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Black Speedos, Black Pride & the American ‘Phalliban’

Following my recent ‘Speedophobia’ feature for OUT about the American Phalliban, it seems the terrifying outline of male genitalia is still striking fear into the hearts of our colonial cousins – even in movies set in the tight-fit 1970s.

According to Rod 2.0 the American Motion Picture Association of America was so alarmed by the Speedo-clad silhouette of Evan Ross’s packet in a poster promoting ‘Pride’, a film about Philadelphia’s first black swim team they accused the filmmakers of digitally enhancing his, erm, pride and refused to approve it. (Ross, Diana’s son no less, is the first unclothed Speedo-wearing swimmer from left to right.)

Now, at the risk of sounding like a jaded size queen it doesn’t seem to me to me to be that big a deal. It’s definitely, reassuringly there, if you know what I mean, but not in a tremendously ‘enhanced’ way. Besides, he’s part of the background and the two men in the foreground are fully clothed. One is even wearing a hat.

So, what was the AMPA thinking of? Well, perhaps they weren’t thinking but daydreaming. The (probably mostly white) board saw a black phallus in black Speedos titled with the word ‘PRIDE’ and got all steamed up. Either way, they wanted a closer look: they demanded the filmmakers provide them with the original artwork.

Remembering though the titanic trouble the makers of last year’s Superman went to get his package ‘not too big’, ‘not too small’ and ‘not too pointy’ – allegedly it was the single most ‘pressing’ costume concern – it’s clear that whitey must be smooth and tidy too. And wear red-alert containment pants over his kinky blue Spandex all-in-one.

Both penis-panics ‘point up’ something ticklish about the US phalliban – in its haste to shield America’s honour from the jaw-dropping, mind-reeling horror of the silhouette of men’s bits it merely reveals that Uncle Sam is thinking a lot about cock. Black and white and all the delicious shades in between.

‘Pride’ opens in the US on March 23.

4 thoughts on “Black Speedos, Black Pride & the American ‘Phalliban’”

  1. America’s Dirty Little Secret…
    you nailed on the head. It is more afraid of a black phallus, than the white variety. To an extent a brit could probably not imagine. So if Superman was allowed some lump, then a black man in a speedo must be completely nuetered, desexed, and immasculated – because even Diana Ross’ son is not light enough to be allowed a penis. These insidous forms of rascism linger today in those ways most don’t hear or know – behind the scenes & under the radar. It still persists no matter how much Obama-fever sweeps this nation…

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