Friday, June 24, 2005

Race doesn't exist for Tom Cruise

marjorie says...

Ok, yes, I did watch a rerun of the infamous Tom Cruise appearance on Oprah yesterday. Hopefully most of you stand in grocery store checkout lines enough to know why it’s so infamous. Well, after watching it I have to say that I don’t think he was that off the wall, any more than Oprah herself was, about his new love-affair. In general, the whole audience and Oprah herself were acting hysterical about the guy.

Anyhow, what is most interesting to me is the complete lack of commentary about a short conversation between Tom and Oprah about his mixed race child. It really shows the sensationalism of the press that this doesn’t get mentioned. Here is a transcript that I found on another website of this rather serious moment among the general hilarity:

WINFREY: I meant to ask you this and also Steven Spielberg. You have a biracial son. Steven has biracial children. It never seems to be–you never have mentioned it. You never mention race. You never say anything about it. Yet your son is obviously of a different race. How did you…
CRUISE: We’re–he’s from the human race. He’s from mankind. I don’t see color. I–you know? I don’t…
WINFREY: Was that ever discussed in the family, though? Did you have a conversation? Did you have a conversation with him about it? Nothing–never even discussed in the family?
CRUISE: I mean, it’s–what’s there to talk about? He’s my son.
Mr. CRUISE #1: It’s a point of–I just–listen, that’s how I feel about it.
WINFREY: Really.
Mr. CRUISE #1: It’s something–he’s my son.
CRUISE: And I love him, and I’ve never–I just never thought about color. I’ve never thought about that at all.
WINFREY: Really? Really?
Mr. CRUISE #1: Race–I just have not thought about that at all.
WINFREY: No, well, listen, obviously, I know you haven’t thought about it. It’s not an issue for you because…
CRUISE: But not even for him, and it’s not a point of–I just–I don’t believe in that. We’re all here together. And we’ve got to work it out together, OK?
WINFREY: Together.
CRUISE: And it’s…
WINFREY: You know, it’s so funny.
CRUISE: That’s what brings about understanding.


Yeah, Tom, it’s not really surprising that you’ve never thought about race, given your subject position. Let’s hope for your son’s sake that it isn’t something he’ll have to deal with…but I wouldn’t lay bets on it given how racist the world is. It would be smart, probably, for you to, you know, be in discussion about it with him since, afterall, you *are* his *father*!

Also, these comments demonstrate pretty clearly why it is that Hollywood continues to be so racist...the guys running the show there just, you know, "never thought about color." This, friends, was structural racism being clearly voiced by a powerful white man.