Hey 3.5 readers.
Your old pal BQB here.
Ugh. Maybe I’m not the pop culture guru I thought I was, because I found out the other day that Judy Garland performed in blackface.
Around Christmastime, I watched the Wizard of Oz after not watching it since I was a kid. As an adult, I really appreciated the Jude-ster’s vocal talents and, embarrassing as this may be, I began looking up clips of her other performances as an adult. Her rendition of “Come On, Get Happy” is pretty great.
Should I be admitting a love of show tunes? Yes. #2018.
So anyway, the other day I was on YouTube, looking for another dose of Judy and low and behold, two clips appear of her in blackface. She’s got the dark makeup, the wig, the exaggerated whites around her mouth and eyes. She’s calling herself “Opal Pearl Washington” and singing about her “Mammy and Pappy.”
Holy crap. I mean, maybe you could defend her on the grounds that in at least one of the appearances, she’s a kid and her parents and/or studio execs are to blame but even so, finding out that Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz appeared in blackface is the equivalent of:
#1 – Finding out that Santa snorts coke off of stripper asses.
#2 – Finding out that the Tooth Fairy uses the teeth she collects for no reason other than to just swim around in them naked and revel in all the pain the kids went through to lose their teeth.
#3 – Finding out that the Easter Bunny is a serial killer who cuts off people’s faces and wears them.
#4 – Finding out that America’s Dad of the 1980s Bill Cosby used to drug women for sexual perversion purposes and, oh shit, that happened and I felt bad then too.
#5 – Finding out that seemingly trustworthy morning talk show host Matt Lauer had a button under his desk he could use to lock women inside his office. Oh shit…
So anyway. I guess that information has been out there a long time and I’m just discovering it. Did I mention the other video was basically a tribute song to FDR? Yes, because in the 1940s it was totally cool to get in blackface and support presidential candidates apparently.
Oh well. The woman died of a barbiturate overdose when she was 47 so I’ll assume there was a long list of shit the studios made her do that weighed on her mind. People have pointed out she sold a house to Sammy Davis Jr when no one else in Hollywood would.
Not excusing it…just ugh…Judy! Why, Judy, why? Say it ‘aint so!
I’m not posting the video. Feel free to look it up on YouTube if you want your faith in humanity shocked.
I’ll try to soldier on but if I find a video of little Toto in a doggie klansman outfit then I’m going to give up on life.