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Date: June 11, 2008
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: 2:03 - 963KB - 64kbps
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Related materials from ESL Discussions.com on racism.

THE ARTICLE

Hollywood directors in race row

Two of Hollywood’s top producers are in the middle of a race row that has involved them trading insults. Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood have exchanged words over what Lee described as an absence of black soldiers in two World War II movies directed by Eastwood. Lee, a student of history, criticized Eastwood’s films about the American invasion of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. He said it was sad that so many black American soldiers gave their lives in the invasion and that there was not one black face in either of the films. Thomas McPhatter, a black US marine involved in the attack, agreed with Lee. He said: "Of all the movies that have been made of Iwo Jima, you never see a black face. This is the last straw….I've been insulted….We still have a strong underlying force in my country of rabid racism."


 
 

The war of words started after comments Eastwood made in an interview in Britain’s ‘Guardian’ newspaper. He took offence at Lee’s criticism that his movies were for “whites only” and said Lee should “shut his face”. In reply, Lee reminded Eastwood that slavery had ended, saying: "First of all, the man is not my father and we're not on a plantation either.…He sounds like an angry old man right there." Lee also attacked the American movie industry: “I know the history of Hollywood and its omission of the one million African-American men and women who contributed to the second world war. Not everything was John Wayne, baby," he said. Eastwood mocked Lee in the same interview by joking that in his new movie about South Africa, he was “not going to make Nelson Mandela a white guy”.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. HOLLYWOOD: Walk around the class and talk to other students about Hollywood. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

race / rows / trading insults / invasions / the last straw / being insulted / racism / criticism / taking offence / slavery / angry old men / American movie industry

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. EXCHANGING WORDS: Do you ever argue with people? With your partner(s), discuss what you do / could argue about with the people below. Write your ideas in the table. Change partners and share your ideas. Role play some of the arguments.

Argue with…

I do

I could

Is it worth it?

parents

best friend

neighbours

sales assistants

car drivers

commuters

4. ROWS: Is it good to row? Rank these topics: 10 = definitely worth having a row about; 1 = this is totally pointless rowing about. Share and discuss your rankings with your class.

_____ money

_____ the TV remote control

_____ politics

_____ driving

_____ housework

_____ religion

_____ English grammar

_____ sport

_____ nothing

_____ other ________________________

5. HEADLINE PREDICTION: With your partner(s), use the words in the “Chat” activity above to predict what the news article will be about. Once you have your story, change partners and share them. Who was closest to the real story?

6. RACISM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘racism’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Hollywood producers are arguing over the 100 metres at the Olympics.

T / F

b.

Two top producers have given each other gift-wrapped words.

T / F

c.

A history student accused a movie director of ignoring black soldiers.

T / F

d.

A US marine went to the movies but someone had taken the last straw.

T / F

e.

The director Clint Eastwood makes movies only for white audiences.

T / F

f.

Spike Lee compared a comment Eastwood made to the days of slavery.

T / F

g.

Lee said Hollywood forgets about the million black people in WWII.

T / F

h.

Eastwood joked that in his next movie, Nelson Mandela would be white.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

row

a.

exchanging

2

trading

b.

teased

3.

absence

c.

remarks

4.

the last straw

d.

gave

5.

rabid

e.

argument

6.

comments

f.

be quiet

7.

shut his face

g.

exclusion

8.

omission

h.

lack

9.

contributed

i.

the limit

10.

mocked

j.

extreme

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

1.

in the middle of a

a.

American movie industry

2

exchanged

b.

their lives in the invasion

3.

many black American soldiers gave

c.

of words

4.

This is the last

d.

race row

5.

a strong underlying

e.

slavery had ended

6.

The war

f.

straw

7.

He took offence

g.

force

8.

Lee reminded Eastwood that

h.

words

9.

Lee also attacked the

i.

in the same interview

10.

Eastwood mocked Lee

j.

at Lee’s criticism

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Two of Hollywood’s top producers are in the __________ of a race row that has involved them trading __________.  Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood have exchanged words over what Lee described as an __________ of black soldiers in two World War II movies directed by Eastwood. Lee, a student of history, criticized Eastwood’s films about the American __________ of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. He said it was sad that so many black American soldiers gave their lives in the invasion and that there was not one black face in __________ of the films. Thomas McPhatter, a black US marine __________ in the attack, agreed with Lee. He said: "Of all the movies that have been made of Iwo Jima, you never see a black face. This is the last straw….I've been __________ ….We still have a strong underlying force in my country of rabid __________."

