Let’s keep it real: When it comes to the classic storyline of King Kong, It’s hard not to correlate the capture and display of the gargantuan gorilla with the historical/social plight and sexual stigmatization of the African-American male, the taboo relationship between Black men & White women, and the Black man’s ultimate consequential fall to the White man for it.
Now, before you accuse me of being “too sensitive” or quick to pull the “race card,” please know that I entered the flick with a very high tolerance toward the blatant symbolism and similarities--really. I mean I had to if I were to enjoy it with my 9-year-old son. But yo: A brotha can only take so much.
I mean damn, even Ray Charles would agree after watching nearly 3 hours of Kong big pimping and getting hated on: King Kong is Black!
Unfortunately, it’s not a far reach to see stereotypical fibers woven in such a racist plot…But then again, King Kong was originally released in 1933. And what was the racial climate then?
1) The beginning of Adolph Hitler's Jewish Holocaust in Germany 1933-“Blond Hair & Blue Eyes Aryan supremacy”
2) The Negro Baseball League was revived for a second life in 1933 after it’s disbandment in 1929
3) The founder of Black History Week-- the precursor to Black History Month-- Carter Goodwin Woodson published his best-known book "The Mis-education of the Negro"
4) And then there was the first Black Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Jack Johnson who was winding down his boxing career in which he whooped on every White and Black dude in his way and then flaunted his White girls--and gold grill—in public during a time when it was bold, unlawful and forbidden—especially in mainstream White society.
The list goes on…I just hope that you get the picture: African Americans were doing what they could to develop an identity in a very blatant-racist world.
Nonetheless and in spite of the racial climate of 1933, I do believe the storyline of King Kong to be a good one. At the same time I do believe that the sublime under--and overtones—of 1933 could be removed and yet keep the story intact and perhaps make it even more of an embraceable story for today’s colorful American society.
For instance: The American TV classic comedy sitcom “The Honeymooners,” originally starring the legend Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph was successfully recaptured in the 2005 release "The Honeymooners" starring Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps
And it was tight! It was actually a good movie. Moreover I appreciate the re-production of “The Honeymooners” for keeping the essence of a true American classic while also reflecting the demographic changes in Hollywood’s array of actors.
And as for the cataract ridden natives of African decent that lived on the island with Kong...? They actually bugged me more than symbolism of King Kong. To keep it brief: They were disgusting and an overall insult to any indigenous culture. I'm saying, how can any population live in such filth?... And all I gotta say is Damn...That's a whole other blog...