In The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, racism is portrayed to be a major theme, especially from Muriel Donnelly, played by Maggie Smith. In the beginning of the movie, the audience is shown that Muriel is in need of a transplant, hence why she first appears in a hospital. She questions a nurse as to why no one has to seek her attention yet, and the nurse replies saying that another doctor had already been seen to see her. In a seemingly uncomfortable and disgusted manner, Muriel replies stating that “No matter how much the doctor washed his hands the colour would never come off” (stated due to the doctor being black). In Muriel’s eyes, the colour of one’s skin is a big issue as if you are not from England, Muriel sees them as dirty, bacteria-filled and not of a natural origin. There are many ways in which this issue is represented in modern day news. For instance, according to the KentOnline news website, a ‘Racist’ man abuses passenger on Sittingbourne to Sheerness train. A video was released showing a man hurling racist abusive comments to a women and her two children on a train. The woman, who was black, had asked the man politely to stop making loud noises which were upsetting the woman’s baby. In response to this, the man replied that she had no right to be in the UK and she should go and change her baby’s nappy, and they should go back to their own country. In disgust to such abuse, many other passengers jumped in and told him to ‘shut up’. In addition, when the man got off the train and another passenger went to confront him, many insulting comments were hurled back at him. This included the comment of whether the man had a British passport or not and referred to another person as a “black b******”. Many forms of racism such as this are shown in the media on a daily basis, whether it be online, in newspapers or in the news on TV or on the radio. Such racism easily comes from personal opinions on other races such as with Muriel Donnelly. Another example of racism in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is again with Muriel, where she is offered some Indian food by Douglas on the bus to the hotel. She clearly states that if she cannot pronounce the name of the food, she refuses to eat it.
Another example of racism is the racism portrayed in the hit musical/movie Hairspray. In this production, a girl named Penny falls for a black boy called Seaweed, and Penny’s mother disapproves of this relationship to all extents, claiming her daughter will not marry any boy of another ethnicity. Velma Von Tussle, the star producer of The Corny Collins Show (a show within Hairspray) is also portrayed as being very discriminative towards all those of another ethnicity in the show, such as her racism towards Motormouth Maybelle, played by Queen Latifah. Her disgust for her is shown through her disregard of her opinions and ideas and her and her daughter Amber seemingly avoiding them and all contact with them. This is portrayed as a major issue as the colour of one’s skin does not determine the content of their character, as everyone is one in the same.