Color Blindness | Letters | Chicago Reader

Color Blindness 

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To the editors:

In response to Jack Helbig's 5/31/91 review of Chameleon Productions' Wrestlers:

I do not take issue with Mr. Helbig's assertion that Wrestlers was "old-fashioned, flat-footed, and banal." That is his opinion and he is entitled to it. Other audience members (those who read reviews should keep in mind that a critic is nothing more than an audience member who puts his opinion in the paper) are also entitled to their opinion and as he said, the "audience roared with laughter at everything the two said and did." Opinions differ.

I do, however, take issue with Mr. Helbig's implication that "single, urban, upwardly aspiring African American women" must have unique attitudes, fears and opinions. He implies that in order for an audience to be interested, African American women must be different from white women in Minneapolis or Japanese women in Tokyo. Wrestlers does not deny these differences, but chooses to focus on the similarities. By presenting African American women in a milieu typically associated with the white middle class, Chameleon Productions lives up to its aspirations to challenge the current image (or at least Mr. Helbig's image) of women of varying ethnic/racial background.

Wrestlers, for better or worse, is nothing more than a light comedy. Mr. Helbig's insistence that it should have more substance merely because it is by and about African American women is absurd and ultimately detrimental to the development of groups such as Chameleon Productions.

Brian Hauser


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