“White Chicks,” is it offensive?


Ivette Sanchez, Section Editor

As an FBI agent uncovering the truth can be hard, but it’s not impossible. You have to do whatever you have to do to get the work done even if that means to take on a whole different identity, and this is exactly what Marcus and Kevin Copeland did in the movie “White Chicks.”

You go as far as to take on a whole persona to get the job done, but at what point is it taking it too far?

The movie “White Chicks” is a comedy movie that at the time of release was seen as funny and entertaining, however, today many things have changed and so have these opinions.

“I wasn’t that young but I was pretty young when I watched it. I thought it was funny, I watched it with my family and it was funny, I guess,” says Issatou Hadji, a sophomore at the NYC iSchool.

Most of us have probably seen the comedy movie called “White Chicks.” A movie about two FBI agent brothers, Kevin and Marcus, who go undercover to bust a drug dealer but fail to do so. Their boss gives them a new assignment to escort two hotel heiresses, Brittany and Tiffany Wilson, to the Hamptons. The FBI received word that there is a plot to kidnap the sisters at the Hamptons. As they are driving from the airport to the Hamptons, the girl’s little dog goes out the window, causing them to have a pretty bad crash. The two sisters end up with cuts on their faces in the wreck and both decide that they no longer want to go to the Hamptons looking the way they did. This causes a problem for both agents because if they don’t go, the kidnapping plot will not occur. Kevin and Marcus will fail again, and most likely lose their jobs. 

As a result, they decide to do the only thing they can, which was to pose as the two sisters, Brittany Wilson and Tiffany Wilson, transforming themselves from African American men into a pair of blonde, white women in order to catch the kidnappers.

This movie came out in 2004, which at the time nobody thought anything of it. It was just a funny movie. But today a lot of people find this movie offensive and disrespectful. 

People like to call this movie racist because of their use of racial slurs and people even like to go as far as to say that it’s racist to white people because of the way they try to impersonate them and the use of “whiteface.” 

Blackface is the act when a nonblack performer puts on black paint or makeup on their face to try and “impersonate” a black person, but in the act purposely disrespects them. 

“Blackface isn’t just about painting one’s skin darker or putting on a costume. It invokes a racist and painful history,” according to CNN.

Whiteface, on the other hand, is an idea that it’s racist when a black person impersonates a white person by putting white paint on their face.

MSN states, “Whiteface refers to wearing theatrical makeup to portray a white person. It is commonly viewed as an expression of art and isn’t considered historically offensive.” 

“Whiteface does exist, people do put on white makeup on their face to mimic a white person I guess so it does exist,” says Hadji.

In other words, whiteface is something that happens today to a lot of people. We can see whiteface happen in social media everywhere and in this case even in movies. Now the question that comes up is if this is racist and if reverse racism does exist.

“I feel like reverse racism isn’t really a thing, the oppressor cannot be the oppressed and in this case where it’s like African Americans and white people, white people cannot be oppressed in this situation because they’re the ones who hold the power currently,” says Hadji.

Racism is best known as a system in which a racial majority is able to enforce its power and privilege over another race through political, economic and institutional means. So in other words, it’s impossible for minorities to overpower or oppress the majority.

“There has never, ever, ever been a national set of laws or system put in place to systematically oppress white people or push them to a status that is ‘less than,'” as stated in Business Insider

So was the movie “White Chicks” racist towards white people?

Hadji answered that “them putting on white makeup and pretending to be these chicks, I don’t really see a pr- I mean to some people I can see why they think it’s bad but I don’t really see a problem with it to be honest, I don’t see a problem with them dressing up like that honestly.” 

In the movie there was also a problem with racial slurs being used. In one of the scenes in the movie, Marcus and Kevin were in the car with three other white girls, and they all began to sing the song that had the n-word appear multiple times.

The scene in the movie where Marcus and Kevin Copeland, the two disguised as girls in the middle, made it seem acceptable for the other three girls to sing along to a song that has the n word come up multiple times. 

This brought up many problems simply for the fact that white people are just not allowed to say that word.

The scene in the movie where Marcus and Kevin Copeland, the two disguised as girls in the middle, made it seem acceptable for the other three girls to sing along to a song that has the n word come up multiple times.

Hadji said, “Even if it’s just for a movie there is no way in hell any white person should be allowed to say the n word ten times in the same– no white person should be allowed to say the n word once. They  just kept saying the n word over and over and over again it was obviously the wrong choice and it was like a really bad thing that’s like where the movie messed up.” 

Keirnan Catley, who’s also a sophomore at the NYC iSchool, says, “I guess it would be kind of offensive because white people aren’t supposed to say the n word.”

Most people who watched the movie were fine with the use of “whiteface,” but the repetition of the use of the n word from the white actors was the part that a lot of people have problems with and did not like. 

“The movie did it because.. I don’t know, it was supposed to be a joke at first, like it was supposed to be a joking way to do it but if they’re going to say the n word in it then that’s messed up.=,” says Weronika Kapusta, a sophomore in the NYC iSchool.

The movie “White Chicks” will forever have multiple opinions towards it. Those that say that the whole movie was just for entertainment purposes and those that believe there were multiple things implemented in that movie that was not acceptable.