Universal’s Focus Features has released the first trailer for the upcoming comedy The American Society of Magical Negroes, which imagines a world where black people are recruited to serve as self-sacrificing guardian angels for whites.
“What’s the most dangerous animal on the planet?” one character asks. “White people when they’re feeling uncomfortable.” He later adds: “The happier they are, the safer we are.”
The movie, which opens in cinemas March 22, stars Justice Smith as young Los Angeles hipster who gets recruited into a secret society of “magical black people” whose jobs are to make life easier for white people. He gets assigned to a young white man, but trouble arises when they fall for the same hipster chick.
David Alan Grier co-stars as a leading member of said society.
The “magical negro” is a pejorative literary and cinematic term referring to a black character whose primary function is to help and sometimes transform the white protagonist into a better person. Prominent cinematic examples include The Green Mile, The Legend of Bagger Vance, and Driving Miss Daisy.
Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been accused of using “magical negro” stereotypes for the character Jim.