3 Moments In HBO Max’s New Family Film, The Witches, That Just Don’t Quite Sit Right With Me

by Shaye Wyllie
the witches hbo max negative black stereotypes

Okay so before I start my shit … can y’all explain to me why people still make movies / tv shows in a racist time period in 2020? Like y’all are purposely bringing us back in time to remind us of racism? Why? Y’all can’t bring us to the future? All this creativity we got and we can’t write scripts without negative Black stereotypes? But then use the “it fits that time period” excuse like folks ain’t have a choice in which time period they story took place in?

And of course, there really isn’t a time period that we could explore and use as happy go lucky settings for our Black stories and characters since racism is still a thing in 2020.

But damn … maybe we should look to the future and not the past so we can show kids what the world should look like, instead of what it once looked like?

I don’t know … maybe I’m just overly sensitive this week! But I watched The Witches, a new family film on HBO Max, yesterday (check out my parent review of the film here on Popcorn and Tater Tots) and as much as I enjoyed seeing people with my skin color in the forefront, I don’t enjoy watching the same negative stereotypes play out again and again on screen before me.

Miss me with the “in that time period” stories and excuses! I don’t care! Stop making these damn movies then! If it’s set in a racist period, and you’re just gonna force these negative stereotypes down our throats, don’t make it!

Make something else!

Cause it’s one thing to use a movie or tv series to discuss racism or Black issues (see Doom Patrol and Lovecraft Country) but to just highlight it for the sake of “being accurate for the time period”? WHY!?

Oh right, because it’s not traumatic for white folks to see white folks degrade and talk down to Black folks. That sits well with y’all, henceforth why y’all don’t give a damn! But it don’t sit well with me! And that’s why …

We Didn’t Need These Negative Black Stereotypes In The Witches On HBO Max

the witches hbo max negative black stereotypes

Did y’all think we wouldn’t catch these negative ass messages while watching The Witches on HBO Max with our kids? Or were you just hoping no one would care? Like, why are these messages still being taught to our kids when we know for a damn fact that kids copy what they see in media??? Ugh! Here are 3 moments In HBO Max’s new family film, The Witches, that just don’t quite sit right with me.

1. The Witches only prey on the poor, overlooked kids who they think nobody will notice has gone missing?

This one didn’t even hit me hard until I noticed that the Witches were in a Black community at first!

Yeah, there’s a white kid that gets caught up in the shenanigans, but it’s not really because he’s a poor overlooked kid, it’s because he’s a greedy ass brat! His folks were rich, and he kept leaving his family! We see when his mother grabs him to take him back to where he belonged, so he wasn’t forgotten! He just kept straying because he was bored with them.

However, we also know damn well that white folks love to portray Black children as “poor, overlooked, ain’t nobody gon’ miss ’em anyway, right for kidnapping and snatching off the streets” kids. So why were they SEEN in a Black neighborhood at the beginning of this movie? That don’t sit right with me at all.

2. An expensive hotel, with an all Black hotel staff and a white hotel manager.

I mentioned in my parent review of The Witches that I was happy the Black staff all got a big tip at the end of the film. But um, did ALL of the hotel’s staff have to be Black?

Right! Time period accuracy! This took place years ago so the hotel staff HAD to be Black! We had to remind kids that white folks get the manager positions, while Black folks are always the help. No no, I’m sorry, carry on, I apologize for bringing this up.

3. Black folks are LUCKY to stay in fancy hotels?

I think this one bothered me the most? Watching the hotel manager get in this little boy’s face to tell him that he’s LUCKY he gets to stay at this hotel. Sir, if you don’t get out my child’s face!

Does we not pay the same bills? Make the same green money?

Like, ugh! These negative stereotypes always bother me so much! And I know I’m not the only one.

Have you seen The Witches yet? If so, did these bother you?

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