 

insulted
insults
either
middle
invasion
racism
absence
involved

The war of words started after __________ Eastwood made in an interview in Britain’s ‘Guardian’ newspaper. He took __________ at Lee’s criticism that his movies were for “whites only” and said Lee should “shut his face”. In reply, Lee __________ Eastwood that __________ had ended, saying: "First of all, the man is not my father and we're not on a plantation either.…He sounds like an angry old man right there." Lee also __________ the American movie industry: “I know the history of Hollywood and its __________ of the one million African-American men and women who __________ to the second world war. Not everything was John Wayne, baby," he said. Eastwood __________ Lee in the same interview by joking that in his new movie about South Africa, he was “not going to make Nelson Mandela a white guy”.

 

omission
 slavery

offence
reminded
mocked
attacked
comments
contributed

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Two of Hollywood’s top producers _____________________ a race row that has involved ________________ Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood have exchanged words over what Lee described ________________ black soldiers in two World War II movies directed by Eastwood. Lee, a student of history, criticized Eastwood’s films about the American invasion of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. He ________________ so many black American soldiers gave their lives in the invasion and that there was not one black face ________________ films. Thomas McPhatter, a black US marine involved in the attack, agreed with Lee. He said: "Of all the movies that have been made of Iwo Jima, you never see a black face. ________________ straw….I've been insulted….We ________________ underlying force in my country of rabid racism."

________________ started after comments Eastwood made in an interview in Britain’s ‘Guardian’ newspaper. He ________________ Lee’s criticism that his movies were for “whites only” and said Lee should “shut his face”. In reply, Lee reminded Eastwood that slavery had ended, saying: "________________, the man is not my father and we're not on a plantation either.…He sounds like an angry old man right there." Lee also attacked the American movie industry: “I know the history of Hollywood __________________ one million African-American men and women who contributed to the second world war. Not everything was John Wayne, baby," he said. Eastwood mocked Lee ___________________ by joking that in his new movie about South Africa, he was “not going to make Nelson Mandela a white guy”.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘race’ and ‘row’.

race

row

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • middle
  • exchanged
  • sad
  • either
  • straw
  • force
  • comments
  • shut
  • angry
  • million
  • baby
  • joking

STUDENT RACISM SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about racism in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

Q.2.

Q.3.

Q.4.

Q.5.

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

ARGUMENTS DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘race row’?

c)

What do you think of top Hollywood directors trading insults in public?

d)

Why do you think there are no black faces in Clint Eastwood’s war movies?

e)

What do you know about the American invasion of Iwo Jima?

f)

Do you think Spike Lee is correct to attack Clint Eastwood?

g)

Do you think Hollywood is racist because it so often “forgets” to put black soldiers in its war movies?

h)

What do you know about Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood?

i)

When was the last time you felt insulted?

j)

When was the last time you exchanged words with someone?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

When was the last time you took offence at something someone said?

c)

What do you think of Eastwood for telling Spike Lee to “shut his face”?

d)

Do you think Spike Lee has a point in comparing Eastwood’s comments to the days of slavery?

e)

Do you think Hollywood is still an industry dominated by white people?

f)

What did Spike Lee mean when he said, “Not everything was John Wayne, baby”?

g)

Do you think Hollywood is a force for good when it comes to race relations?

h)

Do you think the two producers should apologize to each other in public?

i)

What questions would you like to ask Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood?

j)

Did you like this discussion on the Hollywood producers?

LANGUAGE

Two of Hollywood’s top producers are in the (1) ____ of a race row that has involved them trading insults.  Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood have exchanged words (2) ____ what Lee described as an absence of black soldiers in two World War II movies directed by Eastwood. Lee, a student of history, criticized Eastwood’s films about the American invasion (3) ____ the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. He said it was sad that so many black American soldiers gave their (4) ____ in the invasion and that there was not one black face in either of the films. Thomas McPhatter, a black US marine (5) ____ in the attack, agreed with Lee. He said: "Of all the movies that have been made of Iwo Jima, you never see a black face. This is the last straw….I've been insulted….We still have a strong underlying (6) ____ in my country of rabid racism."

