Classic Hollywood villains - such as Darth Vader and Hannibal Lecter - sport facial scarring, deep wrinkles and warts, contributing to prejudice against people suffering from skin diseases, a new study has found.
Researchers from University of Texas in the US analysed the dermatological features of top 10 classic movie villains and compared them with those of 10 classic movie heroes.
The top villains included Dr Hannibal Lecter - The Silence of the Lambs, Darth Vader - The Empire Strikes Back, The Queen - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Regan MacNeil - The Exorcist and The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz.
The heroes included Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, Indiana Jones of Raiders of the Lost Ark, James Bond from Dr No and Rocky Balboa from Rocky.
They found that 60% of the villains had noticeable dermatological features, compared with none of the heroes.
The dermatologic conditions among villains were hair loss in three villains, dark circles under the eyes in three villains, deep wrinkles on the face in two villains, multiple facial scars in two villains, warts on the face in two villains and Rhinophyma - a bulbous nose in one villain. Besides subtle facial scars in two of the top 10 heroes, none of the heroes had significant dermatological features, Live Science reported.
Use of skin features to contrast good and evil characters “may foster a tendency toward prejudice in our society directed at those with skin disease,” researchers said.
The results show Hollywood’s tendency to depict skin disease in an evil context, the implications of which extend beyond the theatre and contribute to misunderstanding of skin diseases among the general public, they said.
The study was published in the journal JAMA Dermatology.
Follow @htshowbiz for more