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In the Netflix original Bright (2017) a great deal of effort is taken to show the prejudice that Jakoby faces for being a non-human in the police. All the other officers in the team meeting seem to be humans and Jakoby is portrayed as a total outcast.

Yet later on we see a centaur cop.

Cop

So what was the big deal about Jakoby not being seen as a legitimate police officer? Was Jakoby persecuted because he was a non-human or because he was an orc (because of the history of orcs or whatever)? Why didn't the centaur cop get the same kind of grief?

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    It was my understanding that Jakoby was mistreated because he was an Orc and Orcs sided with the Dark Lord in the big confrontation 2000 years ago. Elves also appear to be members of the law enforcement agencies and obviously suffer no prejudice. – Jontia Feb 13 '18 at 23:43
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    @Jontia I don't remember siding with any orcs... – The Dark Lord Feb 13 '18 at 23:47
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    @TheDarkLord The, uh, other Dark Lord. Also, does that Centaur just crap anywhere he wants, like the horses of the NYPD? But yeah, Jonita is correct. Orcs get extra prejudice because they chose the side of evil way back when. – Tim Feb 14 '18 at 0:22
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    @Thomas the Orcs as a whole remained on the side of The Dark Lord, but the leader of the allied (nine?) Armies, the hero of this world's Lord of The Rings/bible tale was an Orc. Should I be writing any of this up as an answer? The reason I haven't is because everything I have to offer is about Orcs. Nothing references Centaurs directly, they are just not Orcs. – Jontia Feb 18 '18 at 20:36
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    The degrees of prejudice against the various species may be due to the uncanny valley effect. Centaurs are poorly suited to city life and can't be mistaken for humans. Orcs can climb stairs and drive cars – they can go anywhere humans go and do anything humans do – and they can pass for human until they're too close for humans to avoid. – Gaultheria Feb 19 '18 at 21:54
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+50

Jakoby is an Orc, and is paying for the mistakes his ancestors made, the Centaur is treated 'fairly' in comparison.

There is unfortunately not much back story elaborated in Bright1. As such, all we know about the past is that:

  • There was a powerful magical being known as 'The Dark Lord' enter image description here
    img src

  • The Orcs sided with this Dark Lord

  • The Dark Lord was apparently defeated by Elves and a band of merry creatures (The Shield of Light), united under the Orc known as Jirak

    enter image description here
    img src

  • Orcs never lived down their choice to side with the Dark Lord

Here is what Ward's fellow officers have to say about this:

HICKS
You know what they say about clan
blood.
(ominously)
Once for the Dark Lord, always for
the Dark Lord.

WARD
How can dumb-asses like you who
can’t remember your wife's birthday
still have beef against a whole
race of people for some shit that
went down thousands of years ago?
HICKS
"Race of people."
Bright, Shooting Script, 2016-02-29, Landis, M. and Ayer, D.

Jakoby even makes a meta remark about this when they encounter the homeless crazy dude:

The homeless man points his sword directly at Jakoby...
HOMELESS MAN (CONT’D)
Two thousand years ago we fought
him with swords and arrows! Now he
rises again. We will fight him
with bullets and bombs!
JAKOBY
Why’re Orcs always the bad guys?
-Ibid.

Note how Rodriguez' response is so poignant

RODRIGUEZ
Don’t look at me, man. Mexicans
still get shit for the Alamo.
-Ibid.

Basically, things are the way they are, and no one really remembers why. People are just racist.

Conversely to this, there is no mention of Centaurs or any discrimination against them.


1. It is my opinion that David Ayer should have gotten someone who knows how to write fantasy to help him. My tip would have been George R. R. Martin (since he's not busy at all these day).

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    If anything, you'd think Orcs would be somewhat redeemed after Jirak's actions, but alas, people only remember the bad. – Möoz Feb 18 '18 at 22:03
  • That's the question. Why is there no mention of Centaurs. You've completely graced over the question. – Edlothiad Feb 19 '18 at 21:33
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    Not really, my point is that the OP has misunderstood the problem: that Orcs are mistreated, not Centaurs (or any other species for that matter). The fact that there's no mention of Centaurs shows that they're not important (so far as the plot is concerned). – Möoz Feb 19 '18 at 21:50
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You missed a bit of worldbuilding that was vital: the Orcs aren't discriminated against because they aren't human, they are prejudiced against because the Orc race was (thousands of years prior) completely in service to a BBEG known as the Dark Lord.

The BBEG was defeated, but Orcs got a bad rep as a result of being (forcibly?) in his service.

To most people, Orcs are still an 'evil' race.

So the Centaur cop wasn't a big deal because he was not an Orc. Jakoby, however, was. Centaurs even may have been in the alliance of five races which defeated the Dark Lord.

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  • I wouldn't say forcibly, there was a lot of mention of having "chosen" and sided with the Dark Lord. – Möoz Feb 18 '18 at 20:53
  • @Möoz - true, but there's also plenty of references to them rebelling against him. Also, the clan structure of the Orcs means that only a few Orcs (in leadership positions) would have to chose to follow him, and the rest would follow. While this is also true for other peoples, the Orcs clan ties seem strong, making speaking out against or acting against their leadership more difficult (practically and socially). – Jeff Feb 19 '18 at 14:06

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