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Title: Locating the ‘radical’ in 'Shoot the Messenger'
Authors: Malik, S
Keywords: Shoot the Messenger;Radical;Drama;BBC;Black;Community;Representation;Stereotypes;Authorship;Realism
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Citation: Journal of British Cinema and Television, 10(1), 187 - 205, 2013
Abstract: The 2006 BBC drama Shoot the Messenger is based on the psychological journey of a Black schoolteacher, Joe Pascale, accused of assaulting a Black male pupil. The allegation triggers Joe's mental breakdown which is articulated, through Joe's first-person narration, as a vindictive loathing of Black people. In turn, a range of common stereotypical characterisations and discourses based on a Black culture of hypocrisy, blame and entitlement is presented. The text is therefore laid wide open to a critique of its neo-conservatism and hegemonic narratives of Black Britishness. However, the drama's presentation of Black mental illness suggests that Shoot the Messenger may also be interpreted as a critique of social inequality and the destabilising effects of living with ethnicised social categories. Through an analysis of issues of representation, the article reclaims this controversial text as a radical drama and examines its implications for and within a critical cultural politics of ‘race’ and representation.
Description: This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published article is available from the link below, copyright 2013 @ Edinburgh University Press.
ISSN: 1743-4521
Appears in Collections:Sociology
Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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