The war of (7) ____ started after comments Eastwood made in an interview in Britain’s ‘Guardian’ newspaper. He took offence at Lee’s criticism that his movies were for “whites only” and said Lee should “shut his face”. In (8) ____, Lee reminded Eastwood that slavery had ended, saying: "First of (9) ____, the man is not my father and we're not on a plantation either.…He sounds like an angry old man right there." Lee also attacked the American movie industry: “I know the history of Hollywood and its (10) ____ of the one million African-American men and women who contributed to the second world war. Not (11) ____ was John Wayne, baby," he said. Eastwood (12) ____ Lee in the same interview by joking that in his new movie about South Africa, he was “not going to make Nelson Mandela a white guy”.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

end

(b)

beginning

(c)

muddle

(d)

middle

2.

(a)

out

(b)

over

(c)

under

(d)

on

3.

(a)

of

(b)

for

(c)

with

(d)

by

4.

(a)

livelihoods

(b)

living

(c)

lives

(d)

life stories

5.

(a)

involving

(b)

involvement

(c)

involved

(d)

involves

6.

(a)

farce

(b)

force

(c)

fierce

(d)

face

7.

(a)

words

(b)

word

(c)

wording

(d)

wordy

8.

(a)

replays

(b)

replay

(c)

replied

(d)

reply

9.

(a)

whole

(b)

all

(c)

everything

(d)

lot

10.

(a)

emit

(b)

emission

(c)

omit

(d)

omission

11.

(a)

whole

(b)

all

(c)

everything

(d)

lot

12.

(a)

mocked

(b)

smacked

(c)

smoked

(d)

mucked

WRITING: 

Write about racism for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about the war of words between Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. DIRECTORS: Make a poster about Clint Eastwood and Spike Lee. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. WAR OF WORDS: Write a magazine article about the war of words between Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood. Include imaginary interviews with the two directors. What do they think of each other?

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Spike or Clint. Ask him three questions about the war of words. Give him three pieces of advice on what he should do to help race relations. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are a Hollywood director. You are in the middle of making a new movie. Write your diary entry about one day in your work. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

row

a.

argument

2

trading

b.

exchanging

3.

absence

c.

lack

4.

the last straw

d.

the limit

5.

rabid

e.

extreme

6.

comments

f.

remarks

7.

shut his face

g.

be quiet

8.

omission

h.

exclusion

9.

contributed

i.

gave

10.

mocked

j.

teased

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

in the middle of a

a.

race row

2

exchanged

b.

words

3.

many black American soldiers gave

c.

their lives in the invasion

4.

This is the last

d.

straw

5.

a strong underlying

e.

force

6.

The war

f.

of words

7.

He took offence

g.

at Lee’s criticism

8.

Lee reminded Eastwood that

h.

slavery had ended

9.

Lee also attacked the

i.

American movie industry

10.

Eastwood mocked Lee

j.

in the same interview

GAP FILL:

Hollywood directors in race row

Two of Hollywood’s top producers are in the middle of a race row that has involved them trading insults.  Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood have exchanged words over what Lee described as an absence of black soldiers in two World War II movies directed by Eastwood. Lee, a student of history, criticized Eastwood’s films about the American invasion of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. He said it was sad that so many black American soldiers gave their lives in the invasion and that there was not one black face in either of the films. Thomas McPhatter, a black US marine involved in the attack, agreed with Lee. He said: "Of all the movies that have been made of Iwo Jima, you never see a black face. This is the last straw….I've been insulted….We still have a strong underlying force in my country of rabid racism."

The war of words started after comments Eastwood made in an interview in Britain’s ‘Guardian’ newspaper. He took offence at Lee’s criticism that his movies were for “whites only” and said Lee should “shut his face”. In reply, Lee reminded Eastwood that slavery had ended, saying: "First of all, the man is not my father and we're not on a plantation either.…He sounds like an angry old man right there." Lee also attacked the American movie industry: “I know the history of Hollywood and its omission of the one million African-American men and women who contributed to the second world war. Not everything was John Wayne, baby," he said. Eastwood mocked Lee in the same interview by joking that in his new movie about South Africa, he was “not going to make Nelson Mandela a white guy”.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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