Albinism in Popular Culture - Albinism and Fiction - Negatively Portrayed Characters

Negatively Portrayed Characters

Brothers Edgar and Johnny Winter, rock musicians with albinism subject to parody as "evil albinos" in a comic book.

The most common depiction of people with albinism in fiction is that of the inimical, violent villain, especially the hitman, assassin, sociopath or crime boss.

  • "The Family", a cult of plague survivors are the antagonist in the film, The Omega Man (1971).
  • Silas, in the book The Da Vinci Code (2003) by Dan Brown, (played by Paul Bettany in the derived 2006 movie), is described as being albinistic. He is a religious fanatic and an assassin who murders several people, although he repents at the end of the book, praying to God for mercy and forgiveness. Critics have called the portrayal "damning", "hateful", and "cruelly stereotypical". In defense, author Brown has pointed out that "Silas's skin color has nothing to do with his violent nature – he is driven to violence by others' cruelty... not by anything inherent in his physiology" and that he believes "the novel's portrayal of Silas is a compassionate exploration of how difficult albinism can be – especially for young people – and how cruelly societies can ostracize those of us who look different", going on to say he considers Silas to be the most sympathetic character in the story.
  • "The Twins" (played by Adrian and Neil Rayment), in The Matrix Reloaded (2003) are considered by detractors to be the highest-profile case of "evil albino" bias to date, though said by producers to not be intended to be taken as actually albinistic.
  • Edgar and Johnny Autumn, in four 1995 issues of the Jonah Hex comic book, are mutant villain brothers for the main character to fight. They were thinly-disguised caricatures of real-life albinistic musician brothers, Edgar and Johnny Winter (see image, right), who filed an unsuccessful lawsuit (Edgar Winter et al. v. DC Comics et al.). A spokesperson for Johnny Winter characterized the depiction as "picking fun at them for being albinos", while a DC Comics representative claimed that the characters were an homage.
  • Griffin, the main character of The Invisible Man (1897) by H. G. Wells is of questionable sanity and a thief by nature, obsessed with colour and pigmentation due to his albinism. The text of Wells's novel implies that Griffin's invisibility formula works on him (and a white cat in an early experiment) only because of albinism.
  • Francis Davey, the vicar of Altarnun in Daphne du Maurier's novel "Jamaica Inn" is an albino whose status as a 'freak of nature' is explicitly linked to his rejection of conventional morality and hence his villainous actions including murder.
  • Samuel Aboah from The X-Files episode "Teliko". He was a Burkinabé immigrant who, lacking a pituitary gland and harvested them from other African or African-American men to restore his skin tone. He is compared unfavourably to a vampire like creature from West African folklore (the eponymous Teliko) by a Burkinabé ambassador. He is depicted as a merciless killer with a seemingly inhuman ability to squeeze into small spaces (a la previous X-Files villain Eugene Victor Tooms)
  • "Snow" (played by Billy Drago), in Vamp (1986) is the violently-inclined leader of a street gang composed of albinistic people and others with appearance problems. He meets a violent end.
  • Joseph (played by Jake Busey, son of Gary Busey; see next entry), in Contact (1997) is a religious extremist turned suicide-bomber.
  • Mr. Joshua (played by Gary Busey), in Lethal Weapon (1987) is a seemingly psychopathic hit man. He was specifically referred to as "albino" in the film.
  • Bosie (played by Charlie Hunnam), in Cold Mountain (2003) is a U.S. Civil War-era "sneering albino killer ... seems to have wandered in from a Lethal Weapon movie" — Ty Burr, Boston Globe review.
  • "Dragon" (played by Thayer David) in The Eiger Sanction (1975) is an underworld kingpin also described as being unable to stand light and requiring frequent blood transfusions.
  • "The Albino" (played by Mel Smith), in The Princess Bride (1987) is an Igor-like henchman and torturer, depicted as diseased, with visible sores.
  • "Albino" (played by the genuinely albinistic Victor Varnado), in End of Days (1999) is a menacing "servant of Satan" who meets a grisly death.
  • "Whitey" Jackson a.k.a. "The Albino" (played by William Frankfather), in Foul Play (1978) is another heavily-armed killer, this time in a comedy.
  • "Tombstone", in the Spider-Man comics is an African-American with albinism. He is a mob hitman.
  • "Tobias Whale" a D.C. Comics African-American albinistic mobster whose villainy induces character Jefferson Pierce to become the superhero "Black Lightning".
