Racial Stereotypes in <b><i>MIIB</i></b>? - Mania.com

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Racial Stereotypes in MIIB?

By Jason Lethert     June 27, 2002

According to a recent report in Roger Ebert's home turf, the Chicago Sun-Times, a CGI sequence sent MiB big shots Will Smith and Barry Sonenfeld into action. The incident stems from a part in the film where Smith and Tommy Lee Jones's souped up automobile, and included Smith's own kids.

In the scene, Smith's boys Jaden and Trey are digitally inserted into a shot of a city block, and Smith and Jones soar over the kids in their MiB coup. The catch? Apparently, the guys at Industrial Light, and Magic dressed up the set digitally to resemble an inner-city hell hole, complete with garbage strewn about, and burned out cars, to which the Sun-Times characterized as "The ghetto-ized version." Sonnenfeld was quoted as saying "Why not just paint a [dead] body chalk outline next to them?"

When questioned on their methodology, an ILM staffer simply replied "we thought it looked urban." Alas, ILM reconsidered the scene after hearing from Smith and Sonnenfeld, and the scene will now resemble a more regular looking street.


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