• April 14, 2024

Plots of Nineteen-Eighties Movies if Their Protagonists Had Been People of Color

“Back to the Future”

Marty and Doc Brown don’t want to travel to the past (for obvious reasons) but rather to the future and decide to stay as they find it way better than the present.

“ET the Extra-Terrestrial”

As Cambodian refugees, Elliott and his family can guide ET through the asylum process. After receiving a green card, ET settles in California and opens a successful chain of laundromats called Foam Home.

“The Breakfast Club”

The five students at Shermer High School are jointly participating in full-day detention in what will be the first of twelve full-day sentences they will receive this year – a disciplinary measure far above that of their white counterparts. 35 years later, the so-called “Shermer Five” are discussed in detail in an episode of the “Nice White Parents” podcast.

“Ferris turns blue”

In the words of Ferris Bueller’s parents – or rather Ferris Bulele’s parents – they were “not born yesterday” and “didn’t come all the way from Senegal so their son could skip classes and become addicted to drugs”. Ferris goes to school that day and every other day until he graduates from high school as a valedictorian, goes to Yale and becomes a dermatologist. His parents are still disappointed that he didn’t become a cardiologist.


Same storyline but with better dance.

“The Shine”

Jack Torrance tells Stuart, the hotel manager, that he must be crazy to think Jack will be working in a haunted hotel for six months. After turning down the job, he, Wendy and Danny stay in Boulder and open their own little bed and breakfast, where the only “red rum” is the rum in their legendary rum and raisin bread.

“A Risky Endeavor”

After a suspicious neighbor calls the police about Joel Goodson and his sex party is mugged, he is tried as an adult for crimes of property destruction, advertising, and twenty-two cases of minor corruption. He’s not coming to Princeton.


See “Coach Carter”.

“Sixteen Candles”

Instead of mocking him, Sam and her friends bond with Long Duk Dong through their shared experiences as immigrants. At the end of the film, Long Sam throws a surprising quinceanera and delights the guests with his shockingly polite Latin American dance moves.

“The Karate Kid”

Daniel, a black kid who grew up in Newark in the 1980s, doesn’t have to learn karate to kick the ass of every single member of the Cobra Kai Dojo, including the sensei.

“Hunter of the lost treasure”

Indiana Jones steals artifacts from American museums and returns them to their rightful countries of origin.


People with color would not have agreed to make this film.

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