BLACK VOICES
12/16/2014 02:03 pm ET Updated Dec 16, 2014

Race In Film: 'Criminality From People Of Color Is Viewed As Inherent'

Over the years, some of America's most beloved movies have focused on narratives that draw distinctions between "good guys" vs. "bad guys." But when delving deeper, many of these differences also deal with the diversity, or lack thereof, of these characters and the race of the actors who play them.

In a HuffPost Live roundtable Tuesday, host Ricky Camilleri and four guests debated Hollywood's race problem, specifically that of the unfair standard of how black and white criminals are depicted differently in film.

"You can take this all the way back to 'Breakfast at Tiffany's,'" Ya'Ke Smith, a film professor at the University of Texas, said. "Which is a classic. But you have a gigolo, sort of a prostitute...you have all these characters working against the law, doing criminal things. If those were African-American characters, this tale would be very different."

The same could be said of almost universally loved movies like "Superbad" and the "Ocean's Eleven" series. Part of this can be explained with the influence of stereotypes while some say indifference also plays a factor.

"Every writer, every creative person, every artist is always fighting against stereotypes," Gregory Howard, a screenwriter of the award-winning film "Remember the Titans," told HuffPost. "What you have in Hollywood is unfortunately artistic laziness. People sit on their asses and just [say] 'Well, I'm not going to put the effort in to find some humanity in Ray Brown. Ray Brown is a crackhead and a criminal, and there he is.'"

Watch the rest of the clip above, and catch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

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