What was the Controversy about Trading places Blackface?
Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod wrote the screenplay for Trading Places, a 1983 American comedy film directed by John Landis and written by Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod. Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott, and Jamie Lee Curtis are cast members. The film follows the lives of an upper-class commodities broker (Aykroyd) and a poor street hustler (Murphy).
Their paths meet when they are unintentionally made the subjects of an intricate bet to see how each man would perform if they switched their lives around. Trading Places was a box office hit upon its initial release, generating $90.4 million in the United States and Canada and $120.6 million worldwide, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 1983.
It got a lot of favorable feedback as well. The principal actors received widespread appreciation, and critics of the film’s rebirth of the screwball comedy genre popular in the 1930s and 1940s praised it.
The film was panned for not conveying the genre’s moral message while advocating economic expansion. It was nominated for several accolades, including an Academy Award for Bernstein’s score, while Elliott and Curtis both won two BAFTA awards. The film launched or revived the careers of its primary cast members, who featured in several additional films during the 1980s.
The picture has been re-evaluated in both favorable and adverse terms in the years after its premiere. It hails as one of the best comedy pictures and Christmas films ever made, yet it has been chastised for its use of racial jokes and language in retrospective reviews. Was mentioned trading places in Congressional testimony in 2010 regarding the reform of the commodities trading market, which was intended to avoid the insider trading depicted in the film. Bellamy and Ameche reprised their roles in Murphy’s comedy Coming to America in 1988.
Here’s my dirty little secret: I have no idea what transpired at the commodities exchange during the climactic sequence! Fortunately, Wikipedia provides the answer:
“With the real orange crop report indicating a good harvest of fresh oranges, frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) would be less relevant to food makers and, as a result, the price of FCOJ would likely decline after traders received the news.”
On the other hand, the Duke brothers are persuaded to anticipate that the orange harvest will be less successful, necessitating a bigger demand for hoarded FCOJ in orange products in the future year, driving up the price. The protagonists can profit by leveraging this knowledge (and the Duke brothers’ mistakes) by capitalizing on it.
Futures Contracts An Overview
Futures contracts, unlike traditional stocks, can be sold even if the seller does not own any of the commodity. A contract to sell 1000 pounds of FCOJ in February for $1.50 per pound simply states the seller’s responsibility to supply and the buyer’s obligation to purchase the commodity at the given price and time.
It makes no difference how or where the seller obtains the product as long as he can provide it at that price, even if it means making a loss on the sale.
The Scam is as follows.
In this scenario, Winthorpe and Valentine first “sell” FCOJ futures at around $1.45 per unit, a price inflated by the Duke Brothers (the Duke Brothers’ purchase causes other traders to suspect the Dukes are attempting to corner the market, resulting in a buying frenzy).
Then, when the price drops due to the release of the genuine crop report, which indicates a good harvest, Winthorpe and Valentine buy futures at about $0.22 per unit. As a result, for every future unit they sold for $1.45, they buy a matching unit for only $0.22, resulting in a profit of over $1.20 per unit (over 545 percent ).
The Hard Facts
They might have turned $500,000 into approximately $2.7 million if they combined Winthorpe’s investment, Valentine’s the Duke’s money from buying the “fake” report from a bogus Clarence Beeks (Paul Gleason), and Coleman’s and Ophelia’s savings.
Since a smaller amount would not bankrupt the Dukes, it is inferred that they acquired additional futures on leverage and profited dozens (or hundreds) of millions more.
“You’re looking great, Billy Ray!” “Way to go, Lewi
The Duke brothers, being the evil capitalists they are, wanted to conduct an unsanctioned, non-consensual, and unquestionably unlawful human experiment to determine whether a person’s social status is determined by his surroundings and upbringing or by his intrinsic aptitude and intelligence. The bumbling black con-man Billy RayValentine (Eddie Murphy) and the spoiled, golden boy entrepreneur Louis Winthorpe III are their test subjects (DanAykroyd).
Films that question social conventions, discuss the harsh reality, and raise crucial topics are popular. Trading Places isn’t your typical Christmas movie, with white Christmases adorned with snow, reindeers, multicolored lights, and gingerbread houses.
It all starts with a bet between two rich brothers, Randolph and Mortimer Duke (Ralph Bellamy and DonAmeche), propelling this picture into the gripping, contentious, and hilarious drama it is. It takes a serious look at racism, capitalism, inequality, and countless prejudices – even though it is ironically sexist – all of which greatly impact a person’s character and define their world.
The Stanford Prison Experiment, led by Zimbardo, shows that people will readily adhere to the social roles they expect to perform, particularly if the roles are strongly stereotyped, as Valentine and Winthorpe experienced when they were forced into roles with strong prejudices. Valentine was treated as a sophisticated businessman and conformed to the job. Winthorpe was treated as a criminal and commoner and behaved like that.
The environment has a significant impact on a person’s development, whether psychologically or physically. Expectations and experiences quickly impact people; thus, it is critical to pick the environment we are exposed to.
When investors purchase low and sell high, they profit. Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd sell high and then purchase low in the movie Trading Places. They make a lot of money in any case.
So, what went wrong?
It all starts with some intimate knowledge. Aykroyd and Murphy take a study that predicts a decrease in the price of orange juice and replaces it with one that predicts an increase. They do this because they know their adversaries, the Duke brothers, will profit from the false claim.
Moving on to the broader picture, the Duke brothers begin buying OJ futures through their dealer. After that, everyone buys. The value soars to new heights.
When the price reaches a high point, and everyone in the market believes it will continue to rise, Aykroyd pledges to sell OJ at that high price in the future. In essence, he’s betting that the price will drop. (Because he’s read the report, he knows it will.)
He buys a lot of orange juice for a low price and then sells it for a high price. The Dukes, on the other hand, did not.
A lot of things in Trading Places are prohibited, including insider trading. Individual investors can potentially wind up as broke as the Dukes at the movie’s end by trading commodity futures.