Social Question

Ansible1's avatar

When people make the joke - "The black guy always dies first"....which movies are they referring to?

Asked by Ansible1 (4831points) April 10th, 2010

I can’t think of a single one

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

36 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

In the old days of War Movies etc. (Really old days.)

j0ey's avatar

…...“Anaconda” maybe?

…...I think maybe “The Faculty”

Usually in Horror movies, If there is a black guy in the group of main characters he’s gone before the rest…..But I don’t know if they are ever the very first person to be knocked off.

buckyboy28's avatar

Scroll down to “examples” on this page.

hug_of_war's avatar

Not a joke, mostly action movies

Trillian's avatar

I wonder if it’s only my interpretation, or are a lot of the black men in horror and action movies deliberately “non-threatening” black men. I first noticed this years ago in Return of the Living Dead. The black guy is named spider, is protective and kind of jumpy, gets killed with some others at the end with the tactical nuclear strike. Since then I’ve paid closer attention and it seems like Hollywood is trying to make us nervous white folks less intimidated by casting attractive, burly or muscular black men in roles where they are studious, no-nonsense, very non-threatening types who either get killed or nobly sacrifice themselves for the others. Gary Dourdan’s role in Aliens 4 springs to mind right away, but I’ve seen lots more over the years.

j0ey's avatar

Found a LIST OF HORROR MOVIES . There are soooo many.

Seek's avatar

It’s mainly the old horror movies. When Duane Jones’ character in Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” was the only character to live to see the morning, it was one of the first (if not the first) horror movie to show a black character as the “winner”. And even he got blown away in the end.

Since then, the mold has been pretty much shattered, though movies like “Scream” revived the custom through satire. Romero pretty much always has the signature awesome black dude (whether he be living or zombie), and Peter Jackson’s “The Thing” had the black dude alive at the end. He was a great character, too.

sandystrachan's avatar

Every Horror film that has a ’ Black guy ’ he is ALWAYS the guy to die first .

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I grew up hearing this and also noting it alongside, ”... the Red shirt always dies first”.

unique's avatar

in allll movies: first the black guy, then the slutty girl.

whyigottajoin's avatar

I think I’ve heard that in South Park before and in one of the Scary Movies.

alive's avatar

@buckyboy28 the quote on the top of the link you posted: “It must be racist shark,” -on jaws… hahahaha i love that quote!

filmfann's avatar

@j0ey I never heard the joke before, and after going thru the list I would disagree with their assessment.
For example, in RoboCop, the project is headed by 3 people. Only the black guy survives the movie, yet they list RoboCop here.

majorrich's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Definitely the red shirt that draws klingon fire. Ka-Zap!

Emma99's avatar

I don’t know…but that’s sad.

wilma's avatar

Weren’t the Red Shirt guys the low ranking not stars on Star Trek? so they were expendable?

bea2345's avatar

That’s why I found the film The Shining so unsatisfactory. It was going great guns, it was creepy, it was sufficiently horror-full, then they had to kill off that black character, Dick. It was very annoying.

syzygy2600's avatar

If they made a list of all the movies where a black character isn’t the first to die, it would be way longer than the list of movies where he/she is the first to die.

Seek's avatar


Agreed! That was horrid! Dick was supposed to live to the end! He was a major character. Bad form, Kubrick!

WolfFang's avatar

Wasn’t it like that in Jurassic Park…?

j0ey's avatar

@WolfFang ummmm he did die early on….but i think the chubby white man with glasses from seinfield died first.

downtide's avatar

All of them I think.

faye's avatar

The sixth guy on the away team always dies first! I can’t recall where a black man dies first.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Ha! Years ago, I joked with an actor acquaintance of mine (we’d worked on two different TV shows) that he had to get a new agent pronto. I think I said, “You’re turning into a red shirt on Star Trek, dude!” and his gf laughed and said, “OMG, you are!” Before I’d seen him at the diner that day, he’d been cast as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, and as the guide/pilot in The Bear. We know what happens to those characters. So when I saw that he was in the Matrix and in the sequels, I was very glad. “He must’ve gotten that new agent,” I thought to myself. I think at this point you know who I’m talking about, and he is indeed black.

