women in film
The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 9, 1989 - Page 3
BY MARK SHAIMAN
Female actors - particularly
Black women - have been misrep-
resented on the silver screen, said
Marsha Darling, who lectured on the
"Evolution of Images of Black and
White Women in Hollywood Cin-
ema" last night in the Women's
Starting with D.W. Griffith's
Birth of a Nation (1915) and work-
ing through to the films of the '70s,
Darling addressed the representation
of women in films. Her primary
concern was the relationship Black
women have in supporting roles
compared to white women in leading
Prior to the lecture, Darling
showed a 15 minute slide presenta-
tion that gave a general history of
Blacks in early film.
"Who knows who Butterfly Mc-
Queen is?" asked Darling in her
openingremarks. Evenrthose who
knew that McQueen played Prissie,
the mid-wife in Gone With The
Wind, understood Darling's point
that Black actresses have long played
secondary roles to white lead female
actors and have thus gone unrecog-
She also gave a unique
interpretation of the classic film
King Kong (1933), saying that the
gorilla's attraction to Fay Wray re-
flects the overwhelming lust that
white men fear Black men hold for
white women, bringing new mean-
ing to the film's final line, "It was
beauty killed the beast."
Darling has a Ph.D. in Oral His-
tory from Duke University, and
spent eight years as a professor at
Wellesley College. Currently she is
working for The National Commit-
tee for Responsive Philanthropy
(NCRP) as the director of a major
research project which will examine
corporate giving to minority organi-
zations, issues and activities.
Darling first came to the Univer-
sity two years ago as part of the
Women and Memory Conference,
hosted by the Women's Studies De-
partment. Her speech then, "The
Disenchanted as Source," dealt with
rural Southern Black women and oral
history, and has since been published
in the Michigan Quarterly Review.
She was asked to be a guest of
the Women's Studies Department for
the semester, but because of her
commitment to NCRP, she has only
been able to spare a week of her
time. As well as this lecture on
women in film, she has talked about
the Black family and addressed nu-
merous classes on various issues.
Friday at noon, Darling will
present brown-bag lecture on
"Women in International Develop-
ment" in the Woman's Studies Pro-
gram Lounge, room 236 in West
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ted
Koppel said he welcomed a study re-
leased today that found his late-night
news show, "Nightline," favors
white conservative men as guests,
but he added the report's authors
were wrong to criticize the show.
The guest list merely reflects the
government that "Nightline" covers,
The study of almost 2,500 guests
on more than 850 episodes of the
ABC-TV show found that 89 percent
were men and 92 percent were white.
Episodes examined ran from January
1985 to April 1988.
It also found that the 9-year-old
news interview program virtually
ignored labor unions, environmental
and consumer advocates, anti-war
activists, the working class and
those who oppose U.S. foreign pol-
"I like studies like this," Koppel
said. "I'm happy to see them,
whether they are from the right or
the left. They do give us an oppor-
tunity to re-examine what we do,
how we do it.
"And sometimes it's quite true we
get into a rut."
The survey, commissioned by the
liberal media watchdog group Fair-
ness & Accuracy In Reporting, was
conducted by Boston College soc-
iologists William Hoynes and David
"Nightline," which has won two'
dozen Emmys and is seen by more
than 5 million viewers nightly, is
widely perceived as one of televi-
sion's most influential news pro-
The findings challenge 'Night-
line's' reputation for impartiality,
said Jeff Cohen, executive director of
"When you see the same pattern
week after week, it becomes a'
political bias," Cohen said.
Although welcoming the study,
Koppel challenged its implications.
Marsha Darling, a women's studies expert, speaks on the
roles of Black and white women in American film at the
women's studies lounge in West Engineering.
LASC faults news on El Salvador
BY PAUL DE ROOIJ
The U.S. government, with the
aid of a pliant media, has defined the
news coverage of the war in El Sal-
vador, according to Beth Sander's
film "Making the News to Fit."
Thirty students attended the film,
which was presented by the Latin
American Solidarity Committee
(LASC) last night at the Union.
"The media has only told just that
side of the story that the government
wants us to hear," said Arieh Neier,
America's Watch, a human rights
group, director. "Journalists have
been forced to repeat charges without
investigating them, and they have
had to accept government evidence at
The film showed how journalists
deviating from the official doctrine
on the nature of the war were ostra-
cized. Raymond Bonner, a New York
Times reporter, was harshly criti-
cized by the U.S. ambassador when
he exposed an army massacre of 600
peasants. Consequently his stories
were "edited," changing entirely their
meaning, and eventually he was re-
moved from El Salvador, Bonner
said in the film.
