‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and the Rise of Hollywood’s Casual Racism

There’s a lot to like about Pitch Perfect 2. So why does it muddy itself with tone-deaf racial jokes? Worse, why is it part of an ugly trend in big Hollywood comedies?

I enjoyed Pitch Perfect 2 so much I cried. I’m one of those people.

(Granted the bar is low for me. I cried during The Heat.)

The Bellas’ finale performance of “Flashlight,” an original song by Jessie J, was so emotionally and visually manipulative that I got goosebumps and teary eyes andloved every single second of it. So much of the movie was fun, too.

Anna Kendrick revisits her too-cool-for-school shtick, which is a little tiresome the second time around but still highly entertaining because Anna Kendrick has that unachievable relatable perfection thing going for her. There is a rival German a capella group, and they are hilarious. Snoop Dogg sings—sings—an earnest version of “Winter Wonderland.” Bless this movie.

There’s so much of the same harmony—shameless embracing of individuality, charismatic performances, Rebel Wilson—singing in Pitch Perfect 2 as there was in the original that it makes its biggest, discordant flaw almost unforgivable. LikeHot Pursuit and Get Hard before it this spring, the film is plagued by tone-deaf and, worse, unfunny racial comedy.

Audiences deserved better from a franchise that made its mark by having a fresh voice and satirical take on the stereotypes that so often define us. More, it doesn’t make sense for such laziness and off-putting writing to sour the experience of watching a film that there was already so much goodwill for.

Yet depressingly, the casual racism of the film is perhaps the biggest throughline in reviews of Pitch Perfect 2…

Read the rest of this piece from The Daily Beast.