The curious casting of Rocky IV

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 11.51.05 PM

So lately, when I’ve got a few minutes to spare, I turn to one of the Rocky films as my mind melts into those foam peanuts and my senses shut down. See, Rocky films are the perfect medication when you want to stop and un-think. You know all the characters, all the lines, all the plots, all the results. You can just law low and enjoy the drama.

Sometimes, however, something catches your attention and refuses to let go. Like tonight, for example, when I noticed that Ivan Drago has what appears to be a black trainer/cut man. Now, it wouldn’t be strange for an American boxer to have someone black in his corner. It wouldn’t even be strange for a European boxer to have someone black in his corner. But in 1984, at the height of U.S. v. Russia, I can’t possibly understand why Sylvester Stallone put a black man in Drago’s corner.

It just seems weird. You have this fighter, mid-Cold War, who represents his 99.9-percent white country. All the government officials are white, the fans in the arena are all white. So why would you cast a black trainer/cut man? It strikes me as such an odd decision; one that was made for a purpose, right?