“Wouldn’t it be better if African men weren’t always depicted as warlords or victims?” reads the description of a new YouTube video.
The video is called “African Men, Hollywood Stereotypes,” and went viral this past week featuring four African men who debunk some of the stereotypes created by Hollywood movies.
The video features Gabriel, 22, who is in his second year of clinical medicine in surgery, Benard, 23, who is in his third year of clinical medicine, Brian, 20, who is in his first year of human resources management, and Derrick, 21, who is in his third year of clinical medicine.
All use humor to reveal some of the stereotypes created by the films like African men are warlords, wielding machine guns and teaching children to do the same.
“If you’ve only seen us in Hollywood movies, this is what you may think of us: machine guns,” the group says in the new video, as shots of famous Hollywood movies like “Blood Diamond” that depict Africans in an unfavorable light flip through the screen.
One man says “We shoot our machine guns from trucks” to which another adds, “We shoot our machine guns from boats,” and “We are obsessed with violence.”
The group then goes on to explain how Western protagonists are always depicted as the heros. “We’re talking to you, shirtless Matthew McConaughey,” one man says as a shot of the actor sans shirt takes over the screen.
The group then goes on to ask viewers, “You don’t think of us that way do you?” and reveals, “We are likable and friendly guys and we are even on Facebook.”
“We are more than a stereotype,” they say. “Let’s change the perception.”
The video was reportedly inspired by Mama Hope’s video “Alex Presents Commando,” after which Gabriel, Benard, Brian and Derrik decided they wanted to create a video poking fun at the way African men are portrayed in Hollywood films.
“They, like Mama Hope, are tired of the over-sensationalized, one-dimensional depictions of African men and the white savior messaging that permeates our media. They wanted to tell their own stories instead, so we handed them the mic and they made this video,” reads the YouTube video’s description.
Since hitting YouTube, the video has proved to be a success with over 200,000 views. Check it out.