Friday, January 15, 2010

Know Your LGBT History - The Player's Club

The Player's Club (1998), written and directed by rapper Ice Cube, was vile.

I'm sorry but it's the only way I could put it.

It tells the story of a college student Diamond (Lisa Raye) who works her way through school by dancing at a strip club.

Her nemesis is another stripper named Ronnie.

Ronnie is a hateful, soulless, bleached blonde lesbian who talked Diamond into stripping in the first place. She also, in one scene, gets Diamond drunk and rapes her.

Now I had a debate with a good friend of mine who said that Ronnie's sexual orientation had nothing to do with her villainous qualities. I totally disagreed. Ronnie is a hateful individual who uses men for money and holds power over the women at the club like a pimp.

I certainly think that writer Ice Cube was trying to make a point about lesbians - that they aren't "real women" so they have to be monsters.

It is with trepidation that I post this scene because it also includes a nasty rape (Ronnie's brother rapes Diamond's cousin). It is highly misognystic in the fact that it takes place during a bachelor party where everyone hears what's going on and no one does a thing about it.

And one more thing about this rape scene. Ice Cube plays a character in the movie who sets up Diamond's cousin to be raped as a way of getting back at her for an earlier insult.

His character isn't punished. However, Ronnie is in a knockdown, drag out scene punctuated by a comment by Diamond at the end about how "it's bitches like you that make it harder for women like me."

You know a man had to write that mess:

Past Know Your LGBT History Posts:

Special Know Your LGBT History - Fame

Know Your LGBT History - Welcome Home, Bobby

Know Your LGBT History - Barney Miller

Know your lgbt history - The Jerry Springer Show

Know your lgbt history - Martin Lawrence and that 'gay guy' on his show

Know your lgbt history - The Ricki Lake Show

Know your lgbt history - Which Way Is Up

Know your lgbt history - Gays in Primetime Soaps

Know your lgbt history - Boys Beware

Know your lgbt history - The Boondocks

Know your lgbt history - Mannequin

Know your lgbt history - The Warriors

Know Your LGBT History - New York Undercover

Know Your LGBT History - Low Down Dirty Shame

Know Your LGBT History - Fortune and Men's Eyes

Know your lgbt history - California Suite

Know your lgbt history - Taxi (Elaine's Strange Triangle)

Know your lgbt history - Come Back Charleston Blue

Know your lgbt history - James Bond goes gay

Know your lgbt history - Windows

Know your lgbt history - To Wong Foo and Priscilla

Know your lgbt history - Blazing Saddles

Know your lgbt history - Sanford and Son

Know your lgbt history - In Living Color

Know your lgbt history - Cleopatra Jones and her lesbian drug lords

Know your lgbt history - Norman, Is That You?

Know your lgbt history - The 'Exotic' Adrian Street

Know your lgbt history - The Choirboys

Know your lgbt history - Eddie Murphy

Know your lgbt history - The Killing of Sister George

Know your lgbt history - Hanna-Barbera cartoons pushes the 'gay agenda

'Know your lgbt history - Cruising

Know your lgbt history - Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones

Know your lgbt history - I Got Da Hook Up

Know your lgbt history - Fright Night

Know your lgbt history - Flowers of Evil

The Jeffersons and the transgender community     

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Anonymous said...

” I totally disagreed. Ronnie is a hateful individual who uses men for money and holds power over the women at the club like a pimp.”?
Is it highly misogynistic in the fact that it takes place during a bachelor party where everyone hears what's going on and no one does a thing about it.”

Have you been in a hetero situation where there are only drunk, naked hetero men and women?

I have.
Diamond was passed out and didnt even know Ronnie was gonna stoop to that level to get a buck. And for Diamond being a stripper..(Do what u do at whatever cost. meaning get drunk to strip to pay the tuition.)

Not too easy to judge from the outside. Not a misogynistic scene. It is real life.

And for Ronnie. No one knows for a fact that Ronnie is an “evil lesbian” she is like a lot of strippers (I’ve met) gay for pay. No one knows her orientation. And as a patron of strip clubs as I am. Ice cube might be a patron of those types of strip clubs also. So is it really fair to automatically think the worse of his screenplay’s intent?
Ignoring the rape is not misogynistic, it is corrupt. There is difference.
Oh and for Jr. he was in the back of the cop car when Ronnie and her girl got busted. (re watch it, I did 1:31:24)

BlackTsunami said...

I am confused about your entire diatribe. You seem to think that I am passing judgement on strippers in general whereas I was only making the point that The Player's Club was extremely homophobic. And I stand by that.

1. Ronnie's lesbian orientation was clear throughout the movie and it did have a lot to do with her hateful nature.

You forget the exchange in the fight scene where Diamond kicked her and Ronnie said "no balls there." and Diamond said "could have fooled me."

That was an implication that lesbians are "women trying to be men."

And then there was another scene which I did not talk about where Diamond confronts her cousin about going to lesbian parties to strip. The implication there was that taking off her clothes in front of lesbians is a bad thing but the stuff they did at the strip club in front of men is pretty much the same thing. Why is it judged differently?

2. You said "ignoring the rape is not misogynistic but corrupt." would you elaborate on that because your explanation doesn't make any sense.

