, really black again.”)
Instead of being grateful that his show made it to TV in the first
place and survived for five years — and he made a ton of money — Lopez
plays that tired, worn, dingy old race card. He wasn’t explicit, but he
gets the point across.

[...]

It’s sad that certain people just can’t see past their own skin color.
As a commenter on the story noted, while some minorities blame racism
for a show’s cancellation, who or what is to “blame” for their shows
getting picked up in the first place? Do minorities take all the credit
for the good things but blame others for the bad?

That we’re
prone to blame others and point elsewhere when we fail probably is
instinctual. Resisting the urge can be tough. That’s why no matter how
rich or talented or powerful a minority may be, there is always the
temptation to fall back on race or racism as an excuse for why
something didn’t work. I’ve been tempted myself. :?

As for Lopez, it seems that his “Chicano” shtick got old. I’m glad
comments are open on this article because the feedback is quite
entertaining. I hope Lopez reads it. Examples:

“Are cavemen white?”

“I
am Mexican-American, and I suspect race had nothing to do with The
George Lopez show being canceled - it just wasn’t funny anymore and the
ratings probably sucked. In the beginning, my family and I would watch
the show every week. We were proud that a Chicano had his own show, and
we thought the show was funny too. However, after only a few years we
found the subject matter had begun to show Mexican-Americans in a
negative light (as if we need help doing this) with George’s underage
daughter shacking up with her boyfriend and all those other demeaning
story lines. I mean, I am proud of my culture and the idioms we
sometimes use, but I can only take so many ‘Orales’, and ‘Watchas’, and
bug-eyed stares from George. We were offended and embarrassed, so we
simply stopped watching. George Lopez is still funny and I think he
should simply move on.”

“I am glad this silly show was
cancelled. The reason I am glad is due to George’s stand up routine
called ‘American Mexican’ where his vulgarity against the President of
the United States hits an all time low. Also in his routine he stands
with and justifies all the illegal aliens breaking the law in this
great county. The country that provides the opportunities for him to
make millions of dollars. He showed his utter disdain for America and
all of us who call ourselves Americans - by the way I am part latina…”

[photo featured above via Defamer]

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.