Odd Future originators Tyler The Creator and Frank Ocean popped up in some behind-the-scenes footage from the set of Jonah Hill‘s directorial debut, Mid90s, to share some knowledge with the film’s young actors and give some of Tyler’s perspective behind how racial stereotypes get perpetuated in the media. The footage comes courtesy of skate crew Illegal Civilization, who also featured in the movie and have starred in various media documenting skate culture, including three episodes of HBO’s Ballers.
In the clip, Tyler hypothesizes about the nature of racism, wondering, “Are some people genuinely racist or is it all that they’ve seen of it? Just a random thought.” He explains his thinking in terms of the imagery that gets propagated in mass media pointing out that, “You f*cking go on TV and there’s a f*cking dog attacking someone, every time you turn on the TV it’s a f*cking dog, ‘A dog bit a five-year-old today! . . . When you go outside and you see a f*cking dog, the only thing you know about dogs is that it f*cking bites people.” It’s a pretty salient point, if not particularly novel. That’s why representation in media is so important to many groups, because varied representation helps to breakdown stereotypes which are perpetuated by repetition of the same tropes. Good on Tyler for point it out and sharing his knowledge with the next generation, though, and on Illegal Civilization for sharing it.