Commentary Strange Fruit

Dylan Marron describes his childhood self as “a brown and queer kid trying to break into the entertainment industry.” People told him he was very talented but was unlikely to get work, because of how he looked and who he was.

Dylan started paying attention to the movies and TV shows he consumed. “I noticed there was a representation problem,” he said. “Universal stories were being told, but not using bodies that reflected universal stories. Universal stories are told, by default, with white bodies.”

He wanted to bring attention to it in a way that wasn’t preachy but factual. That’s how he came up with his YouTube series, “Every Single Word.” It shows popular movies edited down to only include words spoken by characters of color.

In the “Every Single Word” universe, the movie “E.T.” is nine seconds long. It consists entirely of a character credited only as “Van Man,” saying, “Hey, who are you?” and “Open the door, son.”

The Harry Potter series clocks in at just over six minutes. The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy is 47 seconds.

It’s absurdly funny. And it gets the point across.

Dylan joins us this week to talk about using humor to shine a light on social justice issues —  and how he does the same thing in his latest project, “Conversations with People Who Hate Me.”

Laura produces Recut, Curious Louisville, and other audio news stories and podcasts for WFPL.