Essay: Diversity Million Dollar Baby

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Diversity

Million Dollar Baby and Diversity

The popular film Million Dollar Baby, starring a-list celebrities and highly trained actors Hillary Swank, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman, is more than a captivating movie about boxing. Instead, the forces viewers to deal with many moral and ethical issues. Early on in the film, the viewer is presented with two stereotypes -- those regarding women and those regarding African-Americans. Throughout the film, Scrap, the one-time champion whose eye injury has caused him to throw in the towel, works as a janitor that his former manager and friend, Frankie, owns. Time and time again, the viewer is presented with the image of Scrap, who is often more intuitive and wiser than Frankie, with a pail and mop in his hand. As Frankie refuses to train Maggie because he "doesn't train girls," scrap is the one to ease him out of his stereotype, helping her along the way. Imposed against his deep voice, as it narrates the main story, Scrap's image can be interpreted as insensitive, as some may suggest it implies that older, African-American men can do nothing worthwhile. Furthermore, the situation created as Frankie, a white man, trains African-Americans and a women may have implications of white male dominance. For the most part, however, Scrap, and the other African-Americans in the movie, are portrayed with the full range of emotion, and able to rise above their position. This becomes especially clear when Scrap has to hold back chuckles when Danger, the laughable boxer wannabe, says "I ain't got nothing against niggers," and when Scrap defends Danger in the ring.

The real focus of the film as it pertains to diversity studies, however, is the relationship between Frankie and Maggie, the star of the film and the woman desperate to leave her circumstances and become something notable -- a boxer. At first, Frankie is instant upon the fact that he doesn't train girls. He completely rejects her as a possible boxer based solely on the fact that she is a woman. Regardless of her persistence -- she comes to the gym every day and manages to plunk down a payment for six months though she is so poor she must take uneaten food from the restaurant where she waitresses for dinner -- he continues to view only one of her characteristics, her gender. As the movie progresses, viewers become aware that Frankie's stereotype is derived, most likely, from a falling out he has had with his daughter. The viewer can reasonably assume that he sees all women like his daughter, and is afraid of hurting them as he has hurt her. While this is not an excuse for his inability to acknowledge the equality of men and women, it offers some explanation of his actions.

As Maggie continues to pester him to be her trainer, however, Frankie becomes more and more accepting of this woman who would soon come to represent his own daughter. The first signs of acceptance seem to be on Maggie's birthday. Maggie is using a bag of Frankie's to hit, and she seems frustrated. She lashes out at Frankie, telling him that, according to him, she will have to train until she is too old to compete in order to do… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Diversity Million Dollar Baby.  (2009, January 13).  Retrieved July 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/diversity-million-dollar-baby/31501

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"Diversity Million Dollar Baby."  13 January 2009.  Web.  23 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/diversity-million-dollar-baby/31501>.

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"Diversity Million Dollar Baby."  Essaytown.com.  January 13, 2009.  Accessed July 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/diversity-million-dollar-baby/31501.