3. Ice Cube put the movie out there and it's fair to make judgements on his intent.

4. And you were inaccurate regarding Ice Cube's character. Junior was the name of Ronnie's brother and while he was arrested, Ice Cube's character, who set up Diamond's cousin to be raped went off scott free.

Anonymous said...

I love u Alvin, u know I do but we just can't see eye to eye on this. What is clear about Ronnie's orentation? ..she had sex with a woman? That does not make it clear. For sure she was a bitch.
I will agree with her being a pimp type. She was a predator. Predators are about power not sex. Like molesters.And yes I have met these gay for pay strippers. I have also met ladies who have said "what's eatin' pussy for the right price is nothing". Joe Francis has mad a lot of money on faux Lesbianism.

2.I said corrupt meaning that entire crazy phenomenon of "don't snitch" so popular among inner city/hip hop culture black males. Misogynistic behavior is a hate of women. The party goers didnt hate, they didnt want to be apart of it.They ignored, didn't hate.

3. You're right it is open to interpretation. And that is why I respect you so much. You debate not insult. :)

4.Ice Cube's character, who set up Diamond's cousin to be raped went off scott free.....yeah he was an immoral ass, he didnt break the law. Those who committed crimes were punished. that's real life. So you are saying he's a misogynistic because of his part? yeah, he wrote it. Ever think he has seen a different life than we have?

4.Oh, I wasnt inaccurate. I didnt address it. I never talked about Ice cube's character. I mistakenly talked about Jr. Ronnie's brother instead.


BlackTsunami said...

Hey Michelle,

I think you are running away here. Clearly Ronnie was a personification of Ice Cube's perception of lesbians. There are too many instances in the movie that hints on Ronnie being a lesbian.

2. Your don't snitch explanation doesn't wash. Clearly someone snitched or there wouldn't have been arrests (i.e. Junior, etc.) My point was that at a party full of men, no one went into the room and stopped him from raping Diamond's cousin. They all walked away.

3. If Ice Cube wrote was he did to voice a "different view," I would like to hear what exactly that view was. Other than that, I won't try to speculate out of the box to somehow justify what he wrote.

Kay said...

I know this is an old post but I disagree that Ronnie is made into a monster because of her sexual orientation. Ronnie's brother, Junior, is also a rapist monster. Junior is presumably a straight male, he is also a monster. Ebony is also portrayed in a negative light, and she's straight. Also, why is it assumed that Ronnie's a lesbian because she raped Diamond? Rape is about dominance. She could have easily been bisexual...and straight men love that and would have not been demonized by Ice Cube. More likely, Ronnie and Junior had a rough upbringing that turned them into sociopaths. It really does seem like a family issue.

WorkInProgress1814 said...

The whole character of Ronnie was definitely biased. Though we don't know for sure her orientation most would assume bisexual or lesbian. I'm totally not sure though I think I spotted a pride flag in the dressing room at the end. Anyway, I agree that her being a lesbian was meant to make her seem like a more villainous character because she used that to take control over the other girls. They feared that she would "turn them out". Also she had very pimp like actions and mentality as well. The whole movie put homosexuality, lesbianism specifically, in a bad light. i.e. Diamond kicking Ronnie in her "balls" and saying earlier in the movie, "I don't get down like that." Of course there's nothing wrong with that but saying it in that way makes it seems as though it's wrong and that all lesbians are like Ronnie, also Diamond getting upset with Ebony for stripping at a party only for females, and the fact that Ronnie raped Diamond definitely didn't help how she probably felt about lesbians and definitely didn't help how people viewing the movie would see lesbians, and probably all LGBT people for that matter. Yes the movie in and of itself is very biased about lesbians and yes Ronnie is a very cruel character, but she was supposed to be one of those characters that you love to hate. Ronnie is one of those characters that people like because she seems to be about her business and doesn't care what it takes to get what she wants, but her being a lesbian plays a big part in how she goes about her business I think. I just wish that Ronnie could have been all that she was without having to be queer.

Anonymous said...

Honestly. Im happy that Obama was president and oprah is the first black billionaire and other successful black people. Because the movie made black people look bad like a Tyler perry movie. Ronnie couldve stayed in the room outside with the guys while ebony was dancing. Ice cube was better than the director of video girl starring meagan good. But on ronnie orientation i think one of those things to be left in interpretation. What bothers me why ice cube going to strip clubs to get women ? If diana aka diamond hates her job why not leave earlier ? Adele givens aka tricks why keep stripping if no one likes you ? Maybe dolla. In real life ronnie would go to jail. But one question? Ice cube did a great job with boys n the hood two brothers going to college and stayed out of trouble but a college educated woman become a stripper ummm. Thats bad.

Anonymous said...

Ronnie likes to keep to herself except for tricks. She is a pimp and she doesnt care if its a man or woman. But i agree with her why strip in front of her brother. She willing to do anything but we dont knoe anything personally about her except her brother is a monster. But sidenote i feel she cares for her brother though. But her orientation is meant left for interpretation. She does parties for women and men. What you think ? I think she has issues though. Some people feel she was attracted to diamond but diamond wasnt having it like ebony and ice cube. But i feel that ice cube was writting a character that he knew. Like great Gatsby fitz wrote daisy was based on his cousin. We dont know.