Jennifer Hudson's character was a "mammy."
Being one of only two characters of color in the film (the other being Charlotte's adopted Chinese child), Hudson was the movie's attempt to be politically correct. However, it was far, far off.
Hudson played Carrie's assistant, Louise. After Carrie has a major life crisis (no spoilers here, I promise), Louise helps her get organized, along with a variety of other tasks, essentially, as Carrie puts it, "saving her life."
Now, when its written out, it sounds okay, but seeing it all on the screen made me very uncomfortable.
In order for one to fit the mammy caricature, she must be:
"nurturing and protective of her white family,
but less caring towards her own children." She is..."self-sacrificing,
white-identified, fat, asexual, good-humored, a loyal cook, housekeeper and
Let's test that definition.
1. In the movie, Louise cares for Carrie for several months. When applying for the job, she claims she is qualified for it because she is the oldest of six. When Carrie asked what that was life, she responds, "crowded." Her family is never mentioned again.
2. She is self-sacrificing; the movie implies that she stays with Carrie at work far past normal hours.
3. She is the only person of color (over the age of five) in the movie. I'd say that is fairly white-identified (but, this could be argued against. She is shown at a party where the majority of guests were black, and her significant other is black.)
4. In normal, human terms Hudson is by no means fat. However, her weight has been debated in Hollywood, and she is the most shapely woman who appears in the movie.
5. Louise is not portrayed as asexual, so yay (I guess) there.
6. Humor is one of Louise's defining characteristics.
7. While she is not technically the housekeeper or cook, she is Carrie's assistant, which may be the modern day equivalent of the positions.
8. She is a "quasi-family member" in several ways. She exchanges gifts with Carrie for Christmas, invites Carrie to her wedding, and discusses her heartbreak with her.
So ultimately, Louise fulfills 7 (maybe 6) of the 8 "qualifications" of a mammy caricature. This is unacceptable in our "post-racial" world. What do you think? Is this too much analysis? Or does it have merit? How can Hollywood change these things. I know Sarah Jessica Parker co-produced the movie; would this have happened if a women of color had had more decision making power?