Black trauma anyone?

Our Sponsor

The trailer for Amazon Prime’s Them has dropped and Black Twitter is not having it.

While some are excited about the new show, with Lena Waithe being an executive producer, Black audiences complained about Hollywood’s obsession with Black trauma.

Taylor Hill / FilmMagic / Via Getty

The series is centered on the Emorys, a Black family from North Carolina, who moves to an all-white neighborhood in Los Angeles during The Great Migration.

Them / Via Amazon Studios

The trailer starts out light with the family enjoying their new home.

Them / Via Amazon Studios

Even the neighbors seem…happy.

Them / Via Amazon Studios

But it’s not long until Betty Wendell, says “This is how it begins, with one family.”

Their white neighbors start finding ways to intimidate them by sitting outside of their house.

Them / Via Amazon Studios

And mocking the kids in school, making monkey sounds.

Them / Via Amazon Studios

Things turn horrific when we see performers in Blackface, making grimaced expressions.

Them / Via Amazon Studios

And people that look like they’re being experimented on in a lab.

Them / Via Amazon Studios

That is…frightening.

But despite its intriguing plot, Black audiences have been vocal about there are way too many movies about racism, oppression, and the like. And I have to agree with them.

Them / Via Amazon Studios

Twitter users compared writing Black stories as “shopping for Black trauma,” only to get a reaction out of viewers.

@ThemOnPrime @PrimeVideo These directors, writers and producers love shopping around black trauma for reactions and sales. Just one light hearted movie would do but no we’re expected to sit through this

06:29 PM – 22 Mar 2021

Twitter: @officialsadgyal

Movies and shows centered on Black people seem to always be about slavery, Jim Crow, or police brutality.

@ThemOnPrime @PrimeVideo Enough of the trauma porn. My ancestors and grandparents trauma isn’t entertainment. Enough slavery and oppression movies. Come up with something else🙄

05:40 PM – 22 Mar 2021

Twitter: @_EverybodyBlack

Because apparently, you can’t write about Black people without making them go through horrific experiences.

It’s also striking that the majority of the writers and directors of the show are non-Black.

@ThemOnPrime @PrimeVideo 1 black person directed 1 episode of this entire season. These are the main directors, with writers with no credits on writing anything of or around this situation Amazon…… wtf. This is not our story, this is an imitation for your profit

08:44 PM – 22 Mar 2021

Twitter: @MacDoesIt

Out of the five directors, only one is Black: Janicza Bravo, who directed only one episode.

And out of the six writers, only two are Black: Little Marvin (who also created it) and Christina Ham.

So, basically, a story about a Black family was mainly written and directed by non-Black people. Lovely.

There’s also the fact that the stories hit close to home because they’re happening right in front of us, every day.

@ThemOnPrime @PrimeVideo I could be completely alone in this… But I feel like we as a society have evolved past watching movies about Black trauma. Why would I watch a movie about this, when things like this are currently happening today… Minus the spooky ghost…

06:49 PM – 22 Mar 2021

Twitter: @MoralesAcosta2

Why watch this when I can watch the news?

There is sooo much content out there that can be made into amazing creative work…

@ThemOnPrime @PrimeVideo Y’know, Prime, African, Caribbean and all the diasporas of Black culture have their own myths and folktales that can be fun to watch. We’re kind of tired of watching shows/movies that parallel the real awful crap our grandparents lived through. 😕

11:54 PM – 23 Mar 2021

Twitter: @Cherry_BonBomb

…But they only want to recycle the same traumatic stories. Got it.

It shouldn’t be too much to make a regular-degular horror movie or show with Black leads, right?

when we said more black horror we were thinking more along the lines of jeepers creepers and bloody mary, not jim crow. i want to be scared of ghosts not white people

09:45 PM – 23 Mar 2021

Another good point: what is the end goal here? The family defeats their racist neighbors, and then what?

@ThemOnPrime @PrimeVideo Why did the supernatural need to be involved? Was the white peoples actions not scary enough? How will there be a happy ending the country will still be racist after they defeat the demons WHAT WAS THE POINT QUICKLY

07:05 PM – 22 Mar 2021

Twitter: @Miranda04275900

Maybe the series will have an open-ending but it does seem pointless to use supernatural elements to explain something very real and current.

People have even been comparing it to Jordan Peele’s work, who made Get Out and Us.

Twitter: @riotgrrrlbel

The two are pretty similar not gonna lie.

Even the casting was critiqued, with the series adding to the pattern of only casting darker-skinned women to play lead roles in movies about racism.

@ThemOnPrime @PrimeVideo Of course the only time a dark skin black woman is casted is when the movie involves racism. I should have known better.

08:29 PM – 22 Mar 2021

We just want some happy and upbeat movies about Black people living their best lives, not running for them.


03:16 AM – 23 Mar 2021

Twitter: @simply_lay_

Honestly, even with these criticisms, I still plan on watching it (or at least the first episode) to see if it proves me wrong. But I can’t help but wonder when we’ll get some stories that don’t have to do with Black pain and suffering.

Guess a girl can dream.

Share This Article

TV and Movies

Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

Our Sponsor

Leave a Reply