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Arsenio Hall Show Sparks Controversy After Perpetuating ‘Mammy’ Stereotype In Sketch



Arsenio Hall is attempting to try something different after ratings tanked following a strong season opener for his resurrected talk show.

Critics assert the show lacked comedic relief, which may have prompted the quick exit of executive producer Neal Kendeall.

In an attempt to reinvent its show’s creative concepts, the show aired a racially insensitive sketch perpetuating the stereotypes of black women.

A woman portrays Hall’s fraternal twin sister in the sketch and shows the controversy she stirred after taking over the “Writer’s Room.”

The woman represents the archetype of the “mammy.” The “mammy” figure carries several attributes, including dark-skinned, heavyset, undesirable and aggressive.

The woman in the sketch possesses each of the abovementioned traits and proceeds to create a very cringe-worthy scene in the sketch.

The woman “Marsenia” appears in a room full of white writers as a belt wielding, dashiki wearing, wig donning and illiterate writing coach. Not to mention, she whips up mean batch of pig knuckles smothered in chitterlings.

The mammy figure has been used throughout history in media. Hattie McDaniel was perhaps the most famous mammy following her role in “Gone With The Wind.”

Other films the mammy archetype was used include, “Big Momma’s House,” “The Help” and “Madea,” to name a few.

Check out Arsenio Hall’s “Marsenia” sketch below

Check out Mad TV’s satirical portrayal of the mammy archetype in ‘That’s My White Momma’


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