An Ugly History of Rob Schneider’s Racist and Stereotyped Characters
It’s not even Inauguration Day yet and white dudes are already ruining everything. On Monday, Rob Schneider — you know, the guy from all the Adam Sandler movies — decided he would be the ideal person to explain Martin Luther King Jr.’s Civil Rights achievements to a legendary Civil Rights hero. Oh, and to make it even worse, this happened on MLK Day.
It all started last Friday, when Representative John Lewis questioned the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency and said he wouldn’t be attending the inauguration. The President-Elect, unable to stay off Twitter for more than a hot second, barked back at Lewis, saying the Georgia Rep. and activist was “all talk, talk, talk – no action or results.” And since this is 2017, one gross tweet is quickly followed by many others.
Desperate to become relevant again for the first time since 2002’s The Hot Chick, Schneider inserted himself into the conversation. The comedy actor decided to lecture Lewis, the last surviving member of the “Big Six,” the leaders instrumental in organizing the 1963 March on Washington as a part of, you know, the Civil Rights Movement:
Besides being a white* dude, (i.e. all-knowing and infallible) Schneider was clearly the ideal person to challenge Lewis’ knowledge and accomplishments based on his career. After all, Schneider has dedicated his 28 years in show business to furthering representation of minorities and acting in films with authentic portrayals of race, gender, and sexuality. Let’s take a look back at Schneider’s commendable work, shall we?
1. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Remember that time Schneider wore yellowface as an Asian priest in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, the socially-aware comedy with a plot that used same-sex marriage as a punchline?
2. Bedtime Stories
Who could forget Schneider’s appropriation of Native Americans in Bedtime Stories.
3. You Don’t Miss With the Zohan
Schneider famously contributed to the positive representation of Palestinians by playing one who plants a bomb to kill Adam Sandler’s Israeli counter-terrorist in You Don’t Miss With the Zohan.
4. 50 First Dates
And then there was the time Schneider portrayed a Hawaiian man who dressed as a woman for laughs.
Don’t forget all Schneider has done for defying stereotypes of Arabs, especially his work in Click as a Saudi businessman whose name (Prince Habeeboo) becomes a racist punchline.
6. The Ridiculous 6
“Have I played every racial stereotype yet,” Schneider likely asked his agent in 2015 before signing on to play a Mexican burro rider in The Ridiculous 6, complete with sombrero, accent, and a song about a taco tree.
7. Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo
One couldn’t list Schneider’s accomplishments without mentioning the masterful Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo, a film ripe with homophobic humor, racism, sexism, and even amputee jokes!
Schneider also brought his racially-aware sensibilities to the small screen with Rob, a CBS sitcom about a Mexican-American family, which The Daily Beast hailed as “racist and unfunny,” and the Denver Post praised for being “genuinely offensive.”
9. Big Stan
BUT WAIT! I bet you forgot Schneider’s biggest contribution to the world of cinema: Big Stan. Schneider chose wisely for his directorial debut, selecting a prison rape comedy in which he stars as a prison-bound con-artist who hires a guru to help him avoid getting raped in prison. Offensive to Asian culture – check! Homophobic – check! Sexist – check!
So now you know where Schneider is coming from when he calls out Rep. Lewis —simply continuing his life-long mission of being the most woke straight white cis dude he can be. This is the guy who, in 2005, wrote an open letter to a New York Times’ author for criticizing 50 First Dates, saying, “I also believe that Hollywood should give roles to the most talented person irrespective of ethnicity, race or in my case ‘looks.’” So of course, Schneider had reason to tell the man who was beaten by police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 how to “win” Civil Rights.
*It should be noted, Schneider is half Filipino. And yet, he’s still chosen to play characters of just about every race but those of Filipino-descent.