Wednesday, September 12, 2007

G.I. Joe: A Real Politically Correct Hero

According to Fox News, the upcoming G.I. Joe movie, under the direction of Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing, The Scorpion King), will be making a rather large shift in the origin story.

"Paramount has confirmed that in the movie, the name G.I. Joe will become an acronym for "Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity" — an international, coed task force charged with defeating bad guys. It will no longer stand for government issued, as in issued by the American government."
Why would they do this I wonder?
"The word is that in the current political climate, they're afraid that a heroic U.S. soldier won't fly."
Then why are you making a movie about heroic U.S. soldiers? If you want a politically correct "global integrated joint operating entity" you should be making Captain Planet. Heaven forbid we offend other countries by telling stories about heroic Americans. Especially fictional ones named Beach Head, Shipwreck, and Lady Jaye fighting villains with metal heads and serpent costumes.

Something similar to this happened with Superman Returns. If you remember, Superman's response to "why are you here" in the original 1978 film was to fight for "truth, justice, and the American way." In Superman Returns they changed his personal motto to "truth, justice, and all that stuff" because they were afraid that America's current international image would reflect negatively on Superman with foreign audiences.

Why must we take fictional American heroes and disassociate them until there's very little American about them? More than any other pop culture characters, Superman and G.I. Joe were created to celebrate our countries core beliefs, not to be ashamed of our current political "climate." In fact I think the climate could use a bit more heroic American imagery, and not just the fictional sort.

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