Say What Now? ‘Good Times’ Actor Jimmie Walker Says Quit Complaining About The Negative Portrayal Of Black People In Film

January 3, 2013  |  

Source: WENN

Have you ever expressed your disapproval for the portrayal of Black characters in certain Hollywood films? Have you ever signed a petition that protests against the exploited stereotypes of Black people in the media? Well, if you have, Good Times actor Jimmie Walker says you’re doing more harm than good. In a recent interview with NPR, Walker expressed that he believed that the Black community’s constant “complaining” and “rejection” of what is considered to be negative depictions of Black people in film is discouraging to Hollywood studios and financial risk-takers, which makes them more reluctant to take on projects that illustrate “complex stories” about minority characters.

“What happens is, it also is reflective in black TV shows and movies, that you’re not gonna get anymore of those because of the constant complaining, moaning and groaning… The point is to make money. And therefore, the network themselves have actually stopped doing any ethnic shows, because they don’t want the aggravation…”

“What has happened is that any minority character you see on a show now is always the police commissioner, the head of the hospital, the school superintendent. Those kinds of people don’t invoke followers. The people who are going to get attention are the wacky guys… who eventually become stars… You’ll never see a black Will Ferrell, You’ll never see a black Adam Sandler, because black people aren’t allowed to play those kind of roles.”

While Jimmie’s intentions in making this statement may not have been bad, the message that many are receiving is that Black people should stop complaining and accept whatever Hollywood dishes out for the advancement of the Black actor.

Check out the full interview here. Do you agree or disagree with Jimmie and why? 

 Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise

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  • vangpo

    When you watch Jimmy Walker as J.J. Evans on Good Times, that’s no act. The man really is that ignorant. I don’t blame John Amos for ditching the show at all.

  • Iown You

    Took’um a long time to leave though…

    • vangpo

      John Amos left immediately when the show’s focus switched to J.J.’s bug-eyed Mantan Moreland style antics. Esther road the money train a good long time before becoming “offended”.

      • Iown You

        I don’t feel “immediately” is the right word. JJ acted like this for years before Amos left.

        • vangpo

          Maybe that’s because you want to see what you want to see? Immediately is exactly the right word.

          • Iown You

            Maybe English is not your first language and you don’t really understand what immediately means? Or maybe you’re delusional and like to play things out in your mind differently than what they were?

            Amos stayed on the show for 3 WHOLE seasons. That’s HALF the time that the show was on the air! JJ acted like a damn fool from episode 1. How is staying for 3 whole seasons “leaving immediately”?

            Are you kidding? Smh.

  • KamJos

    Go try and catch a cab in New York City Jimmy.

  • douglas

    After James died on Good Times, Jimmy Walker being his one man minsteral show. JJ Evans ate that show alive with his minsteral act.

  • get real

    Coming from a black dude that hangs out with Ann Coulter (an over the top racist) so of course he’s going to have a “shut up and let massa portray us anyway that he wants to” mentality. Most blk folks who have these white friends have this mentality. And u blk women here are pathetic and disgusting with your “I agree with him” comments. You chicks need to date some conscious blk men so they can school u about why these Django” movies are constantly being made.

  • Haylee

    Yall stop giving Jimmy Walker any attention because he is saying these things just to get attention because he wants to be back in the spot light and no one is offering him a job.

  • Annie

    I agree……blacks are a diverse group… what if he was clowing on Good Times….when I was kid we loved those characters. How else would young people today know anything about jive and how black people spoke in the 70’s….Some cultural things need to be depicted.

  • I don’t agree with him but he is the person that got the black family back on television after years of nothing. Say what you will the show would not have lasted that long on the other characters and they would have just been more out of work black actors. People do complain too much. The way Spike Lee is complaining about Django, you would imagine his first movie wasn’t about an over-sexed black woman (and Lord knows we needed more images like that in the 1980s when we were getting our foothold in corporate America). People complained about The Help, people complain when Denzel doesn’t play an angel or an icon. People aren’t angels. We are good and bad and messy. The best trait in us has an ugly dark side when you flip it over. I want to see more of that. People have always complained much and done little. If you don’t like the story, write your own. If you’re tired of negative portrayals, make them less true.

