Friday, November 18, 2005
Jesse Jackson Charges Biff Was Black Stereotype; Zemeckis Racist
One problem with the movies, Jackson argued, was their interpretation of blacks: the main black characters being pot-smoking rock and rollers at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. And as an additional slap in the face, writer/director Robert Zemeckis implies that black rock legend Chuck Berry in fact copied his revolutionary style from a 5'4" white 17-year old from the future. For shame, Robert.
Also in question is what should be derived from the character of Biff. Isn't Biff, argued Jackson, a metaphor for the white Southerner's black stereotype? Power-hungry, moronic, poor English skills, greedy, athletic, misogynic, poor family structure. Alternate reality Biffs are no better: he is a corrupt gangster and gambler in the hellish 1985 portrayed in BTTF II, and in the "everything is fixed" 1985 at the end of BTTF I and III, Biff is a fucking slave!
"It may be difficult for white people to understand given Biff's fair complexion, but is there any doubt of the symbolism portrayed in suggesting the best place for Biff was in slavery?" thundered Jackson in an unpublished copy of his draft obtained by The Ancient Axe. "I mean Jesus Christ, can anyone seriously question the fact that Biff is a slave in the optimal 1985 Marty creates? What the hell is he doing at their house washing and waxing Marty's truck for free wearing that ridiculous sweatsuit? Are we to feel good about George McFly's new role as a slave owner? I say we are not, and I hereby declare this movie racist and unsavory."
Actor Thomas F. Wilson, who portrayed Biff in the films, did not return my constant phone calls for comment.