Why does the US hate Russia?Everyone knows that the US and Russia have long had a strained relationship, to put it mildly. Indeed, you don’t need to look far in history to see the reasons for this mutual hatred: America and the Soviet Union have been enemies for decades with the situation culminating in the Cold War. Naturally, during that time people on both sides of the fence learned to hate the other side and perceive it as the ultimate enemy. But even after the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union, Americans still didn’t warm up much to Russia. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian people were eager to live more like Americans and Europeans, in fact, the entire country fell in love with the US and American jeans, Coca Cola and gum were sold as contraband, but the situation changed gradually but fairly quickly. Today, many Russians dislike or even hate America and the stories of Russian meddling in the US election are all the rage on TV, so Americans can once again justifiably feel suspicious of the US. What’s interesting, is that if you look at popular culture, the stereotype of a Russian villain never went away - even at a time when the relationship between the two countries was great.
Why are there so many Russian villains on TV?Even though politically Russia hasn’t been the biggest enemy of the US in decades, an overwhelming number of Hollywood villains are still Russian. Why is this? According to movie and culture experts, there are a few reasons for this. First of all, the stereotype of Russian people makes them into perfect villains: most people imagine Russians as cold, ruthless, even somewhat robot-like individuals with an incredibly thick accent. Of course, most Russians are nothing like this.
Secondly, there’s tradition. For many decades in the XX century Russians were considered to be the ultimate villain, and movies and television reflected that. Just because the Soviet Union fell apart and the US and Russia’s relationship improved Hollywood didn’t stop using Russians as villains. After all, they’ve had such a success with this for so long that a Russian villain became a crucial part of storytelling.
Lastly, race also plays a part in the selection of villains in movies and TV. Russians are white, so there’s no threat there. On the other hand, China poses a much larger threat to the US today in terms of the economy and the amount of power it holds in the world, but having many Chinese villains suddenly appear on TV in the age of today’s political correctness would be a suicide mission for any studio. Same goes for Arabic people - even though Isis and the like pose a much larger threat than Russians, they are not widely portrayed as villains because it is easy to perceive this as racist.
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