Professor: 'Secret Life of Pets' Is About White Privilege and 'Black Pain'
— The Root (@TheRoot) July 10, 2016
A professor in Ohio claims that the new kids movie, "The Secret Life of Pets," is all about "white folks getting what they want" at the expense of "black pain and suffering."
Jason Johnson, a professor of political science at Hiram College, wrote that the funny film - featuring the voices of Kevin Hart and Louis CK - is an "uneven action comedy that turns black protest and death into a joke."
The story revolves around a dog named Max and what unfolds when his owner adopts a larger rescue dog, Duke. The two eventually get lost and end up with Animal Control and are rescued by the Flushed Pets Revolutionary Army, led by a rabbit voiced by Hart.
Johnson argues that, "The Flushed Pets' rallying cry is 'Revolution forever, domestication never.' And if there were any question about what cultural movement was being alluded to, the moment Snowball starts talking, Max and Duke begin 'code-switching' into black vernacular to respond to him. It made me cringe."
If you want to know about The Secret Life of Pets, it’s all around you, and it’s not so secret. White and middle-class-acceptable values are prioritized, and the struggles of regular people are for sport or entertainment. The pain or frustration of black folks must always take a backseat to white folks’ learning about themselves or getting what they want. As long as you dress it up with funny animals, the message is much easier to swallow. You may not need a dog whistle for this story; the message is pretty clear.
Let us know your thoughts on the professor's opinion of the film.