The State Dept. published a
White Paper contending that the
guerillas were receiving weapons
from "communist" nations by way
of Nicaragua. In the film, David
MacMichael, an ex-CIA analyst, re-
ported that these contentions were
The most grotesque examples of
media deception noted in the film
occurred during the 1982 Salvadoran
elections. At this time, the Reagan
administration was trying to im-
prove the image of the Salvadoran
government. An election was held to
demonstrate to the U.S. public the
democratic nature of the government.
What most of the 792 U.S. jour-
nalists that descended on El Salvador
neglected to report was that voting
was mandatory, and that not voting
was labelled as treason by the Sal-
vadoran army -- a sufficient cause
for death squad assassination. The
election was conducted in a climate
of fear, according to the film. The
U.S. media falsely presented a pic-
ture of a popular will to vote in the
face of severe difficulties.
Even now, the war in El Salvador
is still kept a secret from the U.S.
public. "Washington does not want
an informed public, because then
they'll protest the war just like in
Vietnam," said Bonner.
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GO0LD RING SALE
The.Daily's article about the LSA faculty meeting in Tuesday's paper failed
to distinguish between the proposal made to the faculty and University
Course 299. The proposal, which was introduced by an ad hoc committee,
would require LSA students to choose between a variety of courses dealing
with issues of race, ethnicity, and racism.
.Mi:R i-''\ ,t~ y"Ct- i c h i g a nDal
Monday, February 13th, 7:00 pm
What's happening in Ann Arbor today
"Gorillas in Myths: Gorilla
Behavior and Conservation in
the Real World" - Dr. David
Watts, 2009 Ruthven Museums,
Bldg., 12 noon-1 pm. Brown Bag.
New Design Methodology" -
Prof. Wilson J. Rugh, Johns Hopkins
University, 1200 EECS, 4-5:30 pm.
"Anatomy of a Nonadaptive
Behavior: Extreme Brood Para-
sitism in Wood Ducks" - Paul
Sherman, Ph.D., Cornell University,
E. Lecture Rm., Rackham, 4 pm.
"Electron Diffraction Studies
of Large Molecular Clusters"
-- Ted Dibble, 1200 Chem., 4 pm.
"Careers in Law Panel" - Law
Club and Career Planning and Place-
ment Center, Michigan Union, Pen-
delton Rm., 4:10-5:30 pm.
"Hellenism in Late Antiquity:
The Idolatry of Holiness" -
Glen W. Bowersock, Princeton, Rack-
ham Graduate School West Conference
Rm., 4 pm.
Visiting Writers Series - Jorie
Graham, Rackham E. Conference, 5
German Club Meeting - B131
MLB, 6:15 pm. Games, film show-
PIRGIM - Fourth Floor Union
Lobby, 7 pm.
Students Concerned About
Animal Rights - 124 E. Quad, 6-
InterVarsity Christian Fellow-
ship - Michigan League, Henderson
Rm., 7 pm.
Student Struggle for Soviet
Jewry - Hillel Rm. 3, 6:30 pm.
Rainforest Action Movement -
7 pm. Trip is $120. Call764-3967.
Northwalk - Sun.-Thurs., 9 pm-1
am. Call 763-WALK or stop by 3224
Safewalk - Sun.-Thurs., 8 pm-
1:30 am; Fri.-Sat., 8-11:30 pm. Call
936-1000 or stop by 102 UGLi.
Auditions for Breaking Inertia
and the Youngstown Rose -
Two student written one-act plays.
Arena Theatre, 6-7:30 pm. Sign up
in Green Rm. Frieze Bldg., bring
short prepared monologue.
Careers in Law - See Career
Planning and Placement Center, 4:10-
Interviewing Lecture - 1040
Resume Writing Lecture -
1250 CCRB, 6-7:30 pm.
LASC Film Series - "Seeds of
Revolution", "Honduras: America's
New Policeman", Michigan Union,
Kuenzal Rm., 8 pm.
"Jewish and Christian Devia-
tion From the Ultimate Truth"
- International Coffee Hour, Michi-
gan League, Rm. C, 12 noon-1 pm.
Pre-Interview - Aerospace Corpo-
ration, 1311 EECS, 6-8 pm.
Music at Mid-Day - Al Howard,
Bass, Pendelton Rm., Michigan
Union, 12:15 pm.
Ernesto Cavour y sus Can-
toyos - At the Ark, 8 pm.
Jazz Combos in Concert - Ed-
ward Sarath, conductor, Rackham, 8
Israeli Dancing - Leah Sadras,
Hillel, 7:30-10 pm.
Soundstage - Reggae Night, U-
Ciub, 10 pm.
The Daily is
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College Grad Financing!
$400 Cash Back. Buy or Lease.
Call Ron Graham
Rampy Chevrolet 663-3321
Rent a Car
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Order your college ring NOW.
Stop by and see a Jostens representative,
Wednesday, Feb. 8-thru Friday, Feb. 10,
11:00a.m. to 4:00p.m.,
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