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Race and Gender in The Player

by Kate Fortmueller

The Player is critical of Hollywood's creative and artistic practices, but largely leaves issues of race and gender untouched. The one exception is this scene in the police station. In this scene, Detective Avery (Whoopi Goldberg) makes a fuss out of looking for tampons as she tries to get Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) to look at a photo array. In this scene Mill claims to be familiar with police procedure because he is making a detective film with a detective "like" Detective Avery. Detective Avery assumes that this detective is a black woman, which is not the case. What is the function of race and gender in this sequence? How does this moment provide insight into ways of thinking about race and representation in films?

The Player (1992) - Making a comparison not based on race or gender

Griffin Mills (Tim Robbins) looks at photo arrays with the detectives in Pasadena.

from The Player (1992)
Creator: Robert Altman
Posted by Kate Fortmueller