It has been almost 15 years since the hit cheerleader movie Bring It On was released. If you were old enough to remember this scene, than you know how great and culturally aware Bring It On was back in the 2000s.
So for the anniversary, Complex interviewed Gabrielle Union who played one of the lead characters Isis. Her interview is pretty interesting, especially when they compared the culture appropriation aspect from the movie to recent conflicts and issues:
"How do you feel about that racial division portrayed in Bring It On?
It was relevant then, and it’s super relevant now. It’s been relevant for a long time. As long as there’s been art and there has been people not getting credit for their art or recognized at all. That is what appealed to me—the appropriation of our culture and winning awards and championships, using routines created and cultivated by black women who never got acknowledged, and couldn't afford to get on that national stage to be recognized. It’s still so relevant when you look at Azealia Banks and Iggy, Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj, and pretty much everything—the girl who played Rue in The Hunger Games…
Were you ever wary that your character would veer off into the Angry Black Woman stereotype in any way?
Not necessarily the Angry Black Woman stereotype. I was more worried about the way it was originally written, that it would be a very exploitative film depiction of a black woman. I distinctly remember there being a line in the first draft that we had at the table read that I had to ask my husband at the time about. I was like, "I don’t even know what this is.” He looks at me like, “Oh, babe. It's WHAT-A-WHA?" If I’m not mistaken, Martin Lawrence would say that on his show. And then the line, “My nails are long, sharp, and ready to flash,” like I was going to be moved to physical violence. I wanted to definitely steer it away from that and also what we shot didn’t make into the movie: We [Torrance and Isis] ended up on the same team. Still competitive, but we end up at Berkeley. So I just wanted to make sure people still understood that Isis was incredibly smart and she was taking AP classes. She was a leader, that she wasn’t some bad caricature. Yeah, she had every right to be angry. She was young and black. I don’t have a problem with people being angry when they have been wronged, which is pretty common."
Read the rest of the interview here