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Billy Bob Thornton Defends The South

Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

A few years back, I attended an informational meeting about “The Angel Channel,” a film that was going to be filmed in Crowley.

Attendees were asked for input, and I stood and respectfully requested that the producers of the film avoid portraying us as small-minded, backwards, bigoted hicks. In other words, the way many Hollywood productions have chosen to portray us.

I sometimes think I’m alone in noticing this or being frustrated by it, but it turns out that, thankfully, there are those in Hollywood aware of and appalled by the stereotype.

In a recent interview with Fox News about his role in the upcoming TV series Fargo, Billy Bob Thornton was asked if he is troubled by the way the southern U.S. is portrayed in film and television. His response sums up how we’re seen as a people and a culture by Hollywood.

You’re from Arkansas. Does it bother you the way the South is portrayed on film and TV?

Thornton: For the most part, it’s a shame. There’s always been a slight prejudice against the South, actually not slight. I was trying to be kind. There’s always been a prejudice about the South and Southerners in movies because they are portrayed as bigots. Generally they’re cartoon characters and when they do romantic comedies about the South, they use that broad accent and all the women are these catty, Southern belles. It’s just kind of silly.

Do you agree with me and Billy Bob about how movies and television shows portray us? Let me know on Facebook!

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