‘Sausage Party’ Is Stuffed With Racism

09/07/2016 - 11:00am
The popular summer film is anything but funny.

Actors Lauren Miller and Seth Rogen attend in Westwood, Calif. the world premiere of Rogen's animated film, "Sausage Party."  Getty Images

With comedy-gold films such as “The Interview” and “Superbad,” Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have had an undeniably brilliant run. After taking the public by storm time and time again, I eagerly awaited the hilarity and genius to come from “Sausage Party.” When the trailer for the film was released, it only enhanced my craving to see it that much more. “Sausage Party” is a parody of popular animated films (with adult humor) that follows a sausage who adventures with his fellow comestibles to discover what awaits them beyond the grocery store shelves. While the trailer portrayed the film as yet another ingenious and hilarious film from Rogen and Goldberg, that was far from the reality. It exhibited the raunchy comedy and creative storyline —qualities very appealing to me as a viewer. However, the offensive humor and insensitive plot wasn’t exposed until the film hit theaters in August.

While “Sausage Party” appears kid-friendly with its Pixar-like animation, that mirage soon fades. As the opening song unfolds (“The Great Beyond”) the audience is given a glimpse of what lies in store for the remaining painful, 80 minutes: Nazi sauerkrauts sing about their life purpose to “exterminate the juice,” obviously referencing the Nazi’s goal of wiping out the Jews. Any film that ridicules the Holocaust is simply disgraceful. Rogen and Goldberg drew humor from the torture and genocide of more than six million Jews; they satirized Holocaust horrors for a cheap gag in “Sausage Party,” and that in itself is enough to expose the movie’s insensitivity. Unfortunately, the offensive “humor” in this despicable film does not end there.

In all comedies, there’s a thin line between drawing laughs from sensitive topics and having a movie rely on crude and racially offensive humor. “Sausage Party” falls far beyond that line; nearly every character is based on a racial stereotype. For instance, there’s a lesbian Mexican taco; a sly, tequila bottle with a thick “Mexican” accent; and a gay Twinkie. None of them should be regarded as strictly satire because their depictions are offensive. “Sausage Party” is a racist and sexist movie that is very uncomfortable to sit through. Being a Jew, it’s painful to watch “Sausage Party” prey on minorities for a cheap laugh.

It’s shocking that many viewers look beyond the racist remarks and offensive humor, arguing that it’s a comedy and anything controversial can be justified with humor. The evidence of this ridiculous premise is evident in the $33 million “Sausage Party” raked in during its opening box office weekend, making it the largest August opening ever for an animated film, according to forbes.com.

Rogen and Goldberg pitched “Sausage Party” for years and the project eventually received funding. However, once the film was released it did nothing but negatively influence society and help turn the clock back. With all of the public service campaigns to counteract racial stereotyping and promote equality (such as MTV’s Look Different [link]), it’s appalling to watch a film that offsets the positive messages these campaigns send. Through its mockery of the Holocaust, racist and offensive humor and support and praise from the media, “Sausage Party” disparages serious matters that exist in society. This goes to show that a derogatory film flooded with offensive humor isn’t acceptable just because it’s showcased through animated grocery foods.

 

author's bio: 
Sruli Fruchter is a junior at DRS Yeshiva High School for Boys in Woodmere, L.I.