It’s been years since I’ve seen him. I reckon he’s doing OK after being on Lost.

boffin's avatar

…always dies first”....
I thought it was the guy in the RED shirt…

Star Trek

alive's avatar

@syzygy2600 your comment doesn’t really make sense because there are more films featuring white people, therefore (OBVIOUSLY) more white people are killed in films (first or not)

the fact alone that hollywood will only cast one character who is a non-white ethnicity and then kill them off harps back to institutionalized racism, as well as just plain ol’ racism.

faye's avatar

@boffin Star Trek—There could be 2 guys in red shirts but the sixth guy was first to die!!

filmfann's avatar

“Away team! I want Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu and Robinowitz”

The jew ain’t coming back.

phillis's avatar

Here is an incomplete list of blactors who aren’t the first ones to die. I didn’t bother looking up black female actors yet. Can we dispense with the “Black guys ALWAYS die first” and the “The black guys alllll die first” crap now? Thank you.

DMX (Belly)
Nasir ‘Escobar’ Jones (Belly)
Sherman Hemsley (upcoming: Ballbusters)
Percy ‘Master P’ Miller (I got the Hookup; Foolish)
Shaquille O’Neal (Blue Chips; CB4; Kazaam; Steel)
Levar Burton (Star trek-First Contact; Star Trek- Insurrection)
Michael Dorn (Star Trek-First Contact; Star Trek-Insurrection)
Christopher Williams (New Jack City)
James ‘LL Cool J’ Smith (Toys; BAPS; Out of Sync; The Hard Way; Woo; Halloween- H20)
Bernie Mac (House Party 3; Player’s Club)
Oshea ‘Ice Cube’ Jackson (Boyz N Da Hood; Glass Shield; Anaconda; Dangerous Ground; Player’s Club; upcoming: Three Kings)
Keenan (Good Burger)
Kel (Good Burger)
Ray Allen (He Got Game)
Ice T (New Jack City; CB4; Tresspass; Tank Girl; Rhyme & Reason)
Calvin ‘Snoop Doggy Dogg’ Broadus (Half-baked; Caught Up)
Fredro Starr (Sunset Park; Ride)
Jaimie Foxx (Booty Call; Player’s Club)
Malik Yoba (Cop land; Ride)
Tupac ‘Makivelli’ Shakur (Juice; Gridlok’d; Gang Related)
Michael Jordan (Space Jam)
Bill Cosby (Ghost Dad; Meteor Man)
Jim Brown (Original Gangsters; Mars Attacks)
Sinbad (Jingle all the Way)
Martin Lawrence (Life; Nothing to Lose; upcoming?:Bad Boys 2)
Damon Wayans (Bulletproof)
Coolio (Burn Hollywood Burn)
Chuck D. (Burn Hollywood Burn)
Arsenio Hall (Amazon Women on the Moon; Coming to America)
Isaac Hayes (Flipper; Devil’s Advocate; South Park-the Movie)
Richard Pryor (Harlem Nights)
Usher Raymond (the Faculty)
Little Richard (Why Do fools Fall in Love?)
Tommy Davidson (Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls; Booty Call; Woo)
Kadeem Hardison (Panther; Vampire in Brooklyn; The 6th Man)
Anfernee Hardaway (Blue Chips)
Ed Lover (Who’s the Man?)
Dr. Dre (Who’s the Man?)
Mark Curry (Armageddon)
Bobby Brown (A thin Line Between Love and Hate)
Dennis Rodman (Double Team)
Orenthal James Simpson (The Naked Gun 33⅓)
Morgan Freeman (Amistad; Hard Rain; Deep Impact)
Sidney Poitier (Sneakers; The Jackal)
Samuel L. Jackson (Sphere; The Negotiator; Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix; Event Horizon; Hoodlum)
James Earl Jones (Meteor Man; Gang Related)
Charles S. Dutton (Nick of Time; The Relic; Mimic)
Denzel Washington (Fallen; The Seige; He Got Game)
Harry Belafonte (White Man’s Burden; Kansas City)
Wesley Snipes (Down on the Delta; The Big Hit; Blade; Upcoming: Shaft; Have Gun, Will Travel; Blade 2)
Danny Glover (To Sleep With Anger; the Rainmaker; Beloved; Switchback; Lethal Weapon 1–4)
Carl Weathers (Happy Gilmore)
Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Boyz N Da Hood; Gladiator; Judgement Night; Jerry McGuire; As Good As It Gets; upcoming: Instinct)
Mario Van Peebles (the Posse; Solo)
Will Smith (Wild, Wild West; the Mark; Enemy of the State; Shaft)
Omar Epps (Juice; Higher Learning; Scream 2; upcoming:the Wood; Mod Squad)
Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction; Mission Impossible; Armageddon; Out of sight; upcoming:Entrapment; Bringing in the Dead)
Chris Rock (I’m Gonna Get You Sucka; New Jack City; CB4; Beverly Hills Ninja; Leathal Weapon 4)
Chris Scott Cherot (Havplenty)
John Kennedy Horne (Unconditional Love)
Gary Leroi Gray II (Stinkers)
Djimon Hountsu (Amistad)
Michael Jai White (Spawn; Ringmaster; upcoming: Universal Soldier 2; Spawn 2)
Larenz Tate (Menace 2 Society; Dead Presidents; Love Jones; The Postman; Why Do fools Fall in Love?)
A.J. Johnson (How to Be a Player; I got the Hookup; Player’s Club)
Mekhi Phipher (Clockers; High School High; Soul Food; Ride; I still know what you did last summer)
Michael Beach (Waiting to Exhale; Soul Food)
Clarence Gilliard (Die Hard)
Louis Gosset Jr. (Iron Eagle 3)
Taye Diggs (HavPlenty; How Stella Got Her Groove Back; upcoming: Go; The Wood)
Richard T. Jones (The Wood)
Keenan Ivory Wayans (The Glimmer Man; Most Wanted)
Eddie Murphy (Life; Doctor Doolittle; Nutty Proffessor 2)
Billy Dee Williams (Return of the Jedi..Special Edition)
David Alan Grier (Down Periscope)
Robert Townsend (Meteor Man)
Blair Underwood (Set It Off)
Leon (Cliffhanger; Cool Runnings; Bad Attitude; the Five Heartbeats; Above the Rim; Waiting to Exhale)
Damon Saleem (Caught Up)
Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters 1&2; The Substitute; all upcoming:Stranger in the Kingdom; Bang; Fakin’ Da Funk)
Marlon Wayans (the 6th Man; Senseless)
Bokeem Woodbine (The Rock; Panther; Dead Presidents; Crooklyn; Jason’s Lyric; Dangerous Minds; Caught Up; The Big Hit)
Tiny Lister (the 5th Element)

majorrich's avatar

Wow! quite an extensive list! you been doing too much homework! I just wonder how Scotty survived so long. His shirt must have been a slightly different shade of red.

phillis's avatar

@majorrich Thanks! It took one search for it to be a done deal. I knew it had been a few decades since the token ethnicities were the first to die, but there was no way I could have remembered them, so I had to look them up. Comments like the ones I mentioned do a lot of harm because they perpetuate the divide between blacks and whites that is hardly there anymore, but some people are absolutely convinced that there is that I had to provide facts to prove it.

syzygy2600's avatar

@alive yes, in EVERY instance where a non-white character is the first to die it MUST be racism! Story and plotlines be damned! </sarcasm>

majorrich's avatar

I do know that every single Asian knows and is extremely proficient in Kung Fu. (: just another stereotype from our west coast friends

WolfFang's avatar

@majorrich I appreciate the point you made about how saying things like “why the black guy always gotta die 1st!?!?” is yet another social barrier that is basically just fabricated b.s. without any real backup. People continue to circulate stuff like that and it’s notions like that which keep people thinking that races are more seperated than they really are, and in effect end up making them more seperate by forcing the notions into accepted “fact”.

phillis's avatar

@WolfFang Exactly. Perfect :)

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