- May 8, 2020
Remember the Titans and the Depiction of Ethical Issues
Rememberthe Titansand the Depiction of Ethical Issues
Rememberthe Titansand the Depiction of Ethical Issues
Rememberthe Titansis a sporting movie centered on the factual account of Herman Boone,a black instructor depicted by Denzel Washington. The film exploresthe issues of racism, discrimination, diversity, team and personalmorals, and equality. The movie, through Coach Boone enforces andadheres to the Universal Maxim principle developed by Kant. Theprinciple posits that individuals should treat other persons as bothan end and a means. Boone calls for the mutual respect andintegration of all people regardless of their diversity especially inthe lines of race. Thus, according to him, the assimilation ofpeople’s diversity and showing mutual respect is an ethical dutyfor all people. The film opines that it is the moral obligation ofevery individual to end discrimination and racial prejudice(Bruckheimer & Yakin, 2000). Boone uses authoritative leadershipfor example, during summertime camp he makes it clear that he is thelaw while Bill Yoast (the assistant coach) uses participativeleadership to facilitate subordinate contribution in the resolutionprocess. In this regards, the analysis of the movie will help inillustrating how individuals can utilize leadership styles andelements to resolve ethical issues, such as, racism, prejudice,discrimination, and integration.
Overviewof the movie and the relevant ethical issues
Themovie revolves around a discriminative era of the early 1970s inAlexandria, Virginia. Following a court ruling, there was the need tointegrate schools in Virginia as a measure to combat racism(Bruckheimer & Yakin, 2000). After the incorporation of twoinstitutes, there are plans to replace a white coach who had a streakof wins in all his previous 13 American football matches, with ablack American coach, Herman Boone, who hails from North Carolina.There is a lot of tension within the community and among the playerssince members of the institution from different racial divide arecompelled to put aside their differences and foster a formidablefootball team. What follows is a two-weeks training session in theGettysburg Pennsylvania.
Booneplays a pivotal role in helping the students to shelve their racialdifferences and forge a formidable front as a united desegregatedteam. However, on their return to Virginia, there is open discontentwith the desegregation policy, which sees the community dividedbetween those who easily adopt and those fighting the change. Bridgesand Tomkowiak (2010) posit that within the realms of preconception,it is easily possible for individuals to disagree on many issues.Consequently, Phillips (2014) asserts that racial diversity is asignificant element in any group working since people from differentcultures bring diverse information. The team engages well and behavespositively because of the increased and positive racial diversitypresent. This means that the resolution of an ethical issue requiresa transformative leader who has the capacity to alter the negativebehavior and attitude that people have already created. As the seasonfurther unfolds, the team attains a streak of success that gets thecommunity to accept the desegregation change and start appreciatingone another forming formidable inter-personal correlations.
Themovie highlights a diverse aspect of ethical issues. For instance,after the first football match that the team wins, the captain has tomake a decision on whether to stay with his teammates or go with thegirls. He decides to stay with his co-players, which shows that hemakes the right decision when faced with a peer pressure challenge.Considering the era represented by the movie, the decision is a majorturnaround between the blacks’ and the whites’ relationship. Thelatter was an important aspect to the future success and positivecorrelation of not only the team but also the school community atlarge. Racism is another ethical issue addressed deeply in the movie.Having majored on an onset of racism, the movie starts showing thecompelled gesture to mix the white and black students to participatein a game they both loved. Nolder and Riley (2013) and Phillips(2014) assert that diversity is an intricate aspect, but once anorganization or a group of people utilizes it, it enhances creativityand creates positive results. The hiring of Boone and the combinationof both blacks and the whites helps the team engage effectively andgets the championship. The community views these two groups sodifferently and a black coach-Boon is hired to bridge the huge riftand secure the so much needed victory in the football game.
Tosucceed, coach Boon takes the team to Gettysburg and coerce them toshare rooms and report what they have learned about each other duringmealtime. This, in the end, helps seal the racial rift. The moviealso addresses the issue of equality as the head coach switchesplayers like Pete to the defense position. In the end, the decisionproves that he was right and he ends up proclaiming that he would beequally harsh on all players and not babysit any player based onrace, unlike his predecessor. Decisiveness is yet another ethicalissue addressed in the movie as both the coach and the captain takestrong decisive stands. The bold move to desegregate the schools isalso based on a major decision. The coach’s choice to compel thestudents from across the races to sit systematically in the buses andshare rooms is yet another landmark decision that thrives in themovie. According to Matusitz (2012) and VanderPaland Ko (2014),leaders should widely develop effective conflict resolutiontechniques if they want to resolve ethical issues and undertake theirmoral obligation. For example, the movie depicts conflict resolutionwhen the team’s captain, Gary Bertier is forced to expel Ray, oneof his best friends, for negligently risking the injury of anotherplayer- Rev for the greater good of the team.
