In Drew McWeeny‘s 1.6 review of The Devil Inside, an early paragraph reads as follows:
“In the car, on the 101, all the way to Coldwater and then straight up. No traffic. The theater is a madhouse when I arrive at 11:30. People everywhere. And there was a definite demographic being served, too. I was the 1% tonight. Pretty much every other patron I saw in the eventually-sold-out auditorium tonight was Los Angeles Latino, and if nothing else, at least I saw the movie with a crowd that came ready to enjoy it.”
This is just straight reporting. McWeeny came, he saw, he wrote it down. But I got beat up pretty badly a few weeks ago when I wrote a somewhat similar paragraph, to wit:
“Early this evening a young Latino couple was looking at the digital lobby board inside Hollywood’s Arclight plex. The guy walked forward, got into line and turned to the girl. ‘You wanna comedy? Or…what, action? A comedy?’ The girl half-shrugged, seemed a bit bored. ‘I dunno…whatever,’ she said. He shrugged also, turned back to the board. Those clayheads, I thought to myself. Forget glancing at Rotten Tomatoes. Forget wanting to see The Immortals or Breaking Dawn. They hadn’t even talked about the kind of film they might want to see. Empty Coke bottles.”
The difference is that McWeeny’s report implies a certain judgment while I was blatant about mine.
He reported that an almost-all-Latino crowd had come out in droves to see an astonishingly bad exorcism film because they’re invested in Catholic dogma — an act that indicates (to put it charitably) a lack of aesthetic discernment on their part, or at the least an indifference to choosing wisely or smartly. I reported that a Latino couple couldn’t have been less engaged or more thoughtless in their choice of a film to see at the Arclight. If I had described them as “Swedish” or “Australian” nobody would have said boo, or if I’d just called them “a young couple.” But using the adjective “Latino” made me a racist, in the view of some. Forget honest observation. The p.c. brownshirts have only one agenda.