  • While I don’t agree with Walker’s politics, I actually agree with what he said here. We need to quit whining about every little thing and understand that black people, like every other ethnic group, are complex with postive as well as negative facets.

    It’s called, being human……..

  • Planojewels

    I think the only reason why he’s saying this is because after playing a buffoon on Good Times he didn’t get any additional roles because people complain about black people not getting roles with substance. I guess he believes (and I don’t blame him) that some work is better than no work. I can understand his view, but there must be a limit. For example, the shawty low reality show about 11 baby mamas, that crosses all the lines of what’s proper.

  • It’s IRONIC coming from someone who got famous being a stereotype on television.

  • IJS

    J.J. needs some calamine lotion for all that peeling skin on his dome. His head looks like a rotting turd!

  • clove8canela

    There really is no fool like an old fool. I don’t want to hear nothing from a man who made a name for himself shuckin’ & jivin’ all up & through Good Times.

  • Guest360

    I agree with him. SOME criticism of how the media chooses to portray black people is just (Basketball Wives, Love and Hip Hop, etc), but sometimes it’s just over the top and unnecessary (Scandal, Django, The Help, etc.). Some seem to think that black characters need to be positive people all the time, and if not its “racist” or pandering to the white audience. Newsflash, the major roles we want them to portray are incredibly flawed people. If you want black people to be the lead in their own shows/movies, to do something more than be the outspoken best friend, there are some things you’re just going to have to accept. These characters will not always be positively written. They will do bad things and act in ways that make us cringe or want to smack them. You can’t be a lead in anything and be as vanilla and ho-hum as they come. Some black folks need to dial down the outrage just a tad bit or else, yes. We will always be relegated to supporting roles. I’m not saying accept everything that the media puts out there but it seems there is “controversy” associated with everything that has a black person in it.

  • This coming from the man who basically revitalized the buffoonish Black man on television. I don’t see him working to help out positive Black talent, or trying to change the system. Why should we keep going along with what’s handed us, even when it’s negative? If after all this time, all that Hollywood is still handing out are coons and buffoons, then something is wrong. He needs to have several seats.

  • Just saying!!

    Honestly I was saying this the other day when people kept complaining about Django (only people who haven’t seen it of course). I’m tire of black people complaining about everything but doing NOTHING! You ain’t happy with it? Fix it! Create opportunities where they’re missing.

    • Just saying!!

      Not saying I agree with him necessarily! But I just wish we spent less time complaining and more time doing.

    • Faith

      I agree, the only way to stop this is to not the support it. People complain about the fighting and foolishness on reality television but they still continue to watch it. The same thing with movies and show, don’t complain, just don’t spend your money

  • Guess he doesn’t want to upset Massa….lol

  • Me1987

    No. Just No.

  • Vic

    Isn’t he in a relationship with Ann Coulter?

  • Fatih

    Will somebody please tell Jimmie to go somewhere in a corner and sit down or find something else to do.

  • dontdoit

    I’d rather see no blacks on TV than see ignorant black characters on TV. He’s only concerned with himself anf what type of roles he can tap into. Typical republican.

    • Na Na

      I really think he’s saying that when ever there is any type of Black character be it positive or negative, there is usually some changedotorg petition following it. Either its too this for the public or the masses don’t like the character because she wears too much lip gloss and portrays all Black women as Lil’ Mama. I mean whatever the ridiculous claim of the day is, Black characters are usually not just left alone to act there is usually some sort of controversy around it….which may be easier for studios to just leave them out all together.

      Buuuut if we support Black Arts like The Awkward Black Girl or the Skorpion Show we can call our own shots regarding our own entertainment…..just my 2 cents.

      • dontdoit

        Basically he’s saying don’t upset the master cause he might stop giving out scraps. My question is where is the balance? For every “wacky” white character there at least 10 “positive”or normal character. Can we say the same for black characters?

  • WHO would ever listen to a Black man who sleeps with Ann Coulter and sold out a loooong time ago????

    JJ Walker a true white man’s flunky!!!

  • L-Boogie

    Do not agree.