  • Moke (played by Dar Robinson), in Stick (1985) is a ruthless criminal, who likes to shoot people in the back
  • Judge Holden, in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian (published 1985; ISBN 0-394-54482-X). In McCarthy's novel, Holden is a wanton mass-murderer. There is no historical evidence to suggest that the non-fictional Holden was albinistic.
  • "Albino" (played by Warrick Grier), in Freefall (1994) is a menacing figure who drugs the film's heroine.
  • Mark Purayah (Mark II) and Mark Parchezzi (Mark III) ("the Albinos"), in Hitman: Blood Money (released 2005) are clones of an unseen Mark I, and all are assassins.
  • Otis B. Driftwood (played by Bill Moseley), in House of 1000 Corpses (2003). leads a clan of psychopathic backwoods serial killers. Despite being played by the same actor, in the sequel The Devil's Rejects (2005) he has a normal skin tone.
  • "The Albino" in The Albino's Dancer, a "Time Hunter" novella; the character is a mobster.
  • "The Albino" (played by Bill Bolender) from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Blood Oath", who is a dishonorable Klingon warrior and murderer.
  • Dr. Robert Kirkland "Kirk" Langström, also known as the Man-Bat, is depicted as being albinistic in the television series The Batman (which also depicts him as more villainous than other versions of the character). Langström's "Man-Bat" form is also depicted as being albino.
  • Kobra, an albinistic biker in Robert R. McCammon's 1981 novel They Thirst who is depicted as sadistic and violent. He eventually becomes a commander of an army of vampires besieging Los Angeles (but was albinistic before becoming a vampire).
  • Monsieur Zenith, a pulp fiction villain in the "Sexton Blake" series by Anthony Skene. Zenith is a world-weary gentleman thief who uses opium, commits crimes, and feuds with Blake simply to relieve his ennui.
  • The clairvoyant albino Juni Swan in Darren Shan's "The Demonata" series is characterized by her deceptive and sadistic nature as well as her exceptional beauty. However, in Death's Shadow, the seventh book of the series, she appears as a hideously deformed monster.
  • "Helter Skelter", a mysterious assassin seen in the opening cutscene of the video game No More Heroes
  • Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
  • Bigboy, the sadistic, ruthless chief of the prison guards in the Stephen Hunter novel Pale Horse Coming.
  • Jei Farfarello, a sadistic/masochistic member of a group of assassins named "Schwarz" in the anime Weiß Kreuz. He is portrayed as an one-eyed, heavily scarred and clinically insane killer.
  • Olivia Presteign, the daughter of a powerful business man in Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination, is responsible for numerous acts of homocide along with various other crimes. Her albinism renders her blind to the normal spectrum of light visible to humans, but she is able to see the infrared spectrum.
  • The Mark clones in Hitman: Blood Money are genetically-created assassins from the rival organization The Foundation.
  • Shadow Prove from Bakugan New Vestroia is most probably albino. He often laughs at other peoples problems and tries to annoy but hates being insulted by Mylene, his companion. He is part of the evil organisation Vexos.
Animals and other non-humanoid characters
  • In Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, the main antagonist, named Rudy, is a huge albino Baryonyx. Unlike most other dinosaurs in the film, he is depicted as cruel, vicious, and entirely inimical. The filmmakers explicitly stated that his albinism is a reference to Moby Dick and other pale fictional antagonists.
  • The anime/manga Deadman Wonderland features two albinos named Chan an En as bodyguards to the main antagonist of the series, the director of Deadman Wonderland named Hagire. They are twin brother and sister, and are incredibly loyal to Hagire, seeing him as a father figure and killing people who merely insult him. The twins later die protecting Hagire.
  • The Banes from Suzanne Collins's Underland Chronicles novel series. An albino gnawer (giant, talking Underland rat). Born once every few hundred years, they are always insane, tyrannical, and far larger than even the other gnawers. The only one featured in The Underland Chronicles is Pearlpelt. He is, however, an exception, as all the Underland humans are albinos, and they are generally portrayed favorably, with varying personalities. (See also Underland humans, below.)

Read more about this topic:  Albinism In Popular Culture, Albinism and Fiction

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