Theproducer intentionally set out to identify and address ethical issues
Fromthe onset, the producer sets out to address racism, integration,prejudice, and conflict resolution. Rememberthe Titansis based on real events of the early 1970s. Though some of the eventsare artistically created to suit dramatic elements, the film portraysthe racial segregation that existed then in an effective andinsightful manner. According to Bridgesand Tomkowiak (2010) and Hughey(2012), racism has always been an intricate issue hence, it is theobligation of scholars to present the facts and project the ills ofthe vice on harmony and people’s integration. By using a blackcoach and highlighting racism and desegregation,the movie critically identifies and addresses the ethical issues thatshape people’s engagements. In fact, the moral issues are part ofthe film’s themes thus, they cannot be separated from its subject.Thisrevelation shows that the choices made in the movies in relation tothe themes and or the ethical issues addressed are not because ofabsolute coincidence. However, some scenes, for instance, Gary’sgirlfriend Emma are fictionalized to show the negative parenting backthen. Additionally, Ronnie kissing Gerry on the lips was anotherfictionalized scene to promote transsexual existence in the societytoday, an aspect that the community is slowly waking up adapting. Itis important to note that although the producer set out to addressthe moral issues accurately or critically, some scenes are overlyembroidered. However, this dramatic exaggeration is necessary toappeal to the audience on the ills of racial tension. The setting ofthe 1970s in Alexandria, Virginia was not as depicted in the movie.For example, during this period, Virginia had some forms ofintegrated football and other activities. The film takes advantage ofAmerican’s affection for football to illustrate the issues.
Motivationalconversation to inspire change in the culture
Thedecision to alter the dynamics of coaching by appointing Boone as thehead instructor shifts the pyridine of the society. Selecting anAfrican American as the coach pacifies the situation and symbolizeschange. The film raises awareness of racism and prejudice but goesbeyond these themes to include other changes in the society. Themovie is short on the post-racism era of the new millennium. Thisbeing the case, one cannot purport that it was entirely meant tocreate awareness. Today, racism is not as prevalent as during theperiod illustrated in the film and the current society has verystrict measures to combat such vices decisively (Hughey, 2012).Though there still exist few cases of racism, the movie is not solelychampioning anti-racism fight. The anti-racism calls serve as thebest platform for the movie producer and or the scriptwriter toremind the community of the ugly segregated past as they slowly usethose shocking memories to gently introduce the same-sexrelationship. This is a newly and openly introduced phenomenon in thepublic domain and the writer could have used the past event to createawareness on the new ethical issue of sexuality and equality (Hughey,2012). By introducing the same-sex issue in a theme that covers anera where the latter was not overly addressed, the movie is in amajor way, geared towards stirring conversations and prepares themindset of the society of the awakening of yet another new era.
Leadershiproles and their development
Themovie highlights a very protagonist approach, right from the onset ofthe desegregation policy in the schools to the leadership that isentrusted with reducing the color effects in the school footballteam. The same is strongly emphasized first when the team wins itsfirst match and the captain opts to spend time bonding with theteammates rather than drinking with girls in the hills. There is ahigh level of authoritative decision making exuded by the new coach-Boon. He asserts strong leadership skills in the onset of racialtension and rises above the same when through his hard work anddetermination, unites the team members and the community throughstreaks of victories. Shapiro and Stefkovich (2016) contend that aleader should always utilize strong management and motivationalskills to engage individuals or inspire them to accept change. Booneis an idealistic leader who has the vision of winning thechampionship. Despite the numerous challenging instances, Boone staysmotivated on the objective of securing the tournament, whichultimately they win. Boone has an extensive insight on issues ofgroup dynamics, relationship, and racism and to solve these facets hemakes his players seat on the bus based on defensive and offensiveteams. On the other hand, Yoast exhibits a comprehension of thesubtleties of engagement, issues of racism, and teamwork. Forexample, he allows Gerry Bertier to work through his differences withanother player. VanderPal and Ko (2014) contend that a leader shouldalways treat subordinates equally regardless of cultures to enhanceengagement and improve results. Thus, allowing the players to engageequally brings sanity in the team and in the community. This showsthat both instructors develop as leaders with elaborate insights onleadership and decision-making tools.
Movieeffect on culture because of its perspectives
Mostof the movie critiques argue that though the dominant is somehowoutdated, it might have been symbolically used to address otherethical issues indirectly. However, it is a serious reminder of theugly past occurrences that were caused by ignorance and intolerance,a factor that can draw people to re-evaluate some of their currentdecisions and stands(Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2016).It also might act as a point of motivation to other oppressed socialsegments in the society to rise up and be counted. The film’sillustration of the issues of racism, prejudice, leadership, andgroup dynamics will go a long way in influencing people’s decisionsespecially in matters pertaining to diversity.
Perspectiveon culture, leadership, and mass media
Theentertainment industry is a very powerful tool when it comes tocreating awareness and inspiring changes in the modern society. It isa tool that is strongly used in the movie Rememberthe Titansto not only highlight the cultural dynamism but also to show howleadership can influence the positive dynamism of the culture,through the decisions made across the board. This shows strongsymbiotic correlation across leadership and its decisiveness, thepower of the media and the cultural dynamism that transform thesociety on daily basis. Through culture, people develop attitudes andbehaviors that they continually utilize to make decisions and relateto other individuals (Nolder & Riley, 2013). Culture allows anindividual to develop a certain identity and uses it to makedecisions pertaining issues affecting their community. On the otherhand, leadership is a significant tool in shaping the development ofculture and the decision-making processes (VanderPal& Ko, 2014).By portraying changes in culture or individual with celebratedleadership capacities, the mass media can influence the decisionsthat people make (Cohen,2013).For example, the entertainment industry has shaped the consumerismdebate by reporting on celebrities to appeal to the society. Thus, byaddressing pertinent issues in the society and involving knownfigures, the industry will continue to shape people’s choices andcreate new changes in the society.
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