Date: Tue, 1 Feb 1994 06:00:27 -0600


Subject: Re: Stereotyping of Accent on Film/TV

On Mon, 31 Jan 1994, Charles F Juengling-2 wrote:

I was very interested to read of stereotyping of accent in American

film/TV. My children have over the past several years watched quite a few

cartoons. I, too, have noticed that the bad guys quite often have certain

dialects. I can't say, however, that I remember the Brits being picked on.

I've noticed that the bad guys most often have either a Mexican or New

York (probably to be identified with the Mafia) accent.

Fritz Juengling

On TV westerns (and maybe movies) done since the sixties, bad guys have

upland southern accents, especially if the bad guys are young-punk types.

Did the reaction to the civil rights movement prompt a stregthening of

the stereotype of southern males as ignorant, insensitive neanderthals?

(My colleagues who teach comp mght say that such creatures exist, but

that the South has no monopoly on them).

"Gunsmoke" did this, and the most recent example I can recall is

"Paradise," starring Lee Horsely. (By the way, the female lead was a sort

of proto-feminist figure who talked like -- a Brit, and an r-less one at


Someone mentioned bad guys using non-upper class British accents, now I

can't find that posting. But I

wonder if there's some connection to familiarity with punkish Brit rock

groups with various regional/working class varieties.

The Stones, who(m) I like but who at their worst are pretty gross, are

just one example.

Tim Frazer